A short while ago we wrote about some simple tips for getting your small real estate business found online, including a short piece about content marketing.
We’d like to expand on that: is content marketing the right thing for your real estate firm?
Content marketing can be described as the creation of content, whether written, visual or aural in order to engage people with your business. It doesn’t mean pushing a “big sell,” but aims to provide information that is of interest to the prospect and boosts your authority in your profession.
This very article you are reading right now can be described as a piece of content marketing. Are we pushing a sale? No. Are we providing useful information? We hope so!
A key stumbling block with any kind of strategy involving content marketing is that doing it right; creating high-quality, engaging materials takes up time. Time your busy real estate agency may be reluctant to give.
So is it worth it?
Consider this statistic:
90% of all real estate buyers use the internet to search for homes. (Placester)
Why is this significant to content? Content marketing is a strategy to get your business found online. Quality content can attract viewers to your website, which in turn boosts your search engine ranking by signaling to Google that your site is popular and reliable.
Here are a couple of other statistics you should know about:
So yes, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that content marketing can be an effective strategy to bring new clients to your business, but…
In fact, it can take weeks, or even months to see real results from content marketing. For one thing (as we’ve indicated), everyone’s doing it, so there is a lot of noise out there in terms of content. Your competitors are probably doing it, too, which means you need to bring a good game to stand out.
Content marketing has been described as a marathon rather than a sprint. If you’re looking for organic search results, you need to be consistently producing high quality content and giving it the time to start working.
Another point to remember is that you need to have a distribution strategy. If you throw up the odd blog post here and there and just leave it, you may attract some traffic organically, but you will be more successful if you have a good plan to promote it through other channels.
[tweetthis]Content marketing isn’t a quick fix, but a long-term strategy to build authority.[/tweetthis]
Still wondering whether content is right for your real estate agency? Here’s what you need to know about making it work:
It was Yoda who said; “do or do not, there is no try.” The same can be applied to content strategy. If you’re going to do it, then you need to be all in because half-measures aren’t going to get you results.
This means you will need:
How will you know whether your content marketing efforts were worth it? You need to have some measurable goals as part of your strategy.
For example, you might want to:
Remember how we mentioned that everyone’s doing it? A few years ago, people could get away with throwing up relatively light-weight, junky posts as long as they were getting content up on their websites. A lot has changed.
These days, poor quality content will often get your website penalized by Google and besides that, will not do you any favors with potential prospects. This means you need a commitment to delivering quality, relevant content, that is, the stuff your prospects want to be consuming.
Sorry, but if you create it they will not come. Actually writing a quality piece and putting it up on your blog is only part of the job. If you want content to work for you, then you need to be finding ways to promote every piece you create.
This may involve:
All of this is obviously more time commitment, so either you would need to make the time or assign someone within your agency, or hire on a specialist who can get it done.
This is really another key consideration when it comes to strategy. Your firm probably has several sub-groups of customers, each of whom will find different subjects or types of content more or less appealing.
This means creating content specifically to target certain groups and finding ways to hone your promotion so that the appropriate people see it. It’s always much more effective to target your message to someone who is interested rather than take the blanket, bombard everyone approach.
If you’re going to jump in and adopt a content strategy, what kinds of content could you be creating?
For starters, think about the medium you want to use. Again, there will be different types which appeal to different prospects, so you may want to use a variety.
Mediums may include:
Another consideration is the topics you prepare the content on. This is where your targeting comes in; a first home buyer will have different needs and interests than an empty-nester who is looking for their second or third home.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
We would suggest creating separate profiles for the different types of buyers/sellers your agency deals with and listing topics of interest under each. Keep content interesting and rich with quality images and useful information.
Everyone’s doing content marketing; should your real estate firm? Well, the answer to that is really only if you are prepared to commit to doing it properly. Content marketing will not work for you if you can’t put in the time, effort and budget.
If you can, then content has been found to be very effective for getting businesses found online, building your authority and encouraging leads to sign up with you. Treat it as a long-term strategy. It’s there for nurturing leads and encouraging them to take action with you in the future; it’s not a quick fix for instant business.