If you’re trying to figure out how to create a content marketing strategy, then you’ll like today’s post. Sometimes it’s a little easier to evaluate your options when you’re presented with a sample case, which is what I will do today.
So for my “lab test,” I’m going to focus on real estate agents.
Let’s face it. If anyone has had a tough time in their business over the past decade, it’s been real estate agents.
The real estate industry in the U.S. has experienced a slight recovery over the past two years, yet area prices have been depressed because of tight inventories and a decreased share of distressed sales.
So if you’re a realtor and you know that the majority of buyers are checking out your website to first view your selection of available homes on the market, what can you do with content marketing?
Lots, as it turns out.
You have an incredible opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition with video. You could take videos of homes and include a description of the neighborhood, and the features and benefits of the surrounding area.
Most realty websites have a small photo of the house. If you don’t want to use a video camera, you can take a number of photos of the house and property and then put it together as a slide show with background music.
You can even use a slide to describe the home in detail with persuasive copy. There are lots of ways to use a slide deck and this is just one way.
Just remember: movement grabs attention. Having something to watch is a much more attractive than looking at one tiny photograph.
I’ve not seen too many realtors take advantage of having a blog on their site but why not? It’s the perfect way to start a relationship with a potential buyer before they meet you.
Blogs are used to demonstrate expertise and share helpful information. Marcus Sheridan, who owns River Pools, was facing bankruptcy in 2009 when he decided to start a blog to attract potential pool-buyers. Long story short: within 18 months of blogging, Marcus’ business was leading his industry. His website was in the top spot on Google’s search page when people typed “buy a pool.” Not only did he save his company from complete ruin, but he thrived in a very tough economy.
What did Marcus do that made his business an online success?
He answered customer questions.
Yes, it really can be that simple.
Marcus saw that none of his competitors were answering the hard questions from consumers. For instance, the #1 question was “how much does a pool cost?”
No one was answering it. Marcus used it to his advantage and not only answered it, but he wrote a guidebook on how to buy a pool.
How’s that for serving your audience?
There are so many questions first-time homebuyers have:
- Can I make an offer that’s below the asking price?
- Do I really need a real estate agent (an excellent question and savvy agents will create a special report that highlight the risks that could happen if you don’t have a good real estate agent)
- Which type of mortgage is best for me?
First-time homebuyers have a variety of questions. Choose a few and start blogging about them. A good rule of thumb is to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and then blog about what concerns them.
Remember what Marcus Sheridan did? He created a special report filled with helpful information on how to buy a pool. You can be sure that he positioned his own pool company in a good light within that report.
A real estate agent can do the same. You could take the most commonly asked questions and put them together in a report.
You could also narrow your niche for a particular area. For instance: “How to Find Hidden Gems In the Sarasota, Florida Real Estate Market.”
The point is, you’re using a report to build credibility with a potential buyer while helping them. Plus, if you offer the special report as an online download in exchange for someone’s email address, you now are building a list of warm leads to follow up with.
These are just a few ways a real estate agent can use content marketing for their business. The shopping experiences have changed drastically for homebuyers. They’re used to using the Internet to view photos, videos, slide decks, and written material that feature what they want to buy.
If your site has limited information in a limited format, you will have limited prospects.
Start to experiment with a variety of content marketing ideas to promote your services and commit to creating frequent updates and new content development. Use one year as your minimum trial period.
You may experience the same success that Marcus Sheridan did and then you, too, will understand the power of content marketing.