- Local authority links can put you on the map in a hurry.
- Combine unique data and research to come up with an interesting angle.
- Link out from your content marketing pages to your other web pages to spread the link juice around and increase organic rankings.
Getting a shout-out from local news would be a huge win for your real estate business, but a lot of agents have trouble cracking the code and getting on the radar of local journalists.
The fact is, local content marketing can deliver the best ROI of any other marketing effort, and it can be done for very cheap or free.
Let’s dive into the benefits of local content marketing, what type of content journalists love, how to pitch and how to maximize the benefits of your hard-earned links.
Why links from local sources are powerful
Local news sites have a super high domain authority and page authority. Domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) are metrics developed by web marketing software company Moz to measure the trust and authority that Google has in the website. These metrics have become industry standards and are useful when evaluating a site.
The higher the DA and PA, the more likely the site is to rank in Google.
Links from sites with a high PA and DA pass a tremendous amount of “juice” from their website to yours and help you rank better on Google.
Links from local sites also increase local relevancy signals to Google. On top of all of this, they also drive real customers to you as soon as the link goes live. Customers who can take action right away because they live in your city.
Traffic from local sources are invaluable.
Shout outs from local news gives you as a real estate agent something to show clients to establish yourself as an expert quickly. It’s like a free endorsement. This is especially useful if you are a new real estate agent.
OK so we know local content marketing can deliver huge value to your real estate business. Now let’s break down how you pick a topic that local reporters will love.
What local news reporters want
Local news reporters are the unsung heroes of the community. They are underpaid, have tight deadlines and need to come up with unique local stories quickly.
This is where you come in to be the aspirin that cures their headache.
The No. 1 thing local reporters love talking about is original research or secondhand research presented in a novel way. Luckily for us, there are a ton of organizations and government agencies that have already done the research for you. They have collected valuable data, and it’s just sitting locked away in ugly spreadsheets that no one reads.
The single most powerful tool to find useful data for your content marketing is Google Datasets Search. I typed in “housing” on the search and the first result was from the housing section of the Census Bureau. It’s loaded with information you can use for a ton of different story angles.
Outside of government agencies, you can find data all over the internet and combine different data points together to create really interesting stories that local news will eat up.
A great example of this is the city review website Road Snacks that published a list of the “10 Drunkest Cities in California.”
To create their list, the writers gathered data on the number of bars and pubs per capita, wineries per capita and liquor stores per capita. They also went on Twitter and counted each city’s drunk-related tweets within the week of publishing the article. They counted the divorce rate in each city.
For a little added humor, they threw in the raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general area: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails.
The writers’ efforts yielded some nice results.
A ton of local news outlets linked to the article. CBS Los Angeles even picked it up.
Road Snacks focused on presenting the content in written form, but sometimes you can get much better results by going the extra mile and creating a graphic to go along with the content.
If you don’t have the time to create an infographic yourself, you can head to the website fiverr and hire a graphic designer to make one for you for $25-$100 — depending on how complex you want to make it.
How to pitch your content
The trick with making content marketing work is to spend twice as much time promoting the content as you did creating it.
That means you are going to be spending a lot of time pitching.
The first step to a successful pitch is to understand that you should start the relationship off before you pitch anything. Head over to Twitter, and interact with your targeted journalists.
Comment and retweet their stuff. Most local journalists have small enough followings that two to three interactions can be enough to stand out.
Be sure to start the Twitter outreach during the research and idea phase so you give yourself enough time to make a natural connection.
This will significantly increase your email open rates.
You should also remember to cast a wide net. BuzzStream and iAcquire did a study of 300,000 pitch emails and found that the average placement rate was 4.8 percent for males and 4.5 percent for females.
To get any results, you will have to send at least 50 emails — so be patient and create a list before you get started.
Matthew Barby has been featured on sites such as Yahoo and Forbes using the following guidelines for writing the pitch email:
You might be tempted to do a lot of copying and pasting to get through the emails, but you must not yield to temptation. Journalists can smell a generic pitch from a mile away, and even if the content is good, they might reject it anyway.
Find a way to make each pitch unique. It shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve been interacting with them on Twitter.
Spreading the love
Now that you’ve done all the hard work creating your awesome content and getting it featured on local news, you want to make sure that the “link juice” is flowing from that content page to your money pages.
You do this by interlinking your web pages and keeping sound site structure. When it makes sense, drop a link within the body of your content marketing post to a page you want to give a boost to.
Money management site Investopedia does a killer job of interlinking. As a result, almost all of their pages have a ton of page authority.
In just the first few paragraphs of this article, they link out to their other content six times.
By spreading the link love to your listings, IDX search pages and community pages, you can increase the rank of these pages in search.
The higher your money pages rank, the more leads and clients you will acquire. Unlike paid advertising and cost-per-click, leads from search don’t cost you a dime. All it takes is sweat equity and creativity.
Now that you know the benefits of local content marketing and how to create engaging content that journalists will want to share, it’s time to get to work. It’s not easy, but local content marketing can easily be the most powerful form of marketing you can do for your real estate business.
Let me know in the comments below what experiences you’ve had with content marketing and getting coverage on local news sites.