We live in a digital age and traditional forms of marketing are losing relevance. With competitors only a few clicks away your online presence defines your brand. A well-designed website is just the beginning of effectively generating leads online.
Content marketing is the process of creating engaging content that provides value to your reader. It's an ongoing process that is centred around gradually establishing yourself as an expert in your field to create trust with prospective clients.
We receive thousands of marketing messages every day. But good content marketing makes a person stop and think and it ultimately makes your reader more intelligent. It's communicating to your customers and prospects, rather than being a sales pitch. Remember that you are delivering information that makes your buyer or seller more informed. When we deliver consistent valuable information, we're aiming to win loyalty.
When you provide value to your reader you have an opportunity to ask for something in return. For example, you can create an email form on your website to stay in touch or follow up with your new prospect. It's an opportunity to build a large network of loyal followers and build your email list.
Four Benefits of a Solid Content Marketing Plan
1. Brand recognition: Builds trust with your personal brand and establishes you as an expert in the industry and/or in your chosen field such as becoming a hyperlocal neighbourhood expert.
2. SEO: Search engines reward websites that are consistently publishing new content.
3. Social media: Quality content is the foundation of social media marketing. It gives you something to share that people will actually want to engage with.
4. Inbound marketing: Drive traffic to your website through SEO and social media to generate leads.
Four Steps to Curating Great Content
1. Pick a topic and a delivery method that will keep the home buyer or seller informed and educated and possibly even give them a competitive advantage. Real estate consumers are a diverse group, spanning a variety of income thresholds and age groups. You may be targeting a specific area neighbourhood.
There are lots of different ways you can present this material on your website. Here are some suggestions:
- Market reports
- Resources for home buyers and sellers
- New listings
2. Post the content on social media. Share with a photo and link to your website and consider the most effective times to post.
3. Consistency is key. Post new content at least once a week. Google needs to know that your website is an authority for local information.
4. Be original. Brainstorm topics that would be of interest to your target demographic. Better yet, ask questions! Don't copy content directly from others, as search engines will penalize you.
Target Your Audience
If you are marketing to a certain age demographic your content should be tailored to their needs and concerns related to home buying and selling.
Generation Y (ages 32 and younger)
New to the real estate market, they need help understanding the buying and selling process. Typically they are concerned about commuting and access to public transit. One idea is to create a first time homebuyers guide for new homebuyers in the area explaining the process from start to finish and including community and transit information and amenities.
Generation X (ages 33-47)
Gen-X buyers usually have children so school catchments are a top factor in their choice of neighbourhood. Gen-X buyers are the group most likely to buy a fixer-upper or a home they can renovate. Provide information about schools in your area, community centres, sports leagues and renovation costs.
Late Baby Boomers (ages 48-57)
Late baby boomers are the empty-nester generation, but not all of the kids are leaving for good so they may be considering downsizing, but they still need a guest bedroom and one for "rebounding" children. One study found that 21% of late baby boomers have a second home and 13% said they owned one or more investment properties so providing information about these two opportunities makes sense. They usually have lots of equity, good earning power and may buy a smaller home, but for more than their current home is worth.
Early Baby Boomers (ages 58-66)
Early baby boomers are increasingly interested in townhouses and condos and are more likely to want to be closer to amenities like shopping and restaurants. They are more likely to move completely out of the neighbourhood they have lived in for years and change their lifestyle to a more urban one. They are not used to the urban areas and need to learn a lot about the different areas, buildings and strata bylaws.
Silent Generation (ages 67+)
The so-called Silent Generation have 100% equity in their homes and can pay cash for whatever they want. If they are buying a home, they are concerned about access and stairs and might want to add features that make life a little easier. They often move into a townhouse or condo, but if they are still entertaining friends and family they will want a house, but something 2,000 square feet or less with an easy-care garden. This group needs information about small homes and offering tips for getting the most out of limited living space.
Content marketing is not a race. It is a slow, methodical process that is used to establish yourself as an expert in your field, establish trust with prospective clients and bring visitors to your website that may one day be clients.