Digital marketing tools have completely revolutionized how agents connect with buyers and sellers in the 21st century. In fact, buyers and sellers are almost exclusively using the internet to find a property as well as an agent. So if you’re not marketing yourself online, you won’t be visible to prospects, even if they live right next door.
With the right digital marketing tools in your arsenal:
- prospects will find you more easily when they’re ready to buy
- your brand will be more visible in search results and on social media
- you’ll literally save thousands of dollars in costly print, radio and TV advertising
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.
With the right combination of marketing know-how and web-based software, you can develop highly effective digital marketing campaigns of your own. Many digital marketing tools are so intuitive, they can be mastered without a high level of technical expertise.
Free Vs Paid Digital Marketing Tools
Most of the digital marketing tools found online are SaaS providers (software as a service). Their marketing tools are web-based, which means that you can access the software by logging into an online account.
Basic services are usually free, so you can explore the service without taking any financial risk before committing. Premium features can then be obtained by paying for a monthly or annual subscription. A tiered payment structure allows users a range of options for services suitable to their budget.
Our list of digital marketing tools includes a number of SaaS providers that offer free and subscription-based services. The great news is you that won’t be required to download anything (apps excepted).
Basic Minimum requirements for Digital Marketing:
- Desktop PC or laptop
- Sufficient memory and RAM
- Secure, reliable fast internet connection
- Email account (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc)
With these basic requirements in place, you’re ready to build your toolkit!
So, if you’re the kind of agent who prefers to manage every aspect of your business personally, we have a list of digital marketing tools you can choose from. Digital marketers working for a brokerage can also benefit from this list.
DIY Digital Marketing Tools For Real Estate Agents
Section 1: Graphic Design Software Tools
Creating images that you own will enhance your digital marketing content and visibility. Search engines penalize websites that borrow or scrape content from other websites with lower visibility in search results.
If you’re not creating your own images, you risk being flagged by search engines and you create a potential security risk on your website with mixed content.
With a reasonable monthly investment and a willingness to learn, you can create your own digital marketing assets. Since you own the images, your pages will rank higher than competitors who are taking content from other websites. You’ll build authority with search engines as a trustworthy source for content while reducing the amount of mixed content on your website.
The following represents some of the best digital marketing tools for creating amazing image content.
Adobe Illustrator CC
Multimedia graphic design software for students, professionals and novices. Create your very own vector artwork. Import photos and images, enhance them or start from scratch with helpful templates or a blank screen. Full-cloud integration for storing all your work. Fairly complex for beginners. Suitable for PC or Mac users.
Pricing: Monthly or Annual Subscription ($9.99/mo – $79.98/mo). You can purchase Adobe Illustrator individually or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.
Gliffy is an online diagram tool for digital marketing. You can create flowcharts, mind maps, wireframes, and many other kinds of diagrams. Real estate agents can use it to create a floor plan, a housing market chart or any other diagram illustration in minutes.
Pricing: Select the Team Pricing Plan if you’re a solo agent or small team. Suitable for PC or Mac users.
A desktop app for creating diagrams, charts, sketches, workflow ideas and a host of other images. Easy to use, but most suited for agents with a background in illustration.
Pricing: You can purchase the app for only $49USD or download for a free 7-day trial. Suitable for PC or Mac users.
Section 2: Graphics Editor Tools
One of the most important digital marketing tools you’ll need is a Graphics Editor. They are ideal for enhancing and altering the images you upload. Whether it’s an illustration or a photograph from your smartphone, you can upload images to a graphics editor and tweak them with a wide array of effects.
Use the tools below to edit your digital images and stand out from the crowd:
Considered the industry standard by digital marketing professionals in just about every industry. The learning curve is quite long and complex for novices. But there are so many Youtube tutorials, online forums and resources to help you grasp the basic functions.
Adobe ‘Evangelist’ Terry White provides beginners with 10 things you should know when starting out with Adobe Photoshop.
Pricing: Starts at $19.99/mo(USD). There are a number of individual plans, however, that offer additional Adobe products for a reasonable monthly fee. Suitable for PC or Mac users.
A powerful web-based image editing app for amateurs or professionals. Create a layout, crop, resize, rotate, layer and alter the composition of your photographs and images. Designed exclusively for Mac users.
Pricing: Available from the iTunes Store for $39.99USD
Easy-to-use, web-based graphic design editor for beginners and professionals. Create poster size images, banners, brochures and a whole host of advertising images using drag and drop tools. Choose design templates for social media posts, blogging, marketing email headers and much more.
Pricing: Canva offers a free subscription, which includes a database of stock images, 1GB storage, 2 design folders and up to 10 team members. There are two other subscription plans and a considerable 23% discount for members who pay annually.
Section 3: Infographic Tools
Infographics are yet another useful digital marketing tool to consider implementing in your content. Share interesting statistics, research and local housing market data with infographics you design yourself!
Web-based software for creating infographics. Choose from a wide range of templates, including infographics, dashboard templates, Facebook posts and more. You can also track online engagement with your infographics by using their built-in web analytics tool. You’ll be able to identify the geographic region and the referral sources that are most popular for your infographics.
Pricing: If you plan on creating 10 or fewer infographics each month, the basic plan is free and includes 35+ design templates. Paid subscriptions range between $19 -$119/mo (USD), with discounts for annual billing, added features and security. Large enterprises can call 1 650 720 1672 for a quote.
Available for Mac users only. This is a very intuitive, user-friendly app that any agent can use to create clever infographics.
Pricing: FREE on iTunes.
Section 4: Stock Images
Great images are one of the most important digital marketing tools. They can make a blog article stand out from competitors or improve the open-rate for your emails. Without a large database of stock images to draw from, your digital marketing will get dull quickly.
Combining paid stock images with royalty-free sources will give you more options when it comes to enhancing your creatives and marketing copy.
- FreePik: free vectors, photos, images and PSD downloads for personal and/or business use
- Pixabay: over 1 million free royalty-free images and video for commercial and/or personal use
- Shutterstock: large enterprises launching a global digital marketing campaign in multiple territories should consider Shutterstock. You can download high-quality images, illustrations, footage, as well as original music clips. Annual subscription plans for stock photography are based on volume.
- Storyblocks: create amazing ad content with VR, 360-degree video, stock images, audio and photography from Storyblocks. There are 3 subscription plans, but their annual plan makes the most sense for real estate agents. Cost is $149 (USD). This is a less costly alternative to Shutterstock.
Section 5: Marketing Automation Tools
You won’t get very far with your digital marketing without a powerful marketing automation tool. Marketing automation is designed to help you engage with prospects and cultivate relationships.
RE/Max agent Greg Harrelson sheds some light on the value of marketing automation for agents interested in digital marketing:
The list below isn’t exhaustive but will get you started. As your database grows, you can try out more powerful tools for automating your marketing.
Excellent for email automation. Schedule email delivery and track results. Monitor email activity and engagement while improving your digital marketing strategy and creatives. Supports multi-users and a number of apps to enhance usability online and offline.
Pricing: There are 3 basic monthly subscription plans. Single real estate agents should start with the Forever Free plan, which allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month for free. Agents or teams with more than 2000 subscribers should consider the premium options ($10 – $199/mo).
Ideal for lead generation, search marketing, social media and behavior tracking. This web-based digital marketing tool offers lead management, email marketing, and consumer marketing. You can create landing pages to capture new prospects, then track and monitor engagement to identify your most promising leads.
Real estate agents can also use Marketo to help them strategically drive more traffic to their website from display ads, social media, and other sources. You’ll also have web-based tools to help personalize your brand across multiple devices and channels.
Pricing: Choose the bundle that’s right for you.
Comprehensive digital marketing tool with marketing automation. You can create customized marketing that sends emails, newsletters, social media links, special offers and much more. Messages are triggered by user behavior (based on thresholds you customize). Web analytics are also included to give you more insight into user behavior.
Pricing: $15/month (USD) for a maximum of 1000 subscribers, unlimited emails. A free trial is available (no credit card required!), as well as 3 additional subscription plans.
If you’re investing in Facebook Lead generation, this digital marketing tool is a must.
AdEspresso will help you manage your entire Facebook ad campaign from concept to execution. Use AdEspresso to optimize your Facebook marketing by testing your creatives. Manage workflow, create landing pages and use autoresponders to target users with the best creatives in your arsenal.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Monthly pricing options range from $49 – $499 (USD).
This powerful sales CRM doubles as a digital marketing tool for agents and small business owners. The Zoho CRM will help segment your database and create mailing lists based on user preferences. Tagging, tracking and monitoring your email engagement is streamlined for easy use, and the interface is highly intuitive.
Pricing: You can pay on a per-usage basis or opt into the monthly subscription. There’s also a Forever Free plan for agents with 2000 or fewer subscribers.
Using the right digital marketing tools will give you a decided advantage in the struggle for online visibility. With so many options, it’s hard to decide which brands offer the best value and which tools are essential.
Refer to our digital marketing toolkit as often as you need and share with your friends!