Scott Schang is a branch manager at Broadview Mortgage’s Katella team in Orange, Calif. His approach to marketing has been to develop niche opportunities within specific demographics of online homebuyers. Schang’s expertise includes WordPress, content marketing, and online lead generation and conversion. Reach him at Scotts@BroadviewMortgage.com. Visit FindMyWayHome.com for more information.
How Content Marketing Can Get You More Leads
Think of the content you put on your Web site as the first step in asking prospective clients to engage in a conversation about their needs.
September 6, 2013
Content marketing is an ongoing conversation. If you can capture the interest and trust of your readers, you have exponentially increased your opportunity to capture and nurture these conversations into motivated and loyal clients.
Every time you can provide value to your reader, you have an opportunity to ask for something in return. Namely, you can ask permission to stay in touch or follow up with this reader-turned-prospect.
Asking permission is as simple as presenting your reader with a pop-up, or having calls to action in your site’s sidebars or within the framework of your site design.
1. Build an Opt-in Marketing List
There’s really no better time to reach out to someone to start a conversation about their needs and wants than when someone visits your Web site to view a home for sale.
When you’re consistently publishing new opinions, analyses, and insight on your site, you have an opportunity to ask readers for permission to send them updates when you add new content.
From personal experience and from what I’ve heard other industry experts report, it takes an average of nine to 18 months of online research and preparation before a home buyer completes a purchase. So an opt-in marketing list is your nine- to 18-month pipeline. If you’re not adding new information to your site on a regular basis, you lose the opportunity to keep visitors to your site updated.
2. Content-Specific Lead Generation
Creating content around current market trends is a great way to offer specific help or guidance related to your content. The best example I have of how this works is a market report that I posted on our Web site a couple of months ago. I based it on a market report offered by a popular research service that I subscribe to, and I broke it down, explaining what each statistic and trend means to home buyers.
I titled the article “The Science of Buying a Home in a Low Inventory Real Estate Market.” The basic point of it was to show that in low-inventory markets, using an agent that has in-depth knowledge of local trends and market conditions will give the buyer a competitive edge.
At the bottom of the article, we added a call to action to sign up for automated “Market Reports” that will keep the home buyer informed and educated and possibly even give them a competitive advantage.
That article generated 10 registrations for market reports in the first 48 hours that the article was published.
3. Financing-Related Lead Generation
The focus of the majority of our content marketing efforts is financing-related challenges, qualifying questions, and assistance opportunities.
One of the most effective lead-generation strategies we use is a buyer assistance finder. This is a form that invites buyers to give us some basic information, and we use it to match them with available assistance once we determine their eligibility to qualify.
This is a great opportunity to get your lender involved in your marketing efforts by asking them to contribute content and share their experience and expertise for the benefit of the visitors to your site.
With home buyers and home owners being of common interest to both REALTORS® and lenders, there is a great advantage to seeking a marketing savvy, content-creating lender partner. This skill set is more commonly found with an individual loan officer, as opposed to something a company offers.
You’re looking for unique, sincere, well-communicated content. A writer’s resume is their blog. All it takes to interview a marketing partner is a Google search.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires a well-thought-out conversion strategy. An important part of your success is expectation management:
- Expect a lot of trial and error.
- Expect a lot of testing and tracking.
- Expect that you will succeed if you don’t give up.
- Expect that your clients will be more loyal.
- Expect to hear, “I’ve been reading your articles for a year.”
Most Web site solutions allow for easy publishing. Hopefully, you are working with WordPress.
Adding content on a regular basis is as easy as spending three to five hours a month or week, which is what I’ve invested for years.
Gaining a competitive edge in your online market may be as easy as creating more content than your competition.