It's no secret that the effectiveness of conventional marketing and advertising has waned in recent years, as audiences become hardened to the bombardment of advertising messages. That's why growing numbers of real estate agents are turning to content marketing for real estate lead generation and relationship building. Not only is content marketing more effective, but it is less costly and more likely to build client loyalty than traditional forms of advertising and marketing.
Content marketing—sometimes known as education-based marketing—differs from traditional types of advertising because it uses a non-sales message to provide information of value to a targeted audience. That content addresses specific needs of customers rather than simply offering a pitch for a product or service. Good content marketing will fuel excitement over your brand, building your reputation as an expert in your niche area of real estate while meeting customer needs for specific information.
But there's more to a content marketing strategy than just creation of relevant, original content. Successful content marketing includes three elements: relevancy, engagement and call to action.
Here are three ways you can start putting content marketing to work for your real estate business:
Writing a blog regularly is a great way to get a start with content marketing.
A blog is not only an excellent way to bring relevant content to your clients, but done regularly, it becomes a means of building trust and establishing your authoritative voice. Because you want to provide fresh, relevant content on a regular basis, it's a good idea to map out a schedule of topics before you start. Try to plan at least three months at a time. You'll find it easier to keep up with your blog if you already know what you will write about.
Identify a niche area of real estate you want to build into your brand. This will serve as your primary topic area. Then, mix in some posts still related to home ownership, such as maintenance or landscaping, but not quite as closely related to your niche area. Finally, pepper your blog topic schedule with community-focused or human-interest subject matter that is not necessarily real estate related. Don't be afraid to include a bit of appropriate humor. Including plenty of photos, videos and infographics, which will serve your clients better as well as improve your search rankings.
Email continues to be one of the top reasons people go online, so even if you haven't used email for lead generation in the past, you will want to incorporate it into your content marketing plan. To be most effective, make your campaigns targeted. This takes some effort on the front end if your current database does not group your contacts, but once established, becomes easier to maintain going forward.
Dividing your database up into categories, such as first-time home buyer, investor, or listing prospect, will ensure both your content and call to action are targeted. Strive to ensure every email campaign provides something of value to the recipient. In addition to useful content, you can also incorporate some offers or giveaways periodically. Remember to include a call to action with each email. Common examples include requesting contact information in exchange for a free comparative market analysis or relocation guide.
When it comes to social media, it isn't just about the number of followers you can attract. In fact, just accumulating followers does not equate to building more business. Instead, identify the main social media platforms frequented by your targeted client audience. Then, establish a presence there as well as profiles on the more prominent home buying sites. In addition to sharing your blog and driving people back to your website, you can use social media to answer questions about the home buying or selling process. Share content, including videos, from other reputable sources that offer additional relevant content.
Include a mixture of written, audio and video content as you develop your content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that your overall goal is to provide something of value to your clients that is relevant to the business brand you wish to portray. Nearly 80 percent of consumers say they prefer to get to know a business through a means other than traditional advertising. Take advantage of this and use content marketing to build relationships and generate leads for your real estate business.