Mailchimp defines content marketing as a marketing strategy used to “attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.” They further explain that this approach “establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell.”
Clearly, content marketing is a powerful tool. In fact, Codeless Interactive found that content marketing:
- Costs 62% less than other forms of digital marketing and generates 3x the amount of leads
- Brings in 6x higher conversions
- Is a marketing strategy 86% of successful businesses use
Convinced you need to start on your content strategy? We’re here to help.
Forms of Content Marketing for Brokers
Content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes. When deciding which one to pick, we recommend playing to your strengths and tapping into your resources. Are you a writer or work with a writer? Try a blog! Do you have a booming radio voice? Consider a podcast. Here is a brief overview of the different forms of content marketing to consider.
Case Studies: Tell clients about unique loan scenarios you were able to help with. It will boost your credibility and they’ll love it.
Checklists: These are very popular and really build authority. Brokers could create ones such as “5 Things to Consider When Getting a Loan” or “Loan Document Checklist.”
Original Research: What have you learned as a broker? Share your unique insight and experience from working in the industry!
Polls: Create and share your own polls on social media or via email. This could range from “what’s your credit score range?” to “which loan program interests you most?”
Flyers: These are a marketing classic and have been around for so long for a reason. Check out our Broker Page for free downloadable flyers.
Infographics: Visualizing data or trends is a great way to break down or share information. These could be the “Ten Hottest Neighborhoods in Philadelphia” or “Three Easy Ways to Raise Your Credit Score.”
Webinars: Host a Webinar on the loan process or other areas of expertise. This again builds your credibility and authority in the space.
Blogs: Blogs are increasingly popular and can act as a wider funnel to bring people to your business. If you are unsure of what to blog about, check out our 15 Blog Post Ideas for Brokers.
Getting Started with Content Marketing
So you’ve decided that you want to dive into this digital marketing strategy. We are going to guide you through it, but let’s start with the visual elements. Blogging is its own full medium, which we’ll dive into more in-depth later on. For your infographics, flyers, checklists, case studies, etc. here are two very useful and free platforms.
- What it’s best for: Presentations, social media posts and graphics, real estate flyers, one-pagers, letterheads, invitations, social ads, and announcements.
- Why we like it: Canva is easy to use with access to over 8,000 templates and millions of free photos. No design skills are necessary, and they have a significant amount of real estate templates you can plug your own information into. Plus, it gives you the exact size you need for each kind of social media graphic (you'll need different image sizes for a Facebook post then you will for Instagram, etc).
- How to use: Simply select the kind of image you need to generate and either work off a free template, or design from scratch with access to photos, shapes, clipart, text, and more.
- What it’s best for: Infographics, timelines, charts, and reports.
- Why we like it: Easel.ly makes it simple to use a template to customize your own information into a pre-existing design. It also enables you to add links to all your images (ex. so you can link users to more information on a topic).
- How to use: Search through the hundreds of free templates and find one you like. Then, make it your own with your data, style, and information.
The Power of Blogging
There are many ways to utilize content marketing. Yet blogging, in particular, is taking over the internet. In fact, OptinMonster found that there were over 500 million worldwide blogs. Here are some other compelling reasons to start a blog:
If you think that blogging can grow your business and boost your website traffic but are unsure where to start, we've got you covered.
Getting Started with Blogging
In order to have a blog, you are going to need a hosting platform, which is a space for your blog to live online and be shared out. There are two free providers we recommend that are user-friendly and easy for real estate brokers to quickly get set up on.
- What it’s best for: Brokers looking for a website and blog hosting platform all in one.
- Why we like it: Wordpress is extremely user-friendly (no coding required) and it comes with ample free design templates you can pick from to customize your look with ease.
- What it’s best for: Brokers looking for a simple, stand-alone blogging solution.
- Why we like it: Blogger is a Google partner with seamless integration into your Google accounts and fantastic analytics.
Blogging Ideas for Brokers
So you’ve set up your website and blog — what now? Before you begin writing, a good starting point for new bloggers is to consider the different types of blog posts.
Types of Blog Posts
Like all digital marketing, blog posts can come in a variety of styles with a range of different purposes. Here are a few of the main ones and some examples with each:
- Listicles: Everyone loves lists, and you can create them on just about anything. Some ideas for brokers include “10 Reasons You Need a Mortgage Broker”, “6 Questions to Ask Your Broker,” or "What's a Real Estate Broker?"
- Interviews: Interview colleagues and fellow industry experts and format the post in a Q&A style. You could interview realtors, other brokers, home inspectors, or title company representatives.
- How-To Guides: How-tos are great for brokers who have information to share that your clients are looking for, such as “How to Refinance Your Mortgage.” or "How to Get the Most Out of Your Real Estate Brokerage Firm"
Broker Blog Topic Ideas with Resources
For further guidance on your blogging, we have put together some topic ideas with resources:
How to Finance a Rental Property: Write about the types of financing available for residential rental properties, including bank loans, alternative lenders, and conventional financing. Explain why private lenders are ideal for experienced investors and the kinds of offerings investors should look for, such as low doc. Refer to our “Guide to SFR Real Estate & Types of Loans” and our “Guide to Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing” for references.
Understanding Debt-Service Coverage Ratio: Explain the concept of DSCR and how it helps determine interest rate. Also consider diving into ways to lower your DSCR such as increasing rent and paying more upfront. Check out our “Guide to DSCR Ratio & PITIA in Real Estate” for help.
Building Wealth with a Cash-Out Refinance: Explain the concept of refinancing and the difference between a cash-out refinance and a rate and term refinance. Elaborate on how a cash-out refinance is a powerful tool to help real estate investors grow their rental portfolios. For guidance on this topic, see our post on refinancing.
Explain the different kinds of real estate brokers and real estate brokerage firms. Explain the different kinds of real estate brokers and real estate brokerage firms. Between a real estate agent, real estate broker, real estate brokerage firm, and mortgage broker, the terminology can get confusing. Potential clients will appreciate understanding the difference, and you can use our post for reference.
How to Format a Successful Blog Post
In order for a blog to be successful and appear in Google search results there are some key elements to include that boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
A Clear and Concise Headline: Appeal to search engines (Google!) and people with a straightforward headline that gives your target audience a clear picture of what you are writing about. The reader should be able to tell what they are about to read about from the title alone.
A Keyword URL: Careful with this one! You don’t want to be too keyword-heavy but having a keyword in the URL is critical for search engines to follow. For example, on a post about DSCR, it would be overkill to use “mortgageblog.com/debt-service-coverage-ratio-dscr-understand-dscr.” Simply, indicate what the key topic is in the URL while staying readable and user-friendly.
Section Headers: Make your blog post easy-to-follow and let readers jump to the section that particularly interests them.
A Call-to-Action (CTA): Keep your target audience engaged and offer them a next step with a call-to-action button. It could be “Contact Me” or “Call Us,” or it could also be an action to keep them engaged with your site, such as “Check out this Other Post.”
Share Buttons: Make it easy for readers to share your blog post by including social media share buttons. One click, and they can share your article on all social media platforms, or even email out the post (another incredibly valuable form of marketing for brokers), which will increase your website traction.
Put Your Content to Work
Now that you have spent some time creating content, here's how to share it with your target audience. One of the best marketing strategies is to integrate all of your marketing efforts for a cost effective way to boost your reach and get more leads.
Post on Social Media
In addition to sharing industry news and client success stories, social media marketing is a great way to share educational content you have created. Post blogs and infographics across all social media platforms to build deeper relationships with your client base and to generate interest among potential clients. See our guide to social media marketing for more help.
Use Email Marketing to Share Content
Create content and put it directly into the inboxes of your client base with email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to engage with clients and to drive traffic to your main website. Check out our email marketing tutorial for more help.
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