I often get asked about what real estate companies should be doing to market themselves these days. I always come back to the same answer, though…
“Become your own media!”
When I suggest this, the responses often follow a typical pattern. First, I get a look of confusion. Then, when I explain what I mean there is usually that “Aha!” moment when it begins to make sense. And finally, when the perception of how much work is involved is considered, fear sets in. It’s kinda funny for me. I have been preaching this for a few years now and I am still getting the same reaction from professionals. But all kidding aside, this reaction is beginning to happen less and less.
The concept of “brands becoming media” is not new, and when you think about it, it totally makes sense. I don’t claim to be an visionary or guru on this topic... I am just someone who has spent almost 30 years involved in real estate marketing so I think I have a good window on the landscape out there.
So why is this trend happening?
- Traditional and trade media has dwindled in numbers and therefore, has lost its grip on breaking news and reporting trends in the marketplace. There are fewer outlets than ever and smaller reporting staffs as a result of financial pressures facing the industry.
- Social media is dominating every walk of life. This includes the business sector and the rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. And that’s why I built my own news platform just for the real estate industry.
- There are so many tools out there for companies to create their own content and drive engagement with their customers and we are seeing more and more of this happening from both big and small brands.
With these trends in mind, it is a great opportunity for brands to become their own media, tell their own story, create their own narrative and build a loyal following of readers as a result. The good news is that it has never been easier and more cost effective to do so.
The centerpiece of your effort should revolve around your blog. Of course there is much more to do in order to build a truly impactful content marketing program. But if there is one place to start, it should be there.
Therefore, here are my ten most important suggestions for making your blog the most effective part of your marketing program if you are real estate company:
#1: Set it up.
#2: Place it on top of your website navigation bar.
It makes me crazy how many sites I visit where I have to spend minutes looking for the company blog cause it’s friggin buried!!! CRAZY
#3: Have a sign up.
Any time someone clicks to read the content, grab them with a simple, non-intrusive popup to encourage them to sign up to receive the blog.
#4: Create a monthly calendar of all of the blog topics.
Virtually ALL of those topics should be to educate, inform and provide your readers with engaging content. NOT SELF SERVING CRAP ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS AND HOW GREAT YOUR COMPANY IS! No one will read that. Leave that for press releases or ads!
#5: Spread the wealth.
Have as many authors writing your content as possible. This makes the company and brand look bigger, deeper and more thoughtful.
#6: Share. Share. Share.
I am talking about social media of course.
#7: Create white papers.
Get people to download them. Again, be a source of great market content and trends. And engage your audience.
#8: Do polls and surveys.
This is the same concept as white papers. Share the results.
#9: Encourage guest blogs on your site and ask for the same on others.
#10: Do Q&A’s with industry leaders, your clients, etc.
Again, make the topics about the industry, full of tips and suggestions.
It goes without saying that the content must be written well, have a personality that reflects your brand, be shared aggressively on social media and have good analytics behind it so you can understand what’s working and what’s not. Here is the best example I have seen.
And if you don’t have the resources to create the blog, write the content and share it, there are many resources out there to help you.
Creating a great blog and building an amazing content marketing program around it aren’t as hard as you think and cost far less than most realize. I hope these ten suggestions help and if I can be of any help, reach out to me directly. I love to connect on one of my favorite topics…”brands as their own media”!