If you’re ready for some fresh content marketing ideas for real estate agents in 2017, you’ve come to the right place.
In an age when internet noise couldn’t be any louder, it’s no secret that the need for relevant, compelling content is bigger than ever. Early adopters of the strategic approach, better known as content marketing, are engaging their audiences, increasing brand awareness and positioning themselves as real estate industry thought leaders. Personalizing and cultivating meaningful relationships is now the reality of an effective marketing strategy. And in the real estate industry, agents are challenged to create high-quality content that resonates with their clients.
With the increasing number of social platforms for business, it’s more important than ever to build a presence on each channel by developing platform-specific content. And it’s no easy task. Gone are the days when one carefully crafted message could reach the masses. Today, the most successful content marketing tactics resonate with consumers and add value to their lives, winning their loyalty and business over time. Here are five creative real estate marketing ideas for 2017 you likely haven’t tried yet:
1. Write an eBook
eBooks, or an electronic version of a book, are purposely designed for you to download and read on a digital device. eBooks are a unique multi-channel marketing tool because they are the opposite of a hard sell and successfully drive leads with little to no investment from the consumer. They usually exist to offer expertise and often entertainment to your target audience. While drafting your eBook, keep in mind it should not be solely written on your product or services, rather something in the industry you are very knowledgeable about. If you position yourself an as expert on that topic, readers will be more likely to visit your website later on. In addition, a direct call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your eBook is a must or your efforts will be wasted.
Here’s an example of an interactive productivity focused eBook:
Next you’ll need a stellar blog or landing page to publish your eBook on so you can market and drive traffic to generate leads. Best-practices for promotion involve a multi-channel approach including Facebook ads and email marketing. “We developed a very successful email marketing campaign that consisted of convenient snip-its from the book to current customers. Our audience views us as the experts and we’ve seen a very tangible response from our eBook,” explains Paul Moore, author of The Definitive Guide to Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate. eBooks can tremendously help you build brand loyalty so that the next time your audience is ready to buy a house — you’ll come to mind.
2. Create an Interactive Infographic
According to Business 2 Community, research shows the brain—an image processor—is much better at retaining and retrieving information tied to a visual. In the past few years, the use of well-researched and well-designed Infographics (IGs) has drastically increased due to the aid they provide in communication. When these types of visuals appear to the right audience with attention-grabbing graphics and informative content, they resonate extremely well. In addition, they are great pieces of evergreen content and can be used in multi-channel distribution.
Here’s an example of a real estate specific inforgraphic we created:
When creating an IG you should decide on a topic your audience really wants to know about and then conduct primary research via surveys or interviews. For example, you could do research on the financial steps involved in buying a new home. Customization of design is your best bet to stand out, instead of following out-of-the-box design templates. If you have good data and content, you can turn your IG into a white paper, news release or incorporate pieces of it into an email campaign. Lastly, start promoting your content-rich IG via social channels and boosted campaigns. Using relevant hashtags to real estate in your area, of course.
3. Post Snapchat or Instagram Stories
Because the real estate industry is highly visual, content could reach your audience better on Snapchat or Instagram. Deciding which one you should use can be difficult, but contrasting the “stories features” can help you determine where to invest your efforts depending on your strategy and goals. Instagram pictures or videos can be delivered permanently through the feed, or episodically for 24 hours through Instagram stories. Instagram has 75 million active daily users and 53 percent are ages 18-29. In addition, engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook. So, depending on your specific audience Instagram stories might be great to target young adults who want to buy a new home.
Zillow engages their audience with video and conversation starting questions:
Here are some other examples of real estate Instagram accounts we love.
Snapchat promotes timely engagement and audience retention through consistent sharing of snaps, or real-time photos or videos. The app provides no permanent feed, relying solely on 24-hour temporary content posted by users. Filters, customization and branding opportunities vary between platforms. Using stories for your business creates an opportunity to give followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your world. You can create buzz over new listings, show teasers of upcoming developments, host giveaways or celebrate your client’s closings.
The opportunities are endless with Snapchat and Instagram stories, just be sure to have a solid content plan.
4. Shoot and Promote Videos
Video marketing can be a costly expense but real estate agents who are using it to showcase listings are seeing a significant return-on-investment (ROI). According to Inman, 85 percent of buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video. In addition, homes listed with video get four times as many inquiries as those listed without video. Whether you hire videographers, or even use your iPhone 7 wide-angle lens, you can’t afford not to invest in video.
Once you’ve shot and edited your videos, YouTube should be your default upload location. More popular than listing websites, YouTube is now the top video search destination for people who are house hunting. Consider setting up your own real estate channel on YouTube and be sure to use search-friendly keywords or property address in your video titles. Once they are published, you can easily share the videos via your other social networks and embed on your website. Drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, are also a great idea because they can show potential buyers in abundant detail aerial views of the entire property, proximity to amenities and much more. Read more about the use of drones for real estate photography here.
5. Write Storytelling Email Campaigns
The storytelling nature of content marketing is now a strategic priority. Stories humanize your brand, allow you to emotionally connect with consumers and keep them coming back for more. The Science of Storytelling states 92 percent of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story. In order to implement, you must deliver content that is linear and expresses a clear narrative.
Your email marketing campaigns should consist of blog-type content, introducing and developing a story for your intended audience. For example, you could tell the story of a historic neighborhood with a direct CTA to check out listings in the area. Or write about what your new listing means to the generations who have grown up there. Then, you could turn those emails into a blog post. For realtors who don’t maintain an up-to-date blog, these types of emails will connect with existing and potential clients by delivering compelling content straight to their inbox.
Agents who are continuously monitoring user experience get the most ROI out of their real estate marketing efforts. Always have a long-term content plan, backed by research and analytics. Mediocre content might be tempting for a quick fix, but in order to stay competitive and really stand out to your audience, you must be willing to get creative in 2017. By the way, if you could use a hand building your real estate marketing plan, we’re always here to help!