How to Generate Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 5 Types of Content
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Ask any artist how they get inspiration for their projects and you’ll likely hear completely different answers from each one. The same can be said for most agents and their real estate marketing ideas. You may not realize there are innumerable sources that can provide you unique, absorbing real estate agent marketing ideas, but they’re out there — often right in front of you.
Do you check out blogs and read the news online daily? Do you routinely visit other pros’ and brands’ social media channels and subscribe to their email newsletters? Then you’ve been exposed to many sources from which you can extract inspiration. Of course, these are just a few of the places you can discover new ideas for your own creative real estate marketing, as you’ll discover below.
1) Real Estate Blog Posts
The optimal place to start sourcing inspiration is for the part of your website you are (or at least should) publish the overwhelming majority of your real estate content: your blog. Once you’ve mastered your writing efforts so you can create compelling blog posts in no time, turn your attention to ideating new topics to cover — of which you’ll find many by simply visiting the sites you head to on a daily basis.
Visit the blogs you normally check out routinely to find out what makes them interesting.
Local foodies’ reviews, sports news and updates, political banter, the latest on cats (we’re looking at you, BuzzFeed) — whatever the focus is of the blogs you visit regularly, you can produce a number of different content ideas from them. If your favorite blog mostly publishes original content in listicle format (e.g. “The 9 Best Tapas Restaurants in Downtown [Your Market Here]”), imitate that format for your own blog. That’s not to say you should mimic every facet of a site’s articles — the conversational tone, length, style/structure, etc. — but rather the one or two elements of its best content.
Scour your favorite digital news outlets to seek out newsjacking opportunities.
There’s a difference in the breadth and (in all likelihood) quality of content between a local weekly newspaper and national dailies, but both publication types have one thing in common: They can both provide you with new subject matters to cover on your blog.
When it comes to local news, your audience likely wants to hear about anything and everything going on in their community, like info on new schools opening up, feature pieces on new restaurateurs and their eateries, and updates on local park renovations. On the national news front, your audience probably searches routinely for news on mortgage rates, how the economy is shaping up, and emerging tech devices and apps.
Of course, these are just a small sampling of the topics that are generally important to the public at large. You know your niche audience better than anyone, so consider what they specifically want to hear about and then leverage those topics in your own real estate content. A short and sweet email blast to one of your email lists is a premier way to determine what they normally want to learn about via your blog.
Use these insightful resources to think up new items to cover on your real estate blog:
- What to Blog About: 13 Places to Find Fresh Blog Topics — Orbit Media Studios
- 13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content — Social Media Examiner
2) Website Landing Pages
From explaining the best features of your market to teaching your audience all about your sales record and background as an agent, your real estate website’s landing pages offer the best avenue for sharing your brand’s value proposition, vision, and history. Coming up with several distinct page ideas, however, is where the trouble often lies for agents. If that’s the case with your real estate agent marketing, don’t fret: There is an abundance of resources you can leverage to get new webpage concepts to explore and execute.
Discover what pages the most well-known real estate brands publish to their sites.
Regardless of industry, brands’ landing pages need to be highly optimized to convert at a high rate. And even with optimization, plenty of promotion to and link-sharing of those pages, including through pay per click (PPC) ads, is required to get the most traction possible to them. Having said that, there’s plenty to be learned by visiting the most popular webpages from other real estate brands.
Start by visiting pages for other local real estate agents and agencies to see what they publish. Jot down notes about what kind of pages they create and figure out if replicating one or more of those pages for your site is the right move.
If a premier agent in your market, for example, has multiple pages devoted to different offers, like a free housing consultation or home buyer ebook, consider if that’s something you could and should provide your audience.
Pinpoint websites with outside-the-box pages you don’t see on most sites online.
Don’t limit yourself to investigating just other real estate agent websites to see what pages seemingly do well and offer unique value. Head to other B2C and B2B companies’ sites to discover what they’ve created to entice their audience. Not everything they share on their sites will be appropriate for yours, given many are likely in industries far different than real estate, but there are still ways to draw inspiration from them.
Head to the site for any service you’ve used or bought from in the past month to see what their landing page structure looks like and how they inform their buyer personas. Do they offer a special training and tutorial page for customers? Perhaps they have a page dedicated to their charitable endeavors? These page types can educate and enlighten your audience — both of which are equally important factors in their buying (or, in your case as an agent, hiring) decisions.
3) Real Estate Social Media Posts
Now that you’re up to speed on where to find real estate content inspiration for your website, let’s switch gears to your off-site channels, starting with your social media presence.
Tweeting links to the latest listings to hit your market and publishing status updates featuring photos of happy clients are great … to a point. If that’s the majority of what you post on your social accounts, however, you need to diversify the content you share.
Investigate trending topics and hashtags on each of the biggest social networks.
Begin this diversification process by determining what’s trending in your area, nationally, and even globally. Hashtags play big role in terms of discoverability on Twitter for years now, but other social outlets now dispense info on the latest trends worldwide via hashtags and curated lists of the most prominent and pertinent social media posts from their users and articles from third parties, thus making these mediums excellent resources for finding out what’s happening, literally and figuratively, throughout your market, the country, and the world.
For example, if a meme has caught on fire across the web (as several seemingly do daily now), you’ll be able to find out about it first from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another popular social network shortly after it starts making the rounds online. Should the deem the meme potentially entertaining to your followers (and politically correct, of course), capitalize on it and share it across your social profiles.
The worst that can happen is it doesn’t earn the clicks or attention desired, but if you don’t try new tactics like this, you should assume you’re possibly missing out on new engagement opportunities. Also, if you get overwhelmed with the endless stream of trends and hashtags shown in your social feeds, use tracking resources like these to research them more in-depth and discern which ones could help your marketing.
See what the most popular real estate agent and agency social accounts publish.
Once you’ve explored new content types to share socially, turn your attention to other industry professionals and their social media accounts to see what’s generating retweets, favorites, likes, and shares for them. Check out both competing agents’ profiles as well as those for the major real estate brands nationwide to discover what content has proven to be very shareable and what updates have flopped.
For other nearby real estate agents and firms, identify how they speak to their audience on social media. Do they conduct Twitter chats with their followers to offer tips and tricks and answer questions? Consider hosting a Q&A of your own that mirrors their approach. Does another top-performing agent in your market create amazing real estate listing videos and post them to Facebook, Google+, and YouTube? Start (or restart) your video efforts and share your footage on the social networks too.
Find out who the best digital marketers are and audit their social media profiles.
Leveraging the knowledge and insights of digital marketing experts worldwide to aid your real estate marketing strategy at a high level is one thing. But these professionals can also prove helpful when trying to figure out what new specific marketing techniques are “in” and lead to … well … leads.
Head to the social accounts for the most popular and esteemed marketing gurus — anyone from this Onalytica list is perfect — and you’ll find each has their own special sauce, so to speak, when it comes to driving up engagement, followers, and attention on social media. Some post solely their plethora of content over and over, while others are more generous and share marketing insights from their peers. You’ll find dozens of different social networking approaches, so record which ones could be implemented for your real estate social media profiles and test away.
Unearth new ways to make your social media posts stand out with help from these resources:
- 9 Immediate Content Ideas to Recharge Your Social Media Posts — Social Media Week
4) Infographics and Other Images
Developing creative real estate marketing collateral is something more and more agents seem interested in applying to their online schemes: from housing market stats infographics to SlideShares featuring their top tips for negotiating home sale prices. If you’re in the mood to get a bit more snazzy with your marketing output, there are two vital resources to check out.
Head to Pinterest and explore other professionals’ and brands’ unique images and graphics.
First up is Pinterest, the ultimate visual social medium that’s growing rapidly by the day — and one that’s becoming an increasingly popular digital locale for lead generation. When it first launched, the public wasn’t entirely sure how to approach posting or searching on the social network. Over the past handful of years, though, Pinterest has carved out a niche as the supreme visual-oriented social channel, along with Instagram. That means high-quality, sleek-looking photos and graphics need to be shared via your account.
A simple search for “home seller tips,” for instance, shows a bevy of beautiful images crafted by real estate agents from all over the country. Don’t believe for a second each and every one of the agents to post graphics for this topic are creative production whizzes — quite the opposite, in all likelihood. All you need to create similar visuals to these is a basic understanding of platforms like Canva and PicMonkey, which make graphic creation a cinch. Just upload a photo or image, drag and drop one or more text boxes over the content, and add in short, relevant copy that explains where the link in your Pinterest posts (and yes, there needs to be a link practically each and every time) lead viewers.
View the blogs and online portfolios of artists to discover creative marketing trends.
When Picasso (presumably) said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal,” he (presumably) didn’t mean to create carbon copies of others’ work to pass off as your own. What he (presumably) meant was everyone is inspired others when creating a work of art. This is just as applicable to your real estate marketing today as it was for painters of centuries: You can — and should — look to those who have mastered online marketing to garner ideas for your own digital practices, including for your creative production.
The best types of people who can likely inspire your creative content marketing are artists — specifically, photographers and graphic designers who develop unique-looking photos and craft award-winning imagery. View their portfolios, for their own marketing purposes or for clients, and save and bookmark your favorite pictures and designs. Unless you hire a professional real estate photographer or employ an experienced graphic designer, you may not be able to create collateral similar to theirs in one way or another, but you can always use the aforementioned editing tools to get something close.
At the end of the day, your buyer and seller leads who visit your site and view your social media channels likely aren’t judging your photo-taking or graphic creation skills, so just put in as much effort as possible to make any pics you shoot and images you put together look as aesthetically appealing and useful as possible.
5) Real Estate Email Marketing
Crafting original and enticing subject lines, personalizing messages for each contact, writing the perfect amount of copy to convert — there are many elements needed to create the ideal email for your various lead and client lists. Constructing an effective email marketing campaign doesn’t happen overnight, but when you start to put the pieces together with your campaigns, the results can be outstanding. This makes it crucial to generate ideas that work. The good news is these ideas can come from others’ campaigns that have yielded great results.
Subscribe to email newsletters and digests for any brands that interest you.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be another agent’s or agency’s email you subscribe to in order to get inspiration for your drip real estate email marketing. Simply identify the brands you consume products and services from the most and figure out what makes their email campaigns thrive. Some of the key components to their messaging to pay attention to include:
- Copy length: Do the brands you get email from get right to the point with their value proposition or do they wax poetic about their products and services? Shorter tends to work better for email, but there are times when more content can work as well, so gauge how your specific audience responds to different email you send them.
- Multimedia inclusion: Three in five marketers use video in email campaigns, so see if other brands you subscribe to implement recordings in their messaging. If you find some good examples of video implementation, consider how you can apply the strategies from those companies and organizations in your campaigns.
- Branding: Some brands are very subtle with how they incorporate their logos, fonts, and color schemes into their email marketing, while others like to make those elements prominent from top to bottom in their newsletters and digests. How much of your branding collateral you integrate into your email depends on your branding preferences and testing with different messaging to different lists.
It can certainly become overwhelming when you subscribe to a million newsletters, digests, and other email types from countless brands, but over time, as you get an increasingly clearer notion of what you like and don’t like regarding email content, you won’t need their help with your campaigns and, thus, can gleefully hit “unsubscribe.” (Side note: The service Unroll.me is perfect for curating the email you receive and cleaning up your inbox in general, so check it out.)
Consult expert email marketers’ blogs, ebooks, and webinars to augment your campaigns.
As noted above, the cream-of-the-crop marketers love to dispense their wisdom, tips, and tricks with the world through a variety of means, including podcasts, webinars, ebooks, reports, and whitepapers, just to name a handful. After you find the marketing experts whom you get the most beneficial insights and info from regarding email marketing, download and/or sign up to receive and view any content they create that offers advice you can in turn use for your campaigns. Some of the top email marketers around today include ones featured in this Sprout Social post, so they offer a great place to start with your search for guidance.
Here are a few expert email marketing resources that can help your campaigns:
- The Top 100 Email Campaigns of 2015 — Campaign Monitor
- 30 Email Ideas for When You’re Not Sure What to Send — Constant Contact
Looking for more real estate marketing ideas that can take your online presence to the next level? You’ll find just that — specifically, 107 outstanding ideas — on the Placester Academy.
How do you get inspiration for your real estate agent marketing? Where do you turn to for fresh, creative ideas. Share how you source your ideas with us in the comments below!
Published on September 1, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.