We all know the stats – 93% of people start their home search online and 98% use the internet frequently during their home search process. For sellers, being online is just as important. Most sellers rely on online home evaluation tools during their home selling process and the vast majority of homeowners (73%) say they are more likely to list with a Realtor who uses video to sell their property, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Research also shows that when making decisions that require a lot of information, people view 3-5 pieces of content before even thinking of contacting an agent.

If you think of your own experience, this all probably makes a lot of sense. When you’re online and when you need to make a big decision, you’re probably consuming vast amounts of content. Digital content is essential to our ability to learn, stay connected, and make decisions. Because of this, incorporating content — and being strategic about it — into your real estate digital marketing strategy is essential. A great real estate content marketing strategy establishes you as go-to resource for your past, present, and future customers; ensuring you stand out online and connect with the people with whom you most want to work.

So, What is Content Marketing for Real Estate?

Content marketing refers to the process of creating and sharing content that’s valuable and relevant to your audience in order to acquire leads and engage with your past, present, and future customers. Text, images, videos, audio, widgets and interactive web elements, and much more all count as content. A well-thought-out real estate content marketing strategy positions you as a local and an industry thought leader and builds brand awareness, helpful for both buyer and seller lead generation, as well as real estate agent recruiting and retention. 

By creating and distributing content that your audience finds useful, you establish trust with them and become a valued resource, which is also likely to lead to them sharing your content and referring others to you. Great content facilitates the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing; it gives people who value you and your services something to talk about and gets more people interested in what you offer at the same time. As a bonus, content marketing is also a more cost-effective strategy than other forms of marketing because the content you create can be shared and re-purposed again and again, on your website and other channels like social media, online advertising, and email. It really is the gift that keeps on giving — or — at least the work that keeps on giving! Keep in mind, though, that it may take some time to build up your online content and truly see the benefits of a solid content marketing strategy, namely to start attracting leads and rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Benefits of Content Marketing for Real Estate

Content marketing is known as an evergreen way to digitally market to your audience because the content continues to work for you long after it’s originally created and shared, with less attention and resources needed to attract and engage your audience over time. Additional benefits of great content marketing for real estate include:

  • Improve your SEO. When your valuable content ranks highly on search engines or is shared widely on social networks, you’re increasing the likelihood of your real estate website being found online by ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google in particular has prioritized unique, hyperlocal content for years and will always rank a web page higher if it believes it is the most relevant, user-friendly, and popular destination out there for a particular search.  
  • Build your brand awareness. Relevant and educational content keeps your audience coming back and positions you as a trusted thought leader, making you a valuable source of information. 
  • Engage your audience. By answering your audience’s real estate questions and showcasing your values through content, you’re opening a line of communication between you and your audience if/when they need your help and you’re also establishing relatability that gives them a reason to want to contact you. 75% of buyers and sellers work with the first agent they contact, so you want to give them every reason possible to reach out to you first. 
  • Drive leads in a cost-effective way. Content marketing is an effective way to drive leads by itself and it’s also necessary to maximize the cost effectiveness of your other digital marketing, like your online advertising. You can save up to 50% on your online ad costs per click by directing people who click on your ads to highly relevant, optimized landing pages with quality content tailored to your audience. 

Five Tried-And-True Real Estate Content Marketing Ideas 

To implement a content marketing strategy, first identify the channels through which you want to deliver your content and the type(s) of content that make sense for them. These may include:

  1. Blog posts. Add a blog to your real estate website so you can educate and inform your audience about topics relevant to them and your business. Be sure to perform keyword research and include the keywords you want to rank for in the posts. 
  2. Informational content such as guides, how-to’s, and ebooks. Ebook content is similar to blog posts yet is usually longer and includes a cohesive visual design. They allow for more details and explanations about a topic that might not be able to be included in blog posts, such as a seller’s guide, visitor’s guide to the area you serve, or more specific tips like a home staging guide.
  3. Video. Because videos drive a lot of online traffic, are seen as essential to many homeowners considering with whom to list their homes, and are some of the most shareable forms of real estate content, producing videos to share on social media, embed in your real estate website, and post on a YouTube channel with strong content are key. Creating and sharing a variety of real estate videos, from listing videos, to local business spotlights, to customer stories and agent interviews will increase dwell time or the time people spend watching your videos, which also helps boost your SEO for real estate. Especially now with so many people relying on video capabilities for things like virtual tours and continuing to rely on mobile devices to go online (2 out of every 5 mobile minutes is spent watching video), incorporating video is essential to developing a great content strategy. 
  4. Infographics and graphics. Because the real estate industry is a highly visual industry, creating infographics or other simple graphics that use as little text as possible to let the image tell the story and showcase your expertise is ideal. Plus, it’s a great way to break down complex ideas into more digestible ones. Use a series of graphics to talk about how you make the home selling process super easy and stress-free, or consider how you can visually share your company promise, your mission and vision via a set of images that entice and resonate with those who see them.
  5. Success stories. Similar to with an ebook, case studies written in the form of personal, relatable success stories (with a video equivalent!) are educational, professional, and should convey your expertise. Include data from your own business to support the effectiveness and strengths of your brand, but remember, this is more than just a testimonial. A success story talks about the problems your customer was having and walks through how you solved their problems. Home seller received a bad appraisal? Family needed help settling an estate? Buyer needed to relocate with less than a month’s notice? Walking through how you helped them navigate a tough situation in detail can be highly valuable, and still short enough to hold a viewer’s attention. 

Central to any real estate content strategy is creating content that ensures you stand out. Yet key to standing out online is not only creating amazing content, but making sure the right people see it. That’s where content distribution, or the process of sharing content in as many places as makes sense, comes in.

You certainly want to create high quality, search engine optimized, hyperlocal (down to the neighborhood, community, subdivision, street, and even building at times) content on your website. Content should live on your website except in cases when it truly makes sense to store content elsewhere, such as video on Facebook. Facebook’s algorithms show videos that are uploaded to or created directly on Facebook more than other videos like YouTube videos being shared on Facebook, so there are instances in which it makes more sense to upload a video directly to Facebook than to link back to the video on your website. That said, in general, post to your website first, then share your content on social media and get more eyeballs to it through paid advertising, including social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, display advertising, retargeting, and other paid placements like boosted posts. Ensure your ad content mirrors your website landing page content and watch your clicks and leads grow as Google gives you top placement.

Content marketing is the foundation off which you can build a remarkable online presence. Interested in learning more about the best content marketing strategies for real estate? Connect with us today! We’d love to collaborate on what makes the most sense for you.