If you have spent any time at all learning about online marketing, you have probably heard the phrase “content is king”. But what exactly is content, and how can you use it to grow your real estate business?
Who am I speaking to?
Before you can understand how to create great content, you have to understand who you are writing content for. You can learn more about brand building here, but for now, when writing content, consider who your ideal client is. Are they are first time buyers? Do they want to live in a condo? Maybe it’s as simple as wanting to live in a specific county. Identifying demographics of your particular buyer is identifying your buyer persona. Once you’ve identified your buyer persona, spend some time thinking about what kinds of problems they may be facing. If you are relocation specialist, buyers may be facing the problem of learning their new surroundings. Families with young children will be looking specifically at school districts. Knowing what problem your buyers are facing and how you help them solve that problem is an incredibly important part of creating excellent content.
What is content?
Think about the last email you received from a company, or the last link you clicked on from social media. Chances are, you were exposed to some type of content. Content comes in endless amounts of forms - think videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies, webinars… the sky is the truly limit. Any platform you can think of that successfully tells your story to potential clients can be considered content. Again, think of your buyer persona here. What vehicle will be most effective in delivering your unique message to your specific market? Video has recently become an incredibly popular form of content delivery, but it’s possible that video isn’t best for your target market.
Types of Content
You now know all about what content is, but how does that relate to your bottom line? When buyers find your content, they are engaged in one stage of the buyer journey.
You must consider all three stages of the buyer journey when creating content.
Clients in the awareness stage are becoming aware of their problem- your clients might be realizing that they want to live in a different area, or that they should buy real estate as part of their investment portfolio. Think back to identifying your buyer persona- what is their unique problem? Generating content that helps your target market become aware of their problem is the first piece of the content equation. For example, a listicle entitled “10 Signs You Are Out Growing Your Starter Home” may help potential buyers realize that they are running out of space in their current home.
Here is where your clients begin to consider the solution to the problem they identified in the awareness stage. These clients are interested in educational content to help them arrive at a decision. Consider hosting homebuyer webinars, partnering with vendors to provide information about mortgages, and any other sort of content that would assist clients in making a decision. It’s worth noting that in this stage of the buyer journey, you want to be careful about being salesy. Focus on creating content that provides education to a client rather than worrying about selling yourself as a solution to the problem. Providing content that is trustworthy and delightful is more important in this stage of the buyer journey than closing the deal.
In this stage, clients are making decisions on how to solve the problem they’ve identified in the awareness stage. This is where it is okay to sell yourself. Potential clients need to know how you able to solve their unique problem. You should focus just 30% of your content on this category. Try posting client testimonials or statistics from recent sales. Remember, your ultimate goal with content writing is to help your buyer solve a problem. It can be tempting to publish content purely for those in the decision stage, but without content geared towards buyers in all stages of the journey, it is unlikely that you will close any deals at all from your content strategy.
Regardless of who your buyer persona is, planning content is key. There are many apps and products on the market that help you with content planning; regardless of what you choose, know what to post and when is a vital part of having a content strategy. When planning, remember the magic content ratio:
Keeping to this ratio will help you move potential clients through the stages of the buyer journey, and ultimately is the sweet spot you want to aim for when planning your content.