Without a doubt, technology is the main driver of everything around us. From the way we conduct our business to the way we keep in touch with friends and family; technology plays a fundamental part in every aspect of our everyday lives.
As a result of this interconnectivity, online content has become a very important resource for many people – and with such realization, companies across the world have begun to see the importance of providing their customers (and clients) with high-quality content that is valuable and informative.
The power of creating informative content targeted specifically for your target audience cannot be underestimated. According to the Custom Content Council, it has been found that about 61% of consumers say that they “feel better” about companies who offer them custom content, and are more likely to purchase goods or services from them.
Content Marketing for Real Estate Agents
What this means for you as a real estate agent is that your audience are online, using search engines, various social media channels, and online platforms and as such, you have the opportunity to reach them using content marketing.
Content marketing for real estate agents can simply be defined as a process of creating and distributing valuable content in a consistent manner with the goal of attracting home buyers, home sellers, real estate investors and other agents. Attracting this traffic isn’t the end goal, however; in fact, it ought to be the beginning of your audience’s journey through your content marketing funnel.
The end goal of your content marketing efforts is to make customers and brand advocates out of your generated traffic.
Benefits of Content Marketing for Real Estate Agents
The internet is powered by content, without it, nothing exists. From blog posts to videos to images, various content all come together to inform, educate and entertain your audience. Below are statistics that support content marketing for real estate agents:
- 92% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source
- Content marketing produces three times as many leads per dollar as paid search.
- 78% of customers prefer getting to know a company via blog articles rather than ads.
These stats further shows how important content can be in your overall marketing strategy. Apart from the statistics highlighted above, below are the benefits of real estate content marketing efforts:
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric)
- Content marketing enables you to build trust with your prospective clients
- It establishes you and your company as experts in the real estate industry and it also simultaneously helps you with brand awareness
- Content marketing also drives organic traffic through SEO and social media sharing to your blog and website.
5 Steps to Leverage Content for Real Estate Marketing Success
Now that you’ve seen the benefits that content marketing offers you, the obvious next steps would be for you to start maximizing your efforts for more reach, more conversions, and more sales. Outlined below are 5 simple steps you can take today to start leveraging content for marketing success.
Step 1 – Research Content that your audience is looking for
If you want to be successful in your marketing efforts, you need to start from the ground up. Researching your audience and the content that they are interested in will ensure that your efforts will yield maximum return on investment.
Many agents skip this important first step and they end up feeling frustrated when their content doesn’t generate traffic, or if the traffic generated doesn’t convert into leads. In order to generate maximum traffic and convert a majority of this traffic into leads, you need to answer the following questions:
- Who are my target audience and where can I reach them? Examples are executives looking to invest in real estate, young couples with one or two kids or retirees. And although everyone that falls into this category is on Facebook, not all of them are on Instagram and not all of them are on LinkedIn.
- What kind of content are they looking for? For example, young couples will be looking for homes with enough space and access to good schools in a lovely neighborhood.
- Do I have the expertise and resources to create this content in a compelling way? If not, consider outsourcing your content marketing needs.
Pro Tip: Use social media, blog comments and Search Engines to find out people’s FAQ regarding your market area and then begin writing blog posts that answer each of these questions.
Step 2 – Create content that is targeted at your target audience
Once you identified your target audience and what type of content they are most interested in, the next step would be creating this content on a consistent basis. Most real estate agents often find themselves stuck on what type of content to create and for what purpose. Outlined below is a quick rundown of forms and types of content you can experiment with to generate more leads.
Forms of Content
Information can be passed across to your audience in various forms and formats but at the core of it, they’re basically divided into two; audio and visual. That being said, online content can take any of the following forms:
- Blog posts and articles
- Podcast recordings (.mp3s)
- White papers, eBooks and real estate market industry market reports and trends (all downloadable guides)
- Video tours of your properties
Types of Content
Below are the various types of content that can be leveraged when creating content for your audience:
- Content to Entertain: Online users have short attention span and as a result, entertaining content are highly popular when it comes to quickly grabbing attention and causing virality because these types of content are funny and as a result gets shared a lot.
- Content to Educate: Remember we said content marketing enables you to establish yourself as an expert in the real estate industry? Content to educate makes that possible. By creating content that guides prospects through their pain points, you establish yourself not only as a professional but someone they can trust as well.
- Content to Inspire and Convert: Generating leads doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by creating content to help you inspire prospects to take an action. This action could be to sign up for your newsletter, to download your guide, to urge them to call you for a listing etc. This kind of content can either be case studies, testimonials or webinars.
Pro Tip: In order to generate traffic and leads, your content creation and distribution should be consistent. A minimum of 2 blog posts per week will greatly boost your search engine rankings and increase the number of leads you generate every month, especially if you have a combination of these content forms and types.
Step 3 – Select your content distribution channels
After you’ve created your content, the next thing you should focus on doing is choosing the right distribution channels to promote your content to reach your target audience. Many real estate agents think their work is done once they’ve finished creating their content, but the truth is, it will take a very long time before your content start generating organic website traffic.
Selecting your content distribution channel depends on the following factors:
- Who your target audience are
- The appropriate type and form of content relevant to them and
- Your budget
Once you’ve been able to understand the importance of these factors, choosing the right channel will be a lot easier. Below are various content distribution channels you can use to promote your content:
- Social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc)
- Email Newsletters (your subscribers)
- Blog post comments
- ITunes, SoundCloud etc
Of all these content distribution channels, social media is still one of the highest drivers of traffic for content marketing efforts. All the popular social networks have a combined user base of millions of people from across the United States alone, thus giving you – the savvy real estate agent – an enormous opportunity to get your content in front of a lot of people.
Pro Tip: The fastest way to get your content in front of a lot of people on social media is through paid advertising. Depending on the social network, they allow each ad have a goal such as conversions, clicks or building followers. By promoting your content with a little ad-spend, you can reach thousands of people within a few hours.
Step 4 – Repurposing popular content for more reach
As explained earlier in this guide, there are different forms of content, but at the core of it all is the blog post. If you’ve followed this guide from the very first step, you will have a quite a few highly targeted blog posts that your audience would have found interesting.
Now, it is time to start having other forms of content that you can use to leverage your marketing efforts for more reach and ultimately more leads. To do this, you have two options, research and create new content in various forms or you could take one of your most popular blog posts and repurpose it into other forms.
From our experience, the second option is the best option. By repurposing your most popular content, you:
- Increase the chances of more people being exposed to your content and brand
- Boost your search engine result visibility by having more content types lead directly back to your blog
- Have more newly created content to share on social media to your fans and followers etc.
You can use metrics such as shares, likes, comments and views to determine how popular a blog post has been. Once you’ve identified your winner, you can repurpose this blog post in a variety of ways. For example, if you wrote a blog article about what first-time home buyers should look out for and checklists to guide them and this post happen to be popular, you can repurpose it in any of the following ways:
- Turn it into a presentation deck and share it on SlideShare and LinkedIn. Investors could be interested in this piece of information as much as a young family.
- Turn it into a webinar to engage and communicate with your audience. It is very easy to turn slides into a webinar and it is also an opportunity for your audience to see you live – very good factors to convert leads.
- Turn it into an infographic and use it on platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram
- You can expand on the blog post and turn it into an eBook with more in-depth content. Make it a free download and use it to generate leads which you can nurture until they’re ready to buy a house.
- Depending on how in-depth your article is, or you can combine it with the repurposed ebook, you can easily convert it into a podcast. People listen to podcasts when they’re driving, working out or taking a walk. Don’t underestimate the power of spoken words. Distribute with ITunes or SoundCloud.
- Create shorter versions of the blog post with just the points and key takeaway as LinkedIn Pulse and Medium posts
- Use it to answer Quora questions that are mostly relevant to it.
Repurposing popular content is one of the best ways through which you can achieve content marketing success. It allows you to reach more people and it makes your website more search engine friendly because of the “new” content you’re producing.
As more and more real estate agents are beginning to understand the benefits of using content to attract prospects, it is increasingly necessary to create outstanding content that will stand out from the others.
The first step to success is to understand who you’re creating content for. Once you know who will be reading your content, it will be easier to create and distribute. Reach more audience by repurposing your most popular content into various formats and distributing across your selected distribution channels.
At the very core of this framework is valuable, informative and educative content that will attract, engage and convert website visitors into leads. If you’re like many other agents who find it difficult to create high-quality blog posts every week, then we can help. We specialize in creating and delivering high-quality blog posts to your inbox every week. Click here to find out more