Content is the food that real estate marketing feeds off of.
Republished blog piece – original date, Jan 1, 2017
Without regular, healthy content, your marketing campaigns will starve. With too much irrelevant content, your time spent on campaigns’ will increase and budgets will fatten up without a strong ROI.
A simple content strategy for real estate marketing has many benefits, including:
Drives web traffic through SEO and sharing on social media
Builds on existing customer relationships which can lead to more referrals
Helps establish your brand and creates trust
Gives you a competitive edge over other real estate agents
Have you been yo-yo dieting with your content strategy? Have you tried a million keywords with dozens of random blog posts and still haven’t found a recipe for success? Follow this quick and easy recipe to start seeing better results right away!
Recipe for Successful Content for Real Estate Marketing
Step #1: Pick an Audience
Google prefers websites that have helpful content for users who are searching for particular keywords. Unless you have a Zillow-sized content marketing team, you’re going to need to think lean and mean. Focus your strategy by deciding who your key audience is by trying this exercise:
What type of client do you typically work with? Relocations? Investors? First-time home buyers? Sellers? Millennials? Baby boomers?
What type of listings do you specialize in? Starter homes? Condos? Luxury listings? Townhomes?
What areas of town do you work in the most? Which zip codes, neighborhoods and subdivisions?
Now combine your answers from #1, #2, and #3. Boom! There’s your audience and keyword focus. For this exercise, I am going to use:
Homebuyers looking to re-locate into condos in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.
Step #2: Create Quality Content
Now that you have your audience, you need to think of content that they’re looking for. Choose a handful of go-to resources for you to scope out for ideas. Use sites like Inman, local real estate sites, and Realtor.com’s blog for inspiration. I’d also suggest using a tool like Pocket to save articles for later reading. This will allow you to create a backlog of ideas and will help you save time.
Another important piece of your content strategy is timing and execution. Especially at the beginning of your content efforts, choose quality over quantity. Don’t feel the need to produce “filler” content every day just for the sake of having content. This does not do you or your readers any good. Stick to a schedule that works best for you, and produce content that your audience will find interesting.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Market industry news and stats. Always be on the lookout for relevant surveys, stats, and news related to real estate that your audience would find interesting. Are condo listings in River North declining? Generate content about this to create urgency for your audience to take action on using you as their agent!
Testimonials from current customers. Social proof is huge for establishing trust. Your audience is looking for an agent they are comfortable with helping them make one of the biggest decisions in their lives. Use success stories from satisfied customers to help build trust with potential leads.
Neighborhood info. Homebuyers want to envision their lives in the neighborhoods they’re looking in. What bars, gyms, shops, attractions, restaurants, parks are nearby? What are the top schools in the area? Are there plans for any new developments in the area? Writing and sharing content about these insights will show homebuyers that you are an expert in the neighborhoods you serve. With the target audience I choose, a sample blog I could write is “The Top 10 Brunch Spots in River North”.
Useful tips. Help educate your audience by providing them with how-tos and instructions on buying or selling a home. Write about how to prepare a home for an open house, create a to-do list for first-time homebuyers, or answer questions other clients may have asked. Once again, this builds a great amount of trust and confidence!
Showcase your marketing tools. Are you using virtual reality? Do you use professional photography for all of your listings? Show it off! Self-promote how you’re using successful tools to help your clients. Share photos, videos, and other samples of how you’re going to market their listing and sell it faster than the competition.
Step #3: Spread the Word
Now that you have awesome content, make sure you are sharing it so the world can see. After adding content to your website, make sure to share it on your business and personal social media profiles and send to your email list. Here are a few tips to make sure you are broadcasting your content effectively.
SEO/Website. First, understand that SEO goes beyond just content. A successful SEO strategy is a combination of technical website necessities and great content. (We will dig more into the technical details in a later article). With regards to content for SEO, the important takeaway is that Google loves content. The more constant and relevant content you add to your site, the better chances that your site will rank higher. Simple as that! This is why quality over quantity is important. Google doesn’t care if you write twenty articles a day if no one is looking at them. Produce content people are looking for and although it may reach a smaller target audience, you’ll see better results.
Social media. People don’t limit themselves to Google or Yahoo to look up stuff anymore. Social media is becoming the new SEO. Experts say that in 2017, search on social media will rise to 50% of all search traffic on the internet. THIS. IS. HUGE. The more of a presence you have on social media, the more opportunities you have of getting in front of your target audience. At the minimum, make sure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Currently, these are the top three social media outlets. Also, use social media tools like HootSuite, Buffer, or Sprout to schedule your posts over multiple outlets. These tools are extremely effective as they can auto-schedule your posts at times the most people will see your content. Email. In addition to emailing content to your personal contacts, you should send a scheduled email to your leads and customers. This is a great way to stay top-of-mind with them and shows that you care about their success by sharing content focused on their needs! Use an email marketing tool such as MailChimp to send mass emails and to generate leads on your website.
I hope you find this recipe useful as you look towards building a content strategy. By following this regimen, you can trim the fat (time and money) and build positive gains (more leads!) to your marketing efforts!