Friday afternoon I met with a prospective client and during our meeting, they mentioned to me, “We’re looking for you guys to create massive amounts of content for us to get out to our farms. After all, content is king.”
I quickly corrected the agent and pointed out that while regular, repeated exposure to their marketplace is important (consistency is one thing that we relentlessly try to pound into our client’s brains), being contextually relevant is even more important.
Curious, they paused and asked me what I meant. I explained that while it is important that you are consistently and repeatedly in front of a person, helping ensure you gain brand awareness in their minds, if you aren’t sending them contextually appropriate marketing messages (Translation: Things that actually have relevance to them), you are going to be wasting tons of money and getting nowhere fast.
So if you agree with my assertion that “Contextual” marketing is more important than simply creating content, for content’s sake, here are some tips on how to create killer contextual content. Then, because I’m a jerk and want to keep you waiting, with baited breath for my next post, I will, in my next post, show you how you can monitor and grade the content to make sure that it is contextually important to your target market and serving your overall goals.
HOW TO CREATE CONTEXTUAL CONTENT:
1) DO NOT use content that is generalized to a national audience
Last week we talked about how using a boiler plate e-newsletter and not putting any thought into customizing it is the laziest form of marketing in the world. Take the same advice here. Generalized content is not contextually relevant to the masses, in general.
For instance, I happen to live and work in the Silicon Valley. When I hear national reports about median home values, inventories and housing outlooks on national news reports, I instantly stop listening. Why do I do this? Because they have no bearing on my local Real Estate market. Houses here sell well over the national median average, and even when the market is flat, or down, the Bay Area outperforms many markets, even if the news says otherwise. The reason for this is the unique geography of the Bay Area, the industries it caters to, and the fact that we are pretty much out of land to further develop.
Given my example, I’m sure you can see that if you compare a Realtor® that sends generalized marketing pieces to their Silicon Valley Farm area, versus an agent that specifically markets and speaks about the Silicon Valley market, the agent that takes time to hone their message to their marketplace is going to win out, looking more knowledgeable and more professional than the agent that simply “mails it in” (literally).
2) Pay attention to who you market to
Even though some in the public think it’s “so easy” to be a Realtor® and that Real Estate agents make “so much money”, the reality is that you have huge overhead. Marketing is one of the most expensive parts of being an agent. When you have a listing, you are spending tons of money marketing it. When you don’t have a listing, you are spending even more money, trying to stay in front of people and win that next listing.
Your money did not come to you easily. You put countless hours, blood, sweat, and many given up weekends into getting where you have ended up. If that’s the case, why spend your hard earned marketing dollars on people that are not interested in your services?
What do I mean by this? I mean that it’s time you started considering the demographics of your farm area. For instance, the average homeowner lives in a home they purchase, for at least 3-5 years. So why not go through your farm area and weed out anybody that has lived in your farm area for less than 3 years? Don’t just do this once (obviously as time goes on, new people buy in your farm area, and other people hit their 3 year anniversary), but update your list every month, so you always have the most updated information. This is just one perfect example of literally a dozen or so ways you can market in a “smarter” fashion, to your geographic farm area, and at the same time lower your overhead.
3) Community, community, community
Simply put, you can never go wrong by speaking directly to the community, regarding things that are “actually” pertinent to the community. Even if the recipient may not be interested in the actual topic of the marketing piece.
You may send a card out for instance talking about a flower show at the local community rose garden. I happen to find nothing less interesting than flower shows. BUT, if I receive a card from an agent, at my house, talking about a local flower show going on at the rose garden in the park around the corner from my house, I am going to notice it. Why? Becuase things about my neighborhood ARE of contextual importance to me, even if I would never dream of actually going to the event.
I cannot stress enough the importance of “owning” the community in which you work. The path to doing so starts with getting entrenched in that community and keeping all the residents in the loop with what’s going on.
So as you can see, contextual marketing is not impossible to create. If you think in terms of “putting yourself in the shoes of those that live in your farm area”, you can’t go wrong.
Stay tuned. In a couple short days I’ll tell you how to grade the contextual relevance of your marketing pieces and how to hone and nurture them into perfection.
Have you been struggling with getting your finger on the pulse of your marketplace? Are you looking for new, original, custom ideas on materials you can use to market yourself, in your farm area? Are you looking to fire up a new marketing campaign and don’t know where to start? Contact me anytime and I would be more than happy to help you in any way I can.