Why Digital Real Estate Matters
The reign of brick and mortar business may be coming to a close, but real estate is still king.
Digital real estate is Internet property that can boost your authority in your field, direct online traffic towards your business, and give you the space to build an online community in your niche.
If you have a website, a social media account, sell digital courses, or have created anything online, you’ve already begun investing in digital real estate. The digital world runs parallel to our IRL lives and businesses - having a sturdy foothold online and digital property to call home opens up limitless opportunities for whatever you want to accomplish.
Whether you want to get started in digital real estate, or you seek to grow your online presence by directing traffic to your virtual properties, this article is your guide through this emerging landscape.
What Is Digital Real Estate?
Digital Real Estate refers to any online property. Websites, apps, and internet content (like this blog post) can be considered digital real estate. Currently unused or “available” domain names can be considered “empty lots” for future building.
The introduction of Web 3 makes the term “digital real estate” all the more literal: blockchain technology allows investors to purchase land and other digital assets in a rising number of virtual spaces and video games - these being an evolution upon the digital real estate we’ve seen flourish during Web 2.
It’s easy to consider the Internet as a void. In reality, it is an interconnected highway stringing together hubs ranging from metropolis (think Facebook) to ghost town (like the satirical blog I used to run that the world was just not ready for). Just like real estate in the real world, the value of a digital property is often determined by proximity to traffic: in this case, eyeballs.
The good news is that online, you’re never fixed in one place: having a digital real estate strategy can boost your online presence.
The mantra of digital real estate: “location, location, search engine optimization!”
Just as it is IRL, the main hubs of the internet are crowded places. An average day sees around 95 million posts and 500 million stories on Instagram, an estimated 4.4 million new blog posts across all platforms, and over 720 thousand hours of content (500 every minute) uploaded to YouTube.
This makes for a noisy landscape - how will you or your business stand out? Positioning yourself on the right platform and space is just the start of creating an online presence. To be discoverable, and ultimately memorable, the vision for your digital property has to be both wide and tall.
Anyone can post to the aforementioned platforms, but nobody can be you. Personal branding is essential to set yourself apart from the competition. Marketing is a sure aid to drawing eyeballs and a PR strategy can stir up buzz by expanding your online presence.
How Can Digital Real Estate Benefit You?
Developing an online presence and drawing eyeballs to it will feed your entrepreneurial goals. You could be aspiring to book more sales calls, have your latest music video go viral, or even invite new customers to your physical location - in any case, fostering an online presence can help!
Those who invest energy, care, and resources into Digital Real Estate enjoy these benefits:
Studies from Google Consumer Insights revealed that 82% of evergreen (non-seasonal) shoppers use search engines related to their shopping, 43% visit multiple websites before making a decision, and nearly 2/3 of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases.
Your target audience uses the Internet to make informed decisions: googling your digital storefront and reviewing online content around you. Without digital property that is searchable (and easily accessible) online it is almost impossible to prove authority to these types of customers, clients, or potential partners.
You probably notice that your competitors understand this and are grabbing digital real estate already - annoyingly beginning to even take up space on your own social media feed. In these cases, it’s easy to feel discouraged - like you started a race without knowing the green flag meant go.
The saving grace: the internet moves and evolves quickly. With the right advice to guide you to what's next, you can treat your competition to a quick round of leapfrog.
Optimized digital property won’t just put you in front of eyeballs when users search for your name, but also give you a chance to rank amongst the top of your field when your targeted audience searches for your niche - investing in this coveted digital real estate has a profound impact on your authority online.
Even if you aren’t offering a product, but rather ideas, digital real estate will help you establish yourself as a thought leader online - the right presence in your field will help people discover you when asking Google the questions you answer.
Increased Online Traffic
Odds are you have a website or social media page that serves as the hub of your entrepreneurial endeavors, or as the gateway through which people can enter your world and access the value you have to offer. This is the place you want your target audience to land: it’s where consultations are booked, book pre-orders are placed, people enroll in your courses, or whatever your premier call-to-action is.
Developing your digital real estate can keep the traffic flowing into these key online locations.
Beyond search engine optimization, which can make prime real estate out of your website, diversifying your digital property portfolio adds to the paths in which people can discover you.
A Digital Community
If you have dreams and aspirations, community is essential to success. Communities, whether IRL or virtual, need places to meet!
You wouldn’t send out invitations to a party before deciding on a venue, and the same is true of building a community online! This is where social media platforms are invaluable to your portfolio of digital real estate.
Just as IRL properties are zoned for distinct purposes, building a meaningful online presence hinges on activity in the right digital spaces. To align with your target audience, the best first step is to set up shop where they are already spending time.
Offering C-Suite level consulting services? Half of those who make over 75 thousand a year use LinkedIN. If these are the clients you are seeking, this is a place to be.
A CPG company, on the other hand, might find LinkedIN’s user base a stiff crowd. Even if a person would potentially be interested in your product, LinkedIN is a place to go when work, career, and development are on the brain - you’ll need to raise stakes and head for greener pastures.
For example, A Pew Research Center study showed that 95% of the coveted 18-29 demographic spend time on YouTube. 73% of those in between the ages of 50 and 64 are on Facebook. 46% of women use Pinterest. You get the idea: most of this data can be inferred anecdotally. A little research to back up your hunch can narrow down the perfect location to foster your online presence through community building.
Your website may be a wonderful place for people to get the meat of what you offer, but these social platforms can be just as valuable a property: allowing your audience to share their success stories, offer unique perspectives, and become ambassadors for your message or brand.
How To Build Digital Real Estate
How do we establish, develop, and grow digital real estate? From ads to blogs to links in bio, there are many avenues to an online presence that fuels your dreams. The best place to start is deconstructing two distinct types of digital real estate assets: destinations and signage.
Destinations make up the internet properties where people enroll in products, services, or ideas. Of these, entertainment and information hubs - such as social media sites and online news publications - enjoy a great abundance of foot traffic:.
The World Economic Forum reports that the average internet user spends just shy of two and a half hours a day on social media - making sites and apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube, lucrative places to hold property in.
While not as dopamine inducing as social media, people flock to online news publications in great numbers. Traffic analytics from SimilarWeb show that a cool 3.3 Billion readers visited yahoo.com in March 2022.
Your destination, or your premier digital property, may be a stake on one of these platforms: influencers and content creators use their pages as both a community hub and a center for their business.
If ultimately your goal is to attract traffic to your website as the end-all-be-all destination, the digital real estate assets you need are signs that mark the path.
The first thing you’ll think about is advertisements and sponsorships - these are tried-and-true methods of marketing that can attract users from other online properties and draw them to yours.
Beyond advertising, there are more organic ways that you can raise presence and develop digital real estate that feeds your website.
The road is marked by signs - Google automatically creates one for your website for when people search your name or niche. The catch is that Google won’t do all the work for you, and search engine optimization is necessary to raise your ranking in search.
Social media is a great place to create signage that furthers your presence and ultimately points the way to where you want a target audience to go.
As we mentioned news publications earlier, these also offer opportunities to hold property on the highest traffic websites on the Internet. Getting an article on your brand, business, or you published on one of these sites is highly coveted - bolstering your name in a piece that expresses the awesome things you are doing, and provides a direct link to where readers can find you!
The beauty of digital real estate like this is it leaves a lasting impression online. The right framing can produce evergreen content on you that only gets more powerful as time goes on - ranking on Google produces a snowball effect of exponential exposure. This can then be leveraged into more opportunities for coverage - adding to your digital real estate empire.
You won’t be just a hole-in-the-wall in the Internet’s digital city. Having an online presence means you have to take up space: getting published like this can do just that.
A New Frontier, Pioneered By You…
The world of digital real estate is rapidly expanding. The beauty is that unlike IRL real estate, we’re just getting started on this adventure and the outer limits of what your online presence can be is yet to be determined.
This is an opportunity for you to help shape the digital city skyline of the future. The right effort and investment in the right places will help you build digital real estate that can help you reach your goals.
Mindful Media PR can help you on this journey, if you are looking to stake claims in new territories for digital real estate expansion that direct traffic back to your enterprise’s capital. There’s a whole new frontier to explore - if you are looking to boost your social media presence or land articles in the world’s top publications we are here to serve!
We invite you to book a call with Derek Skol, one of our Senior Publicists.
He may have the title of Publicist, but you can think of Derek as a Digital Real Estate Agent. Don’t simply invest in digital real estate, build destinations.