Stop your Real Estate Blog from Being A Waste of Time
Wherever you look online, you can find a plethora of generic advice about blogs, content curation and other content based marketing techniques aimed to drive traffic to your website that will in turn cause website visitors to take another action or enquire to buy your product. But what these articles generally fail to tell you is the next steps to take once you have published your content. You can create curated content or blog articles until you are blue in the face, but unless you then promote and use those blogs to generate business, they will be wholly ineffective and a waste of your marketing resources. In this article, we look at blogs as a tool to generate enquiries for property online for both estate agents and developers.
Let’s start with the key motivations behind blogging. A blog isn’t just a blog, it is a means to achieve one of two primary goals.
- To serve relevant and interesting content to your target market, or at least a market who is interested in the content that you provide, who will then buy your product or make an enquiry.
- To underpin the credibility of your business and position it as an industry expert, supporting other lead funnels in addition to the blog lead funnel.
But, there are a number of hurdles to making a blog a beneficial marketing tool and without having overcome these hurdles, blogging will be a dreadful waste of time for your property development or estate agency business.
So how, do you make your blog work for your business and achieve one of the above goals?
1. Perfect Your Content
The key to a blog is that you have a consistent stream of topics focused around your business activities and with a view to match the needs of your target market. Regularity is essential, brevity is preferred and relevance is king. You need to select the niche relevant to your target market and stick to it.
Do you sell property in Pisa, Italy? Then talk about how to buy in Italy, moving to Italy, insiders’ guides to the best of Pisa’s schools, restaurants, hospitals, how to get finance and so on.
Use the blog as a way to inform and help your target market by providing them with valuable information that they cannot find elsewhere, or even by collating information that is generally available so that they can find it in just one place.
The style of writing is also important. You should be writing to the lowest common denominator that you are approaching to make the article clear. You also want to have a mix of Evergreen (content that doesn’t go out of date) and time-relevant content on your blog. Evergreen content can be promoted ongoing or at regular intervals and help to cross sell other elements of your business.
Make sure that you include news in your blog about the things that your company is doing, any star appointments, record sales and so on. This accompanies the advisory and how to articles and positions you credibly in the marketplace.
2. Promote Your Blog
It’s great that you have a blog. Well done you! But people will not know about it by osmosis. The key therefore, is to promote it. How should you do this? Well, there are a number of methods that can be used.
- Search Engine Marketing – make sure that your Blog ticks best practice optimisation and readability guidelines. Keep language simple and straightforward so that even a primary school student could mostly understand what is written. Make sure your metatags are clear and explain well what the article is about.
- Pay-Per-Click – Creating pay-per-click advertisements for evergreen content can be particularly beneficial to create regular streams of website visitors.
- Social Media – social media channels provide a valuable method of accessing new customers. It takes time to build a database of your own and a following on social media channels, but all of them can provide a paid for option to get your message in front of a defined audience which can be used to help grow your following and to secure interaction with your posts.
- Email Marketing – you can use email newsletters or marketing to send your blog articles out to a database that you either hold or have purchased with a view to reengaging prospects.
Having a strong ‘title’ for your blog article will help you attract visits to your blog and you can find a wide range of guides to great title structures around the internet (You can find a couple of links at the bottom of this article). Take care to steer clear of ‘click-bate’ if you want your customers to come back for more or take a follow up action. You don’t want to let them down at the first hurdle. The title should therefore reflect what the article contains.
You also must realise that real estate is an expensive asset and you must avoid cheapening it in your style of promotion. Authenticity and credibility is essential and you must keep this in mind when designing your promotions.
Monitor the success of any lead generation campaign. You should make sure you have the free google analytics or another analysis application installed on your website so that you can understand where leads are coming from. You should also use the tracking functions from the social media to identify traffic flow and incorporate other tracking or measurement statistics to the extent viable.
3. Create a Customer Funnel
Let’s be honest, you are creating a blog to generate business. This means that your blog needs to have a measurable impact in generating enquiries or sales for your business. Once you have a customer on your blog, you need a way to get them to enquire in a subtle and unobtrusive manner. Without this, your reputation and credibility in the mind of the reader of your blog may have been enhanced, but you have not caused them to engage with you and you have no measurable record of the value of the interaction.
When designing your blog, you must make sure that you include clear calls to action in order that the reader knows where they should go next once they have finished reading the blog content. The most common mistake made on real estate websites is that they fail to ask the site visitor to take a follow up action in a clear way. Presenting relevant property listings next to an article or a guide to the local area are a good next step for people following a defined customer funnel. The key is to create this customer funnel so that the customer can follow it. You can use pop-ups, action blocks, property listings and much more to push content towards customers. Just be careful how each is used to minimise negative results.
People are reluctant to part with their data these days, especially when they believe that they might be sold to once they have given it away. You need to provide something of value in exchange for their data. You could provide destination guides, how to invest in real estate information or even specialist consultations.
You should track the actions of the customer as they use your website so that you can compare data on those visitors who convert and those who do not. Analyse the data constantly and be ready to adjust and undertake AB Testing to perfect your promotion.
Use re-targeting via social media and pay-per-click search engine marketing to reengage with those who have visited your blog but who have not made an enquiry with you serving them relevant and similar content. You won’t manage to convert all of them, but at least re-targeting will keep you in front of the prospect and give you further opportunities to convert them.
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Some Title Perfecting Articles