“You should try content marketing for real estate.”
This is the kind of recommendation you might have heard in different variations already.
But how do you do it for your real estate business?
It’s still a time consuming endeavor that doesn’t get you results as quick as, for example, paid traffic methods. And not knowing how to do it in an efficient and effective way can make you lose a lot of time and money, leading to poor or no results at all.
You don’t want to spend months and months on creating content and, in the end, the only thing you hear is “crickets”.
In this article, I’ve already covered how content marketing, which is sometimes called “free traffic” compares to paid traffic methods.
According to a study carried out by a great software provider for content creators called SEMRush another of the major challenges for most is creating content that generates quality leads (54%), content that attracts more traffic (52%), and developing content that resonates with their target audience (45%).
So, as if content creation isn’t laborious enough, now it also needs to somehow generate quality leads, attract more traffic, and resonate with your target audience at the same time?
Wow, a lot of things seem to have to come together to make this work.
But no worries, in today’s first article of a two part series, I will try to get you clarity on content marketing for real estate, so you can increase the effectiveness of this marketing method for your business.
So, What Is It and Why Is Everybody and His Uncle Recommending Content Marketing for Real Estate Companies?
There is a nice definition from the Content Marketing Institute about content marketing, and it goes like this:
“… 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.”
What you might add here is that it’s a long game aiming to build a quality relationship with your target audience by creating relevant content.
And a long game means usually consistency over a longer period of time.
It also means that you can’t test new offers you are providing short term as fast as with paid traffic methods.
Not without reason, I came to the following conclusion in this past article of mine (providing that you start out with content marketing and don’t have a seasoned website with already a high domain authority that ranks fast):
“You need to invest the minimum of at least six months of constant content production and promotion until you get sufficient market data to test whether what you offer converts.”
So, it’s not generating content today and doing deals and/or getting paying real estate customers tomorrow.
In this context, it is not even a bad idea to combine paid advertising campaigns with content marketing to reduce your ad spend (e.g. costs per click) when connecting, for example, a landing page you send your paid traffic to with a newsletter you send out on a regular basis (content) as part of your real estate sales funnel .
But that’s food for another topic and article in the future.
As you may see already, doing content marketing for real estate is not limited to one type of format.
You can use it with different formats (written, audio, visual, etc.) using different platforms to distribute your content (e.g. a newsletter, video platforms, etc.).
So the last two paragraphs already went a bit into the answer of why.
Further answers to the question “Why to do content marketing” are the following:
- It improves brand reputation and helps in building trust
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and 72% state that it increases the number of leads
- According Lyfe Marketing, 78% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads
- Again according to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of online consumers in the U.S. decided to make a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog
- It improves your search engine optimization efforts, so you get found on the organic search results of Google
- It can be a cost-effective way to bring in new leads
- It helps your business to showcase your expertise
- It makes it easier to set yourself apart from your competition
- Content can be used to support any other digital marketing strategy (e.g. recycling articles for a newsletter autoresponder campaign, etc.)
Where Does Content Marketing Even Come From?
You might think that content marketing is something that came only “recently” with the rise of the Internet. But that’s not the case.
The shocking truth is, it has been around quite a long time already.
It was first used by Benjamin Franklin in 1732, when he started publishing the first version of his Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his new printing business.
So, already for decades, different kind of businesses aim to attract attention and generate new customers by creating free or cheap content.
Another example is a lifestyle magazine for farmers called “The Furrow” by John Deere that was first published in 1895.
And there are many more examples, such as Safari Cards from 1978.
It’s Not All Sunshine and Roses – Content Marketing for Real Estate Challenges
After reading all the pros to this point, you might think: “Well, I guess I should get started or do more content marketing.”
But it’s not all sunshine and roses.
So let’s give you some cons of content marketing and then also what challenges and pitfalls you might want to consider.
9 Cons of Content Marketing for Real Estate
- It can take quite a while to see results. If you just get started, you will probably have to wait between six and twelve months until you get out of Google’s sandbox and start getting organic ranks.
- It’s not free. If you don’t have the time available to create content yourself (because you are busy doing deals or showing houses) it could mean investing in an in-house content marketing team or an outsourced freelancing team.
- It’s not easy to manage, because managing creative people can be a challenge in itself.
- You will need a lot of creativity, and thus it can be difficult to find new content ideas on an ongoing, long-term basis (this article might compensate for this disadvantage a bit though).
- Measuring the results can be difficult without having created a system with clear metrics, good tracking, and more.
- It changes rapidly, especially the Google algorithm. So your organic rankings will not be set in stone.
- It’s not easy and is in fact hard work, since you will need a substantial amount of organization to manage an intelligent content marketing strategy.
- It can be expensive if you go for video, visual, or audio (Podcast) content.
- You will still need to promote your content, especially in the beginning, meaning paid advertising, etc.
The Content Marketing for Real Estate Challenges
Now let’s get to the actual challenges that content marketers face today in 2020 and look at some stats.
This situation is quite similar to the challenges for content marketing in the real estate industry, as you will see later.
We can first take a look at a statistic from the Content Marketing Institute showing anticipated content marketing priorities for 2020 in separate and unrelated polls.
Fifty percent of content marketers want to improve the quality and conversion of audiences, while another fifty percent wants to focus on the quality and quantity of content, and forty percent wants to increase their audience.
By logic, we can deduct that many are not happy with the quality and conversion of their audiences, the quality and quantity of their content, and their audience size.
The statistics of SEMRush come to similar results and confirm the above conclusions (also separate polls).
According to their statistic, the three biggest challenges are:
- Creating content that generates quality leads (54%)
- Creating content that attracts more traffic (52%)
- Developing content that resonates with the target audience (45%)
They also polled how they aim to overcome these challenges and come to these results:
- Leveraging website analytics tools, SEO tools (73%)
- Social media posting (67%)
- Email marketing software (57%).
- Only 9% of the respondents made use of an integrated content marketing platform to achieve their results
Now let’s look at what I found as challenges regarding content marketing for real estate.
According to the Digital Marketing Community, for 46.4%, it’s creating high-quality leads, for 24.9% it’s finding the right marketing tools, and for 23.4%, it’s converting leads into new business.
Just by looking at the first challenge from the SEMRush polls and the first one from the Digital Marketing Community poll, we can see an overlap and confidently conclude that creating high quality leads with content marketing is likely also a challenge for the real estate industry.
Real estate content marketing can be a great approach to grow your business and create more leads.
However, not every piece of content is created equal and just putting average content out there might not move the needle sufficiently, revealing the danger of wasting a lot of time and money without getting helpful results.
This can be observed by the current stats of the challenges that exist with content marketing.
To mitigate this challenge and reduce the chances of failure, I will give you some content marketing strategies in my next article. So stay tuned for the second part.
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