When used to its maximum potential, content marketing can mean big benefits and more vendor inquiries for your real estate business. Melanie Hoole explains.
Compared with many other industries, such as motoring, travel and insurance, real estate is still lagging behind when it comes to content marketing. A softer approach than direct selling, content marketing is about sharing useful, compelling and relevant information that’s of value to potential vendors.
Time is of the essence, and the first mover can still gain an advantage.
Agents and agencies need to put the content marketing wheels in motion now, to create a sizeable gap between their brands and those of their competitors.
First and foremost, content marketing is about building trust. It allows us to showcase our talents to potential vendors before they even meet us.
PERFECT YOUR PACKAGING
Whether it’s through the written word, visual imagery or video – the media and formats will continually evolve – you need to package your knowledge and experience in a way that provides value to anyone thinking of selling their property.
Vendors may openly engage with you or casually follow you from the sidelines but, week by week, month by month, content marketing will help you become more visible to your prospects and allow potential sellers to identify themselves to you through inbound inquiries.
RESEARCH YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC
Content marketing programs vary greatly from agency to agency and from agent to agent, depending on the communities you serve. However, you can follow a number of key steps to ensure you execute them well.
First, you should answer these questions:
- What’s the property ‘sweet spot’ for your area? What types of properties sell most frequently and are in high demand?
- Who lives in those homes? Are you targeting owner-occupiers or investors? Singles or couples? Growing families? Empty-nesters? Retirees? Elderly residents moving into aged care?
Once you have the answers, you then need to identify the life events that trigger the need to sell.
Armed with this information, forming a tone of voice for your brand – an integral part of your content strategy – becomes much easier.
CREATE A CONTENT PLAN
Next, develop a strong content plan with the following components:
Topic generation – Coming up with content topics is possibly the most important stage. It’s important to remember that your objective is to generate vendor leads, so avoid topics that address only buyers’ concerns.
Content creation – In what formats will you deliver your content? Whether you create blogs, infographics or videos, these should be professionally written, designed and published by content specialists who know how to target key search terms and phrases to ensure that people find your content.
Publishing platform – Extend your website to include a home for your content by adding a ‘Blog’ or ‘Advice’ section.
AMPLIFY YOUR CONTENT
Once you’ve created fantastic content, you want to make sure it reaches your audience.
Social media sharing – The easiest way to amplify your content is to encourage staff to share company social media posts with their own social networks. This gives an organic uplift in social feeds, enabling your messages to reach more people more often.
Social media advertising – Broaden your reach by using demographic, geographic and behavioural profiling to place paid advertising on social media networks.
Google advertising – Pay to be on the first page of Google or on key websites by using targeted search terms and phrases that align with key audience interests and life events.
Email marketing – Turn passive readers into email subscribers using call-to-action pop-up forms; this will grow your database and enable you to reach people more frequently.
MEASURE RESULTS AND REDIRECT BUDGETS
Finally, you want to know what content is working and what isn’t, so you can make changes or redirect your content marketing spend if necessary.
Monitor traffic sources – How do people find your content? Is it through organic search, internet referrals, social media marketing, email marketing, paid campaigns or direct traffic?
Track conversions – Which content turned readers into subscribers and then into inquiries? Once you know this, you can direct your efforts to the best topics and channels.
Once you deliver your first piece of content, it typically takes approximately four months to start seeing some traction with your content marketing activities. So be consistent and committed, and get started now!