Real estate marketing is hard to get right, and content marketing, well, that’s even harder. Truly outstanding content marketing takes a lot of time, commitment, and experimenting. Content marketing isn’t something that has a clear payoff in the short-term. But you don’t do content marketing for the short-term payoff—you do it for the long-term payoff. Here are 7 content marketing mistakes that will keep you from seeing the success you’re looking for.
1. You Don’t Set Clear Goals
If you don’t have clear goals, you’ll never know what you’re working towards. And you’ll never be able to measure your progress against those goals. Baseball player Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” And he was right.
So don’t make a vague goal like “I want to have more clients someday.” Instead, decide how many new leads you’d like to get in the next year and create steps that will help you reach that goal.
Let’s say that you decide you want to boost your website’s ranking in Google so more people can find you. You Q1 goals might include:
- Writing 6 SEO-friendly blog posts
- Reaching out to 20 other sites who might be interested in linking to my article
- Reaching out to 2 websites about guest posting
If you want to a better job of building relationships with closed clients (thus bringing in more referrals), your Q1 goals would be different. They might include:
- Write 6 blog posts to send out in bi-weekly email campaigns
- Create 3 social media posts a week to reach past clients
- Send out monthly postcards with home tips and market info
See how different your action items are based on the goal you chose? You’ll only know what steps to take if you know where you’re going.
2. You Don’t Measure Your Goals
Even the best plans don’t go exactly as we intend them to, and assuming that everything will go exactly according to plan is a huge content marketing mistake. This means that you need to regularly set aside time to judge how well you’re doing at meeting your goals. Figure out what’s working and what’s not so you can adjust your plan (and even your goals) accordingly).
Let’s say you’re wanting a certain number of links back to your website. There are some small goals you should make that will lead to your big goal. It may take a few months to get even one backlink. But you can measure how many emails you send out, how many responses to receive, and how many follow-up emails you send out. When you get a backlink, you also need to look at quality. With backlinks, it’s not all about number. If you’re not happy with your progress as you look at these smaller goals, you can adjust along the way.
Or maybe you want to measure how well you’re doing at bringing referrals in. Ask people how they heard about you so you know what’s working. This may lead you to try other tactics to help people remember your services.
Measuring your goals gives you the data you need to adjust your plan (or know that what you’re doing is working so you can continue to charge full speed ahead).
3. You Don’t Understand Your Audience
There’s no way around it: you have to have an intimate understanding of your audience if you’re going to engage them with content that is both interesting and useful. You’re going to write a very different type of content for first time home buyers than you would for senior citizens who are looking to buy a home for retirement.
If you send the wrong kind of content to people, they’re just going to tune you out. You’ll achieve nothing, even if you’re sending top-notch content. This is one of the most discouraging content marketing mistakes you can make.
Here at Top Left Creative, we always take the time to write a buyer persona for our new clients. A buyer persona is critical for defining your plan for your audience. You’ll get demographic information down, as well as learn about your audience’s needs, struggles, desires, and content consumption. You’ll also have to figure out how your products and services meet your audience’s needs.
4. Your Content is Boring
If your content is boring, you’re never going to get anywhere. With 2.7 million blog posts being published on the Internet every day, you have to find a way to stand out to in the crowd. We’re all constantly bombarded with information that grabs for our attention, and it’s a piece of cake to send an email to spam or unfollow a Facebook page.
Find ways to take a different spin on things (because chances are, it’s been written about before). And if your information is truly useful and helpful to your audience (remember point three?), it doesn’t matter too much whether or not it’s the sexiest thing out there. It’s going to get read.
5. You’re Not Promoting Your Content
If you don’t know how you’re going to promote a piece of content before you write it, don’t even bother writing it. Content that isn’t promoted (you’ve heard of 20% creation, 80% promotion, right?) isn’t going to do you any good.
It’s almost always easier to find more people to read what you’ve already written than it is to write more really good content.
Facebook ads, email campaigns, and social media posts are all great ways to promote your content. Also, come up with as many pieces of content as you can for one idea. If you’re writing about home winterization, for instance, you can do a blog post, a short video for social media, a home winterization checklist, an email, and several social media posts. Each has the potential to bring different kinds of traffic to your site.
6. Your Titles Are Boring
Many people are only going to see the title of your article. Really—that’s as far as they’ll get. If your title is interesting enough, they might click to see the rest of the article. Don’t be afraid to go out a limb and see if you can write something crazy.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of something interesting, here are some ideas to get you started. We love Houselogic for their creative titles. “My Home is Freezing (and How Do I Fix It)?” is so much more interesting than “How to Keep Your Home From Losing Hot Air During the Winter.” And “5 Ways to Make Your Cramped Outdoor Space Feel Like Versailles” is a lot more intriguing than “Tips for Tiny Outdoor Spaces.”
CoSchedule has this fun headline analyzer.
7. Your Content Doesn’t Have a Purpose
Don’t ever write content that doesn’t have a purpose. Your content isn’t there just to be read. Really good real estate marketing has goals—to get more leads, to create brand awareness, or to close a sale.
Good content also has a clear call to action for your readers. Usually, this call to action will be asking your readers to subscribe to your emails so they get future marketing from you.
Use strong action words that will help your readers know exactly what you want them to do when they’re done reading. Here’s a great list from Authority Domains. For the very best results, use these action words throughout your writing.
Stop Making Content Marketing Mistakes
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