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Distributing educational content can help you earn the confidence of potential clients. But it also can cost significant time or money to obtain.
Content marketing image via Shutterstock.
So if you're going to make educational content part of your marketing strategy, you'd better make sure you get the most mileage out of it, says Sam Hosseini, lead marketing strategist at Toronto, Canada-based brokerage TheRedPin.
TheRedPin attempts to do this by following a game plan that seems to boil down to two words: repurpose and recycle.
Blog posts are the building blocks of this strategy.
TheRedPin crafts posts around specific issues that are relevant to buyers or sellers, like how to assess the quality of a neighborhood or public transit's impact on property values, Hosseini said.
He said it's better to produce this content in house in order to "control messaging properly," rather than hire freelancers.
The brokerage's marketing team milks its blog posts for all they're worth by continually firing them out through social media channels. But TheRedPin also stitches them together into "white papers."
TheRedPin's "First Time Home Buyers Guide to Evaluate Potential Real Estate Investments," for example, packages together blog posts including "How Transit Affects Toronto's Real Estate Market," and "The Neighborhood Factor: Location Matters."
Hosseini said it's crucial that these papers are highly visual and don't exceed 20 pages.
"It's not a bunch of text that gets tiring," he said.
Screenshot of TheRedPin blog post "How Transit Affects Toronto's Real Estate Market."
The transit section of TheRedPin's first-time buyer guide borrows from a blog post the brokerage published.
The brokerage uses these white papers primarily for two purposes: to capture email addresses on its website and to cultivate existing leads through email drip campaigns.
TheRedPin harvests email addresses with white papers by posting them on a landing page that requires people to enter their emails to access the papers and is powered by data collection service EmailMeForm.
From its EmailMeForm account, the brokerage can export the emails to marketing services like MailChimp, allowing the brokerage to target the owners of the email addresses in drip marketing campaigns.
But Hosseini said the white papers are even more useful for "nurturing" existing leads rather than capturing new ones.
Like the tech-focused U.S. brokerage Redfin, TheRedPin drums up leads for agents. During the process of qualifying leads through interviews, he said, TheRedPin sends the white papers to leads to keep them engaged.
"It's a great excuse to touch the lead again while keeping that communication door open," Hosseini said. "That's basically at the heart of why we do this."
Ideally, the leads turn out to be qualified and become TheRedPin clients. But even when TheRedPin determines that leads aren't ready to buy or sell quite yet, it still enrolls them in "nurturing programs," drip email campaigns whose content depends on a potential client's status and buying or selling timeline.
TheRedPin automates the campaigns by using tools like Marketo, Hosseini said.
Hosseini said that TheRedPin has enrolled over 100,000 people in its nurturing programs.
Most of them, he said, have seen its white papers or some of content that appears in them.
"We don't dismiss leads just because they're eight months away ... we try to educate people over time," he said.