Forbes magazine lists content marketing as one of the most important marketing trends of 2014. Content marketing helps gain the attention of potential clients, helps brand your business, establishes your thought leadership and expertise and increases your search engine optimization (SEO).
Content marketing for real estate can be especially challenging – its customers are a very diverse group. But since 90 percent of all real estate buyers use the internet to search for or sell homes, content marketing can help your business stand out.
Consider content for every age group. For Generation Y, consider a downloadable guide for first-time buyers. For buyers with families, a guide to local school districts could be helpful. Content that has broader appeal could include articles on buying foreclosed homes, neighborhood profiles or mortgage advice. Offer photo spreads that demonstrate how to make the most out of small living spaces. Write case studies on successful buying and selling strategies.
Try to generate content that connects with customers on every level – have they seen a listing? Have they found an agent? Have they been pre-approved for a mortgage? Advice on every level could be greatly appreciated by current and potential clients, as well as generate trust for your brand and establish your expertise.
The caveat: people reading and liking your content won’t necessary translate to more business. The idea is for the content to build faith in your brand, cement your authority and alleviate any fears the reader might have about working with you.
Here are the decisions you should make before you jump into content creation:
- Determine your goal with content marketing. It should be something along the lines of building rapport with clients and potential clients, attracting prospects, offering solutions to clients’ problems, establishing partnerships or fostering your reputation through SEO.
- What type of content will work best for your business. There’s so much more to content marketing than blogging. According to Advertising Age magazine, “Content marketing is a pull, rather than a push, strategy. Content doesn’t interrupt, it attracts.” Broaden your reach and cast a wider net of interest by combining any blogs with video, infographics, e-books, white papers, audio podcasts.
- What your content will contain. Are you going to focus on selling strategies? Share your expertise about various neighborhoods? Teach people about the home-buying process? Decide your strongest professional attributes and then share them.
- Decide what resources you’ll need. Should you hire professional photographers? Or are you happy being your own shutterbug? Can you shoot video yourself? Is there a strong writer on staff to produce effective content? Do you have the budget for professional writers, editors and proofreaders? Do you have a graphic designer on staff, or can you afford to outsource one?
- Check your work. You know the old axiom – what gets measured gets improved. Use Google Analytics to see how well your web traffic is converting. It will break down your measurements by views, shares, lead generations and the sales that are influenced by content. For more on Google Analytics, check out the Real Estate Marketing Academy’s eBook, An Introduction to Google Analytics for Real Estate.
Since most people launch their content marketing strategies with written content – news articles, blog posts or tutorials – here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re writing:
- Who is your audience? Or more importantly, who do you want your audience to be?
- Keep it simple! Most people don’t read as carefully online as they do offline. Make sure your copy is straightforward and easy to understand if you’re skimming.
- Have a call to action! End your copy with some instructions for them to get more information – don’t leave your readers hanging once you’ve piqued their interest.
- Run a spelling/grammar check. Typos, punctuation errors and other gaffes are very unprofessional. If your word processing software isn’t adequate, consider the “Grammarly” ap. It’s available online at www.grammarly.com. It’s also inexpensive and far more effective than the default word processing checks.
For more ideas on marketing and content, we can help! As experts in real estate marketing we know what works and can help you with both content generation and all of your marketing needs.