Guest Post By: Peter Boyle // www.have-a-word.com
Why Your Real Estate Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategy
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a Rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.” ~ Robert Rose
I’ve seen my fair share of real estate sites and am sad to say that far too many realtors take a seemingly lackadaisical approach to their online presence.
It appears the general consensus on content marketing in the real estate sector is that it’s just not a necessity. We’re not in the business of small, affordable products where a well optimised and cleverly written landing page is going to convert a chance visitor into a paying customer. We list what’s available, a number to call and handle the rest of the sale in person.
There are very few who would actually buy a property after seeing a few pics online, come to think of it, I’ve only ever heard of one (If only there were more eccentric millionaires who loved parting with their money!).
Real Estate Content Marketing
With real estate marketing you have to play the long game.
You need to elevate your company’s image and reputation in the opinions of your prospective customer base. Offering useful advice and content for free may seem counter productive, but the trust this content builds solidifies you as an authority in your audience’s mind meaning you’re likely to be their first stop when it’s time to open their wallets.
Effective online content marketing has become an integral part of many successful marketing plans, and with 90% of home buyers taking their search for a new home online, it’s time those in the real estate sector got with the program.
So, content marketing can help build trust with your audience that, when well leveraged, can be used to convert prospects into paying customers.
However, a good content marketing plan also has the power to increase the number of prospects you’ll see. When you’re producing content on a specific issue it’s going to fill your site with the keywords and targeted SEO terms your target audience are typing into Google.
When you’ve got a keyword rich site with content that resonates well with your audience you’ll see an increase in your site’s position of the search engine result pages (SERPs). It probably doesn’t sound like much, but with the number one result gets almost double the amount of traffic than the number two spot, you’re going to want to be as high on the SERPs as possible
As with most areas of business and marketing it’s a numbers game. The more people you have coming to your site the more leads you’re generating. Your conversion rate may stay at the same percentage but with a higher traffic rate you’re increasing the amount of business coming through your doors.
Content marketing really is a win win situation, as long as it’s done well.
Content Marketing Topics
I recently spoke to a friend of mine who works as the marketing manager for a large San Diego based consumer robotics company. He couldn’t see the potential of content marketing within real estate believing that things simply don’t change fast enough. There are few developments or breakthroughs and the majority of the topics have all already been covered (which is BS).
In his view, real estate content marketing wasn’t sustainable over long periods of time.
In truth, it’s really no different than any other industry.
There are in fact plenty of angles you can take when creating content for your readership. Housing markets are subject to constant change, local and national government policies come and go and mortgage lenders are wont to change their terms and rates.
Unfortunately, all of these subjects are often covered by national and international news reporters, simply regurgitating the same information will do little for you, your company or your audience.
You need to find an angle, one that applies to your audience and their particular situation.
Content marketing is all about your readership and better informing them on the issues they need help with. Whilst news developments will take up a lot of your strategy, there are plenty of other options that aren’t covered in the broadsheets for you to explore.
In Depth Reviews
- Which homes have recently sold for the high prices, the largest markup or caused a bidding war at an auction.
- What was it that made the property such a lucrative sale?
- If you approach the article with a view to pointing out everything that made the property so desirable you’ll attract the interest of sellers who want to make a tidy profit off their own sale.
Celebrity Home News
Search traffic for celebrities is incredibly high.
- If a large name celebrity has recently bought or sold a property why not report on it. You’re likely to get a goodportion of the traffic searching for news on the celeb.
- The readers this will attract are most likely not looking for a property to buy or sell themselves. However, if you create an engaging and informative piece it’s likely to get further shared on social media increasing the chances that your target audience will pick up the piece and head to your site.
We all love getting something for nothing. Information is no different.
- In producing a clear article series on what a buyer should be looking for you’re raising the reputation of your company whilst also using a lot of the keywords that your target audience will be typing into Google. The keywords bring them in and the content gets them to stay.
Operating on the same principle as the above, seller strategies will bring in some great targeted traffic.
- List type articles are great for this sort of content and headlines along the lines of ’The 10 Top Tips for a Quick Sale’ tend to have a high click-through rate a social share potential.
If you’re not a nationwide company neighborhood reviews are ideal for a number of reasons.
- You’re ideally placed toprovidein depth (make sure they’re honest) neighborhood reviews which go a long way in establishing trust with your customers.
- Neighborhood reviews also do very well in ranking well for long tail targeted keywords. Often when people are searching for a property they’re not interested in the city, but a particular suburb of said city. Exploit this and provide some great content on each area.
A large concern for many home buyers is how to turn the property into a the house into the home of their dreams. Whilst many have the desire, most don’t have the know how.
- You could offer tips on everything from changing simple fittings to more involved projects such as building a deck for the garden.
- Getting the inside scoop from a successful investor or developer is a great way to offer some fresh and interesting content. We all want to get the most out of our purchase or sale, who better to let us know a few tips of the trade than those who do it as a full-time business!
The financing issues of buying a new home can be confusing, especially for the first time buyer.
- Knowing which mortgage to choose, which lender to trust and how to leverage your existing assets can become a real pain. Offer free advice and developments in the area so that your clients are in a better position when in negotiations with the bank. They’ll thank you for it later.
The key thing to remember when developing a content marketing strategy is that this is not a platform to solely market your business or products.
The end goal is to increase your business, but you will do so by placing your audience first, answering their questions and solving their problems. If you can draw on real experiences and examples when doing so, you should be well on your way to growing your audience and increasing your business.
If you’re stuck on how to get started with your content marketing plan don’t be afraid to check how the big players are doing it. When it comes to the world of marketing no idea is original, the difference lies in the execution. Use their success as your own inspiration.