Happy New Year from your friends at Adwerx!
In our recent post on end-of-year habits of successful real estate agents, we encouraged agents to set measurable and attainable marketing goals for the new year. One goal that should be on every agent’s agenda is establishing a content marketing strategy for the web. In today’s post, we’ll show you how any agent can get started with a little planning and a minimum investment.
Top Rank Blog describes content marketing as “Aligning business and consumer information needs with content.”
Content marketing is defined as marketing “that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers, focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects.” Common forms of content marketing include white papers, blogs, online videos, and how-to guides. Real estate agents in particular love content marketing because it:
- Establishes authority in real estate & positions you as a thought leader in your market
Creates trust by providing relevant, valuable, information to prospective clients
Serves as a springboard for conversation with prospects online and off
Helps your site appeal to search engines with original, keyword-rich, content (see our SEO Essentials series for more on search engine marketing)
We’re here to help you start your year right with 3 tips to start marketing with content, or improve what you may already be doing online.
1. Flex Your Knowledge
As a real estate agent, the knowledge you possess is extremely relevant to your target client. There’s no better way to prove your expertise and build trust with new clients than to share it!
Blogging about changes in your local market, commenting on the latest industry news, or writing guides for first time buyers not only shows you’re on top of your game, it also creates a new opportunity to reach prospective clients with each post you write. Best of all, blog posts are free to create, publish and share!
If you aren’t afraid of the camera, you can apply the same content creation strategies to video with your own YouTube channel. You’ll reap many of the same branding benefits as blog posts but can infuse your videos with your unique personality; a great way to build a following and stand out from the pack of agents using more traditional marketing. See our previous post for more ideas of how to differentiate your marketing with video.
And because you’re an expert in real estate, you already possess the valuable insight prospective clients are looking for, so you can create compelling content without conducting extensive research. Even the minutiae of your average work-day can be a used to inspire content, so long as it’s useful to your target market. What may be “inside-baseball” topics for other marketing channels can end up being great fodder for a blog post or a quick video.
Whichever route you take, make sure to keep the SEO Essentials in mind as you do. Your content won’t do you much good unless people can find and read it. Optimizing for search engines will ensure your content gets found, engaged and shared.
2. Stay Consistent
Like all brand building efforts, diligence is the key to success in content marketing. Since one of the chief goals of content marketing is building trust with your market, you’ll need to produce new content reliably and on a consistent basis. You may have a standout post that gets you lots of traffic, but it takes multiple touches to build your brand up.
Creating an editorial calendar can help you plan when you need to draft and publish content.
To help you produce new content regularly and on-time, we recommend making a production schedule. Whether you want to write weekly blog posts, or produce a monthly podcast, set a realistic pace for yourself and brainstorm ideas in advance. Content marketing is a long-game, so it’s important to have realistic expectations. Your patience will be rewarded. As RealtorMag puts it:
- Expect a lot of trial and error
- Expect a lot of testing and tracking
- Expect that you will succeed if you don’t give up
- Expect that your clients will be more loyal
- Expect to hear, “I’ve been reading your articles for a year”
In addition to consistency in your production, ensure you’re consistent in calling prospects to take action. For example, make sure to prompt conversation in the comments of your blog post with questions, or offer a free report in your videos. Every piece of content you create is another opportunity to engage with a potential client; don’t pass it up.
3. Stay Connected
You probably already use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. to market your business, but you may not have a cohesive strategy to tie your social media musings to a concrete customer acquisition strategy. As the Content Marketing Institute says, “content strategy comes before your social media strategy.”
Once you’re consistently creating new content via your blog, YouTube account, or another channel, you’ll have the fuel to take your social media marketing to the next level.
Consistent content creation not only gives you something substantive to share on social media. If you’re creating content optimized to spark interaction, it will put more prospects into your marketing funnel by design. You can multiply this effect by broadcasting your content to followers on social media, and strategically distributing it in online communities and discussions where it’s relevant.
Just make sure you share judiciously, and always respect the rules of the communities you’re posting to. If you share your content indiscriminately or don’t otherwise contribute to the conversation, you’re undermining your credibility and looking more like a spammer than a helpful friend or an expert in your field.
When relevant, helpful content is distributed properly, you’ll not only become the expert to your prospective customers, you’ll grow your social following in the process.