Content is King, Part 2: Created Content
By Colin Ryan
About Inbound Marketing
The first type of content, foundation content, consists simply of what you have to sell, the actual product. Because of this, there’s not that much you can do with it. In the end, what people see is what they’re getting, or not getting. But if foundation content is the product, there’s also the package to consider. This is the second type of content: created content.
Created content supplements, highlights, and enhances your foundation content.
Picture the video game console section at your local electronics store. Sure, the consoles will probably do a fine job of selling themselves–after all, plenty of people arrive at the store knowing they’re going to buy them. But a colorful, attention-grabbing display, with informative and exciting descriptions of the console’s features and games, will attract even more prospective customers — and even if they don’t buy just yet, there’s a good chance they’ll come back. Created content is as much about selling yourself as it is about selling your product. Whether the information it presents is useful, entertaining, provocative, or some combination of all three, great created content will show leads you’re worth paying attention to and doing business with.
Created content generally comes in two forms:
Your Website Copy
Whether it’s a heading, a description, a photo caption, a contact page, or anything else that calls for text, your copy helps explain to visitors the expertise, results, and value you and your team have to offer. More than that, it’s your individual or company “voice,” broadcasting your particular character and style, your brand.
Your copy is an opportunity to tell clients what they can expect if they decide to work with you, so you’ll have to decide what to sell about yourself. Your 20 years of experience? Your technology savvy? The best price for their home, guaranteed? Your listings and your company’s niche will help determine what sort of voice to adopt.
If, for example, you handle a lot of apartment rentals in an area with a large student population, copy that communicates your understanding of what young people need and are interested in is key. If, on the other hand, you’re a commercial firm with office listings, a culture of professionalism might be more suitable.
Images and Videos
Fun science fact: about half of the human brain is devoted either directly or indirectly to perceiving, processing, and understanding what we see. The takeaway is that human beings are as visual as they are verbal, if not more so. That means your content has to stimulate your site visitors in both ways. We’re not just talking about pictures attached to your listings, either. Slideshows, video tours and interviews, floor plans, even illustrations are all part of the mix.
While you don’t want to go overboard — remember, you’re trying to enhance your foundation content, not replace it — your created content should give leads as complete an image of the properties in your inventory as possible. If you’re withholding information in the hopes of getting leads to call and find out more, you’re doing more harm than good. At the same time, if you’re worried all these great visuals will render you obsolete, you’re overestimating their power.
The truth is that no matter how good your images and videos are, they’ll never replace walking the halls and rooms of a home, office, or retail space. They will, however, get leads excited about your properties and make them more willing to make the trip to see them.
Published on January 4, 2012
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