- Content marketing is better than advertising; 78 percent of consumers say they'd rather read articles than ads to get to know a company online.
- People trust word-of-mouth; 92 percent of customers reported they trust other people's recommendations, even from strangers, more than advertising.
- Influencer marketer secret weapon: BuzzSumo allows users to set alerts for specific keyboards, authors or URLs.
The word content has become one of the hottest marketing buzzwords in recent memory. Everywhere you look, marketers are preaching the importance of creating good content as an effective method of attracting new leads and turning them into customers. And for good reason; content marketing has proven to be extremely effective in driving action.
In fact, 82 percent of consumers report feeling more positive about a brand after reading custom content.
It’s no different in the real estate space. With 90 percent of homebuyers using the Internet to search for homes, content is often the best opportunity to get in front of them. In fact, 78 percent of consumers note they’d rather get to know a company online via articles rather than ads.
What’s the point of content marketing?
The barriers to entry for creating decent content can be amazingly low — anyone with a smartphone is now a journalist. No wonder it’s become one of the most popular topics on my podcast, The Craft of Marketing.
It works in any space and can be taken as far as your creativity allows it. Implementing a successful content marketing strategy allows brokers and agents to harness the power of influence at scale across their entire network.
“Your content acts as an agent to tell the world who you are when you’re not around.” @sethstuff
Creation, however, is just the first step. An equally challenging part of content marketing is what to do with it once you’ve created it. Unfortunately, content does not adhere to the “if you build it, they will come” rule.
Although great content does have its own inherent attractiveness — whether it be blog posts, data-driven posts, infographics, video — to truly get the most out of it, one needs to know how to promote it to the audiences you wish to get in front of.
How to promote your content
When you create a piece of content and hit publish, one of the most effective things that you can do is schedule the promotion over a period of time using some of the tools listed below.
This stuff works — CoSchedule was able to quadruple its traffic by sharing the same content nine times in seven days. Take a look at the infographic below to see how the traffic played out for their efforts.
Start by creating content that your audience will love
This might sound like a simplistic statement, but we all know there’s a lot of bad marketing out there.
For instance, only 38 percent of B2C (business to consumer) marketers believe their organization’s content marketing efforts are effective. Others, however, have no idea.
Just 37 percent of B2C companies have a documented content marketing strategy while more than 56 percent aren’t clear on what an effective content marketing program looks like.
This starts by focusing on content that your audience needs. I recently spent some time chatting with two of my favorite real estate marketers, Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin. Their message was straightforward “create marketing that doesn’t suck.” Listen to the entire interview on the first episode of the Marketing Genius Podcast.
12 tools to help you make sure you get the most out of your content
I’ve tested each one of these tools and use many of them on a daily basis. The tools will help you get the most out of your content without wasting your time.
There’s nothing more disheartening than spending hours creating a great piece of content, only to have it fall on deaf ears. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if it doesn’t get seen, it’s not doing anything but wasting your valuable time and resources.
ContenMarketer.io allows you to import your content and pulls a list of influencers who can help you spread your message; 92 percent of customers reported that they trust recommendations from other people — even those they don’t know — versus direct advertising.
Although your expertise is a crucial part of the content you create, helping influencers spread your message is just a important. ContentMarketer.io takes the detective work out of finding these people and helps you start to build relationships with them.
Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media management tools out there. Employed by individuals, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike, Hootsuite helps you keep track of and manage your social network channels.
The platform’s set-it-and-forget-it approach saves precious time by allowing you to set your posts to go live whenever you want them to.
For example, you could plan all of your Twitter and Facebook posts on this week’s new listings for Sunday night and not have to worry about it for the rest of the week.
Then you can go into the dashboard and see how folks are engaging with your content, which allows you to evaluate and hone your approach. Hootsuite also recently added Instagram to its API, so now you can post all those beautiful property pictures.
By now, you know that updating your content on social media can become burdensome after a while. Edgar is similar to Hootsuite in that it allows you to automate your social post publishing.
However, the difference is that instead of having to manually set publishing times for each of your posts, Edgar allows you to build categories such as blog, tips and so on, and then automatically post them based on the ideal timing for each category.
So, essentially, all you have to do is build a library of posts, and Edgar will make sure they get in front of the right audience at the right time.
Some refer to Buffer as Hootsuite’s no-frills cousin, but it’s far more than that. It provides a lot of benefits and return on a limited investment. It really is one of the easiest ways to share on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Like Hootsuite, you can use Buffer to schedule your updates to go live at the time of your choosing and build up a queue of content that you can track with straightforward analytics to see which content performed best.
One of the major differences between Hootsuite and Buffer is that Buffer doesn’t allow you to view your Twitter feed or directly interact with your followers. I use both Hootsuite and Buffer.
The future of the Web is visual content, and Imgur is one of its newest platforms. With 150 million users discovering and sharing images on the service, you can’t overlook its reach.
Simply upload your image — as long as it’s not too self-serving (you’ll hear from the crowd if it is), add a title, description and pick a topic area, such as current events or “the more you know” (great for infographics), and your visual content will be added to a public category where people can leave comments and vote on it.
In addition, the platform makes it easy to share links to the visual content on social media. It also offers detailed analytics on how often it’s viewed and where viewers are coming to the image from (Twitter, Reddit, your website, etc.).
This platform helps you find the most-shared content and the key influencers to help with your promotion outreach. You can use the dashboard to track specific URLs and how content performs over time for both your content and your competitors’ content.
BuzzSumo also allows users to set alerts for specific keyboards, authors or URLs. This is the influencer marketer’s secret weapon, and it’s easy to use.
As we head down the visual content road, we can’t forget video content. With mobile devices making it easier than ever before to create high-quality video, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be doing video.
But once you create a video, how do you share it for maximum exposure? One trick is using OneLoad. This tool lets you load video to its platform, and it instantly distributes to video viewing sites such as Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and more with little more than a few clicks.
There is no need to worry about transcoding or having it in the right file formats — OneLoad does all of that for you.
Powerpoints might not seem like the most engaging medium, but there is a market for slide-based content. In fact, turning tips based content from your blog on buying a first home or setting an asking price into decks can be a great practice.
SlideShare, which has become the de-facto online home for presentations, has tens of million of visitors a month. In fact, it’s one of the top 150 trafficked sites in the world.
Once you have your content in slide form, sharing is as easy as setting a good title and description. The site also transcribes the deck on the backend to ensure the content can be crawled by Google — hello SEO!
Just don’t forget to create a call-to-action at the end of the slide deck. For instance, it could be, “Like my tips for setting an asking price? Read my thoughts on the real estate industry daily at myblog.com.”
Here’s some examples of the SlideShares we’ve created at Placester.
Narrow is a great tool for building your Twitter following. It helps you build a targeted audience of prospective customers to follow and engage with. The software leverages keywords and hashtags to identify a relevant audience.
Narrow helps you build a targeted Twitter following, which makes it effortless for you to interact with users who are likely interested in your insight and real estate services.
Simply enter keywords or hashtags, and it identifies a relevant audience for you to start building a following. It’s currently in semi-private beta, so request your invite to use today.
Known as one of the longest standing content aggregators, StumbleUpon has more than 25 million users at last count. Despite some talk that the company is struggling with monetizing itself, it has rolled out paid discovery features in recent years that give you the opportunity to take your use of the platform beyond just simply stumbling stories.
StumbleUpon’s paid discovery lets you publish content to StumbleUpon and target for views with specific audiences based on devices, location and interests.
Put in a title for your content and the link to it, fill out the targeting information and your budget, and you’ll be on your way to having your content stumbled upon by even more eyeballs.
Once you latch on to the concept of content promotion, you will want to start using a calendar for social media promotion and content creation.
CoSchedule also allows you to collaborate with your team by setting tasks and guidelines to make content planning as easy as possible.
If you feel comfortable creating the schedule without technology, check out Katie Lance’s Social Media Content Planner; it’s an amazing resource worth reading, and don’t forget to download the free content grid.
12. Social Crawlytics
Don’t think of old content as used up — think of it as evergreen. Your old content — especially your most popular pieces — can be a great way to drive traffic to your new content. One tool for doing that is Social Crawlytics.
The tool quickly analyzes the most-shared content on your website. From there, you can quickly go into previous blog posts that are relevant to your new content and add the link (along with some new context perhaps) to your post.
Perhaps it’s an update on living in a new neighborhood or new data on housing supply in the city. Reutilizing the social reach of the previous pieces and the likely high ranking in search results will give your new content a jump-start.
There are tons of tools out there to help you content market, so try a few out and work smarter not harder. Get your content out there, and the leads will come rolling in.