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Consumers read blogs, watch videos, visit Facebook, check Twitter, peruse through Instagram and use Snapchat like crazy — but do you know where your target market likes to hang out online? Do you know where to look to find your people? And if you do, do you know how to speak their buying language?
Do you know where your target audience goes for information? Do you know exactly what you want them to know and do?
If you can’t answer all of these questions, your marketing probably isn’t as effective as it could be. Today’s consumers seek and soak up content now more than ever before — that’s why real estate agents need to create and disseminate their content the right way. Here’s how to create amazing real estate content and distribute it so that it reaches your target audience — and speaks their language — quickly and effectively.
Homebuyers and sellers are going online to search for everything, so that’s where you need to be. When I first started in real estate, my broker gave me a desk, a phone and a pen and said, “OK, go sell houses.” I would open the local newspaper every day and go through the for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs), then I would start with the A’s in the phone book. Working with that phone book was tedious and boring — but that book was my bible.
The internet has changed all that for everyone, from millennials to retirees. Consumers now depend on search engines to find out information on products that they want to buy, so you need to create enough content to appear front and center, and then keep making it stronger so when your people search for homes or anything related to real estate, they find you — always.
Gary Vaynerchuk says we should be thinking of ourselves as media companies. Think of yourself as a media company. I don’t get up every day and think about selling real estate — I think about how I am going to connect with the people who are interested in real estate in my area. What do they want to know about real estate today to help them make decisions?
Technology has given us the opportunity to connect with people we wouldn’t otherwise meet. Think about your own life — who have you met virtually? Who do you know that you never would have known if not for technology and the internet?
Chris Smith says Facebook is the internet, and he is right in so many ways. It really all starts with Facebook, but you must understand how all of it connects and shares and weaves together to form this huge wonderful web.
Marketing content should build credibility, provide value and be relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. Create content that people want to share, content that makes people think. Make sure that what you are sharing is informative, funny, cute or important to health and safety.
You want your content to be like the encyclopedia of real estate and the road map to your community. The content you provide should be a place people can get lost in because the information is that good. When they want a great restaurant, they’ll think of you; when they need a trustworthy plumber, they’ll think of you; when they need anything, they’ll think of you because you’ll have become the “mayor” and connector of your community.
Convert browsers into buyers by creating interest because you provide relevant content that creates a lead. Then you keep giving that person valuable information, and when they are ready to buy, you’ll be their hero.
Create evergreen content — content that gets bookmarked and won’t expire. Content that generates web traffic should attract, educate, establish you as an expert, build buzz, build a fan base, inspire and give hope. You want your target audience to have the opportunity to get involved, ask questions and become fearless because of their new information arsenal.
And another thing: Let them get to know you. Be someone who is in their living room, at their office or with them at Starbucks. Make sure they know you, trust you and like you.
Know who you’re talking to
Develop a buyer profile for who you are selling to so that your content remains perfectly tailored. Know their needs, wants, likes and pain points. Be familiar with different personalities in your target audience too. Listen, watch, look online, talk to people. Eavesdrop at Starbucks. Check out the language used on social sites (it will tell you a lot about your customers).
Your audience determines your voice, but be authentic and have opinions. You are not going to be everything to everybody so be you and attract the people who will relate to you. Don’t give cookie-cutter information — be unique, transparent and show your value to the consumer. Be real.
Before you start shooting new videos, writing new blogs and dreaming up new campaigns, look at what you already have in each category and demographic you want to focus on. Great content does not have a shelf life — it’s timeless. Don’t look at a single campaign or season — think about what is important to people who buy your product and what they need before, during and after the transaction.
Take your content and give it many lives: a blog can become a video, an email, a newsletter, an article, a handbook, a white paper and a meme!
Scheduling your content
Create a publishing schedule. I borrowed this one from Russell Sparkman of FusionSpark Media and tweaked it a bit — you can tweak yours to suit your personal needs too.
The 1-7-30-4-2-1 editorial calendar
- 1: Daily Post one social media update every day that offers something of value. Look for news items that are relevant to your people. Link to these on your Twitter or Facebook and hashtag about them or tag people you think would appreciate them. You can use Inman for news or set up Google Alerts to provide you with a stream of relevant content to share. Discuss comments left on your blogs or posts, and ask for engagement.
- 7: Weekly
- One new blog post (or more if you can manage it)
- Short video(s) of something interesting but with no producing value or editing
- How-to video(s), article(s), blog(s) or a manual
- Participate in discussion groups or forums where your audience will be
- Update one page or section of your website
- 30: Monthly
- Interview, research, write on a topic at a deep level
- Email newsletter
- Short 2-3 minute video on relevant, evergreen topic
- Video of success, client testimonial, proof piece giving talk
- Live event meetup homebuyer support group, new loan products, state of the market with experts
- Contribute a guest post to another blog or publication (for example, I write for Inman)
- Customer success story
- 4: Quarterly
- 2-1: Bi-annual and annual content
- This is something that is part of what you do all year and is a sum of the parts.
- Do a virtual series on topics of interest each week so that you can announce the series one or two times per year and keep the engagement.
- Have a meeting of key people in your city and speak about a topic of great importance and record it.
- Post an annual report
- Update your web presence with a new story, app or game — and remember that you should be very creative and while sticking to what is important to your audience.
- Make it funny, educational, engaging, shareable and multi-pronged.
Here is my simple schedule:
- 1: Daily
- Instagram (twice)
- Facebook (twice)
- Respond to others content and share it
- 7: Weekly
- One blog
- One video show: “Friday facts”
- 30: Monthly
- Interview local business or report on a hot topic
- Turn that into a podcast
- Success piece: client testimonial experience
- Interview local business or report on a hot topic