Here’s the problem with nearly all articles promising to offer you real estate content marketing ideas . . .
They offer lists (sometimes really long lists) of disjointed content ideas that are meant to help stimulate the creative side of your brain about the types of content you can create—blogs, videos, newsletters, and the like.
But what they rarely focus on is the marketing side of content marketing.
(An interesting sidebar: as a keyword, “real estate content ideas” ranks higher in Google Ads Keyword Planner than does “real estate content marketing ideas.” I think you see my point.)
With the bulk of these articles, you’re given lots of content types into which you need to put actual content, but you’re given little guidance about how to distinguish content that will attract leads from content that only takes up space.
What these articles lack, and what you need, is a clear connection between marketing and content creation. In other words, you need a content marketing strategy that will help guide your thinking and ensure that the content you create engages your audience, has value for the people you are trying to attract, and can produce leads more likely to convert.
At ReminderMedia, we call that strategy “The 3 Es,” and it rests on content that:
- entertains, and
Using this three-part strategy, you can take a multitude of content ideas for real estate buyers and sellers and position yourself as the trusted subject-matter expert in your local market.
Before taking a deeper dive into The 3 Es, let’s be sure you fully understand what we’re talking about when the topic is content marketing.
What is content marketing?
According to the experts at the Content Marketing Institute:
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.
Let’s pick this definition apart and tease out its meaning and consequences.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach.
This means you should have a goal for your content and a plan by which to reach it. It also means you should measure the outcome or results of your content marketing; otherwise, you won’t know what’s working and what needs to be rethought.
Content marketing is focused on creating and distributing content.
There is no rule about what type of content you need to create. Blogs, infographics, videos, ebooks, podcasts, seminars, webinars, newsletters—essentially anything that you can use to communicate qualifies. Your choice of distribution channel is equally egalitarian. You can use the full range of digital and print mediums: email, US mail, YouTube, social media platforms, websites, live presentations—whatever your audience finds most appealing.
Content marketing must be valuable, relevant, and consistent.
Not every idea or piece of content you might create is suitable for content marketing. It may be interesting and of high quality, but if it doesn’t attract an audience, then it isn’t a good choice.
Your content needs to be valuable to the audience it is intended for; i.e., it needs to be useful. “Useful” is shorthand for content that educates, entertains, or endears. Relevant content is timely; it is useful to your audience now. Finally, your content marketing must represent an ongoing, long-term effort to provide valuable and relevant information to your audience.
Content marketing is meant to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
With this part of the definition, you begin to understand the interdependency of the different elements of content marketing. For example, without having a clear understanding of who your audience is, you won’t know what type of content they will find valuable and relevant. Consequently, before engaging in any content strategy, you need to thoroughly define your ideal client or avatar, including their pain points.
In an interview on Stay Paid, Michelle Williams provides an excellent description of what you need to know about your avatar. In addition to the typical demographics (age, gender, occupation, etc.), she argues that you also need to know your avatar’s geographics (where you are likely to reach them) and psychographics (how they think and feel).
Content marketing is intended to ultimately drive profitable customer action.
This is where agents inexperienced with content marketing suffer their greatest frustration. They don’t understand that content marketing is a long-term game where the first goal is to attract and retain an audience, and the second is to drive profitable business.
It may take years to develop a following and reputation, which is why being consistent in your production of content is critical to your ultimate success. But it’s during that time when prospective clients come to know, like, and trust you so that when they do need you to help them buy or sell a home, you will be the agent they think of.
Why bother with a strategy that delays gratification?
Quite simply, it’s because the days of push marketing are coming to an end. Since Apple has made it almost impossible for marketers to track and retarget consumers, businesses—including real estate businesses—are going to need to pull (attract) consumers to them.
The 3 Es: educate, entertain, and endear
Content that educates is any content that provides information not previously known or understood by recipients. Consequently, any content that answers a question or solves a problem can educate people regardless of whether it comes in the form of a blog, a video, an infographic, a mailer, or something else.
Educational content marketing is sometimes the only type of content marketing a business might produce because it’s that valuable. I’d venture to say that most of the content on the internet is educational content. There is simply no substitute for accurate, timely, and relevant information when you need to answer a question or solve a problem.
As a real estate agent, you have (or can get) expert information that can answer the hundreds of questions buyers and sellers routinely ask their agents. It would be easy for you to select several frequently asked questions and create a piece of content that answers each of them clearly and thoroughly. Make it look attractive, and you can have it live on your website as a piece of evergreen content, or put it on a landing page and use it as a lead magnet.
Content that entertains holds our attention and provides us with a sense of pleasure and enjoyment. Across cultures, humans everywhere find stories and humor entertaining, although what we consider a good story or what we think is funny varies.
The best content is often both educational and entertaining—a story about traveling in a place we’ve never been to is something we can learn from and find interesting. A new recipe can be exciting for someone who enjoys cooking and—if it’s a good one—certainly enjoyable for those who like to eat. Our Stay Paid podcast episodes on Thursdays are a combination of education and entertainment as hosts Luke Acree and Josh Stike share great chemistry, and Josh enjoys cracking up our producer, Arielle, with his dad jokes.
What’s especially appealing about content that entertains is it lets you delve into areas outside of business to create more personal connections with your clients and prospects. These are the types of connections that allow people to know, like, and trust you, and social media is a great channel for distributing this type of content. Memes, Facebook photos and stories, and Instagram Reels are all ways of distributing content marketing that entertains.
Some agents have used their experiences to create very entertaining content.
Content that endears demonstrates you’re a business that’s about more than just transactions. At ReminderMedia, we coach our clients to get involved in their communities not only to network but also as a sincere way of giving back. It’s another way that your target market can come to know, like, and trust you.
To create content that endears, consider sponsoring an event, such as a food drive or pet adoption, and then posting pictures of it on your social media or sharing them in your newsletter with a short story. If you’re part of a team, imagine sharing a video of your office working at a volunteer event. And don’t hesitate to share aspects of your personal life—the more real you are as a person, the easier it is for people to relate to you.
If you think about what you know, the activities that make up your days, and what your prospects and clients need and would find valuable, then you’ll invent a stream of real estate content marketing ideas that you can easily use to create marketing content that educates, entertains, and endears.
Best practices for producing high-converting content
In addition to being consistent in the production and sharing of content, I have four best practices I like to share with agents and others who are either taking their first steps into the world of content marketing or who have tried it, but aren’t getting the results they expected and need to do something different.
1. You need to write content that people are looking for
This may seem like common sense, but there are a lot of people writing content for their businesses about things they know and find interesting rather than content that will answer their audiences’ questions.
Here’s the cold, hard truth: internet searching, unlike social media, is intentional. People use Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines because they want a specific answer to a specific question. You can create the world’s greatest piece of content about X, but if the world is looking for Y, then no one will ever see it.
Remember that your content needs to be valuable; it needs to be useful to the people you are trying to reach. And if they are searching the internet, then they are looking for information that will answer questions they have. You will do well if you know what the pressing questions are at the time (use Google Trends to help figure this out) and write the best answers to them.
2. Use SEO
SEO and content marketing strategy go hand in hand, which means if you’re not familiar with search engine optimization, you need to be. We’ve got two helpful articles that you might want to check out:
Of course, there are many more articles and free resources available—just search the internet for “SEO for beginners” and you’ll find guides, blogs, videos, and classes.
Here are a few of my own quick tips to get you started:
- Use a keyword finder tool. Many of these tools are free and will find you the terms people use to find information on different topics. Some popular free tools include:
- Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator
- Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
- Google Keyword Planner (You need a Google Ads account, but you don’t have to purchase any ads or provide any billing information.)
- Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool (You’ll need to set up an account, but, once again, you don’t have to use it.)
- Use your keywords in your title and subtitles. These are among the places where search engines will look (crawl) to determine what your content is about.
- Use your keywords in image captions. Many content writers don’t include captions with their images. Including them in your content will give you a slight edge.
- Use your keywords in your metadescription. This is the short description (usually less than 160 characters) that appears under your content’s title on the search engine results page (SERP).
3. Use all available channels
I know I’ve been talking about content marketing in terms of writing, but there are tons of ways you can create and distribute content. You should focus on one or two and do them well but that said, you want to hit as many of them as possible.
According to Hubspot, video is now the most commonly used format for distributing content, but there are many more formats you can use, including:
- social media
- pay-per-click (PPC) ads
- direct mail
- infographics (Check out these 12 infographic creation tools)
4. Make your content responsive and shareable
Responsive websites can be read easily, regardless of the size of the screen you use to view them. That means the content looks just as neat and clear on a mobile device as it does on a desktop.
It’s exceptionally important that your web design is responsive to ensure a pleasant user experience. If it’s not, you’re going to lose traffic because users won’t have the patience to pinch and enlarge screens just to read your content.
Additionally, nearly seven years ago, desktop traffic took a seat behind mobile and tablet traffic, and it hasn’t had a clear view of the road since. As a result, Google announced it would begin mobile-first indexing, which means Google will use the mobile version of your website page for indexing and ranking, and if your mobile version looks very different from your desktop version, it could spell trouble for your rankings.
Also, when posting content, be sure to include all the necessary social media icons and links so that your readers can easily share your amazingly educational, entertaining, and endearing content with friends and family.
An extra resource
We’ve got a super helpful Stay Paid episode about content marketing I want to encourage you to listen to or watch. It features Dan McGaw, who is a US ambassador of entrepreneurship, and he devotes 100% of his budget to content marketing. You can listen to his interview, but be sure to also read the show notes.
In the show notes, you’ll find detailed information about how to use Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and other Google features that will help you with topic selection and SEO. There’s also a section in the show notes about how to measure the ROI and other relevant results of your content marketing. You should check them out.
Content marketing is an investment that pays off
Why do I call a decision to engage in content marketing an “investment?”
First, there is no better way to describe the significant time and effort you can put into developing strategic content.
Second, like a lot of financial investments that take time to return dividends, content marketing takes time to develop a following that will know, like, and trust you. But when they do and the time arrives when they need your expertise and services, yours will be the name they remember.
Third, also like a lot of financial investments that allow for compound interest, there is the potential for compounding interest among your followers. When someone finds a piece of your content marketing valuable and they share it with their sphere, and then those people share it with their sphere, awareness of your brand spreads exponentially.
Finally, developing content—like buying stocks—should be considered an investment and not an expense. Content marketing is something you do for your business to help it sustain long-term growth.
But now let’s talk about the benefits that a consistent, sound content marketing strategy provides:
- Content marketing enhances brand awareness. The more content you produce and the more channels you use to distribute it, the more omnipresent your brand becomes. The more familiar to people you become, the more they can get to know you and the more they will begin to trust you.
- Content marketing establishes you as an expert. You want to become the subject matter expert of real estate in your community. Provide excellent information, be visible where it matters, develop relationships and stay in touch with your clients and prospects, and they will come to you when they need to buy or sell a home.
- Content marketing can be highly efficient. You can create one solid piece of content and then repurpose it in numerous ways. This blog, for example, can be cut up into smaller articles and reposted. Key statements can be pulled and placed on social media. A podcast episode might be recorded that shares the key points. The point is you can put in some work at the beginning and then use the content multiple times in multiple ways to keep your brand in front of your target market.
- Content marketing can produce warmer leads. Because they have shown interest, people who interact with your content represent higher-quality leads often at a lower cost than other lead-generation tactics.
We’ve covered what content marketing is along with its essential features and goals; how the entire range of possible content ideas for real estate agents can be used to create content marketing that is educational, entertaining, and endearing; some best practices; and why content marketing is best thought of as an investment in your business that produces solid benefits.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is—especially if you follow what I’ve discussed here. Given how busy agents typically are, it’s understandable if you don’t have the resources to create and conduct content marketing campaigns, but that’s no reason to miss out on the benefits.
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