Content Marketing

With all the attention to the update Google has been doing over the last year or two, it has become clear content is paramount for any website. In a nut shell Google wants to find content that is clearly written to the audience, content that is relevant and original. Today it is not enough to just write good content and SEO but you need to have a strategy on how to market your content.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Content Marketing, here it is;

Content marketing is a practice of creating relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving business.

The premise here is to build your brand, gain trust, position yourself as an authority and capture your target audience.

Because you now have a goal you need to plan on how you will engage your audience and then convert that to a sale.

Here are a some tips to help you get started.

1. What do I want to accomplish?

Define what your ultimate end game is.  Why are you writing the content? Is it to build trust, retain clients, attract new prospects, highlight yourself, build brand awareness, build loyalty, or just build SEO.

2. What type of content should I publish?

While I am a big believer in blogging, today blogging is not enough.  You need a cornucopia of mixed media, web pages, blogs, video and eBooks.  You need to cultivate your audience along the sales pipeline.

3. What resources will I need?

This is a complex answer because you first need to consider the size of your firm and what resources you have available.  Once you consider who is writing what and/or if you are going to outsource any of it you can then begin to evaluate what types of content you want to produce.

4. Write is Natural Language

When you write your content you need to write as naturally as you can.  Long gone are the days when we wrote to game Google into positioning our content to inflate our SERP. The thing to remember here is to build your authority as an expert.

Don’t forget just because you have created all of this great content and then do not share it you are just wasting a lot of time and money. Another thing to consider is do you have a quality CRM application?  Do you use any marketing automation?

 

Facebook is Still the King of Social Media Referrals

It may not come as a big surprise, but in Shareaholic’s Q4 2013 Report, Facebook accounted for just over 15% of all inbound referrals from social media (including direct traffic, social referrals, and searching) to the over 200,000 sites that are part of the Shareaholic network. This is a 48% increase since September, spread over $250 million unique visitors.

What’s most noteworthy about the new report is how poorly Google + and even LinkedIn are doing, compared to the other social media outlets.  And while Twitter is in 3rd place, it’s growth is relatively flat, and it’s penetration 1/10th of Facebook’s.

We’d love to see how you track your social media referrals and how your site stacks up against Shareaholic’s sampling.

Getting Results From Your Real Estate Website

Many real estate agents end brokers have reported that they have seen an increase in the amount of leads they have been receiving from their website.

The agents and brokers that reported success stated that they frequently update their site with fresh informative content on a weekly basis.   By doing so they received quality organic leads.

If you are not getting the leads from your site, here are some of the things you should continually update and add:

  • Local news and events pertaining to your market area
  • Local school information
  • Sold homes reports
  • Photos and Videos
  • IDX

Have you updated your site content lately?

10 Tips for a Successful Networking Event

I write a lot about how to better improve your virtual presence but today I thought I would write about some grass roots strategies.  For those of you who never attended a business networking event, they are great for making new contacts and in the Real Estate Industry it is all about the people.  So if you are willing to give it a try here are 10 tips you should know.  By the way a great place for find a Networking Event is on http://www.meetup.com

1: Bring Business Cards: Yes I know it sounds silly but a lot of people forget or do not bring enough.

2: Be prepared to talk, show your value. Instead of going to your next event and just winging it, try to think about what you want to say.  Avoid a canned sale pitch and instead talk about who you are and what value you or your company can bring to the person you are talking to.  Also remember your value might not be in what you can bring the person you are talking to but maybe in someone he/she knows.  Referrals are everything.

3: Make good use of your time. When we did our speed networking session last meeting we gave everyone about 1 1/2 minutes to talk.  We did this specifically because most people will decide on how good or interesting you are in under 2 minutes. In my world of web design people a person visiting your website makes an unconscious decision to stay on your website in under 10 seconds by visualizing color, images, space and key text.

4: RSVP early. Doing this helps in 2 ways.  The first way is it forces you to commit early when your schedule is more likely to be free. If you wait until the last minute you run the risk of being busy that night.  The second thing it does is it helps to foster more people to attend.  People signup a lot of times based on the number of people already going.  So if you see 20 people are already registered you are more likely to register yourself.

And don’t forget you can cancel your registration with most events up until the day before, so go ahead and RSV now!

5: Set time to meet everyone, don’t just talk to the people you know.

6: It’s always not about you: Some of the most successful people tend to put their own personal motives aside to connect other people. This can take place at the networking event or afterwards, but try to make connections between the people who you have recently met. This also helps people remember you because both people will remember you as the person who connected them. I was told from a colleague that she did not really make a connection until she met someone about 2-3 times.

7: It is not only about the event. After you leave take the time to connect virtually.  With today’s social tools it is easy to extend the relationship after the meeting. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

8: Post via your Social Networks. After the meetup post something on LinkedIn or Facebook about the event.  It helps to connect you to the people you met by reminding them where you both met.

9: Followup: Try to follow-up with the people you met within 48 hours.  Visit their LinkedIn account and leave message, connect through common interest social groups or send a personalized email. Do not think of the new connection as just about what they can do for you; offer to refer contacts to others, ask questions pertinent to them.

10: Plan your next event. Networking is not just a once in a while thing.  The more you practice networking, the better you will become. Take some time to see what you did good and what could be improved.  Make note of these for your next event.  Make a goal to attend at least one event or more per month.

I hope this might help you make your next meeting more successful.

Infographics – The Future of Marketing?

First let me define infographics for you — they are graphic visual representations of  information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, businesses can develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.

We’ve taken this trend to mind…and figured why not make some for REALTORS®! Below is one of MANY infographics we will begin to spread throughout our blog and social networking sites. If you have any idea for an infographic that would help with your internet marketing – let us know!

Click Me for the Full Picture!

3 Tips – Create Better Virtual Tours

Viewers say they are 78% more likely to stay on a website offering video. Here are 3 tips to make your virtual tours better:

1. Add the Sound – LATER

Typically when you walk through a home you are in different rooms, with different features, different wall coverings and different architecture. High ceilings, granite counter tops and small bathrooms will completely throw off the sound of your video. Do your walk through and add the sound when you are able to sit down at a computer and record it.

2. Rethink your Script – Make sure you are Actually Telling them Something New

The point of your video is to inform your potential buyer…so walking into the kitchen and saying, “here’s the kitchen” is a big No-No! Show your buyers how the breakfast bar faces the beautiful bay window overlooking the bright back yard — or talk about the potential in the living room, sitting in front of the wood burning fire place after a day in the snow. Again more then 90% of home buyers start online, meaning they probably know A LOT more about your listing than you think. Make sure your virtual tours illustrate something they couldn’t find online.

3. Sell the Neighborhood – Not the House

Yeah it is great that you just listed a beautiful 5 bedroom colonial on quiet Main Street – but think about how much more appeal your listing would have if you included the proximity of this beautiful colonial to the coffee shop down the block, grocery store 2 minutes away and the jaw dropping, professionally landscaped park across the street! (don’t forget about proximity to schools, restaurants, highways and public transportation)

Spoiler Alert – there is no ‘perfect’ video length. Whether your video is 30 seconds or 5 minutes if it is not grabbing your buyers attention they will not watch it! Adhere to the tips above to increase the probably of turning that interested home buyer into a happy home owner!

The Future of Real Estate Websites

So what is the future of real estate websites with all the craze of social media and blogging? Hyper Local Websites!

These sites are used like single property websites, but for your niche. Creating a few hyper local websites allows you to brand a single area without worrying if you are discouraging prospects by limiting yourself by location since you ARE focusing on just one area.

These hyper local websites are great for new home buyers AND current residents. What should you include on your single community, hyper local website:

  1. Custom IDX Searches – like ‘Springfield Homes 550 K – 750 K’ and ‘Springfield Golf Community Homes’ or ‘ Springfield Short Sales’
  2. Information on local emergency services (talk about the volunteer fire dept) and DPW (garbage/leaf pickup)
  3. SCHOOL INFORMATION – duh! Talk about school activities, concerts, important events and meetings
  4. The lifestyle in that community – discuss restaurants, local shops, parks, nightlife anything this is going to attract buyers
  5. Town recreational sports. Keep you current residents updated with schedules and sign ups
  6. Keep the town and buyers updated on local news…pickup the town newspaper and ‘re-blog’
  7. Be a resource! Have a QA or FAQ web page, similar to a blog, that allows others to post questions and answers
  8. Always make sure you have a page for town pictures and videos – this should go without saying!
  9. Be sure you have a page devoted to your listings, open houses and relocation services
  10. Get some call to action/lead capture on your hyper local website – something similar to this:

Now even though you are focusing on a community within your niche, instead of having your cumbersome Real Estate Website that covers several counties – be sure you still SYNDICATE your content to Facebook, Twitter or a Blog if you have one. You can even break into Pinterest with your photo sharing. Share, Share, Share!

Have you thought about these hyper local websites? Are you looking to have one/some created? Let us know!