Property – like most industries in the 21st century – has shifted its focus online, forcing estate agents to behave more and more like content marketers.
In the past, selling a house typically involved sticking a picture of the property and an asking price in the window of a high-street agent office, or for those feeling a little more exotic, an advertisement in the local newspaper.
But the UK property sector has changed dramatically over the past two decades, as the tech-savvy homebuyer has migrated from the high street to the internet. It’s easier than ever for consumers to log onto sites like Rightmove and Zoopla and browse through hundreds of properties in just a few seconds, so estate agents have to adapt their strategies to become more competitive.
Property listings need to grab buyers’ attention and pique their interest straight away, to make sure people stick around and don’t make the simple choice of looking for other options. So what are estate agents doing in the online property sector that content marketers should be taking note of?
Be more visual
One of the major changes that has defined the shift to online property marketing is the ability – and indeed the need – to be more visual.
A website provides the space to upload more photos than a traditional property listing could ever dream of. Estate agents need to take advantage of this, with a range of high-quality photos that really make the property stand out and show it in its best light.
This is a lesson we can carry over into the world of content marketing, where visual content has become more important than ever.
Sure, the editorial content you have on-site may well be perfectly targeted and excellently written, but grabbing the attention of the reader to entice them to stick around can come down to visual impact and appeal. Use of custom graphics, for example, can make otherwise dry facts or figures pop, which helps you keep people interested and increases the chance of them remembering the information.
The option for consumers to quickly scan and peruse a number of property listings in seconds means estate agents often have to give the audience a reason to check out their property over another with a snappy summary.
Highlighting key reasons to buy – such as transport links, proximity to schools and local amenities – in just a few words can lead someone to want to read more, which is another lesson that content marketers can learn from.
Meta descriptions, much like the property summary, are your opportunity to grab the attention of a reader and entice them to click through to your website. You may only have 160 characters to play with in Google searches, but make the most of them and give your content that extra chance of achieving higher clickthrough rates by showing users that you can provide the sort of content they’re looking for.
Do your persona research
Perhaps the most prominent parallel between estate agents and content marketers is the way both have to understand not only the wants and needs of their audience, but also who they are trying to target in every listing or piece of content to maximise its potential impact.
In property, it’s often assumed that young professionals will want to know about the local area and transport links, while families are interested in schools, room size and layout. But knowing which properties are likely to appeal to which demographic takes time and effort that’s easy to overlook.
But estate agents who fail to do this do so at their peril, and in the world of content, it’s no different. Fail to research who you’re targeting, and you risk seriously missing the mark with the content itself. Appealing to the wrong people means you simply won’t reap the rewards of your efforts and won’t see the progress towards your goals that you hope for.
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If you’re looking for more guidance on advice on how to get the best results from your content marketing, start a conversation with Axonn today.