In 1996 Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, famously said “Content is King”. While his vision has taken some interesting twists and turns over the years, the basic idea is now well-established. The development of content as a tool for marketing businesses of all types contributes heavily to the millions of content pieces published on the web every second.
For brokers however, content marketing has been a double-edged sword. Where do I publish, what do I publish, and how effective is it for the time I’ll spend doing it? These are all great questions, with some surprising answers from the marketing experts at Weichert.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is about creating and sharing different types of information online (i.e. videos, blogs, Tweets, and so forth), that is aimed at creating interest around products and services without trying to directly sell to the reader. For example, a real estate broker might post content about maintenance-free gardening, remodeling or decorating. They may conveniently include a couple pictures of the listings they have to illustrate and link the post back to their office website. This creates a nice little funnel back to the brokerage on a subject that creates local brand awareness, whether readers are currently interested in home buying or not.
But is this kind of thing effective? In fact, recent studies show that it is not only effective, but it is becoming even more effective as more and more customers turn to the Internet to do research. Leaders in content marketing for a given subject experience stronger brand recall, 7.8 times more website traffic, and conversion rates that are 6 times higher than their competitors (Source: Aberdeen). What’s more, content marketing isn’t affected by ad blockers – a distinct advantage when you consider that 200 million people now use them to block Internet advertising.
Online Content Marketing for your Brokerage
Perhaps the best question is not whether it works, but what are my options for getting a content marketing program going with limited time and budget?
- A little Content Marketing is better than none. We recommend at least one original piece of content every month, posted to your website and any other real estate sites that you belong to that take content submittals (i.e. ActiveRain, etc.). Make it 300 words, minimum, with at least one interesting picture. You can assign this to someone within your team each month on a rotating basis to share the responsibility, plus it will ensure variety.
- Make primary purpose to educate: Content marketing is not about the hard sell. It’s about providing assistance and education to your target market. Think about questions you often get asked by clients, challenges they have and useful information they can utilize to help make the selling or buying process easier. What’s it like living in the area where you have listings? Are there good schools? Where are the major business districts? What should they look for in a real estate agent? And so forth. It keeps you top of mind and you’ll be remembered for being helpful.
- Be creative: Different customers prefer different media, so don’t just set yourself on one type of content. Mix blogs up with video content, short-and-sweet social media content, emails and more. Images make more of an impact than text. So, be sure to include high-quality images along with your text to make it eye-catching.
- Capture leads: Don’t forget to incentivize your customers to give you their contact details at every stage of the sales funnel. An example of this could be subscribing to your email newsletter.
- Syndicate Widely: The more places you can stick your content, the better. In addition to your website, excerpt your content and post links to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc. This gives your content added reach and life and improves the likelihood of it landing in front of a buyer or seller at the right time.
Content Marketing Benefits from Having a Plan
Online real estate marketing using content is a different ballgame than traditional advertising, but when the two are brought together through a comprehensive and targeted strategy, brokers have a powerful and highly functional means of connecting with customers and generating quality leads. At Weichert we believe that this can be a powerful complement to the lead generation systems we provide to franchisees and an important part of your overall formula for success.
If you are a growth-minded broker looking for other ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert® franchise team today.
For more information visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.