What Is Content Marketing And How It Can Help Your Business
Content marketing is big in the world of marketing right now. In this post, we will look at some simple ways that estate and letting agents can use content marketing successfully too.
First of all .... if you’re not too sure .... what exactly is content marketing?
A simple comparison is this: Conventional marketing involves placing advertisements in the media telling potential customers what product you sell or what service you provide. Content marketing on the other hand involves pushing out interesting and useful information about the industry you’re involved in. Then including your advertising message discreetly within that content.
While conventional marketing is a very direct, in-your-face method content marketing is much more subtle. Many marketeers believe that this soft-rather-than-hard-sell approach works much better today, in times when consumers are absolutely inundated with advertising.
So what different types of content marketing can estate and letting agents use?
There is offline content marketing. That might be something like putting a property-related article or news story in a newspaper or magazine.
There is online content marketing. That could include something like running a blog with blog posts offering useful information and news on property topics.
There is social media content marketing. Social media is perhaps one of the most exciting kinds of online content marketing. You can post useful content to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram which also include your marketing message.
Written, photo or video content marketing. Many people think of content marketing as being mainly written material, but photos, videos and even other visual content like graphics, charts/tables and even cartoons can be content marketing too. They’re easier to create and use and potentially can be much more powerful.
Next let’s look at some ways of using content that are particularly suitable for estate and letting agents:
Set up a blog (if you don’t already have one) and post content to it regularly. These posts could be local property market reports, property market news, useful how-to tips or perhaps a write-up and pics of a featured property.
If you use social media, use it to promote your blog posts.
Send news to newspapers and magazines with property sections, to local area websites and to property industry websites. For example, have you noticed prices/rents in your area are rising/falling? Or that some types of property are more in demand? What do you think about the latest interest rate change etc.? Have you got some tips for buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants in the current market? Write it up as a short news story and send it out to relevant publications and sites.
You could even offer these places a regular property news or opinion column.
Publish a regular property market report. Create a weekly or monthly report about your local sales or letting market. Add some market statistics from other sources – for example, price and rent statistics from HM Land Registry, Rightmove or Zoopla etc. Add your own thoughts and comments and some pics. Publish your report on your website so visitors can download it and also send out to the media.
Not only can this be a good form of content marketing it can also be a good way of getting your name established as the local property expert.
Take photos, photos and more photos. A picture paints a thousand words, so goes a well worn old phrase, but in the digital age it’s more true than ever. Photos are easy to take and people love to view, comment on and share photos. Get into the habit of photographing anything and everything you can. For example, places or amenities in your local area and local events. Plus with your client’s agreement property exteriors and interiors, especially if they are unusual or especially interesting in some way. Post your photos to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and photo sharing sites like Instagram.
Create and use videos. These could be tours of your local area, weekly/monthly updates of your local property/letting market or even tours of properties you have for sale or rent (if your client is agreeable). Set up a YouTube channel and post them there and also link to them from your website and other content marketing.
Write a book! This is a type of content marketing that involves more work and a longer-term commitment. But think about writing a book about the property. For example, about your career in estate/letting agency (autobiographies can be a kind of content marketing too) or tips and techniques for buyers, sellers, other agents and so on.
Writing a book is a great way of getting yourself known as THE property expert and bringing valuable publicity, even if actual sales aren’t that high. Find a publisher or publish yourself online using a platform like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing which also enables you to sell your book on Amazon.
Make use of review sites. You might not realise it but reviews are a kind of content marketing and can be very effective – they often get found in online searches and often get shared. So sign up to review sites like Trustpilot or Feefo and encourage customers to review you.
Do be aware that, just as good reviews can be good content marketing, any negative reviews you receive could have a negative impact too.
One last and very important tip when using content marketing: Don’t make it look like an ad. Don’t make it too salesy. The whole point of content marketing is that you are providing useful and interesting property information that people will want to read, use and share. It’s OK to mention whatever you’re selling – whether your estate/letting agency services in general or actual properties for sale or rent – but content marketing works best if you do it in a subtle way.