By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
The secrets out – content marketing works. So well in fact, that virtually everyone seems to have hopped on the content marketing train in some way, shape, or form, meaning the amount of content floating around the online universe is exploding at rates that are tough to keep up with. For instance, within the minute that you spent clicking on the link to this blog and reading the first sentence alone, 350,000 tweets were sent. By the end of today, 95 million new pictures and videos will be posted on Instagram. By the end of this month, 79.7 million new WordPress blog posts will be published. Have I scared you away from ever practicing content marketing? No? Good.
Not to worry, the copious amounts of content out there doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create content as part of your marketing strategy. What it does mean is that you have to create better content than your competitors, as well as everyone else competing for your audience’s attention. It’s a big task, as making a statement with content marketing isn’t as easy as simply buying a fancy car or showcasing a new hairdo. Read ahead for some quick tips on how to make the most of it!
Keep it relevant. No blog posts, pictures, or adorable puppy videos (yes, even puppy videos) will be effective in creating your desired ROI unless they relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. If you haven’t already, take the time to formulate clear personas of your target audience. What are they interested in? What are their demographics? What kinds of information might they find useful? Find the topic sweet spots that get people engaged and use them to focus your content.
Visuals are key. You want to catch people’s eyes, so keep things visual. To break out some stats here, articles containing images have an average of 94% more views than articles without images. High quality media is key for strong content creation, so be sure to invest in the resources you need to create it. Videos, images, and charts are all strong performers. Keep in mind that 60% of people will watch a video prior to reading an article if it’s available, so better position them front and center to get people hooked and invested in your content.
Make it a conversation. Engaging with your customers is practically marketing 101. They want to get involved, and encouraging them to do so will only help you become a better agent and a much more effective marketer. Incorporating “ask the audience” style posts will make them more likely to comment and engage with you directly. Creating custom hashtags, polls, and hosting contests are great for engagement as well. Here is a list of even more ideas to keep the two-way conversations going strong.
Straight to the point. Don’t you just hate it when you read an entire article, only to find that it fails to actually contain the kind of information you were looking for in the first place? While creative titles can be fun, make sure that they are informative enough that the reader can feel confident that diving into your post will be worth their time. This can also help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts which, by the way, are definitely worth brushing up on.
Quality over quantity. Similar to the idea of keeping content relevant, keeping your content quality high is a must when it comes to its effectiveness. Instead of publishing content just for the sake of publishing content, ensure that you are creating content that is meaningful and purposeful, and at a pace that people can keep up with. The ultimate goal is to increase conversion rates, don’t forget it.
Get the timing right. To put it simply – there’s a reason we don’t see popsicle commercials in the winter. Timing plays a key role for every business, as you want your content to always fit your client’s current needs as best as possible. Instead of simply guessing when the time is right to reach out to clients with certain kinds of content, utilize data and insights to get it right.
Make it scannable. The reality of today’s mobile word is that we tend to get the bulk of our information while on the go. This means that it’s important to make content scannable, so readers can quickly get to the information they are looking for. Breaking up your content using lists, bullets, and subheadings will help guide the reader through your content with ease and ensure a positive experience that will keep them coming back.
Knowing how to craft your content will help your audience become further invested in you and make them more likely to convert into customers. Instead of focusing on the amount of content you produce, focus on incorporating aspects like these to make your content the shiny penny that can’t be missed!
By Tiana Baur
Time to take the “pitch” out of your marketing strategy. Content is the here and now, and the future of marketing as we know it. Growing your business is all about leads, and attracting said leads comes much easier when leveraging content marketing.
Chances are you’ve heard of content marketing, but maybe you aren’t exactly sure what it entails. According to the Content Marketing Institute, a resource for – you guessed it – all things content marketing, describes it like this:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The general concept behind it, is getting rid of the “pitch” aspect many marketers in the past have come to love. With this style, instead of pitching your real estate services as an agent, you are providing truly relevant and useful content for your prospects and current clients, helping them problem solve and get their wanted information. In doing so, they will keep coming back for the valuable content you’re providing them on your agent website or blog, making their decision to choose you for their next transaction an easy one.
Unfortunately, content marketing takes some work. It takes quality planning and regular distribution of content that builds your brand and your awareness in the market. There are three things you must do in order to have the content marketing foundation that will pay dividends:
1. Start with a content calendar
A content calendar is the engine that keeps your car running. It also keeps you focused, with your eyes on the road, knowing which turns to take and which roads to drive on. A little content here and there isn’t going to give you the leads and return you are looking for. Consistency is key. Building a proper content calendar that fits your schedule and style is essential. If you’re looking for a template, we suggest taking some notes from this one.
2. Create unique, highly shareable content
A content calendar means nothing if the content you’re putting out is total crap, so play to your strengths and your specializations. You can’t know everything about every topic; pick three or four main umbrella topics and build out your content from there. Maybe it’s DIY projects, fixer-uppers, or interior design. Maybe it’s deep market analytics and investment properties. You know you best and you want to be able to talk intelligently about the topics when you meet these potential clients in person.
3. Provide value
This can mean different things depending on your unique audience. Think about who you want to target. Is it the neighborhood you do the most business in? Or first-time home buyers? Whatever your ideal client looks like, focus on them.
At the end of the day, you get out of marketing what you put into it. Content marketing can take more planning, creating, and time in general. However, it is a prime example of quality over quantity and your audience will thank you for it. This is what gives prospects that little extra motivation to do the one thing you want them to: pick up the phone and dial your number.
If you want more info on content marketing, see Content Marketing Institute’s getting started guide.