Fathom: 3 Critical Digital Marketing Updates

In a recent Inman comment columnWendy Forsythe, Chief Strategy Officer of Fathom Holdings, said, “Building your digital brand has changed. Security issues, platform outages, and constant algorithm changes make digital marketing even more difficult. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to break through the noise and present your content to your target audience.”

Here are three key updates you need to know now and what to do about them.

Apple iOS Updates

What changed: As part of the iOS 14 update, Apple launched its App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This update makes it easy for users to prevent apps from receiving a unique identifier for advertisers (IDFA) embedded in their iPhone. For ads that rely on app tracking, the data isn’t so straightforward anymore. With iOS 15, Apple introduced Mail Privacy Protection, which prevents senders from knowing if an email has been opened. Also, it masks IP addresses so that senders cannot know a user’s location or remember their browsing activities. As such, simply tracking the success of an email campaign by open rates is no longer a relevant metric.

What do you need to do: In your emails and advertisements, include clear calls to action that deliver measurable results to your target audience. Instead of tracking email open rates, track the download of a lead magnet (a buyer’s or seller’s guide, for example). Rather than just focusing on website traffic, focus on your conversion rate. For most realtors, website conversion rates are around 1-2%.

Facebook’s Business Suite continues to evolve

What changed: With Apple’s ongoing privacy changes (iOS 14 and iOS 15), Apple users have been able to opt out of being tracked by their iOS apps, making ad targeting more difficult on Facebook. To adapt, Facebook has added new tools to its Business Suite, including:

  • Unified inbox for businesses to manage emails and send remarketing emails

  • Updated file manager to create, manage and publish content

  • A split-testing feature that will allow businesses to test different versions of a message to see which is most effective

Additionally, Facebook Reels is no longer in the testing phase and is in full rollout.

What do you need to do: First, you need to make sure your Facebook (business page) and Instagram (business account) accounts are connected and in a Business Manager. This will allow you to use new Business Suite updates. Then, when planning your content for Facebook and Instagram (using Facebook Creator Studio (https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/home), you can use the full suite of content creation and testing tools. Finally, you can either create a Reel on Facebook or create it on Instagram. You’ll get a pop-up screen asking if you want to share your Instagram Reels to Facebook for additional search functionality. Users can discover Reels based on their interests and what’s popular both at the top of the News Feed, alongside Stories and Rooms, and in a new dedicated News Feed section.

Instagram’s Content Change

What changed: At the start of the third quarter of 2021, Instagram announced that it was no longer a photo-sharing app. Instagram, like Facebook, is leaning into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. This change will show how the algorithm ranks content presented to users. Instagram also announced that it would combine IGTV and feed videos into one format, Instagram Video. A Video tab will replace the IGTV Profile tab, making it easier for users to navigate through video content. Additionally, videos posted to the main Instagram feed can now be up to 60 minutes long.

What do you need to do: As a real estate professional, your business relies on the knowledge-trust factor that your clients have in you. As such, now is the time to look into the video. Some easy ways to take advantage of video are to create self-guided videos, quick behind-the-scenes home listing videos, or schedule a weekly video report on your market. Remember that no one expects perfection – it’s better than perfect.