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: content creation.

In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. 

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time talking to agents and brokers at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ Member Appreciation Day in Westchester County, New York.

It was an awesome event with amazing speakers and opportunities to get out and talk to Realtors about content marketing strategies. Here were some of my favorite questions from the day.

Question 1: How long does a blog post need to be?

This is a great question and probably the one that I am asked the most. Since so much of the purpose of blogging is to help you generate page views and rank higher on search engines, you need to make sure you are writing enough for your page to be crawled.

Generally, three hundred words is enough to ensure that you are going to be seen, but most blog posts end up being somewhere between 700-1000 words.

Your next step is to have your content evaluated as expert and valuable to increase your search engine optimization (SEO). In order to ensure that you are making a big impression, you’ll want to show your expertise through a longer post.

A long-form post is usually at least 2,000 words, and if it’s full of original, highly-valuable information, it’ll help get you known as an expert in your field. These longer posts give you the best opportunity to rank high, especially in niche or narrowly focused topics.

Question 2: What’s the difference between custom content and subscription content?

Custom content is written specifically for a client, and the content itself is completely original. You can create your own or work with a writer, however, you need to ensure that you own the rights if you outsource it.

Subscription content is produced and sold to more than one client — or subscriber — for posting on their blog or website, or for use in email blasts.

Subscription content may be limited to a small number of qualified subscribers, which is usually the case for content owned by a brokerage or real estate company. Alternatively, some subscriptions may be widely available and duplicated across many platforms.

One of the big differences between these two content options is price. Custom content will generally cost more, both because of its exclusivity and because it often involves specific research to personalize and produce.

In terms of SEO, custom content is the way to go. Because it is original, it will help your website’s ranking by providing additional original content. By contrast, subscription content will not help SEO and may even hurt it because it is seen as “copied” from other platforms.

If you are primarily interested in having something affordable to share with your sphere in a newsletter or email blast, subscription content is probably sufficient.

In addition, you can easily repurpose it as an outline for video content or break it down and use it as a springboard for original content like infographics or social media posts.

Question 3: I hate doing social media. If I have to do one platform, which one should it be?

When people ask this question, they want me to debate the relative merits of Facebook and Instagram (with a few Twitter and Snapchat aficionados thrown in for good measure). My advice? Choose whichever platform you will participate with and maintain.

If you’ll consistently post on and maintain multiple platforms, go for it! If you’ll only do one, choose one and commit to it.

Social media is primarily a distribution channel to funnel people to your core content, whether that is a blog, vlog or podcast. It is also a way to put your new listings out there or to share news about your business and the local market.

I often speak with Realtors who have a presence on every single platform, and most of them say they don’t keep up with most or any of them. That is no good for you or for your followers.

If you love Facebook and have a lot of Facebook friends, focus on that. If you enjoy the visual aspects of Instagram, that’s where you should be. If you enjoy interacting on Twitter and are responsive, you may find ways to make that work for you.

The right platform is the one that you will post on consistently and where you can communicate and interact with friends, fans and followers.

Once you choose your preferred platform, find out how to operate at a higher level on that platform. Analyze the days of the week and times of day that work well for you. Take time to comment on other people’s posts and start valuable conversation. Do a little research on what creates optimal outcomes on your chosen platform so that you develop mastery of the platform you’ve chosen.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it all. Just do one or two things very well, every day, and you’ll start to see the results you want.

Have a burning question of your own? 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

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