Long-form content marketing sounds scary and time-consuming, but it’s really a minor extension to the content marketing plan you (hopefully) already have in place.
(If you’re not utilizing a content marketing plan, this article is a good place to start.)
We don’t want to mislead you. Creating long-form content does take more planning and execution than short-form content, but a successful long-form content plan repurposes information, resources and expertise you readily have at your fingertips.
Here are four types of long-form content perfect for real estate marketers:
Expanded blog posts
Don’t be overwhelmed by the term “long-form.” We’re not talking about writing a novel. Typical blog posts are 500-800 words. So, long-form just means longer than that — even a 1,000-word post could qualify.
The key is to occasionally incorporate expanded blog posts into your content plan to give your audience some variety and a deeper dive into certain topics.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Create an original blog post that is longer than your typical post.
- Combine and revise two or more older blog posts to give a fresh perspective.
- Include a checklist relevant to the topic. (Make sure it is downloadable).
Because you are giving readers more, you can expect readers who reach the bottom of the article to be serious buyers. Make sure you have a clear call to action to secure your lead.
The home-buying process has a plethora of steps that can be overwhelming to many people.
Buying a home is most likely the biggest financial decision a person will make in his or her lifetime. They come to you — the real estate professional — for advice and assistance through the process.
While it would be great if you are accessible 24/7 to answer questions and alleviate concerns, putting some of your know-how and expertise into a guide format can save you time from repeatedly answering the same questions, and it provides your clients with a look at the big picture.
Guides can be presented in a variety of formats — blog post, video, infographic, or downloadable PDF. A guide can showcase a step-by-step process or group similar topics.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
- How to stage a home for a showing or open house.
- First-time homeowners guide to the first year of ownership.
- Tips for keeping a home clean and tidy when it is for sale.
- From pre-approval to closing costs: Understanding the financial side to home buying.
Guides can be something that you promote in a normal blog or social media post. You secure more leads by asking people to give you their information in order to receive the guide.
Contests, polls, surveys
Contests, polls, and surveys are a great way to foster higher public engagement, and therefore, they have higher lead potential.
There are many free or low-cost poll and survey tools online. Most third-party contest or survey generators have a registration option — the audience must sign in or share their contact information before entering. The days of anonymous entry are long past.
Contests have the highest probability for lead generation because the entrants hope to get something out of it. The registration process can include a few short questions that can help you understand the client. For example, a registration question could narrow down the field of immediate home-buyers, such as:
How would you describe your residential status?
- Renting, no plans to buy
- Renting, looking to buy
- Homeowner, looking to move now
- Homeowner, looking to move in 1-5 years
- Homeowner, not looking to move
Your local media partner (newspaper, magazine, radio, etc.) can be a great medium to promote your content. Then you are tapping into their audience to generate your leads. Swift Local Solutions can help you find the right media partner for you.
Webinars — online educational sessions — can come in a variety of formats — from a shorter weekly webinar providing a market update to a virtual seminar for first-time homeowners. Webinars can be pre-recorded and then shared online, or presented live with the opportunity for audience interaction. The length, format and topic depend on your resources, time and expertise.
You can then acquire leads from audience registrations.
The great thing about content marketing, whether long-form, short-form or mid-sized, is that the more content you create, the more opportunities you have to mix and match products and repurpose content to share on new channels, for new audiences, and keep audience engagement high.