Content creation, what a pain eh? For some people writing or making videos is easy but they just don’t have the time and for others even if they had the time, they would never be able to get the written or spoken words out. However, most businesses have come to realise that they must have some regular content going out on social media and via email in order to at least be in with a chance of getting noticed.
So, it stands to reason that if a company came along and said ‘we can write or supply all of your content for you’ that would sound quite appealing and in some ways it is, but in order to take advantage of this you must understand how content marketing works and why you will still need to get involved.
Content marketing has lost its way for the majority of companies out there. It has become a case of just making sure they put something out there because everyone else is. Remember this with leaflets? Prospecting letters? Newspaper ads etc?
But content marketing is slightly different to those. It is different because the concept is one whereby the reader, viewer or listener is just building some rapport with the brand due to their content being useful in some way.
On that basis, off the shelf content could be perfect. Especially statistical content around the housing market etc. But they key component of content marketing is to have some form of balance between Awareness and Interest content and unfortunately no one can create your interest content for you without your specific involvement.
Let’s look at the difference between the two.
Awareness content. This type of content should be something that falls into your area of expertise but is useful, engaging or entertaining to people who are not necessarily interested in using your product or service. So, as an estate agent you can talk about the local area and property. Never fall into the trap of using content that is about things outside of your expertise such as food or holidays etc – I don’t want to know how to bake sugar free banana bread from my estate agent!
So, awareness content can be created for you around stats, property trends, etc. However local area awareness content such as how lockdown is affecting local businesses, or the best local schools is probably going to need to be compiled by your team.
Interest content. So this is where things start to fall firmly back in your boat. Interest content is content that could give you some indication that the reader or viewer is interested in using a product or service like yours. For example, an article entitled; 3 things you need to know if you are thinking of selling your property in the next 3 months.
But it is not good enough to just write out 3 facts. With interest-based articles you must write the facts but you must also articulate how your specific company helps with that problem and no kind of off the shelf content is going to do this for you. Equally even an outsourced content writer is going to struggle. You and your team however should be able to do that no problem (if you can’t that is a different issue!)
Now that we know what the differences between awareness and interest content are, let’s look at an example of how you could use outsourced content. For the example I will use the most famous content writer in estate agency, Christopher Watkin.
Chris ghost writes articles for estate and letting agents that are done in a hard hitting Sunday Times style around facts about that areas stats. This is perfect for awareness content as I do not have to be thinking of selling right now in order to find it interesting.
But many agents will use Chris (or someone similar) and then never create any Interest based content. Because of this, their audience see lots of interesting bits and pieces from the agent over time, but the agent remains none the wiser on who is thinking of putting their property up for sale/let.
However if you throw interest content into the mix alongside Chris’s articles, the magic begins to happen as you are building trust and confidence with a wide audience but your tracking systems are telling you when potential vendors or landlords are reading your interest based content on social media, via email or on your website. This info is then presented to the team so that they know who to speak with before anyone else.
Without the interest-based articles, your team are left none the wiser on who to speak with in order to close some new listings.
Of course if you are using one of the traditional old CRM systems your team would not get these insights anyway but again, that is a different problem!