If you’ve been reading our last two Negotiator articles, we hope we’ve persuaded you that content marketing is the way to go for agents looking to grow a real estate business. Your next question is probably how you go about making content marketing a part of what you do. As with most things, you need to have a strategy.
Whatever your business goals, make them quantifiable.
No two content marketing strategies are the same – they need to be defined by your audience and your goals as well as the environment you operate in, but there are some guiding principles. Here are eight key steps to incorporate into an effective content marketing strategy.
1 Identify your goals
You need to ask what exactly you want from your content marketing strategy – more landlords, more vendors, more buyers on your contact list, or something more specific such as selling all the units in a new development? Whatever your business goals, make them quantifiable – 20 per cent more landlords using your management service, for example. This will help you measure success.
2 Define your audience
Deciding who you are going to target with your content marketing is possibly the most important part of creating your strategy. You may know that it’s vendors, but think about which ones in particular – couples looking to move from flat to house before starting a family; people climbing the ladder from small house to detached property? Then go deeper. Think about their lifestyles, how old their children are, and what their likes and dislikes are. Crucially, you need to understand their pain points, the elements of their property aspirations that really keep them awake at night. We call this defining your buyer personae.
3 Identify the types of content preferred by your audience
Blogs, videos, infographics, checklists, podcasts, social posts… there’s a long list of content types at your disposal. Having defined your buyer personas, you can think about the content they are most likely to consume, according to their age, their concerns, and even their commute.
4 Decide how you will develop that content
Once you’ve decided on the type of content, work out how you will produce it. Some things, like social posts and even blogs, you may be able to create in-house, but in many cases it will make sense to buy in professional help. Skills such as copywriting, video production or recording podcasts require expertise, and spending time crafting content will take your staff away from the business of selling houses. If you do outsource elements of your content strategy, be sure to write a clear brief to get the best from your contractors.
5 Plan the channels you will use
Every piece of content needs a plan to ensure it will reach your target audience. Again, you need to select the channels that your ideal customer is consuming, whether specific social media platforms or Google. You will probably want a package of channels which includes organic and paid social and retargeting – to remind people who have previously visited your website about your brand. List all the channels you will use and plan a timeline of when and how you will employ them.
6 Map out your customer journey
The customer journey is another cornerstone of content marketing. It is made up of eight distinct stages that your ideal customer will travel through as they pass from being unaware of you to a raging fan. These stages go from awareness, and engagement right through to advocacy and promotion and as part of your strategy you need to map them out. Different types of content work at different stages in the journey – blogs and social posts are good for raising awareness, for example. Checklists or places on webinars, given in exchange for contact details, work to cement your relationship with the customer further down the conversion funnel.
7 Get your call to action right to encourage conversion
Every single piece of content in your strategy must have a call to action which prompts your customer on to the next stage in their journey. These can be included in your content or be buttons or pop-ups that attract attention. One of the best things about calls to action is that you can design them to be measurable, with dedicated landing pages to help you track every click.
8 Measure your success
Finally, because measurability is a key element of your strategy, you need to be constantly checking how your content is resonating with your ideal customers and changing if necessary, reinforcing the tactics that work and changing the ones that don’t.
Got a question? Want to discuss your marketing strategy? Contact us at www.artdivision.co.uk