The Complete Guide to Marketing your Title Company

This article is intended to provide value, without the fluff. As a marketing consultant, my job is to identify the marketing avenues that would benefit the client. In this case, the client is a small title company.

MITCHELL SULLIVAN
msullivan@snapclose.com

LET’S GET STARTED!

FUTURE TOPICS

Email marketing, Alternate Marketing
Strategies pt.2

1

Tips for Competing against larger title companies

How do you compete against a company that has a larger marketing budget, along with dedicated marketing staff?
THE ANSWER IS – YOU DON’T.

You can’t compete against a larger budget in areas of marketing that require said budget, such as paid ads.
BUT YOU CAN COMPETE ELSEWHERE.

THE FIRST STEP TO COMPETING AGAINST LARGER COMPETITORS IS – Don’t try to be something you’re not, but heavily promote what you are.

What separates you from the larger competitors, or any competitor? Is it your personalization? Do you get to know all your clients by name? Are you superior at X task?

Whatever it may be, make sure that your marketing material and your messaging reflects that key differentiation – clearly.

Too often this is not the case:

THE SECOND STEP – Enhance your web presence.

Your website is not just a place to store information. It’s the first impression your customers will have of you, it’s how you display your product/services, and it’s the gateway to your entire online presence. And if you structure your website correctly – it can be a great source of inbound customers.

Don’t ignore your website. Even if you aren’t experienced in web development, that’s okay – there are countless tools and people out there to help

Here’s what I would do: Go Online and Outsource

Freelancer marketplaces, such as Upwork or Freelancer.com, connect freelancers with companies at a reasonable price – for example, I built my website for less than $1,000 (including the graphics and hosting).

If your website is built on WordPress, (like the majority of websites), I recommend watching some tutorials and at a minimum learning how to change your own written content. Here’s an article showing some Beginner steps.

WordPress, after all, is intended to be easy – as easy as Microsoft Word (hence the play on words – which was also a play on words.). You’ll drastically reduce your costs of your website maintenance if you can handle this simple task.

If you’re confused about what to look for in a web developer or need more information on this topic– don’t hesitate to email me at msullivan@snapclose.com and I can guide you.

THE THIRD STEP – Get some customer reviews.

According to BrightLocal, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Are you promoting yourself as the company that’s always there for their clients? Then you better have something to back up that statement.

Testimonials and customer reviews are a great way to establish trust in the customer’s mind and back up the claims you’re trying to make.

Not sure where to start gathering reviews?

Let’s first break down customer reviews into two categories. External and Internal.

  • External examples – G2, Capterra, Yelp, Facebook, Trustpilot, and Google Reviews.
  • Internal examples – Reviews/Testimonials on your website/email signature.

External customer reviews live outside of your website on third-party websites, such as Yelp. Internal customer reviews are what you promote on your website or email signature, increasing trust at the point of sale.

I could write an entire eBook on customer reviews alone, but here are some quick tips to get started:

  • Create an account on every relevant third-party review site – the more external third-party review sites that link back to your website, the better.
  • Encourage your customers to give you a review – if you never ask, you’ll never receive. Make it easy for them by directing them to the appropriate external sites.
  • If you see a negative review – don’t hide from it. Respond empathetically and seek to resolve the issue. The person who left the review is unlikely to ever become a customer again, but consider this – your response isn’t for them – it’s for the other potential customer who might read your response.
  • Negative reviews are good – within reason. Research suggests that the optimum review/star level is anywhere between 4.2 and 4.5 stars (out of 5).
  • Don’t create fake positive reviews. Refer to the above bullet point.
  • Promote reviews on your own site. A study conducted by BrightLocal found that 83% of the participants found that businesses with user-generated reviews on their landing page, to be trustworthy.

THE FOURTH STEP – Create a Google My Business account..

When you search on Google “the best restaurants near me” – how do you think Google displays those results? Without explaining it in detail, Google uses content from websites (and Google My Business accounts) to determine where each business is located and the businesses’ proximity to the searcher.

If someone is searching for a “title company” – Google will display organic local listings first. If you haven’t communicated to Google where you are, Google can’t point them in the right direction. And as a result, you’re missing out on people finding your business and becoming a customer.

So, help Google to help you.

First. Create a Google My Business account – click the hyperlink. It’s free. It’s easy. It will directly and positively affect the number of local inquiries you receive.

Second step. Make sure your website displays where you’re located – preferentially front and center. For example, you aren’t just a “Title company specializing in personalization” – you are “an Atlanta based Title Company Specializing in Personalization”. Small change, big impact. *As seen in the above image.

Consider doing this for Bing and Yandex as well.

These tips are cheap, easy to implement, and are great ways to compete at a larger scale.

REACH OUT FOR A DEMO

2

Social Selling for Title Companies

I don’t need to go into too much detail about why social media is important – we all use it. But, it’s more important than what is shown on the surface.
  • Here are some quick benefits of social media (Hootsuite, 2018):
  • You’ll build brand awareness
  • You humanize your brand
  • You’re able to stay top of mind
  • You can increase website traffic
  • You’ll generate more leads
  • You’re able to promote the content you’ve created
  • You provide an avenue for customer support
  • And, you can learn more about your customers

Social media is the place where people create online communities, ask questions and look for recommendations. All things that can present opportunities for a company.

If you’re not involved in any of these discussions or communities, you’re missing out on an opportunity to build brand awareness, increase trust and position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.

FIRST STEP – Find where your customers are on social media.

Is there a “Real Estate in X Area” Facebook group? Are there associated Twitter hashtags, such as
#titleinsurance? Are there LinkedIn groups for title companies? Chances are there is.

Actually, I know there is. Here are some examples:

THE SECOND STEP – Create relevant and detailed content.

Find applicable groups on social media, actively listen to what is being posted/discussed, and when applicable – answer questions posted in the group.

If you’re seen on social media as a company who provides value and doesn’t just simply “sell” their service – you’ll establish yourself as a company who can be trusted and therefore – recommended to others.

If you’re looking to promote your company on these social media forums and groups – take caution. Remember this – these people don’t care about you or your company, they care about what value you can provide to them.

Start with value first.

THE THIRD STEP – Create relevant and detailed content.

More than 5 million blogs are published every day, and to date, Facebook users have made over 2.5 trillion posts.

In other words, with that much content out there – why should people stop and listen to you?

Consider this article you’re reading. I’ve spent countless hours researching it, writing it, reviewing it, re-writing it, re-reviewing it, designing it, publishing it, promoting, etc.
Why? Because just creating content isn’t good enough anymore.

With that said, what content should you create?
The answer is, what are you good at?

What unique perspective do you have? Do you have a contrarian opinion on an otherwise popular subject? Share it – and if you can, use statistics to back it up your statements.

When it comes to long-form content that is thoroughly researched and well-written, it isn’t an overstatement to say that piece of content can change your business trajectory – *Note, this is only applicable to LinkedIn, Reddit and in some cases Facebook.

For content ideas, see our content marketing strategy section.

THE FOURTH STEP – Follow, comment and interact on posts.

Data shows that answering complaints on social media increases customer advocacy and reduces churn. For example, Jay Baer’s research found that answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much 25% (Buffer).

Commenting on people’s posts will also do these things for your brand:

  • It humanizes your brand (when written in a human way).
  • You provide value to the poster and to others who read it.
  • You get yourself seen by prospects.

90% of consumers will be more likely to engage with posts that embrace the company’s personality (Sprout Social, 2018).

Remember, people don’t just want you to respond to them. They want you to have an empathetic, unique, and personable voice.

THE FIFTH STEP – Use humor if you can.

Here are some real and funny examples of how brands have interacted with people on social media- https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/funny-brands-social-media

THE SIXTH STEP – Follow the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 Rule states that 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business. (Inc).

This can be a difficult concept for most businesses to comprehend. But, consider your own social media usage – what brands do you follow? Why do you follow them? Odds are, you don’t follow them to receive their promotional marketing messages. You follow them because they provide some value.

Provide value, first, and in this case, do it 80% of the time.

3

Strategies for Marketing You, Yourself and I on Social.

People prefer to connect with other people on social media – not brands. While it’s important to establish your brand on social media and across the web, it’s equally as important to establish yourself as an individual.

People prefer to connect with other people on social media – not brands. While it’s important to establish your brand on social media and across the web, it’s equally as important to establish yourself as an individual.

Similarly, to the above section, join Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn groups and participate in the discussions that can be found. Quora is another option to find questions related to your industry that you can answer and establish yourself as a thought leader. If you’re a fan of Twitter, be active in any #title conversations that can be found.

Quick tip – turn notifications on when involved in these groups – this will help you receive announcements when a new message/post has been published.

While this section may seem similar to the section before, this is where it differs:

As a person, you can have a unique perspective where your brand/company cannot.

This allows you to be more personable and – more approachable.

Why YOU should promote yourself:

  • You increase your own personal value– If person X has 10,000 followers and person Y has only 20, but they are equal in every way – who would be more likely to be hired by an employer?
  • You create pathways for discussion that would otherwise be missed
  • And for sales professionals in particular:
    • 72% of sales people that use social media as part of their sales process outperform their peers and exceed their quota 23% more often.
    • Leads from employee advocacy are seven times more likely to close than other forms of leads.

Why your COMPANY should want you to promote yourself on social:

  • “Research from Cisco shows that employees have 10X more combined followers than corporate social accounts. What’s more, a 12% increase in brand advocacy (individual’s posting on behalf of the company) generally generates a 2X increase in revenue growth.”
  • You Build Brand Trust – 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.

After building his network at his former company, ex-founder of Moz used his personal social media presence to springboard his new business venture, SparkToro, into the marketing community.

4

Content Marketing

Google, and other search engines, have transformed the way we do business. As a company, you no longer find customers by interrupting them with TV ads, Radio ads, etc. It’s the customer who now, finds you. And content can help them with their discovery.

Let’s first understand how content works within Google (and all search engines). To do that, I have to back-track. All the way back to how people use Google. Think about your own usage. You have a problem or query– you search for a solution or answer.

That problem and the solution vary depending on where you are in the buying cycle and your understanding of the product/service.

I’ll explain this concept further, using eyeglasses (stay with me). A person who has had glasses for years will search differently than someone who is only just starting to experience eye strain – and different again to someone buying only their second pair.

All potential customers, with different problems/queries, different solutions – and different content opportunities for your company.

This concept can be applied to title insurance. For some, they’ve dealt with title insurance numerous times, for others – the very words are confusing.

Let’s first break content down into what content is and can be. Content isn’t just blog articles on your website. Which is typically the first thing that comes to mind. Content is the creation and sharing of online material, (videos, social posts, articles, podcasts, etc).

Content is simply about providing value and or solving problems for your prospects/customers, in any online format.

One of the first things I said at the start of this article was – play to your strengths. Content is no different. If you aren’t good at writing, start a podcast or webinar series instead.

FIRST STEP – Coming up with content ideas.

To do this, you need to first understand the problems your customers are having. Typically, the easiest way to do this is to talk to directly your customers. If you don’t have easy access to your customers – ask your sales team or customer support. And if you’re a small team (meaning you are
both sales and support), then ask yourself this – what are the 5 most common questions you’re asked before, during, and after a person becomes a customer? Those questions – are potential pieces of content (when answered thoroughly).

Once you understand the customers’ issues – you can address them.

At SnapClose, we use articles (such as what you’re reading now) and webinars to educate our customers on our software and on general issues facing the Title Industry.

Consider this article here – a common concern we uncovered among our customers was that they found it difficult to market themselves – particularly during COVID-19 and statewide lockdowns. There was then an opportunity to create a detailed article that addressed that particular concern for them – increasing trust and hopefully winning new customers.

THE SECOND STEP – Content delivery

Content delivery is just as important as the content creation itself. You can create the best content in the world if nobody sees it – what was the point?

The easiest way to answer the how and where you should deliver your content is this – Again, where are your customers found online?
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube? – go back to your customer research to discover the answer.

While you will surely need to use a secondary platform for content delivery/promotion, such as Twitter/Facebook – the goal should always be to:

Drive traffic back to your website.

After all, you are bound by the terms and conditions, and algorithms of Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter. By bringing people back to your own website/email list, you reduce your risk for changes on these platforms that may adversely affect you.

While content creation/delivery may be time-consuming, and the results can take a while to be noticed – content gives you the greatest potential as a marketing strategy for a smaller company.

5

Alternate Marketing Strategies to Participate in

The goal here is – to get yourself out there – everywhere.

FIRST STEP – Piggyback on other company’s audiences.

Are there podcasts related to the Title Industry that you can participate in? Are there industry publications that are relevant to your customers? (If you need a list of these, don’t hesitate to contact me).

These publications and podcasts have large and often loyal audiences. By offering to write a guest article or participate in a podcast – you’re opening yourself up to a large and potentially untapped customer pool.

It’s a strategy we’ve used at SnapClose (Insert Title Talks podcast). New England Real Estate Journal article from our Principal Developer.

To continue on the piggyback discussion (something I never thought I’d hear myself say) – just as you should participate in an external company’s podcasts/blog, you should be actively inviting participation from external guests to your own blog, podcast, webinar, etc.

This will bring their audience to your platform.

THE SECOND STEP – Get local.

If you’re a small title company, chances are – word of mouth is what is driving customers to you. So, amplify it.

Meetup.com is a great way to find and meet local people in your targeted industry. There are often business groups, real estate groups, legal groups, etc. The goal here is to again, provide value to people in the community, be seen as a thought leader in your industry and be recommended to others by members of the group.

If you’re an introvert, or just worried about safety – there are other local marketing methods. Such as – sponsoring a local sports team (think Little League), sponsoring a local publication, or even sponsoring a small local event.

These are just some of the ways to get your name out there in your community (and to do something good for your community at the same time).

REACH OUT FOR A DEMO

6

SEO or Search Engine Optimization

If the title of this section made you reconsider whether you should keep reading – you’re probably not alone. But, don’t be scared by the title – SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, simply means optimizing your website for the benefit of a search engine – like Google. In other words, designing your site, and creating content with search engine algorithms in mind.

Before I dive into the details – let’s look at some benefits of SEO: (Crazy Egg)

  • It drives inbound traffic to your website
  • It’s cost-effective – you don’t need to pay for anything
  • It builds brand awareness
  • And it has a better ROI (return on investment) than paid ads

SEO can be a difficult concept to grasp – so I won’t go to advance in my discussion (at least not in this article).

I’ll outline what you can easily set up yourself – and other tasks that may require a developer (refer back to Upwork).

What you can set up yourself

1. GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. Setting up Google Search Console is relatively easy – and will almost certainly improve your search position in Google itself. (Bing has a
similar tool available also).

2. INTERNAL LINKS

If you’re at the stage where you’re comfortable creating content or writing your own website copy, consider using hyperlinks AKA this inside that copy to other pages on your site. Otherwise known as “internal links”.

Internal links help to improve your SEO in a few ways:

  • Helps Google (and all search engines) establish your site’s structure.
  • Helps search engines with information hierarchy of your website. For e.g., your homepage is more important than your FAQs.
  • Helps to increase the amount of time a person spends on your site.

Here’s an example of how you use internal links inside your website copy.

3. EXTERNAL LINKS

Otherwise known as ‘backlinks’, is when an external company’s website links back to your own. Let me explain why this helps SEO.

Your website has something called “domain authority”. Consider this – when you search for, virtually anything, chances are that Wikipedia will rank quite highly in the search results. Why? Because Google recognizes that Wikipedia has a strong domain authority.

That is the goal here. And backlinks can help in establishing that domain authority.

If your brand is viewed by search engines as having a stronger domain authority than X competitor, you will appear higher in the search results than they will.

Without going into too many other details about the why. How do you go about building backlinks?

There are many ways. From creating guest articles for publications/external blogs to encouraging partner businesses to list you on their website. I could create an entire article on building backlinks but know this – it’s essential and it requires absolutely no website development knowledge to start doing. Message your partners/customers and start establishing relationships.

4. SSL CERTIFICATES

If you look at a website’s URL, you’ll usually notice one of two things, depending on the site. In the URL, the website will either start with HTTP or HTTPS. For e.g., www.snapclose.com

Without elaborating on this too much, HTTPS encrypts the data that is displayed on your site. Having HTTPS tells search engines, and customers, that your website is secure and protecting their information.

As a note, if you collect any personal information about your customers – for example, their email address when you ask them to fill out a contact form, you really need to ensure you have HTTPS setup on your site. Google and other search engines prefer this and promote this.

How to set-up your HTTPS? – ask the hosting provider of your website. Most hosting providers will provide an SSL certificate for free (which allows you to have the HTTPS) and most offer free set-up. If they don’t, websites like GoDaddy offer SSL certificates for a cheap price.

Check whether your site is HTTPS by simply looking at your URL. For more information, please contact me directly.

5. SEO OPTIMIZED CONTENT

Scroll back to the very top of the article. Remember how I said, you’re not just a title company – you’re an Atlanta based title company? – that is an example of SEO optimized content.

That same principle applies to everything on your site. Make sure you consider Google’s algorithms and customer’s search phrases/queries that they may be looking for.

Things you may need help with from a developer

  • H1 – H2 Tags
  • Metatags (although – if you have WordPress, I recommend installing Rank Math as a plugin – makes it easy to manage it yourself).

There was a common pattern I discussed in this article –which was value. By providing value and supporting your customers, you offer them something that a larger competitor simply cannot. Own that, promote that and live that message in your marketing.

MITCHELL SULLIVAN • mitch@snapclose.com

I plan on continuously adding to this blog – and adding new subjects as I go. If you have any feedback or subject suggestions, please email me directly at msullivan@snapclose.com or comment in the section below.