By Jackie Berg, Onboard Informatics
Hold the toasts – there’s plenty of work to be done. Your brand is now a publisher and your target audience awaits your contribution to helping them make better choices.
Behold the newest industry buzzword: content marketing. In other words, it’s about taking your brand’s story and turning it into action with your audience in a way that fosters constant connection. With the average buyer cruising through the research phase for three months, your database of buyers is likely to tune out your message until they’re ready. If you turn your expertise into relevant content that can help your buyer at various stages of the buying cycle, you stay in their sights – and not as an annoying salesperson.
This will be no doubt the last time you will hear this phrase. But there’s good news: is if your brand carries uniqueness and authenticity with it, the ride won’t be entirely uphill. Finding your edge to stay at the forefront of consumers’ thoughts is something you should already be doing. Now it’s about embracing the information thirst that exists and realizing that we all must consider ourselves publishers to survive.
How to craft your real estate content marketing strategy
Ann Handley’s new book, “Content Rules,” outlines a fantastic strategy for any brand, and rule #1 is to embrace being a publisher. This is where the plan derails for most people – especially when the ‘busy’ wall goes right up.
It’s true that huge consumer brands can pay for content strategists and storytellers. So if you don’t have the time to think of yourselves as a publisher, you need to find sustainable and crafty ways to turn your existing content into your editorial assistant.
Good content is created with intent. So don’t create just to create, or rehash just to rehash. One gut check for any piece of content: is it contributing to the noise or meeting an extremely targeted need?
Here are 5 actionable ways you can do this right now (keeping in mind these should not limit your creativity by any stretch of the imagination):
1. Send e-alerts or postcards to non-prospects on home sales trends in their community so you’re top of mind when they want to list their home
2. Get close to consumers’ needs with neighborhood profile pages
3. Turn neighborhood stats into rich, visually-appealing content as our client Coldwell Banker has done to drive traffic as part of their Best Places campaign.
4. Go beyond the numbers and build trust by fusing data-driven insights with brand personality and local expertise (as our client Halstead has done)
5. Set up a ‘look what’s open in your area’ blast based on local points of interest changes
There are a variety of reasons it may take homebuyers many weeks and months to settle on their decision. Getting them at the right time with the right message has become harder than ever. Those that become advisers will win.
Since 2001, Onboard Informatics has transformed complex real estate data into content-based tools that foster human engagement and accelerate business across web and mobile platforms.
For more information, visit www.onboardinformatics.com.
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