The sales process has changed…
Not too long ago, if a client had any questions they would call their realtor.
They were seen as trusted advisors in their community.
Their knowledge and expertise was crucial to make decisions.
Therefore, they played an important role in the buying/selling process.
However, that’s not the case anymore…
Nowadays, when someone has a question, they look for answers on Google.
A simple search will show thousands of answers tailored to their specific problems.
To make things even easier, Google has an algorithm that gives users the best answers in order.
For the realtor, this has only made things harder.
Clients don’t need you (or look to you) for answers anymore.
If you relied on knowledge and charisma to stand out, you’re in trouble.
However, the smart realtors realized this was an opportunity to scale their knowledge and help more people without any extra effort on their part.
You see… after working in the industry for a couple of years, you probably have a list of questions that get asked all the time.
Instead of repeating the same thing over and over again, all you have to do is create a valuable piece of content that addresses that.
Now anytime your clients need help, they can get that information directly from you, 24/7 and straight from their pocket.
For the people that don’t know you, this is a great way to stand out and make a name for yourself. When they look for answers online, they can stumbleupon your content, get to know you, and reach out.
In this blog post, we’re going to teach you how to:
- Develop a content marketing strategy
- Write attractive content that brings in loads of clicks
- And a create a content promotion strategy that reels in massive amounts of traffic.
So let’s dig in...
What is content marketing
In short, content marketing is when you provide a valuable piece of information to others so they can engage with you.
Your job is to simply help people before asking for the sale.
We like to approach content marketing as “solving problems.”
You simply identify your clients problems and provide a solution.
Think about the modern buying process…
Someone right now wants to buy a house and they don’t know what to do.
They are overwhelmed and look to the internet for answers.
Suddenly, they come across an article called:
“x things you need to know before buying a house”
They read the article, gain clarity on their situation, and feel at ease.
At that end of the article they see a description saying:
“Are you looking to buy a home? Click here to schedule an appointment”
If someone wants to buy a home, read your article, got answers to their questions, and see that you are inviting to get on a call with them (on your schedule), they are probably going to sign up.
This is the power of content marketing.
It’s about attracting the right people to your business through relevant and engaging pieces of information.
Developing your content marketing strategy
There are many goals you can have when it comes to content marketing.
However, based on our 80/20 real estate marketing guide, the most important ones (in this case) are:
- Get traffic to your website;
- Convert that traffic into appointments.
Now, most people are probably not going to be fully ready to do business with you from a simple blog post. And that’s fine.
The majority of people that land on your website will leave and never engage with you ever again,
That’s why you primary goal from content marketing should be to:
- Build an audience
- And establish a relationship with that audience.
This is done by:
- Getting people to your website
- And making them give their email address in exchange for a piece of content.
That’s why people create ebooks, webinars, and other pieces of marketing material.
Their goal is to get your contact information and then touch base with you occasionally to build and strengthen your relationship.
Now, the first step of a great content marketing strategy is to research pain points.
As mentioned before, people flock to the internet to find answers to their problems.
This requires research on your part.
- What are the most frequently asked questions you get from clients?
- What are some of the problems they face throughout the process?
- Go to websites like Quora and search for those questions/problems
- Go to Google and research those problems/questions deeper
- Write down your findings
The things you find will make up the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
You can write content based on each problem you find.
There are so many problems and different ways of doing things, so worry about not having enough ideas for your content marketing.
The next step of this process is mapping out those questions in each stage of the sales process.
There are 3 stages:
- Awareness: someone discovers they have a problem.
- Consideration: they start thinking of ways to solve it.
- Decision: they’re choosing who to do business with.
- Take the topics you gathered and see at which stage they fit in the buying process
How to write your content
Once you have a clear strategy in place, it’s time to write your content.
Now, never has there been a time where publishing content was this easy.
Not too long ago people would only publish content via magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and etc.
It was almost impossible to promote yourself and it required a big budget.
However, thanks to the internet, publishing information has become accessible to everyone.
While this is great news for people who would like to share their knowledge with the world, it’s also a curse.
That’s because everybody can do it!
This is why content marketing has become so competitive.
The internet is now flooded with both good and bad content.
That’s why if you want to succeed in this space, you need to learn how to develop a big idea.
In David Ogilvy’s book “Ogilvy on Advertising”, he states:
“Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”
What Mr. Ogilvy tried to say was you need to stand out.
Everybody is putting out the same, rehashed content, on the internet.
You need to approach things from a new perspective.
Give readers a new angle.
Talk about a common topic in a new way.
The key lesson is: give people something new and valuable.
Before you write a single word, define the big idea you want to convey in your content.
Once you have a central theme in place, the next thing you need to write is the headline.
David Ogilvy also said:
“On average, five times as many people read the headline than the body copy”
“When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”
Once again we see the 80/20 rule in place.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure your headline clearly addresses the problem your readers are facing and the subheadline on how you’ll help them solve it.
Your body copy should have short and punchy sentences and you should also have topics in bold headings (h1,h2,h3), so you can make the articles skimmable.
That’s because most people will take a quick glance at your article and skip to the sections that are most relevant to them.
And finally, always have a clear call to action at the end and make sure your reader knows what to do next.
How to promote your content
Writing your content is half the battle
The next thing you need to do is promote it.
You can have the best content in the world, but is nobody sees it, what’s the point?
That’s why we like to apply the 80/20 rule for content distribution too.
Spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.
That way, you can focus on producing fewer, higher quality pieces of content, and focus the remainder of your time on getting it seen by the right people.
From our experience here are the 3 best ways to do this.
- Audience building: this is when you send your content to your email list. People come to your website, sign up for something free in exchange for their email address, and then you send them your content every time you post it. The good thing about this method is that every time you have something new to share, they’ll receive it in their inbox.
- Content Amplification: this is when you use advertising to promote your content. For a small budget, you can put it in front of the right people. This is a proactive approach to distribute your message and speeds up your results too. Part of your content marketing goals is to get it seen by new people. By promoting it via paid ads, a lot of people that see your content for the first time will likely sign up with their email address too, so this also helps with your audience building.
- Building backlinks: this is when you reach out to people with similar blog posts and ask them to link back to your website. The more relevant links you have, the better. For example: if someone owns a real estate blog, you can reach out and show them how one of your blog posts complement one of theirs, and if they want, they can link back to your website. This will help bring traffic from one website to yours. Not to mention that your rankings on search engines will grow too.
If you’ve managed to read this entire blog post, you now understand more than most real estate agents when it comes to content marketing.
Most advice they’ve seen on the internet are:
- Keep pushing out content 24/7
- Make sure you have the right keywords in your headline
- It takes a long time to start seeing results
- And all these other forms of generic advice…
Content marketing works.
The problem is that most people don’t have the fundamentals down to make it work.
So here’s a quick recap of everything we discussed:
- Content marketing is when you provide valuable information to people for free so they can reach out to you (you’re helping before selling)
- Your goal is to identify their problems and give them solutions through content
- Get them on your email list, build an audience, and develop a positive relationship with that audience (nurture them over time)
- Give away a “big idea” (new and valuable information)
- Headline should address the problem
- Sub-headline should address how you plan to solve it
- Body copy should have short and punchy sentences
- Short paragraphs
- Headlines to make skimming the article easier (h1,h2,h3)
- Clear call to action at the end of your article
- Spend 20% of your time writing the article and 80% promoting it.