Commercial real estate is largely a person-to-person business. Representatives of companies negotiate with each other to buy land, develop property and buy and sell existing properties. Metrics and news reports tell how successful (or unsuccessful) a company or individual broker is.
Many commercial real estate (CRE) companies realize, however, that passive measures do not necessarily establish the reputation or image they want to portray. There’s a reason the CBREs and Marcus & Millichaps of the world are so widely respected, and often quoted in the media: They know how to use content marketing.
We all know that content marketing involves many areas of communication – blogs, newsletters, videos, podcasts, e-books, webinars, etc. For CRE, a successful content marketing program can:
Clearly explain what the company offers and to which segments of the market.
Position the company, its leaders, managers, brokers and others as experts in their particular niche.
Serve as a source of industry/sector news and analysis.
Become a “numbers-to-English dictionary” to explain what statistics and metrics mean for the company and the industry.
Softly promote the company by explaining how its capabilities affect the industry.
CRE content marketing is pure B2B, and the audience can be very targeted: The industry is full of separate niches that may or may not be receptive to information about other niches, but will jump for joy about content that updates them about their own sector.
We know what some of you may be thinking: “All these things your saying sound great, but…but…this content isn’t bringing in any money.”
You’re right. While sales collateral is part of content marketing, there typically isn’t a direct content-to-revenue path from blog to bank account. . But when it comes to content marketing’s indirect benefits, consider this:
Blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts – combined with social media promotion – drive people to your website, where they can browse further for specific information about products, services and the like.
By the way, website copy is also part of content marketing. Writing in ways that are optimized for SEO will improve your ranking within search engines, which attract even more visits.
A strong, consistent social media initiative that includes more than just promoting blogs also gets you more website visits.
Monthly or quarterly newsletters can expand your e-mail list, especially when you seek subscriptions.
E-books and webinars are excellent lead-generation tools. Give them out for free, but require information during signup – company name, e-mail address, phone number. That way, the sales department can contact the recipients and do their magic.
Writing guest columns for business (or general) publications spreads the message beyond your contact base.
Media relations efforts – including the guest columns – will increase your visibility.
When I was content manager for an apartment-market-research firm, I had the idea to use our ultra-localized, monthly statistics to create a series of local news releases geared specifically to a market. The Sales team provided a list of 18 metro areas that would be the most helpful to it, and we were off.
The release was picked up at least a couple of times each year by media in every market targeted, and attracted so many interview requests that the Analytics team, which did the bulk of the interviews, came to fear Local Release Week.
Marketing departments at the big firms have their own full-time content writers and editors. But smaller companies can’t afford that luxury. That’s where content marketing agencies such as The WordSorters enter the picture. Everything mentioned in the piece, we can do and have done with great success – and at fair, competitive prices.
See what I did there? After approximately 500 words that hopefully got you excited about the possibilities of content marketing, I came in with a short sales pitch that mentioned the company name for the only time in this piece. Pretty nifty, huh?
While most content marketing isn’t a direct revenue generator, it can certainly lead to greater profits. It just has to be done in a way that is right for a particular company in a particular niche.
Need help with your content marketing activities? Don’t have time to do it all yourself? Get in touch with us by connecting with firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 214-616-5457.