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Five Keys to Creating and Distributing Phenomenal Content for Real Estate

February 20 2018

chime creating distributing phenomenal content

1. Why Content Matters

We've all heard the phrase "content is king," but in a world with royalty hanging out on every street corner, that's just not enough. The reality is more like "unique content is emperor." It's a crowded marketplace of ideas and brands, and people only have so much time available to explore what's out there. So it pays to be cranking out content that people really want.

It's been said that the real estate universe is populated by three kinds of business people: those who are not creating any content at all, those who are simply repurposing existing content from scripts and templates provided by leading coaches, and the few who are actually developing new, original, and engaging content. Such material adds value to the conversation and builds the kind of credibility and reputation that results in a growing business.

What Is Content, Anyway?

Content — as in, content marketing — is basically any free information created for the purpose of initiating and developing relationships with your potential or existing customers. It can come in the form of blogs, social media posts, long-form articles, emails, videos, or even eBooks.

Why should a real estate professional like you care about content in the first place? Because content marketing is essential to getting ahead in a crowded marketplace. And it's one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand.

So why is some content amazing, while other content just sits there using up pixels? It's all about originality. Reruns are for 70s sitcoms. New content, or content that conveys established ideas in brand new ways, is the best way to gain positive attention in a crowded market space. "Web marketing is primarily powered by content," says Neil Patel, top influencer and New York Times bestselling author. According to Demand Metric, 80 percent of consumers enjoy custom content and are influenced by it. It also costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, while generating about three times as many leads. You can't ignore numbers like that, and you can't expect to truly influence that large segment of consumers with content that's not unique.

Make no mistake, utilizing existing scripts and templates from top thought leaders and coaches is smart: it saves a ton of time and effort when you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Not everyone has the resources to create powerful content from scratch, and coaches use tried-and-true methods of engaging leads so that you don't have to go through the trouble of proving what works. But in a landscape saturated with marketing communications, your audience is becoming more and more savvy. They can spot material that's been repurposed with a thin veneer of branding tweaks and pumped out onto the web with little thought.

If you weren't already convinced of the high value of quality marketing content, check out this Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics from HubSpot. It's chock-full of pretty astounding data regarding the current state of content!

2. Messaging through Varied Media

You might have heard the old adage, "The medium is the message." Marshall McLuhan, a 20th-century media theory expert, coined the phrase, and it basically means that the medium used to convey a message influences the way the message is perceived. It's not rocket science, but it's important to think about whenever you're creating content.

First question to ask yourself is, What's the best medium in which to present this content? Maybe it's an email. Maybe it's a YouTube video. Maybe it's a tweet, or a postcard, or a Facebook post, or... a mime act. Don't be afraid to try new things, but don't be novel just for the sake of being novel. Sometimes a simple old blog post is what a certain message calls for.

"Make sure you match the message to the medium, always keeping in mind the purpose of the communication and what you hope to achieve," says Matt Murphy, CMO of Chime. "Put yourself in the target audience's shoes: what will get the best response for this message, with this audience? Communication is a transaction — what does your audience really want, and what will they give you in exchange for it?"

Audiences are changing, but they're still diverse in what appeals to them. Many don't have time to read word-heavy blog pieces, but do have the opportunity to listen to podcasts, for example. The Ring in the Sales weekly podcastRing in the Sales weekly podcast is a perfect example of how to play to strengths and weaknesses: real estate agents spend a fair amount of time in the car, so listening to a podcast while driving to open houses or geofarming is an ideal way to multitask.

Your audience may respond well to short YouTube videos that come up in their social media feeds (like the 100 million hours of video watched every day on Facebook), or a digest-style email may be the right touch. It all depends on your goals, and an understanding of your audience's habits and preferences is essential to matching the message to the right medium.

3. Focus on the Audience

We know: not everyone is a writer. Granted, some professionals believe they are great writers, but unfortunately, their perception is often not quite aligned with reality. Writing is a talent and a learned skill that doesn't develop overnight. But even if you can't afford to hire a trained and experienced writer, there are a few tricks you can use to help make your wordsmithing more engaging.

The best thing you can do is to write like a reader. Think about the kinds of things you personally like to read. What attracts your attention at first glance? What hooks you? What keeps you reading? What makes you want more when you're done? What tone of voice do you relate to? Do you like a long-winded academic essay with lots of citations, or do you like to cut to the chase via a snappy infographic? Consider what appeals to you, then write that way. Chances are your audience shares your taste, and even if they don't, your message will be more genuine and authentic if your voice matches your own reading preferences. But keep in mind what people seem to want: for example, longer-form blog content generates nine times more leads than shorter-form pieces.

Next, consider the topics that will gain traction among your target population. Use industry insights and your own experience to generate ideas for content. Identify what the key messages will be:

  • What does your audience currently know?
  • What do you want your audience to know?
  • What do you want them to do as a result of having consumed your message?

Be sure to outline your quality standards: create a basic style guide so that your own content creators, or those you contract with, can identify and understand how you want your brand portrayed.

Also, save time and resources by repurposing content whenever you can, such as rewording an existing blog post to publish in a different venue. According to LookBookHQLookBookHQ, over 60 percent of marketers reuse content two to five times. Just be sure to change up the language enough to avoid getting dinged by Google for duplicate content.

Meanwhile, plenty of content channels involve writing, but writing (and reading) is not everybody's bag — and often it's just not the most effective or efficient mode of messaging. Check out what BombBomb's VP of Marketing Ethan Beute has to say about the power of video over writing.

Putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and keeping in mind these essentials, you'll be better prepared to provide content that really appeals to the right people at the right time as you build relationships and build your reputation.

4. Follow the Leader

It's true: you really don't need to be a professional communicator to create great content—but it's always helpful to turn to those in the business who have paved the way and are breaking new ground. Some of the top leaders in content creation are finding new ways to utilize old media, and transforming their message through new media. They're also constantly thinking of new content topics that are relevant to the current real estate market.

Check out these tips from those in the know:

MARC DAVISON — 1000watt1000watt

For me, compelling content regards information that I, as the reader, will benefit from reading and knowing. Something new that opens up my mind to what I did not know, something that confirms my beliefs with new detail, or something that answers a question, concern or nagging problem. Finally, compelling content is that which offers valuable details or takeaways that enable the reader to execute on the information provided.

TRAVIS ROBERTSON — Robertson Coaching InternationalRobertson Coaching International

To me, compelling content is: valuable or interesting information, a dynamic or relatable messenger, and a unique perspective.

If you only have one of those elements, your content will get lost. With two of the three, you can have great stuff. It must be relevant or interesting to the homeowner/buyer. The person providing the info should be someone they can connect or relate with. And the person should have a unique perspective on the information. There's nothing new under the sun, but how we explain what's under the sun is unique to us.

KELLY LECLAIR — HOM Sotheby's International RealtyHOM Sotheby's International Realty (San Clemente, CA)

Great content is information clients can't get elsewhere that's delivered in an easy-to-understand style. Realtors have access to information, insider tips, gorgeous homes – all things that a potential customer would love to know and see. I believe compelling content educates consumers. It's not all about me – it's about them and what they need to know.

For example, I wanted to do a video showcasing our social media channels and interaction. I started off detailing how great our social media is. Well, that doesn't work! No one wants to hear an ad or how great the agent is. So I rewrote the script to be "3 ways social media helps sell your house." Now I'm giving context to the same content that, instead of sounding like a commercial, offers value to the consumer about real ways that social media helps sell homes.

These tips and insights can help you get more value from the words, images, and videos that help you connect with and serve your prospects and clients. And for even more content insights from more experts, check out this BombBomb article and video.

5. Tools for Success

If you want to stay ahead of the curve and engage audiences with truly compelling content, you have to be aware of the latest tools and know how to use them. When we talk tools, we're talking stuff for content creation and the things that help you distribute it. You need to stay on top of the technology used for producing great messages and the best channels for broadcasting your content to the world (or to a narrow sliver of the world you're targeting).

Since the average reader only spends 37 seconds reading an article or blog post (hey, thanks for sticking around, by the way!), make that time count by using smart formatting (bold, bullet points, line breaks) to make your content more scannable and able to be digested quickly. Make those key points stand out.

  • Great tip: Let your audience do some of the work for you. Be sure to make all your content easily shareable through all social media channels! Your brand can't spread like wildfire if you don't provide the flame and the wind!

Speaking of tools, you should stay on top of the latest integrations. For example, you can now use BombBomb to directly record your embedded video messages for emails in Chime CRM! The best tools can make creating and distributing compelling, top-notch content a breeze.

"The best tool for video is the one you already have. Use your webcam or smartphone. And if you don't like how you look or sound the first time, get over it. No one does. But the results will validate the effort — and the more videos you record, the better you get." — Ethan Beute, VP of Marketing, BombBomb

In a world that's shrinking due to technology, the communication space is getting crowded. Taking the solid ideas of the past and using today's and tomorrow's methods of conveying hot content is not only essential to survival, but the only way to come out ahead. A huge piece of that puzzle is having a smart system for bringing it all together. Chime is the real estate operating system that integrates with your favorite communication tools, from Gmail to Microsoft Exchange to BombBomb and so much more. Schedule a demo today!

Want to learn more? Get all this and much more in our FREE eBook, Creating and Distributing Phenomenal ContentCreating and Distributing Phenomenal Content.

To view the original articles, visit the Chime blog.