It’s time to get on board with content marketing—real estate is changing, and as a result, real estate agents need to change their approach, too.
Many agents may already understand the need for content marketing, but I’m often asked, “How do I get started and create a content marketing plan?”
We’re going to talk about that in this article.
Let’s dive in.
Content Marketing in 5 Simple Steps
You can create a real estate content plan using the following steps.
1. Choose a Topic and Niche
If you’re a real estate agent, then you’re obviously looking for one thing—leads.
Content creation provides you the opportunity for 24/7 lead generation if you can create great content in a specific niche.
When you’re developing your content strategy, you don’t want to take a broad approach and attempt to cover every area of real estate.
Instead, pick one subject and niche down enough to give yourself the possibility of becoming the perceived “ultimate expert” of that particular niche.
For example, you could start by selecting flipping or luxury real estate as your content marketing niche—it’s more specific than general real estate—but still not specific enough. To narrow down further, you may then choose to focus on luxury real estate buyers.
But that may still be too broad.
So to get even more specific, zoom in even further. For example, create content specifically for millennials who buy luxury real estate.
Verify Your Niche
Once you’ve chosen a niche, you need to verify that there’s interest behind it.
What’s the point of making videos or writing for an audience if there’s no one in the audience?
To verify your niche, go to Google’s keyword planner and type your topic’s keyword. For our example, this would be “luxury real estate.”
As you can see, luxury real estate gets a lot of attention. But notice what happens when we add millennials to the mix.
Not much is happening. While creating content about millennial luxury home buyers may not be a bad thing, you probably shouldn’t focus all your efforts there. Instead, experiment with different keywords and topics that you like.
If you find a topic that interests you but might be too competitive, I say just go for it! It will take more time and effort to make yourself stand out in a crowded niche, but you can certainly make headway with amazing content and backlink strategies.
2. Pick a Platform
Once you’ve conducted all the proper keyword research and have selected a niche, it’s time to pick your platform, or content type. There are three main “pillar” platforms—blogs, videos, and podcasts.
It’s important to select at least one of these platforms for all of your main pieces of content. It’s best to start with one and expand later. Each platform offers different features, capabilities, and reach.
Blogging is my personal favorite platform and generally the most common type of content out there. But you may be thinking to yourself, “I’m not a good writer.”
You don’t have to be a stellar writer to drive traffic to your site, however, as long as you write clearly and edit carefully. In fact, you should stay away from writing for experts, unless that’s your particular niche. Instead, be sure not to get too bogged down with jargon or details that may go above an average reader’s head. The point here is to build your readership and improve your standing on Google. Blogging is a great way to do just that so you can rank first for local search queries in your market.
Video marketing has become the dominant force of the last decade and the trend will continue. HubSpot suggests that 72 percent of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. That alone should be enough incentive as a real estate agent to prioritize video, but how you create videos and what you use them for is up to you.
I find that marketing to other agents by offering them tips and tricks to build their business is a great way of getting referrals. I’ve also found that agent-led property tours are fantastic for engagement and getting seller leads. There are many possibilities to explore with video marketing, and it’s only going to get more popular.
Podcasts have grown a ton over the past decade. While they’re still not as widespread as blogs and videos, they maintain loyal and engaged audiences.
In fact, weekly podcast listeners spend an average of six hours and 37 minutes per week listening to various shows, and more than 80 percent will listen to an entire episode.
If you’re engaging enough to develop a following via podcast, you’ve acquired an extremely loyal base.
Is Social Media a “Pillar”?
In short, no.
While there are many influencers and content creators who have built their entire following off social media channels like TikTok or Instagram, we must consider that real estate is not a mainstream interest for most people.
Real estate, while close to home (no pun intended), is not something that’s just going to blow up on social media.
However, you should definitely be using social media as a platform to promote your content—not to mention paid advertising.
3. Brainstorm for Ideas
The hardest part of creating content is consistently coming up with ideas.
Your first task of fixing this problem is to jot down a bunch of ideas that come to your head on a piece of paper—keep writing until you literally can’t come up with anything more.
Once you have those ideas written down, go to whatever platform you’re using as your pillar and type each idea in the search bar. You want to find the top-performing content for those key phrases.
The reason why certain pieces of content rank higher than others is because Google or YouTube finds they have the most relevance to the search query. Search engines also determine which pieces are of the highest quality in terms of fully answering the question asked, social shares, audience retention rates, etc.
When you begin creating your content, your goal is to outperform the highest-ranked content by basically replicating the same content but with more information and analysis.
The reason why? They’ve already cracked the code.
If your competitor holds the highest-ranked content for a search query, then the search engine is recognizing them as the best for that subject.
If you come along and make content that replicates them but goes even further, then you’re forcing the search engine to take you into consideration.
Now there are a lot of factors that play into search ranking. But for the sake of simplicity, replicating content is the easiest way to start competing for the top spots.
If you don’t copy your competitors, then you’re just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Do NOT plagiarize your competitors. Simply touch on their ideas with your own analysis and then some.
4. Schedule Your Content
Keeping a content calendar is the only way you’ll be able to make sure your content gets posted on time.
Whether you use Google Calendar or a spreadsheet to schedule your posts, just be sure you’re keeping track and staying consistent. I personally use Airtable, which allows me to switch from a spreadsheet view to a calendar view on demand.
I like to schedule content on a monthly basis so that I know all my deadlines ahead of time.
I make sure to space out writing assignments so I don’t catch writer’s block. My videos are set to come out a certain day every week (although I’m not as consistent as I’d like), and my podcast is posted every Monday.
The goal in scheduling is to make sure you know what needs to come out every day and that you’re not scrambling for ideas at the last minute.
5. Staying Consistent
It’s tough, but a successful content marketing strategy requires a lot of consistency over a long period of time.
It takes time to rank on Google. It takes time and lots of videos for your YouTube channel to become respectable and gain attention.
Content creation works like an exponential graph. You don’t see a lot of results for a long time. Then, boom, you’ve made it.
Be patient, focus on quality, keep tabs on your competition, stay true to your calendar, and results will follow.
What kind of content marketing are you interested in creating?
Join the conversation in the comments below!