Make no mistake about it: content marketing is essential to long-term success in the real estate industry. As a necessary evil to grow and sustain your business, content marketing can be extremely advantageous when used correctly as it has the power to generate leads, build trust in your brand and dismantle fears customers may have.
Content marketing in its simplest form is the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. In an essay written in 1996, Bill Gates coined the phrase “content is king”, predicting that content will eventually drive the Internet as we know it.
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Today, the most popular and profitable companies are the ones that produce an array of content. In fact, content marketing produces about three times as many leads per dollar as paid search advertising. To get started you’ll need to devise a plan and learn how to find real estate leads:
A Smart Strategy Wins In Real Estate, And Wins Big
Since its inception, the Internet has been a godsend for real estate professionals, opening the door to limitless opportunities to gain and attract new business. According to Placester, 90 percent of all real estate buyers use the Internet to search for homes, and 70 percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company through content marketing than advertisements.
In finding real estate leads with content marketing, it’s important to first develop a strategy for your campaign. The first steps in your content marketing journey should be to identify a target audience: the people you’re already speaking to – customers – and who you want to attract – potential customers.
“The more you know about your customers the more you can provide them information that is increasingly useful, relevant and persuasive,” says Jay Baer, a marketing consultant, speaker and author.
While a target audience doesn’t have to be one set group, it also shouldn’t include everyone. For example, your audience may be interested in learning about tips for first-time homebuyers while others are seeking information on rental properties. The goal is to define who you want to talk to, create specific and purposeful content related to your audience, and then distribute it through the various channels your audience visits. Once you know who you’re talking to, the writing part will take care of itself.
Whether it’s your own website or another platform, blogging is a great way to generate quality and informative information. It’s also one of the first steps in the content marketing process.
According to marketing specialist Joe Pulizzi, content marketing turns the traditional dynamics of marketing on their head. “Instead of buying media, marketers are becoming the media, owning the media. Instead of renting an audience, they are earning an audience. This takes time.”
When curating content, remember to be informative as well as engaging to ensure readers are getting what they want. The goal is to build trust and rapport with your clients, attract new prospects, provide solutions to client problems and build partnerships, all while building your SEO reputation. Free blogging platforms to get started include Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and now, even LinkedIn.
Marketing Your Content
“Building and sustaining your online presence is the key to success. Keeping things fresh will not only help drive traffic to your business, it will help it stay there,” says Paul Esajian, CFO of CT Homes.
“You will also need to become aware of what is working and what isn’t working. Different techniques work for different areas. Trial and error is huge part of the puzzle.”
From email to social media, there are various ways to distribute content. In today’s digital age so it’s important to utilize them all.
Social Media: 91 percent of realtors use social media in some capacity, however, only nine percent use it to actually market their listings. Let’s break down the numbers real quick:
- 80 percent of all homebuyers are looking online.
- 33 percent of first-time homebuyers research real estate online.
- 72 percent of all adults active online use Facebook.
Social media is a vehicle to further connect with their clients, attract new ones, and continue to spread a marketing message to new audiences. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are great resources for real estate professionals.
E-Books: Gain authority in the real estate industry by writing an e-book. According to Seth Price – a major influencer in the marketing world – giving away your most valuable content is the fastest way to build your list. This lead magnet will help to answer and solve questions readers may have, establish your credibility, and set the next stage in your sales funnel process.
Infographics: Bright, colorful and informative, infographics are an excellent source for content marketing. These visual charts have the power to breakdown hard-to-understand topics, allowing readers to quickly grasp what you’re trying to say. It’s also an optimal way to get eyes on your content as infographics are extremely appealing to readers.
Videos: Get innovative with your content marketing! A recent industry survey revealed that 73 percent of homeowners said they’re more likely to list with a realtor who uses video to market his or her properties. Thanks to YouTube and Vimeo, it’s easier than ever to promote your listings through video. Remember: you’re selling the sizzle, not the steak.
Try using video in your content strategy by creating property tours, neighborhood tours, local business highlights and even client testimonials. Because video is an increasingly important part of content creation, it’s imperative you use it to your advantage.
Email Blasts: One of the most traditional ways to engage an audience with content is email blasts. For real estate professionals, these commercial messages, which are typically sent to a group of people via email, are great for increasing your chances of gaining quality buyers to add to your funnel. It’s also recommended that email blasts be sent to other investors, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and title agents in order to continue the flow of new customers.
Marketing Tips And Tricks To Remember
There are a few suggestions when it comes to content creations, including some do’s and don’ts. The first thing to remember is to consistently curate. As a professional, it’s important to stay current with your content and continually distribute new information in order to keep your customers fed and hungry for more.
While content marketing is a great tool for growing traffic, increasing exposure and finding real estate leads, it’s also vital you track where your leads are coming from. Measuring and tracking results is an important part of the content marketing process, and one that will allow you to refine and improve your approach going forward.
In terms of things NOT to do, it is important to stay away from “filler content.” This information is the equivalent of artificial flavors – they essentially serve no purpose – and should be avoided when it comes to writing content. Just remember, creating compelling content isn’t easy but in the long run, it will assist in generating and utilizing leads for your real estate business.
Whether a veteran or just beginning, content marketing is an important tool for real estate professionals, and one that shouldn’t be dismissed.
What’s your favorite strategy for creating quality content?