What good is content marketing?

14 Replies

What’s up everybody, I’m really curious to know if any realtors or investors use content marketing to bring in deals? By content marketing I mean things like blogs, videos, podcasts, or forms of social media created to bring some kind of value to your consumers. I only know of a few realtors who do this and it seems like 90% don’t, and neither do investors. Is it because it doesn’t work? Is it not worth the time, or is it just something you’ve never done before? I follow a lot of Gary Vee and I know some people have had great success with content marketing so why are so few doing it? What are your thoughts?

Gary Vee has a team of professionals doing his content marketing and is open about the fact that he works 16 hours a day and sees his family on weekends. I think he's a good guy but I don't think he truly understand the life of a real estate agent (yes, I know his sister has her license, and also yes, waiting for a bolt of lightning to come hurtling into my home office to strike me down for disagreeing with Gary Vee. ;)

For example, he thinks we should work for free starting out, which is not realistic economically and also it's not like just 'working' makes you a good agent, as the many long-time mediocre agents can attest to.

Content marketing for SEO and exposure is a long term game (unless you drive traffic with ads), most agents struggle with the consistency it takes to blog as much as you need to (including myself, and I love to blog. :), and overall it has gotten much harder to rank well on Google. 

YouTube is probably a better bet but again, takes consistency and the willingness to get on video, that second part rules out a ton of people right off the bat. Podcasting - same thing, takes consistency and a bit of tech knowledge, and is a long term game.

Basically, I think many agents are successful marketing to and getting referrals from their sphere, others seem to do well with cold calling, and even those that would like to offer valuable content via video or podcasting run into the 'start-up' hurdle of how to get started, and then consistency fails when they get busy with actual clients.

Speaking at least for myself here, I love teaching on video and actually know how to do it and have often thought of doing home buyer info videos for clients and prospective buyers but still haven't done it.

But, if it's something you'd actually like to do and are excited about and would do consistently, then I think it would be a great idea, regardless of which venue you picked. 

@Irene Nash

Irene I was really hoping you would give your opinion on this I’m thrilled that you posted on my thread, thank you! I saw your comments on Aaron’s post about realtors becoming task rabbits and was really impressed with your straight answer and commitment to quality work, as well as active blogging.

I like video but it is uncomfortable and hard to find time to create and edit, but I’m not giving up. I love teaching what I learn so it’s an avenue for that. I also understand the struggle people have with it, Id love help others become more comfortable with posting themselves because I think it really builds a brand and people get to know and trust you through it. I’m hoping it will give me a head start as a new agent and investor.

I do wonder if anyone in here has had great success as agents and investors with it and can say that their business actually grows from it. I have a few friends who have seen their business grow because of content marketing and I know it works, maybe realtors just have so many clients from elsewhere it’s not that high of a priority. Or maybe they aren’t willing to commit time learning it as you said. It sounds like you have so many clients just from being a great realtor, do you think it would it even make a difference in your business if you did or didn’t do content marketing regularly?

@Spence Kal Thanks for your kind words! I totally understand the struggle with creating and editing, I'm also full of ideas and love teaching others and helping them not repeat my mistakes, which it sounds like you are all about as well - but executing on that and then showing up consistently are the real hurdles and I struggle with that as much as anyone else. :)

I really do think that if you like video, YouTube is a potentially great vehicle - it is basically a search engine, like Google, and I think it's easier to build a brand on YouTube because more of your personality comes across immediately. Someone who does a ton of free teaching on this is Miles Beckler, his YouTube channel username is milesb. He does emphasize the slow organic growth method, which is great for long term SEO, but I think Facebook ads driving traffic to helpful instructional videos are well worth it in terms of speeding up growth - so you can have both working for you at the same time, organic growth and growth from paid traffic. Ad rates have actually gone down because of Covid. And Miles Beckler also teaches FB ads as well, a lot of it for free on his channel.

And then no matter what medium you use, offer something truly valuable that gives people a reason to opt in to your email list (I realize you probably know this but just in case), Google algorithm can change overnight and FB belongs to Zuckerberg, who could take all your likes and follows away in an instant - but your email list is yours forever.

I have gotten real estate clients from blog posts in the past, and I am certain I could get more real estate business now by doing something like that, really creating a value-filled YouTube channel for home buyers and sellers and driving traffic to those videos, boosting video blog posts, etc., I just am not concentrating on getting new real estate clients right now - working more on training materials for new agents and mostly doing real estate with past clients and referrals. 

(I know it's a luxury to say that, it comes after 20 years and going through the recession with just me and my dog because my husband hadn't shown up yet - and who knows what will come in the future, just saying, that's the case right now and there were some dues paid along the way. :)

Were you thinking of doing content marketing for real estate clients or investing or both? And also I'm curious, what kind of content marketing are your friends doing who you said had seen success with it?

@Irene Nash  It’s so hard to keep up! It may seem like an easy thing to do but it’s really like any other full time job. Don't give up! I hope this encourages you as well to continue teaching and blogging. I looked up Miles Becker, watching his niche video now, its awesome. It seems like everyone thinks you have to go viral on social media to be successful but there so many doing great with it even with small followings, so there’s no limit to the amount of success out there. I always forget that social media could pull my followers though! I’ll definitely focus on the emails and personal contact info. My first marketing endeavor as an agent is a website, build up some landing pages and try to create something useful. 

That’s awesome that you have such a great client base, i know there’s years of hard work and tough times behind that. Most of the people I know assume that successful people have gotten a lucky break or have something they don’t and really it’s 20 years of solid hard work and sacrifice that nobody else wanted to do.

I want to do everything at this point so I’m trying to figure out a niche and focus. I’d love your opinion on my ideas and what you think would be profitable! My ideas are 1. basic videos for new investor, 2. a channel just for teaching realtors marketing,3. client/buyer seller videos, 4. "digital mayor" content, info about my local area, restaurants, businesses, parks, anything active outdoorsy adventurous.

Right now I’m making a few videos about investment, tips for renovating rentals, single vs multi family, basic stuff just to practice video and get started. I'm more excited about #2 because I love marketing and helping others grow their business, but haven't done any true marketing as an agent, I just know a lot of info that I haven't put into practice yet, so I feel I need more experience for that. Its really encouraging to me that you got some clients via your blogs, that's so awesome and tells me that it really does work, even if its a minor part of your client base. 

I have a friend who just launched a YouTube channel for his real estate related business, and within a couple months has tippled his revenue just from the leads off YouTube, I'm actually shocked how fast he's grown. He works his butt off and is so good at what he does, so that helps, but it's made a massive difference for him. He posts videos at least once a day though, even if its short. 

Do you have a course yet or just blogs and articles I can read to learn everything you know haha. Its been hard to find people who know what they're doing as a realtor, and are willing to share knowledge with others.

Content marketing is difficult and takes a long time to produce results. Look at Mark Ferguson - he's a great example of an active content marketer and flipper. His Instagram presence is really second to none in our space. 

Get an idea, build a concept, and then you need to just get started. You'll learn so much more by doing than you will by planning. It takes time to find your unique voice. 

You name Gary Vee - he's been doing content marketing for a very long time (in the grand scheme of content marketers). He only started talking about the meta aspect of content marketing relatively recently. Prior to that he put out a crazy amount of wine content. He's been honing his content marketing craft every day for many years.

If you want to see a great example of content marketing in real estate, look up Mark Ferguson @investfourmore on Instagram.

@Taylor L.

That name sounds really familiar, I just looked him up also it looks like he does a ton of flips! I’ll definitely follow his work thanks for mentioning him. I would imagine that he does get a lot of deals just from being well known on media, but maybe it’s just something he does just for his own enjoyment, and does very well. It sounds like content marketing would be a better play for newer realtors than investors. Of course all of BP is basically content marketing. But it seems like once people get started with a few years experience they have enough work from referrals and deals to keep them busy, if they’re doing their job well. Thats probably why most good agents don’t bother

Originally posted by @Spence Kal :

@Taylor L.

That name sounds really familiar, I just looked him up also it looks like he does a ton of flips! I’ll definitely follow his work thanks for mentioning him. I would imagine that he does get a lot of deals just from being well known on media, but maybe it’s just something he does just for his own enjoyment, and does very well. It sounds like content marketing would be a better play for newer realtors than investors. Of course all of BP is basically content marketing. But it seems like once people get started with a few years experience they have enough work from referrals and deals to keep them busy, if they’re doing their job well. Thats probably why most good agents don’t bother

 I am ashamed to say that I did not think to tag the inimitable @Russell Brazil in my first post. Now that you've mentioned BP as part of a content/referral strategy - he's the best of the best. Adds a lot to the conversation and has put in a ton of work contributing to our fair BP. I had a conversation on a live stream with him about it while at @Dave Van Horn 's Midatlantic Summit, just about a year ago!

Smart investors 100% do - or should. I am one of the guys who should be! 

Follow this guy on Twitter (https://twitter.com/moseskagan...). I have no affiliation, but he's a successful multifamily investor in my local market (Los Angeles), and has a fund that buys value add properties locally He has pulled in investors for his fund through his Twitter postings, because he shares insights and educates. Now, content was not his only strategy, but he's used it really well to grow to the next level. 

I think YouTube is great, though a ton of people on there talking about real estate. But hey, you can shine through.

I think Twitter and LinkedIn could be very good, if you're comfortable with more written content and some video. Medium and blogging in general can be good.

IG is solid if you're comfortable sharing both content and photos of stuff you're working on, inspirational quotes, and so on. I think that Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs have more serious investors, but there are people on IG.

I need to be doing more of this myself. Glad you posted this topic! 

Originally posted by @Taylor L. :
Originally posted by @Spence Kal:

@Taylor L.

That name sounds really familiar, I just looked him up also it looks like he does a ton of flips! I’ll definitely follow his work thanks for mentioning him. I would imagine that he does get a lot of deals just from being well known on media, but maybe it’s just something he does just for his own enjoyment, and does very well. It sounds like content marketing would be a better play for newer realtors than investors. Of course all of BP is basically content marketing. But it seems like once people get started with a few years experience they have enough work from referrals and deals to keep them busy, if they’re doing their job well. Thats probably why most good agents don’t bother

 I am ashamed to say that I did not think to tag the inimitable @Russell Brazil in my first post. Now that you've mentioned BP as part of a content/referral strategy - he's the best of the best. Adds a lot to the conversation and has put in a ton of work contributing to our fair BP. I had a conversation on a live stream with him about it while at @Dave Van Horn 's Midatlantic Summit, just about a year ago!

 Thanks for the tag Taylor.

I use primarily content marketing to drive my business.  I call it, as many people do, Inbound Marketing. Inbound marketing has a capture rate about 10x as high as outbound marketing (things such as cold calling). I use the BP platform, Instagram, and Facebook as my primary means of Inbound Marketing.  Organic SEO on BP is insanely high...and while not everyone can be a BP blogger....anyone can be a BP forum participant.  I was actually supposed to speak at this years BP Con on the strategies to use the forums as a means of inbound marketing to grown agents/lenders business.  

@Shiva Bhaskar You make a great point about linkedin and twitter, they definitely are more "professional" platforms. Ive never been a fan of either but I really should look into them if I'm going to make this work. Its hard to keep up with more than a couple platforms starting out. If you want an accountability partner for content creation I'd love to connect and encourage each other.

@Russell Brazil Thanks for joining in! I'd love to see you speak, is there anywhere I can follow you for more of your marketing knowledge? I'm sure outbound does work great for people, but it seems so pushy, when you can draw warm leads in with other types of marketing, but I guess its best to do a little of both? I see content as a great almost free way to scale marketing, but do you think it could be used alone without other types? What are your thoughts on experiential marketing for realtors or individual investors like events. For someone starting out say a small speaking event at a library for first time home buyers

Originally posted by @Spence Kal :

@Shiva Bhaskar You make a great point about linkedin and twitter, they definitely are more "professional" platforms. Ive never been a fan of either but I really should look into them if I'm going to make this work. Its hard to keep up with more than a couple platforms starting out. If you want an accountability partner for content creation I'd love to connect and encourage each other.

@Russell Brazil Thanks for joining in! I'd love to see you speak, is there anywhere I can follow you for more of your marketing knowledge? I'm sure outbound does work great for people, but it seems so pushy, when you can draw warm leads in with other types of marketing, but I guess its best to do a little of both? I see content as a great almost free way to scale marketing, but do you think it could be used alone without other types? What are your thoughts on experiential marketing for realtors or individual investors like events. For someone starting out say a small speaking event at a library for first time home buyers

That sounds great! Adding you as a colleague on BP now. Let's connect. 

 

So I just got a notification for a new blog article by Adam Gower, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to link to it here but it’s called “The Key to selling? Fewer Sales Pitches”. I thought it was funny it came out a few days after starting this thread, but it’s an interesting article. Could content marketing going to take over traditional selling? I can smell a bad salespersons pitch from a mile away as everyone can, so maybe content marketing is the answer to that? Or maybe everyone will eventually hate content like they hate sales pitches, because they know that even though it’s value driven there’s still a selfish goal behind it. I think it’s a really interesting to see the evolution history of sales and marketing going from production to product to customer and relationship focused. Where does value added content fit into all that, and what comes next?

FWIW Mark Ferguson repeats the same memes every 3-4 weeks on Instagram. I cannot believe more people don't see through his shtick but good on him for his growth and making money on it.