Real Estate Content Marketing: What’s Next?
Some real estate content marketers are finding today’s landscape a challenge. That said, everyone in the real estate industry is a content marketer. So what does it take to win?
Content Marketing in Real Estate
Every real estate agent, brokerage, investor, and mortgage loan officer is effectively in the content marketing business. If not actively blogging on real estate websites, all are using social media, and have a brand. Some aren’t seeing the results they anticipated. Others are losing leads because they can’t keep up with the volume.
So what are the best content marketing strategies for real estate professionals?
Is real estate blogging a dead end? Or can new investors and Realtors still win in this arena with the right plan? Which social media sites are worth posting on, or not? What’s Google’s deal? And how can real estate professionals stay ahead of the SEO curve?
On Page vs. Off Page Content
Real estate blogging does work, and it works well. However, it definitely requires a different approach than it used to. It requires different tactics and techniques to work. The biggest challenge that has emerged over the last four years is the sheer volume of competition. There’s just a lot of noise. That doesn’t mean real estate blogging, articles, and other content doesn’t work. It just means that junk won’t fly like it used to. Google won’t stand for it. Consumers don’t have time for it, and it won’t produce the ROI you want.
But a good real estate blog post can go on producing results for 4 or 5 years, and even longer. That’s a pretty incredible ROI. Try to get those results with a direct mail postcard, single cold call, or email.
There is a big choice to make: on site content or off site content? Guest blogging, press releases, and publishing content on other sites like Active Rain, Bigger Pockets, and in the news can help gain visibility and build credibility, but it also provides free content to what is effectively the bigger competition. If you don’t like the fact that Zillow or other sites are squeezing out your presence on the web, stop helping them do it, for free.
It is important to note that you don’t own off-site content. It can get pulled down at any time. Or like Facebook; you could still end up having to pay to get leads from the site and content you invested in building up. In some cases, building your own online real estate from the ground up may seem like it takes longer to gain traction, but it lasts longer, and delivers longer term value, and better ROI. Maybe running ads on those third party sites to bump up traffic to your own content is a better move in the short term.
Buffing up your on-site content doesn’t just have to mean blogs either. Many real estate firms are finding success in building out more website pages. More static pages can help them develop evergreen content that continues to be a great resource for many years. This can include area information, information about the process, and tips and other advice.
Instead of just posting cheap, spam drivel to fill up pages and word counts focus on quality content. Content that will earn you a reputation as a trusted and reliable source. That could be as the go-to source for real estate trends, news, or education. Or it could just be for leads on great house deals, or even just interesting content. If you are able to own this brand positioning, your social media posts will be checked and emails opened. If not, the masses will unsubscribe.
The Problem with Making Google Happy
Real estate content marketers also find they have to walk a fine line in keeping Google happy. The idea is that if real estate professionals do what Google wants, they’ll get more traffic and leads. This is true to some extent, but tailoring everything to Google can also alienate customers and sabotage lead generation. After all; the way real people find, process, and are motivated to take action is a lot different than Google’s computer algorithm.
Driving in tons of traffic is good, but only if it is the right traffic – and only if what they see when they arrive fosters more good actions, or at least return visits. For example; you could post a 10,000 word essay that is full of great keywords and bring in lots of traffic, but if it is just boring or horribly written, regurgitated copy, it is only going to turn people off.
Google is always changing things: changing how it ranks content and changing which types of sites it likes. Now Google prefers longer content, ‘truth,’ and mobile sites. Of course, that doesn’t mean that very short posts, funny opinion pieces, and content that is read by desktop users isn’t effective for actually closing more deals.
The Keys to Real Estate Content Marketing Success
What’s really important to succeed in generating real leads and deals through all of your real estate content marketing is:
- Understand your prospects intimately (what sites, devices, and times are most effective)
- Hone in on your core prospects, not trying to win over the whole world at once
- Maintain trust and value
- Stay focused on the end goal (don’t get lost in the metrics which don’t really matter)
- Focus on quality and engaging content and you’ll always be ahead of Google’s changes