Real estate is one of the most competitive industries across the United States and in order to stand out to potential clients, you need to offer them valuable content through your blog. With more and more agents becoming aware of the benefits of content marketing, even blogging now is much more competitive than ever before.
The success of any content marketing strategy lies in the following framework:
- Attract – By creating compelling blog posts, infographics, videos and social media images, you easily attract prospects to visit your website and blog
- Engage – This goes a step further from the attraction phase because you need to hold the attention of the traffic you’ve just attracted to your website. With more detailed content such as eBooks and webinars, you can easily keep your audience engaged.
- Convert – This is the most crucial step in the whole content marketing strategy because this is how leads are generated. By offering valuable content in exchange for contact information, you can easily convert your website traffic into leads that you can nurture until they are ready to do business with you.
This 3-step framework can only be successful when content creation and content marketing are done right. But this is easier said than done. Content creation is by far the most common roadblock real estate agents face when they’re getting started with blog marketing. This article looks at tips, tools, and resources to make your content creation and blog marketing a walk in the park.
Blog Marketing Tips
To get started with blog marketing, there are some basic things that need to be handled first as a matter of priority. Feel free to skip this section if you’ve already covered it before, but if you’re new to content marketing, then this section would be very helpful.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy – The reason why many agents fail to achieve any success with their content marketing efforts is because they didn’t start with a content marketing strategy or plan. Creating your content marketing strategy is as simple as:
- Determining who your target audience are, for example, young families, retirees or investors
- Outlining your real estate blogging goals, for example generating brand awareness, increasing leads, boosting sales or establishing your industry expertise
- Deciding what makes you unique and harping on that
- Deciding how content will be created for example will you be writing the content or will you outsource it, will you be using curated content or will you offer guest posting opportunities?
Establish an Editorial Policy – By establishing an editorial policy that will guide you and or your content creators, you will make your Blog look and feel the same. The following questions will help you get started with crafting your policy:
- What kind of content should be published?
- What would be the voice and tone of your blog? Will it be friendly and casual or serious and professional or a blend of both?
- Should you limit yourself or your writers to just sharing facts, or will you tell stories and weigh in with strong opinions?
- Will you be taking a localized approach to your content or will you be generalizing?
- Will you share case studies?
- What will you like to avoid going on your Blog?
Establish a Commenting Policy – Comments are what brings life to your blog. There are three metrics that are important when it comes to blogging, these are:
- Shares and
Collectively, they’re called engagement. But of all the metrics outlined above, comments are by far the most important because they can make or break your entire brand image. In order to maintain a healthy blog and overall positive brand image, you need to understand when it is appropriate to respond to comments or delete them entirely. You should never accommodate hateful comments or spam; however, you must be open to critical comments because they are sometimes key drivers of ongoing conversations which translate into increased engagement.
Create a Content Back-Up Plan – By having systems in place to back up the contents of your blog on a regular basis, you reduce the risk of losing your archived content in case of server failure or other technical issues. If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, you can easily set up scheduled backups or you can install plugins to help.
Create a Plan for Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) – KPIs such as social shares, comments, page views, leads generated, etc., help you determine whether you’re achieving the goals you’ve determined for your blog. In order to improve, you need to measure. With tools such as Google Analytics> or even your WordPress CMS, you can easily keep track of these metrics and quickly identify opportunities for improvement.
Decide and Stick to a Posting Schedule – In order to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), you need to post regularly to your Blog. According to Hubspot, companies that post between 8 to 11 times per month get 10x more leads than companies that do not. What does this mean for you? The more you blog, the more Google will send traffic to your website and the more quality content you have the more leads you can convert.
Include the author’s bio and headshot on every post – The real estate industry is based on trust and as such, people are more gravitated towards agents who put themselves out there. Consider using this information to your advantage by including your name, short biography ad headshot on every article you publish.
Ensure that your Blog is mobile responsive – with over 2 billion people who use smartphones worldwide, and over 50% of online search engine queries performed on mobile, having a mobile responsive website and Blog is the smartest thing you can do. Even search engines now rank responsive websites above those that aren’t so this is also an added advantage for boosting your SEO ranking.
Use Compelling CTAs – Remember the 3-step framework for content marketing success we started this article with? Calls to action (CTA) are what converts a website visitor into a lead. By using words such as “download”, “contact us”, “view listings” or “subscribe to our newsletter” helps you guide your audience towards taking the next step.
Blog Marketing Tools and Resources
Content creation and marketing can be an uphill battle when you lack the tools and resources to get the job done. This section looks at tools and resources to help you research, write, edit and design and market content easily. Most of these tools are free but some have options to upgrade to a paid version in order to get more features.
That being said, below are some of our favorite tools to help you get started with your content creation and marketing process.
Tools for Research and Content Discovery
Google Drive Research Tool – If you use Google products such as Docs, then you most likely use Google Drive. Well, they recently added a tool to Google Drive that allows you to conduct Google searches without ever leaving your Drive window. It is very simple to use and all you have to do is click “Tools” from the menu bar and choose “Research” from the drop-down menu and you’re all set to go.
Quora – If you want more than just a Google search for your research then why not use the popular question and answer social network to identify trends from consistently asked real estate questions to inform your content creation efforts?
Twitter – Another popular social network that can be used for research, Twitter offers you real-time insight into conversations and discussions. To get started, simply search through the trending topics section in order to see what is popular worldwide or in your specific region to gain insights on what content to develop. You can also search real estate related hashtags that are relevant to your blogging goals and objectives and that will be of interest to your existing audience and potential audiences.
Reddit – This social network also allows you to discover what’s trending worldwide and can be a great source of inspiration on a variety of content topics from across the web.
Atlas – With thousands of graphs, charts, and data visualizations, Atlas is your number one tool when it comes to researching graphic based data to help bring authenticity to your blog posts. You can search for almost any real estate topic or keyword, and Atlas will provide you with recent data to support your premise.
Search in a Giphy – Would you like to use GIFs within your blog posts or social media posts? Then this free Chrome extension will you find beautiful GIFs in a matter of seconds. To get started, open the extension in Chrome, search through hundreds of GIFs; choose one that suits your needs and drag and drop.
Tools for Content Creation
Evernote – One of the best free tools on the market for writing and keeping track of your content ideas. One of the best features of Evernote is its cross-platform functionality that allows you to stay organized and keep track of your work whether on your Laptop, PC, Tablet or Smartphone. Although you will need an internet connection to sync everything together, you can still work offline and once you’re connected, viola, you’re synced.
Hemingway App – This nifty app is named after one of America’s prolific writers, Ernest Hemingway, who is best known and admired for his succinct writing style. The Hemingway app helps to make your articles easy to read for your audience. To get started, simply paste your text into the web app and it’ll assess your writing and identify opportunities to make it simpler. One of the cool things about this app is that it is able to identify whether your article is active or passive and it will highlight.
PowToon – Do you want to include video into your content marketing strategy? Then this tool will come in handy. Create animated videos and presentations with PowToon to add a commercial quality experience to your original content and to boost your overall search engine visibility.
Google Keyword Tool – In order to fully optimize your blog posts, you need to include relevant keywords that will help your blog come up in search engine results. How do you get this information? By using the Google keyword tool.
Canva – If you are looking for a free graphics design tool to help you create beautiful images to use in your blog posts and as part of your blog marketing on social media, then Canva is your best option. With a huge library of pre-made templates and assets that you can manipulate while also adding your own imagery, you will never be short of inspiration.
Infogram – Although quite similar to Canva, Infogram is also a graphics design tool but with a strong focus on infographics, charts, and data visualization. With thousands of templates, you can make use of, creating your next real estate related infographic will be a breeze. Another great thing about infogram is the fact that their infographics are mobile responsive.
Tools for Organizing Content
Trello – One of the best free tools on the market when it comes to organizing everything from media to ideas is Trello. To get started, simply create “cards” and move them around. You can also collaborate with others in real time, especially if you decide to outsource your real estate content marketing needs
Evernote – Once again, Evernote makes this list but this time as an organization tool. As stated earlier when we mentioned Evernote, this tool is extremely useful for keeping track of content ideas, crafting an editorial calendar and a simple to-do list. You can use Evernote at home on your PC or on the go on your smartphone.
Google Calendar – If you love using Google products, then Google Calendar will come in handy. It is a very effective tool when it comes to organizing and collaborating on your editorial calendar. It also syncs with other Google products such as Google Docs and Google Drive.
Tools for Marketing & Distribution
Buffer – This social media marketing and management tool help you schedule posts on all popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram throughout the day and you can even schedule an entire week’s post in a few hours. After creating your blog posts, the best way for you to drive traffic to it is through social media marketing and this tool is one of the simplest to use. It comes with analytics to help you measure the effectiveness of each post and this gives you insight into which posts are doing well and at which times. This information helps you optimize your posts for more traffic.
MailChimp – When it comes to email marketing, MailChimp is one of the easiest and most popular email marketing platforms currently in the market. And the best part about this tool is that it is absolutely free to use. Although when you first start with blog marketing, you are likely not to have any email subscribers, however, the more content you create and the more consistent you are in creating these content, the more your subscriber’s list is likely to grow.
Yoast – When it comes to optimizing your Blog for search engines, Yoast SEO plugin is the best tool you can have in your arsenal. It simplifies the entire process of search engine optimization and you don’t need to tamper with any code within your WordPress system in order to get started.
Promoted Posts on Facebook – Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world with over 3 billion users worldwide and hundreds of millions across the United States. Take advantage of these large numbers and get your best content in front of a large audience to help you drive traffic to your website.
Pro Tip: Download Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents eBook
Regardless of the tools at your disposal, if you’re not creating content that will attract, engage and convert your audience, you won’t achieve much success. We encourage you to study the first section of this guide and to read the additional resources throughout this guide by following the relevant links.
What tips, tools, and resources did we miss when it comes to blog marketing? Do you have any questions regarding real estate content marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.