Real Estate Agents can win big with Content Marketing
Content marketing has been growing in popularity among top producing Real Estate Agents. They recognize Content Marketing as a long-range strategy for improved visibility, search ranking, and lead flow. And best of all, it’s easy – if you haven’t started marketing with content, now is the time.
Homeowners planning to sell go online to research their market and potential Agents. Ninety percent of prospective home buyers go online at some point during the home buying process, and 53 percent of buyers begin the process online (NAR 2017). With such staggering numbers, it isn’t surprising that the real estate industry isn’t just dabbling in content marketing; it’s leading the charge.
What exactly is content marketing?
At its most basic, content marketing disrupts traditional advertising by providing consumers with information that will help them solve problems and improve their lives. Instead of just selling, companies demonstrate their value to consumers as thought leaders concerned about their customers’ well-being.
This philosophy, of course, is well-suited to real estate agents. Most agents live and work in the areas where they sell property, and they want to produce useful content for their clients because they care about their communities. Here, we’ll describe a few of the creative ways real estate agents are using content marketing to appeal to clients and improve their page ranking in search engine optimization (SEO) along the way.
Where to get Content if you can’t write or don’t have time
When we think about Content Marketing, Sweet Brown’s catch phrase comes to mind: “ain’t nobody got time for that!” How true. The problem is that unique content is critical for an effective strategy. Using someone else’s content won’t cut it – search engines look for one-of-a-kind content when determining relevancy, and readers aren’t interested in generic content. They may appreciate the occasional curated social media post, but they will not appreciate being mailed and emailed the same content they could easily find on Google.
But you’re busy. And you’re an Agent, not a writer. So what to do?
For Agents who don’t have a skilled writer on their team, freelance is a great option for content marketing. In fact, many freelancers specialize in writing blog posts and articles for this very purpose. Check out Prose Media, they have over 7,000 vetted freelancers and the pricing is reasonable. Going the freelance route, you should expect to pay between $50 and $150 per 500-word article, and you’d need at least 2 per month to gain traction.
You could also consider purchasing just one freelance article a month and make videos as your core content. Perhaps take a half day to shoot a bunch of short videos, and then use them over two or three months. Don’t forget to change outfits between shots!
A third option is to go with a marketing company that will provide unique content. Our clients take full advantage of the four pieces of unique content that come standard with every direct mail publication.
Creative Real Estate Agent Content Marketing
Providing useful information for both potential buyers and sellers is a crucial part of a real estate agent’s job, so it’s no surprise that they’re innovators in content marketing. Below, we’ve summarized the most effective strategies real estate agents and other content marketing experts use:
Blogs are one of the best ways to keep your clients thinking about your business. But beware: if you start a blog, you want to make sure you’re able to regularly update it. That means you want to create a schedule for new blog posts to be posted. The good news is that you don’t have to search too far to find new material. Just post about topics your clients are always engaged with: new local businesses, nearby neighborhoods, decluttering tips, remodeling ideas — the list could go on and on. Be creative with form, too; including videos or podcasts can give potential clients a glimpse into your personality.
Local publications, magazines, or newsletters
One of the best ways to compel a potential client is by letting him or her know that you’re familiar with your community. Savvy realtors are doing this by mailing custom publications or newsletters tailored to the needs of their communities. Whether you fill your publication with exciting local events or with useful tips about your local real estate market, potential clients will feel more comfortable working with someone who knows the area well. Discover’s pre-formatted direct mail publications include a mix of custom local content and syndicated articles.
If you have a blog and a publication (or newsletter), social media is a natural partner. Whenever you post new content to your blog, you can easily post it to your social media accounts. Social media is also a good place to post new listings and client testimonials, advertise open houses, share success stories, and more. As you might have noticed, a solid content marketing strategy is about making sure the content you create can be used on many different platforms.
One of the most popular and effective forms of email marketing campaigns is storytelling. Again, instead of trying to sell, entice your consumer by writing blog-like content with a beginning, middle, and end. For example, you could write an email about the history of a neighborhood or list a few of the reasons spring is the best time to sell a home. Keep your content marketing emails short – instead of putting an entire article in the body, just put the first few sentences. Then, add a link that says “READ MORE,” and take readers to your blog for the full content. This will help drive traffic to your site and also help you track what types of articles are most interesting to prospects.
If you’re an expert on a useful topic — it’s likely that you are — you could publish an eBook, like so many real estate agents already have. Whether you want to discuss mortgage approvals or the home inspection process, potential clients will value your willingness to share your expertise. Once you’ve written the eBook, publish it on your website, link to it on your Facebook page and send a link to your email list.
Real Estate Content Marketing and SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which search engines such as Google match users’ search terms with relevant information that answers their questions. It’s constantly evolving; engines are always tweaking their SEO algorithms to ensure they’re delivering content that is useful and relevant to users. To get the most out of content marketing, real estate agents should add the keywords and phrases that prospects are most likely typing in to Google. Below, we’ll show you how.
Optimizing your content for SEO gives you traffic and leads you may not otherwise have found. Familiarity with SEO is certainly worthwhile and it isn’t nearly as daunting as it once was. Here are a few tips for ensuring your content is search engine optimized.
Do your research
SEO for realtors is specific both to you and to your area. You don’t want to include keywords that could bring up your name as realtor in Seattle when you sell houses in Austin. That’s why it’s so important to figure out the keywords people in your area are looking for.
First, type in long phrases that you think clients searching for a real estate agent might use into Google search, and see what comes up. Next, go to SimilarWeb and type in your website – it’s a free tool that will spit out the exact keywords that people are already using to get to your website. Finally, you can find the best keywords for your local market in Google AdWords.
Find your niche
If, during your keyword research, you find that the keywords you’re using overlap with a local competitors’, try to find a niche a market that you can really develop. For example, perhaps you bill yourself as an expert in mid-century modern architecture or on foreclosed properties. Write articles on those topics.
Make sure you’re able to be found, whatever the search
Many of the ways that real estate agents can be found in SEO is if they list themselves on Google, Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, and other localized websites. Don’t let any of those mostly free websites go to waste. Make sure that you’re submitting a profile with your name, address, and phone number to every website that might come up when a client searches for a Realtor. Additionally, encourage satisfied clients to write reviews of your business on Google and Yelp; a positive review or two can be a very useful free marketing tool.
Don’t over-think SEO
Even if you don’t research keywords, your SEO will drastically improve once you begin a consistent content marketing program. It’s very likely that you already have the optimal search phrases written into your content, and Google knows you are a Real Estate Agent (by scanning your website). Search engines also know your location, and match you naturally to prospects conducting web searches from local IP addresses or who type in your location. With content marketing, the most important thing is to put out unique content that will resonate well with local home sellers.
Content Marketing: Finding the Time
It’s without question that creating SEO-optimized, consistent, and informative content is a strategy that helps you generate new leads and find new clients. However, a question remains: how will I find the time to do all of these amazing things?
It may seem overwhelming at first, but you don’t have to handle your content marketing strategy alone. Real estate-oriented content marketing leaders like Discover Publications can help you become a thought leader in your community through focused content marketing campaigns. You can let Discover put out personalized publications, send compelling emails and post thoughtful updates to your social media channels without lifting a finger. With all the work real estate demands, it can be invaluable to find a partner who can launch an effective, localized, and useful full-scale content marketing campaign without distracting you from your day-to-day tasks.
We hope you found this article useful – either way, let us know. And as always… Happy Marketing!