Editor's Note: Sundeep Kapur, Industry Training Director at The Online Marketing Institute, is an educator and digital evangelist who has helped brands define and implement powerfully effective digital strategies. He joins us today to discuss how realtors can improve their content strategy to gain the interest of prospects. Don't forget to join our upcoming webinar to learn more.
Nowadays, the search to buy or sell property tends to begin on the Internet. A few words typed into the search box can yield so many pages of "useful” results. But given the piles of information returned by search engines, what can you do to make sure your brand reaches those who may be looking for it?
For real estate professionals, this struggle is an important aspect of maintaining an online presence. When every other part of your brand is properly tailored for prospects, being found and seen is the deciding factor in the formation of new business relationships.
Here are seven considerations that can increase the visibility of your content to potential clients, and keep them coming back to your company for more:
1. Getting Attention
Attracting interested visitors begins with your ability to grab and keep their attention. Headlines, formatting and image usage can influence the behavior of readers, and raise sign-up rates for relevant offers. What keeps a consumer engaged are the following factors –
- Is your content relevant to what they want– is the information useful or important?
- Is your content engaging – is it interesting to the seeker of information, and does it invite questions or offer food for thought?
- Is the information you provide up to date?
2. Using Multimedia Content
A message can be delivered by words, pictures, and video. Supplementing text with images is a good idea, because overly wordy or difficult articles often prompt visitors to look elsewhere for the information they want.
Adding powerful images or infographics help to keep readers engaged. Top it off by using video to deliver a summarizing conversational snippet. Focusing on a multimedia content strategy will draw in more readers, and aid them in retaining information.
3. The Right Length
Studies have proven time and time again that Internet readers click away from articles that are too long or too short. Avoid “walls of text” without any breaks, and steer clear of making redundant or unnecessary points. Be especially wary of paragraph size: what looks small on a desktop computer can look exponentially larger on a mobile device.
The sweet spot for an article is three to five paragraphs of useful information broken up by one to three pictures. You can also add a 30 – 60 second video to further personalize your message and keep readers interested.
4. Maintaining a Presence
Your digital channel strategy should prominently include your website and social media. Maintaining an active account on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will not only give prospects an opportunity to learn more about your brand and keep up with the latest content, but gives them an extra channel to ask questions or express concerns.
Those you seek and serve will also appreciate content published to YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Bear in mind that these visually oriented websites have different purposes: YouTube is a good place to publish ‘edutainment’, or content that is both educational and entertaining. Instagram is for “oh-wow” moments, and Pinterest is where people look for tips, mainly in the form of condensed infographics.
5. An Appealing Structure
Your communication style should incorporate a proven five-step formula.
- A powerful and intelligent headline will grab attention instantly, and make your content stand out.
- Discuss features of your product, services or solution - these are important, distinctive qualities that could be listed on a package.
- Describe the function of these features, or the purpose that they are meant to serve.
- Explain the benefit of your value proposition. This is where features and functions become practical: how will they help your prospects’ lives?
- Finally, use a call to action to motivate a decision in your readers to sign-up, buy, or get more information.
6. Thinking About Psychology
Consumer behavior is driven by three simple attributes that you should understand if you want to communicate with them effectively. These are need, value, or aspiration. A need is a basic necessity that has to be fulfilled. Value is a deal that the consumer finds valuable, but might forgo if they are not motivated to act immediately. Aspiration is what the consumer dreams about in abstract terms.
These categories often crop up in the buying cycle, and they’re useful for thinking about how to market yourself and your services - what might be a need for one consumer could be an investment value for another and completely aspirational for someone else.
Integrating Better Content
As the above tips should demonstrate, increasing the value of your brand for web searchers isn’t rocket science. A little digital pixie dust can help your content rise to the top. This includes making sure that the content you create is relevant to the seeker, that you use the right words to optimize your content, and that through effective calls to action you are able to generate engagement and user feedback.
To help you create personalized digital magic for your brand, the Online Marketing Institute is hosting a webinar on November 16th. Register for free to learn more about key digital channels including social media, search, email, mobile, and the power of interactive multimedia content. Our approach to learning will focus on ideal practices to help you become digitally visible, assist with engagement (from attracting to qualifying), and getting the buyer/seller to interact with you.