An introduction to content marketing for real estate agents
In an increasingly competitive market, agents are constantly on the look-out for new ways to get cut-through in the marketplace and attract new customers. One way that many successful agents have found to reach and engage with new customers is content marketing.
At the heart of content marketing is the idea that rather than selling to people, you share your knowledge and provide truly relevant and useful content to people to help them answer a question or solve a problem.
With so much customer research now occurring online, smart agents are using websites, blogs, email and social media together to reach and build relationships with potential customers online, long before they talk on the phone or meet in person.
So how can real estate agents use this powerful strategy to attract new listings? In this article, we look at how you can get started with content marketing, and use it to grow your business.
Know your audience
The majority of online searches, for example through Google, occur because people have a question or a problem. So, in order to develop a successful content marketing strategy, you must start with what you know about your prospects and customers.
Who are they?
Where are they?
What are they concerned about?
What do they want to know when they are researching online?
Where do they go for information?
Understanding this could be as simple as making a list of what you already know about your customers, and also what they themselves tell you.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers, as this information will be invaluable as you develop your future content marketing strategies.
Content marketing will help you build a deeper relationship with your prospects and customers because you can demonstrate that beyond property listings and sales data you:
- understand what drives people when selling their home
- have tactics in place to increase sales price
- are able to share your local area knowledge.
Plan your content strategy
Some will be simply starting out in search of more information, while others could be ready to sign up with an agent.
It’s important to consider the different stages that your customers go through when deciding on an agent, so that you can produce the right content to reach them.
Different types of content will work better for different stages too.
This is where blog articles, free eBooks and checklists are useful.
Here you can use things like videos and case studies to show your expertise.
Finally, in the ‘decision’ stage, you could offer a free consultation that includes some additional valuable tips, and even an action list you leave with prospective clients, to help close the deal.
The best content marketing strategies make potential customers feel nurtured without being pressured to buy. Having a strategy that is highly targeted in this way will ensure you don’t just generate leads, but the right type of leads for your business.
Pick your content format
Sometimes that most challenging part of content marketing is working out what type of content you should produce to get the right result.
Simple blog articles on your website are a great place to start, but there are plenty of other formats that work well.
If you’re technically savvy, consider giving webinars or podcasts a try.
Alternatively, longer form content in the form of case studies, eBooks and checklists are all useful content marketing tools.
Make sure you keep the branding light and avoid the hard sell. It’s all about quality over quantity, so take the time to research the topic and make sure the finished product is polished.
Promote your content
So, if you write a blog article and it takes you 2 hours, you need to spend 8 hours promoting it! Note that this is not necessarily all at once. It’s about making sure that over time you are using that content to its fullest potential. Promote your content on your website, through email and social media. Ask other people in your network to share your content with their audience.
If you really want to maximize your promotion, put a small budget towards promoting the post on Facebook or Linkedin to reach a wider audience. You might even consider promoting your best content using Google AdWords.
The best bit is, you can come back to your content months later, give it a little refresh and then re-promote it to your audience.
Capture more leads with your website
Content marketing is all about give and take. You’re giving away some of your expertise to help prospects with their purchase decision, and in return, you want them to give you some more information that you can use in your business.
Make sure your blog has calls-to-action to read other articles you’ve published, as well as an offer to access a bigger piece of content like an eBook or video tutorial for which you could ask people to provide a name and email address for follow-up.
Using your website in this way will allow you to effectively convert visitors into leads. Once you have a potential customer’s email address, you can nurture them with subsequent emails, content and offers and hopefully turn them into a customer.
By sharing expertise through content marketing, real estate agents can build awareness, create connections, generate leads and achieve their business objectives.
Done well, content marketing will allow you to build valuable trust with your potential customers before they even have a conversation with you.
Focus on your potential customers’ information needs and solving their biggest problems. Once you have identified this, you can start to align content to your customer’s buying journey.
Use a variety of content formats and promote your content through email, social media and paid channels to maximise your impact.
Over time, a solid content marketing strategy that provides targeted content and offers will help you build trust, turning leads into customers, and customers into advocates.
Meet Bianca Dillon
A certified content and inbound marketer, Bianca has more than 20 years of industry experience. Bianca’s passion for telling stories that move people, and obsession with digital technology, has contributed to her great love of all things ‘inbound’.
Bianca is the founder of B:Content Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency that uses customer and data-focused digital marketing strategies to attract, convert, close and delight customers. Her mission is to help small business learn the ropes of digital marketing, giving them the skills, technology and confidence they need to promote their business. Find out more at bcontent.com.au or connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/biancadillon.
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