Chances are you’ve heard about this thing called “content marketing”. But as with what typically happens when a buzz phrase hits the industry, there are many myths and misnomers about what content marketing actually is.
In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we explore the benefits of content marketing, how to apply the core tenets of content marketing in your real estate business and the challenge moving forward for those who don’t.
Chances are you’ve heard about this thing called ‘content marketing’. But as with what typically happens when a buzz phrase hits the industry, there are many myths and misnomers about what content marketing actually is.
In his book Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, describes content marketing as “the art of communicating with your clients and prospects without selling and instead of pitching your services, you are delivering information that makes consumers more intelligent or perhaps entertaining them to build an emotional connection”.
Joe continues by adding “the essence of this strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to clients and prospects, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty”.
During our recent Digital Marketing Essentials workshops around the country I’ve been speaking a lot about a traditional sales funnel and where I believe most real estate agents spend their time. If you think of the sales funnel analogy, there’s a reason why it’s wider at the top. Quite simply, it’s because there are far more people there. Unfortunately, it’s not where the majority of real estate agents spend their time.
If you think about all of the marketing we do as real estate professionals – everything from cold calling, letterbox drops, DL cards with “just listed” or “just sold”, door knocking, banner ads on our major portals and signage in our local market, just to name a few – it is all focused on driving new business. These activities are considered bottom-of-the-funnel activities and under the presumption that everyone is ready to sell or buy real estate.
In 2015, there were 2.24 million real estate related searches on Google every month that did not necessarily relate to buying or selling but rather people wanting to know “how long after settlement can I move in”, “how long is the cooling-off period when buying a house”, “what happens in a multiple offer situation”, “how long after I move out before I get my bond back” or “how much do real estate agents charge”.
The millions of people asking these questions are at the top of the funnel.
If you type these questions into Google, chances are it’s not a real estate agent who is answering them. Typically those who are creating content for the top of the funnel are publishers, our major portals or organisations such as the REIs.
But here’s the thing – they are not the best people to be answering these questions. You are.
You are the one with the real insights. You are the one who is asked these questions on a daily basis. The opportunity for real estate agents who are creating content for the top of the funnel is that very few other agents are.
Many agents believe that blogging is content marketing but the reality is that blogging is only a tool, content marketing is a mindset.
I’ve met many agents who tell me that blogging doesn’t work and my response is always the same – your content probably isn’t good enough.
It’s deeply ingrained in us as real estate professionals from the day we start in this industry that a call-to-action must be on every piece of marketing we do, asking for the business. I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t need to be the case. Instead, what about asking your website visitors to leave a comment about something they’d like to know more about when it comes to real estate? Or offering them access to a selection of guide books with inherently helpful information relating to their problems?
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time for sales collateral and benefit marketing, and customer testimonials about why you are so awesome. If you are like most real estate agents, you have plenty of that content.
The problem with that type of content is that it is only critical when your prospect is ready to speak to an agent. What about the other 99 per cent of the time when they aren’t ready to pick up the phone and speak to a salesperson? This is where content marketing kicks in.
Remember, content marketing is not just a blog, social media post or video about your agency – it’s “the art of communicating with your clients and prospects without selling and instead of pitching your services, you are delivering information that makes consumers more intelligent or perhaps entertaining them to build an emotional connection”.
That’s the difference between content marketing and, quite frankly, all of the other informational garbage you get from real estate agents who are only focused on the bottom of the funnel.
The opportunity for you is to attract and delight an audience at the top of the funnel where there are more people, fewer agents, and to inspire your audience to do something today that they wouldn’t have done yesterday.
That is what content marketing is all about.
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