In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: Facebook and Instagram marketing.
As a content writer, coach and consultant, I spend a lot of time on the phone with clients creating and refining strategies for their content marketing.
This month, I thought it would be fun to feature three questions from actual clients, and the answers that I gave them. All names have been removed to protect the innocent.
Questions of the day
Question 1: I only have the budget for a blog or social media management. Which one should I focus on?
Your blog and your social media are not separate entities that run on parallel tracks. They are interconnected and work together to create the effect you want. You can build out incredible blog content, but without promotion through social media, email distribution or other channels, no one will know it is there.
Similarly, you can spend hours each day on social media liking, sharing and commenting, but if you don’t have any original content to share, you are just promoting other people.
You don’t get clients by retweeting articles from HGTV or Zillow’s blog. You get them by sharing your own original content and linking followers to your gorgeous website and thoughtful blog posts.
If your budget is tight, you have a few options for getting more out of the time and money you spend on content.
- Consider video: Many agents and brokers fear the blank page, so they put off or ignore adding to their blog. But remember: content comes in many forms. If you hate writing, create a five-minute video once or twice a week to get your thoughts out into the world. You can then have those videos transcribed, refined and posted as blog content with a link to the original video. It’s faster, cheaper and easier for most people than coming up with 1,000 words of written content every few days.
- Repurpose existing content: If you have some articles already posted, give them a second life by turning them into infographics or videos. Want to step up your Instagram game? Pull quotes from your blog, and marry them to beautiful designs with an app like Canva or WordSwag for beautiful, shareable social media posts. Your ideas and insights are too good for just one platform. Make everything serve multiple promotional purposes.
- Prioritize content creation: Whether it’s the two hours it takes to create a blog post or the 30 minutes it takes to update all of your social media accounts each day, content and promotion should not be optional. Whether you time-block, set a reminder in your calendar, outsource or work with an accountability partner, find a way to ensure that you are getting content done on the daily.
Question 2: I am so excited to start the blog, but I’m not sure what topics to choose since I don’t really know who my audience is. Can we just start writing and find our audience as we go?
Well, sure, but you’re going to spend a lot of time and a lot of money without getting the results you want. Instead, spend some of that budget on branding to narrow your focus and drill down to what your message should be.
Remember the advice of personal branding guru Stacey Cohen: You need to know your target audience to understand the value you can bring to them. Your unique value proposition (UVP) is an important part of understanding how to most effectively reach out. Otherwise, you’re just adding clutter, not contributing to the conversation.
Branding is about more than logos, color schemes and headshots. It’s about refining and articulating a message that resonates with the very people you want to reach. If you don’t know who those people are, you can spend months or even years churning out content faithfully without making the impact you’re looking for.
Question 3: I am committed to content, but I feel like it is such a slow burn. How can I speed up the effect of my new website and blog to get faster results?
A combination of evergreen and up-to-the-minute content, added to an aggressive and active social media management strategy, can help you reach potential clients and speed up the effect of organic search. Add to that lead-capture and follow-up automation by email or text, and you can create a virtuous cycle that keeps you top-of-mind.
If you are creating content on a regular basis but waiting for it to rise through organic traffic to the top of Google, you will definitely be waiting a long time.
By adding the bookends of promotion and follow-up, you ensure that the content you create is both reaching new fans and keeping them on-board with ongoing, updated outreach.
Don’t forget to link to individual web pages at your site and your other blog posts within each article. That way, you keep people at your site longer and cross-promote your content for more pageviews, more shares and more invested followers. That will raise the rank of both old and newer content and raise your profile as well.
Lastly, look for ways to create media mentions. Check out HARO (Help A Reporter Out) for the opportunity to be quoted or featured in real estate related stories and publications.
And follow your favorite writers and reporters on social media — you never know when they are going to call for questions or quotes that you are uniquely qualified to address. Then when you are published, add that mention to your social media and follow-up promotions to make it go even further.
Have a question you’d like answered or a topic you’d like covered? Send your marketing, branding, blogging and social media queries to our Marketing Mastermind at Christy@writingrealestate.com, and she’ll bring you great advice, helpful hints and expert insights.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter.