Marketing

7 ethical guidelines for real estate content curation

Stay within the law and earn the respect of your online community with these tips

Content curation is a type of content marketing where a publisher (you or me) collects interesting content about a specific topic, enhances that content with personal opinions and expert commentary, and then shares the content with a specific targeted audience.

Let’s further define what content is: Content is what people search for online. It’s what makes them click, share, comment, download, subscribe or follow.

It sounds simple enough, but before you embark on a real estate content curation journey, make sure you are curating your content ethically.

I’m not against content curation. In fact, I love content curation for all of these reasons and more. Curation saves time. To be a successful marketer these days, you have to create the content your audience is searching for online.

It takes a lot of time and resources to create that content regularly. With curation, you don’t have to create your own; you simply share someone else’s quality content.

Curation is an essential part of a balanced content marketing plan. A combination of content curation and content creation yields the highest engagement and conversion rates. If you share only your own content, you’ll turn many consumers off. If you only curate content, you’ll have low conversion rates. Mix it up!

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When you continually post and share content on a specific topic, both Google and consumers will begin to see you as an authority on that topic. Once you’re a recognized authority, Google will start ranking the content you create higher as well.

Curation also enhances your SEO (search engine optimization). Consumers research purchases online. Usually several weeks before they ever reach out to an agent, homebuyers and sellers are online doing research. Share the content you think they’ll be looking for when they start the search, and be the person who guides them to the best content. And always add hashtags to your content!

You’ll also keep yourself educated by curating content — which may be my favorite reason for curating. While I’m keeping up on my favorite marketing or real estate blogs, I’m also finding great content to share. And I only share content I personally find helpful, inspirational, funny or educational.

But there is a content curation code of ethics that you need to follow.

In addition to new legislation governing Internet copyright laws, the marketing industry has launched a significant movement to establish professional ethics around content curation and author attribution. By following these ethics, you’ll keep on the right side of the law, and you’ll gain the respect of your online community.

  • Always link back to the original source of the content. And make that link prominent. If you’re curating a blog post, don’t bury the link to the original content at the bottom of the post, or make the link tiny, or disguise the link in any way.
  • When you’re tweeting, try to mention the Twitter handle of the author in the tweet. When you’re sharing on Facebook, tag the original author. These tactics will help you gain the respect of the author and your audience.
  • Curate from a wide variety of sources. The more, the better. And don’t curate every piece of content that one source creates. Choose only the posts that will truly resonate with your audience.
  • Write a new headline. This is especially important when blogging. You don’t want to compete with the original author in search results. Use your own unique title and choose keywords that will be used by your target audience.
  • Add your own commentary or opinion. Whether you’re tweeting a link, sharing on Facebook or writing a blog, you should add a comment about the content. Tell readers why you liked this piece of content. Or what you disagree with. Or how it helped you. Add context!
  • Use quotes sparingly. Sometimes it’s nice to share a quote from a piece of content. Always enclose it in quotation marks to show that it’s an actual quote, and keep it short.
  • Never republish a full-size image unless you have permission to do so. If you are simply sharing content to Pinterest or Facebook, for example, you do not need to purchase the image as long as you are sharing a link from the original source. However, if you’re curating in the form of a blog post, you may not reuse the full-size image from the source content in your post unless you purchase the rights to the image. The best practice (in my opinion) is to purchase your own unique image.

How do you handle your own content curation? Leave a comment and let us know!

Marci James is the director of marketing for Obeo.

Email Marci James.