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4 Ways to Shake Up a Stale Marketing Plan

After you’ve really started to take control of your digital marketing, there’s a decent likelihood that somewhere along the line, you’ll start to feel more and more set in your advertising ways.  Consistency in advertising is great, but when you’ve used the same digital marketing plan over and over again, things can start to feel stale — and, in extreme cases, a stale marketing plan can even lead to a decrease in your average ROI. 

To help get you out of your advertising rut (or prevent it altogether), we’ve come up with this list of 4 ways to shake up your tried and true marketing plan and breathe new life into your ads.

1. Freshen up your graphics

Great digital ads start with top-quality imagery. Whether you’re sourcing the perfect listing photo or using a more generic graphic to get your point across, nothing is more important than making sure your ad’s visuals are clear, easy to understand, and direct. Over time, though, most agents will be tempted to use the same general type of imagery time and time again, potentially leading to lower ROI and, well, boredom. 

Before you ever reach that point, there are a few different ways you can spice up your advertising visuals and re-engage both yourself and your audience. For agents who aren’t necessarily great with technology, we recommend creating a free account with Canva or another online design tool. In addition to being completely free, Canva gives you the tools you need to create beautiful visuals — from ad graphics to Facebook banner images to open house sign-in sheets — with ease. 

An example of some of the preset options available to you through Canva.

For those of you who feel more comfortable with technology, Photoshop offers a free trial of its immensely powerful graphic creation and photo editing tools. Photoshop isn’t free, but the value you’ll add to your advertising through the new imagery you’ll create is crucial to maximizing your marketing budget and keeping things fresh. 

If neither of the above options appeal to you, there’s another way forward. Freelance graphic designers can be found all around the internet, and hiring a freelancer gives you the added benefit of freeing up all the time you would have otherwise spent assembling graphics for new ads. 

2. Try a new voice

As an agent, you spend a lot of your time using your own voice. Whether you’re talking with clients or writing the perfect flyer for your next open house, a good portion of your time is spent figuring out the right thing to say. Once you’ve figured out what works, though, you’ll like feel little to no pressure to switch up your language, which will inevitably lead to stale written communications and uninspiring ad copy.

A screenshot of a well-written Facebook ad.
This Facebook ad uses language effectively to drive action. Source:

There’s a wealth of different ways you can switch up your language (and your voice). Start by taking a look at a few old ads you’ve already run (ideally ones that weren’t particularly successful). Take a long look at each and every word you used in your ads: What words, emojis, phrases, and sentence structures did you use over and over again? Take note of your repeated elements, write them all down somewhere easily accessible, and challenge yourself to go a full month without using any of them. 

It may seem unnecessary, but changing up your language is a great way to keep yourself engaged while you write your ads. Beyond your own engagement, a fresh approach to your ad copy can also be a great way to increase your ads’ performance: After all, your audience will be more likely to click through on an ad that stands out from the pack.

3. Experiment with new ad networks

Facebook, Instagram, and Google: The holy trinity of advertising platforms. These three networks have more than 2 billion combined users, and they’re widely regarded as the smartest places to advertise. Smart doesn’t necessarily mean interesting, though, and it’s pretty easy to get bored with your favored advertising networks after your 20th straight flight of Facebook ads. 

If you feel comfortable with the advertising you’re doing on your existing networks, consider diverting some of your marketing budget to a new social/advertising network. 

For example, let’s say you’re an agent who takes pride in your immaculate listing photos. Pinterest allows you to “pin” some of your highest-quality photos, each of which can then be turned into an advertisement in the form of a promoted pin. This type of ad blends in seamlessly with organic content on a user’s feed. Making smart use of Pinterest ads can be a great way to drive web traffic.

Can you spot the promoted pin? Hint: Check the top left. Source:

Not interested in Pinterest? If you’re an agent with a younger audience, Twitter ads can be a simple, effective way to meet people where they are. Twitter ads blend relatively well with organic content, and the ease of setting up and launching these ads means you can test the waters without much effort before diving in and integrating Twitter ads into your marketing plan. 

4. Switch up your ad placements

Not interested in straying from your usual advertising networks? Don’t worry: Even within the “holy trinity” of ad platforms, you’ve got dozens of ad placement options to choose from when building your next set of ads. 

If you’re like most agents, you’ve probably spent a good amount of time running some mix of Facebook Newsfeed ads, Instagram feed ads, and Google Search ads, but these three ad types barely scratch the surface of each network’s potential. 

Unfortunately, some of the available placements aren’t worth your time: Facebook’s right column ads, for example, offer you less room for copy and less overall real estate than a Newsfeed or Carousel ad. On the other hand, some of these ad types are uniquely suited for real estate agents — in fact, Facebook has even created an entirely new type of Dynamic Ads geared towards Facebook-savvy agents.

You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel when approaching these new ad types. For example, let’s say you’ve just taken a new walkthrough video to promote your newest listing on your organic social media channels. Your standard ad types won’t support video, but by using an alternative placement like Suggested Videos, you can turn that walkthrough into the focal point of your paid marketing plan for that listing. Your options don’t end there, though: With a little bit of editing, you can turn that same video into a visually engaging Instagram Story ad, allowing your audience to experience your newest listing before clicking through to your website to learn more. 

By The Disclosure
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