How Content Marketing Benefits Your Estate Agency
I was asked to contribute to this month’s The Negotiator magazine (May, Pages 31-33) for an article on the power of estate agency content.
Below are some of my thoughts.
From Jerry Lyons, Founder of Estate Agent Content, the UK’s number one ranked estate agent content creators according to Google Reviews (151 five-star reviews) and (102) Kerfuffle Rankings.
Why is it important for agents to have a content strategy?
Content marketing is a cost-effective way for agents to be seen by their target audience and stay visible within their community. In addition, it helps agents to build trust, rapport, and profile for a relatively small outlay of time and money.
What should a content strategy consist of?
In terms of themes – Think HITS. Build your approach around your content so that it’s Helpful, Interesting, Trustworthy and Sustainable.
Type – blog, video, social post – A mix of video, articles, snackable content and community news works best.
Publication platform – website, social, newsletter, media – To begin with, choose one to target, i.e. email or Facebook or printed newsletter and aim to excel at it.
Frequency – how often – Ideally, two to three times a week, in an ideal world, share content daily.
Target audience etc. – Think about where your ideal clients hang out most and target there. For example, if they are 30-40s, social media is a sensible choice. If older, let’s say in their 60s, don’t write off print marketing.
What would you say are the three most essential components of quality content? Educational, keyword heavy, original, for example?
Consistent – community-based – honest.
Consistency is vital. An agent who regularly shares good content (three to four times a week) will always beat a rival who produces a fantastic piece of content every quarter.
Community content is gold. Highlight what’s happening locally, feature local businesses and support local community groups and charities.
Answer your audience’s questions honestly, even if that means highlighting why your agency might not be the best fit for their needs.
How should agents prioritise what content to focus on first?
If your agency is starting with this type of marketing, focus on getting some good quality content out there at least once a week. For example, compile the ten most asked questions your team is being asked and create ten pieces of content based on the answers. This can be in article or video form but ideally both.
Should they develop their own tone of voice, and how is this done?
If you’re outsourcing your content creation, ask for samples from your potential provider. Then look at the articles provided and ask your team, ‘Does this sound like something we’d say, in a way we’d say it?’ If it’s a yes, all good. If it’s a no, keep looking.
A tone of voice question we ask bespoke clients is this: ‘If your agency was a celebrity / high profile figure, who would it sound like?’ Over the years, we’ve had replies such as Ant & Dec, Holly Willoughby and even Sir Alan Sugar!
A tone of voice that ‘sounds’ like a friendly, local expert is always a good choice.
Who should produce this content? In-house staff, external freelancer/agency, use of AI copywriting software? A mixture of all, and how do they decide? Time constraints vs writing ability, for example.
The number one thing we recommend agents seek if outsourcing is a guarantee that rivals in their area can’t access the same content. If two or three agents in the same town have the same content, it confuses the audience and damages brands.
AI is great for finding ideas and giving a base to build upon. However, it’s not so good at adding humour or being up-to-date (yet), and it can’t give exclusivity.
It’s very rare to find a sales negotiator who likes writing to have the same skill level as an experienced journalist or copywriter, so be careful who does your content.
What types of content and platforms/distribution strategy should agents focus on? And in what format? Are they written, video etc?
Longer form articles (400 words +) and round-ups of content work best via email.
Video is excellent for snackable (sort, snappy clips) on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
If an agent can do one thing now to improve their content output, what should it be? I.e. posting on LinkedIn, blogs on websites, SEO, email campaigns?
Create a date and destination for your primary content offering. That could be emailing an article every Thursday at 2 pm to your database, over time, they’ll come to expect it, and if it’s any good, they’ll look forward to it. Remember, you’re in control of your database, but the social media giants own your followers and can change things at any time to suit their agenda.
Anything else you would recommend?
Before creating any piece of content, run through the HITS test – is it Helpful to your audience, is it Interesting enough to warrant attention, is it Trustworthy in that it’s accurate, and can you commit to a Sustainable amount of content being shared (at least two to three times a week).
Thanks for reading, and see you next Wednesday.