Content marketing is counterintuitive.
It’s promotion that doesn’t explicitly promote you. Instead, you provide information—blog entries, social media posts, videos, fliers, emails—that people find useful, and those materials create interest in your real estate services.
Content marketing isn’t hard to do, but doing it well takes effort. According to the LinkedIn Content Marketing Report, 72% of businesses like yours that use content marketing have a content strategy. What’s wrong with the other 28%? They may not understand the power of content marketing or perhaps gave it a try without a clear strategy for success.
Without a plan, you’re spraying content to the world, hoping for a few leads. Improve your odds by following these tips to generate a plan that benefits your business.
People spend an average of 1.7 seconds looking at a piece of content on their phone
Whether it’s online or in print, there’s no lack of content in the world. If you get someone to notice your marketing, how will you get them to read it?
Your marketing should engage and maybe even intrigue the reader. To do that, you must come up with potential content ideas.
Generating ideas can paralyze even professional writers, but content generation doesn’t have to be painful.
Follow the popular advice “write what you know” and create a list of topics where you have expertise.
Remember, they don’t have to all be related to real estate.
People respond to stories, so find ways to turn your topics into stories. For example, if you love to visit barbecue restaurants in your area, don’t simply list the best ones; tell the story of the time you first visited your favorite barbecue spot.
Also keep in mind that most of your ideas have been done before—and that’s OK. Look at other people’s content for inspiration and put your personal spin on them. Or build on their work with commentary.
Content marketing—all marketing, really—works best when you plan and invest in your efforts. Give your audience information that interests them that you can provide—without selling yourself. Eventually, you’ll benefit from being a trusted source.
More than half of all web traffic is on mobile devices
Make it readable across platforms
You’ve put in a lot of effort to create great content. Don’t lose people because they can’t read it.
If an infographic that looks great on your desktop displays as too big or too small in an email, your audience will delete the message without reading it. Likewise, photos you include in social media posts might get stretched, compressed, or otherwise sized wrong. Even your website can be mobile-unfriendly.
Avoid losing people to technical difficulties by testing your content marketing. Email marketing tools have preview functions for various email clients and mobile devices. And social media channels let you look at mobile and desktop previews for ads and paid posts. You can also use free web services that show you what your website will look like on different phones and tablets.
Email is 40 times better at customer acquisition than social media
Source: Campaign Monitor
Track your results
You don’t have time to carry out effective content marketing on 17 platforms, and you probably don’t know which ones are most effective to your sphere. Start with ones you’re most comfortable with; maybe you send emails, post on Facebook, and mail postcards to your farm area.
Whatever methods you use, set up some manner of tracking any contacts generated from your efforts. For example, use an email marketing program that tracks clicks in messages; click the Insights button in Facebook or similar analytics functions in other social channels for data on how many people are seeing your posts; and advertise a landing page on your fliers.
After marketing on these channels for a period of time, review your results. For example, compare the clicks to your website from email messages to clicks on social media posts. The amount of time needed to establish usable results depends on how often you’re putting out content and how many channels you’re using for your marketing. You need to try an approach for weeks or maybe even months before you try something new.
What do those numbers mean?
See how your marketing efforts are working by checking the available data from the communication platform you’re using. Here are some common metrics.
Keep in mind that no data is 100% correct. For example, an email that displays in the preview pane of your email program may be tracked as an “open,” even if you took no action and didn’t read the message. But it’s useful to compare statistics like “opens” over time to see trends.
You’ll need a Facebook Business Page (free) to access the platform’s Insights tool. Two of the more useful data points in that tool are reach and engagement. Reach is the number of people who’ve had any post from your page displayed on their screen; it doesn’t mean anyone saw it, just that it was displayed. Engagement is the number of times people interacted with your posts through reactions, clicks, comments, and shares.
The Tweets menu on the Analytics page of the Twitter website gives you a good overall look at which of your tweets are most popular. The impressions column shows the number of times a tweet was displayed in users’ feeds, and the engagements column counts the number of times users interacted with that tweet—clicks, retweets, replies, follows, and likes.
Instagram only displays Insights for business profiles, and it’s easy to convert your Instagram account to a business profile. Then you’ll get access to data on your followers, posts, and stories. You’ll get impression, reach, and engagement data similar to Facebook’s.
If you use an email marketing program, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, or VerticalResponse, take a look at your open rate and click rate. The open rate tells you how many recipients opened your message, while the click rate shows how many people clicked a link in your message.