Digital Marketing SWOT Analysis: Haus.com
Here's a marketing analysis of Haus.com's online presence. As digital marketers, we are looking for things that are working and how to scale them, areas that need to be improved upon, and ways to improve communication of the brand to current and potential customers (two separate groups with similar interests, but at different stages in their customer journey - which requires different content to market to each group).
Ready? Here we go!
Haus.com does a great job with their online presence. They have all of the main components in place (Full website and active Social Media Channels), including a great content strategy that can improve and scale as time goes by.
Keeping in mind, this brand is relatively new so these strengths have room to grow.
1. Great website, simple to follow. Nothing distracts the visitor from reading and scrolling down the page to learn Haus.com's key marketing pillars.
2. Clear messaging (aka "what our main objective is and how it helps you, the home buyer/seller"). Nothing is convoluted with “smoke and mirrors” marketing.
3. The front page features Marketing Pillar #1: Saving Money. Clearly answers a customer pain point, within the first scroll of the page (Haus.com 0% fee VS Industry standard 3% agent fee).
4. The front page features Marketing Pillar #2: Excellent and Guiding Customer Support.
This is clearly identified by explaining their "guided process" ( https://screencast.com/t/DzMXUKfi9Lh ).
This marketing pillar is also featured when stating the various forms of customer support available ( https://screencast.com/t/ELPfCVrdILs )
Here’s a breakdown of the front page:
A) Emotionally driven image slider. Emotion drives relation!
B) Clear solution offering for the customer pain point “I don’t want to pay out real estate agent fees”.
C) BENEFIT FEATURE: simplified showcase of the service and its ease-of-use.
D) BENEFIT FEATURE: great customer support (an important feature for when dealing with sale of own home).
E) BENEFIT FEATURE: service includes MLS exposure with example home and cost.
F) BENEFIT FEATURE: simplified review and negotiation process in a simple A/B/C selection.
G) BENEFIT FEATURE: dedicated customer support during sale process.
H) SOCIAL PROOF: a client testimonial to prove the service works.
I) CALL TO ACTION: a simple form for getting started.
When we look at the front page as a sales process, it does this:
A) Attraction: Emotional Engagement - Potential customer sees him or herself.
B) Attraction: Problem / Solution - Potential customer asks, what’s in it for me?
C) Show Value: This is how we it helps you.
D) Show Value: This is how we it helps you.
E) Show Value: This is how we it helps you.
F) Show Value: This is how we it helps you.
G) Show Value: This is how we it helps you.
H) Show Proof: This is what others are saying about us.
I) Ask: the final conversion.
This front page follows the secret sauce of online marketing. As Mr Gary Vaynerchuk puts it: jab, jab, jab, right hook.
In other words, provide a stream of value, before you ask, not demand for a sale or conversion.
5. Their website has a very extensive content resource. This also serves as their blog for SEO and customer content marketing.
Social Media Strengths
They do a good job of only featuring aesthetic houses on their feed. This helps their target market (first time home buyers, millenials) identify the brand. If they wanted to attract house-flippers or developers (thus, no photos of rooming houses or crack shacks).
Great engagement with some of their posts. They ask questions in regards to the experience of first time home buyer and seller.
An emotionally driven video in their cover. A great way to start off someone’s first step into the Facebook Page.
Weaknesses (and opportunities):
Not seeing a lot of photos of the actual homes they are selling (or have sold). It would be a huge bonus to show their actual "product", and the successes of each transaction (Perhaps a SOLD sticker on the for sale sign).
They don't link posts to specific articles on their website. There is an option to do the standard “click the link in our profile” every time they post a piece of content that has a link, or they can use some sort of bio-link software add on.
Not utilizing a maximized hashtag strategy that is directed at their potential customer (home buyers and sellers). There should be some use of #firsttimehomebuyer #homebuyersguide #homeiswheretheheartis and any other associated hashtags.
On their first piece of video content, they only utilized popular/trending hashtags. This puts their piece of content in competition with items being posted every minute to these popular hashtags (https://screencast.com/t/pV6aYsr1RI6I).
#milliondollarlisting - 1,982,609 posts
#realestategoals - 257,953 posts
#homesweethome - 31,478,260 posts
#fsbo - 81,145 posts
By utilizing more specific and location-specific hashtags, they can get more reach. For example #californiarealestate #newyorkrealtor #realestatemarketnewjersey #homesforsalenewyork .
They are not utilizing Facebook’s powerful group feature. By creating an invite only group, it allows first time home sellers or buyers to have a sense of safe community. This allows people to ask questions, and share their experiences. Maybe even share advice to other first-timers. The real power of the Facebook group comes when people share their positive experiences about the service. Even more power for when someone has a bad experience, and Haus.com addresses the problem in full view of the group/community. This builds brownie points with potential customers.
Not utilizing Facebook’s advertising platform to distribute their video commercial. This video needs to be running while they advertise other content. More on this later. You can view current running advertisements here.
Currently, their Twitter account is just being utilized to repost content. This is the bare minimum use of Twitter. The real work is in joining active conversations, about the real estate industry, housing crises, mortgage rates, etc. Engage in real conversation, and help answer a few questions.
All of their current blogs should have an associate post on Pinterest. Pinterest allows 500 words per pin, so providing as much of the original blog in a pin is ideal. Most companies will only put a snippet of a blog and share it on Pinterest (And other platforms), but this takes away from the user’s experience on that specific platform. Instead, get someone to read as much of the blog as possible (without having to leave Pinterest). Consuming most of the blog on Pinterest, increases the chances of that person going to the website to finish.
Website (Resources / Blog Page):
- It's obvious they Haus.com has a great content strategy, and it shows in the in what information they share. But HOW they share it could improve: by organizing their resources section in a way where a potential customer has an easy to follow linear path of content. A first time home buyer or seller needs a specific set of information to successfully make a transaction on his or her own. If Haus.com structured their Resource/Blog page in a linear fashion, it would make it easier for the potential customer to return to this page to finish learning what they need to know about the process. Almost like a course-work of blog articles, when once read, the reader fully understands the potential of selling their own home, and why to do it online with Haus.com .
[PRO TIP: When developing your website, always assume someone will come back a second and third time: make sure these visits are different, and more useful than the last. How you structure your content (where you put it on your website), will ultimately affect this].
- They should be using link software like bit.ly. This allows you to add a link (for example a CNN blog article you want to share), and attach a call-to-action banner advertisement to it. So when someone visits the blog article, they will see a small non-intrusive banner at the bottom of their blog article that is customized to whatever you want.
- For example, Haus can share this CNN blog article (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/02/how-many-millennials-get-help-from-their-parents-to-pay-rent-other-bills.html) and then when the reader goes to that article, they see a small CTA that says "Learn how Haus helps milennials their first home". When clicked on it takes the viewer to the Hause.com blog article that explains how the service benefits millennials buying their first home.
Here’s what that would look like:
- Should be posting 2-3x daily (currently posting once a week). This will greatly scale their organic reach, getting more people to visit their website (to initiate their remarketing pixels.
- More education for potential home sellers (And millennial buyers, who rep 40%!)
- Post more photos of the houses they are selling on the website, some re actually well designed
- Need more video content, to scale reach on IG.
- Should be building other curation accounts on IG. When they are grown, they can start utilizing them for Haus Marketing initiatives.
- Continue to distribute useful blog articles through Facebook’s advertising network, targeting the people who need to read them (home buyers and sellers). At the time of this article, they are only doing this with 3 of their blog articles:
It is rare to find external threats to a brand’s online presence. The only real threat in online marketing is the inability to execute on a strategy.
It doesn’t matter what the other businesses are doing, as the only measure of success of your online marketing, is the market. Your audience. Do they like what you have to offer? Does your value-first content give them a reason to follow you? Would they buy from you?
Every piece of content you create and distribute is at the mercy of the market, not your competitors.
The market decides on how good your content is, not your competitors.
Whatever your competitors are doing, you must do better.
Competing is creating content that is of more value than your competitors’ content.
Competing is building a relationship with a potential customer, before your competitors do.
- The public posts to their Facebook page are open. They should change the setting to to allow the admin to approve all public posts before they go live. This is to prevent spam and trolls for posting unwanted content/links/photos/spam to their Facebook Page.