When I decided to sell my charming Cape Cod-style home on my own in a grueling, competitive market, I wanted to offer prospective buyers not just honest and valuable information about the house, but I also wanted to deliver a compelling story about the property using eye-catching visuals, heart-tugging words and phrases, and relevant resources to engage my audience.
After all, those same techniques were what propelled me as I scanned hundreds of houses in my own search for a new place to call home. What I gleaned from this home-buying and selling process is that content marketing, when crafted effectively, can mean the difference between whether a buyer simply takes a glance without ever going deeper or clicks through the material like a miner in search of a golden nugget. When it comes to content marketing, you want the treasure seekers!
If you’re endeavoring to create your own content marketing for your company, the best and easiest place to start is with a blog. For great tips, check out Copyblogger.com or the Content Marketing Institute, both of which offer basic strategies for newbies. Here’s a few things I learned from my great adventure that can easily be applied as well:
Understand your target audience
Before marketing my three-bedroom house, I first decided to whom I wanted to market the property: my target audience. Being that it was a two-story house with expansive front, back and side yards, I figured it might not be suitable for older buyers looking for little upkeep. A young energetic family or a newly-married couple with pets and dreams of having children were occupants I envisioned. I knew I could captivate them with the large, fenced-in back yard, the private master suite on the first floor, the romantic fireplace in the living room and the wrap-around deck that was great for entertaining friends. The built-in fire pit and a hammock in the corner of the yard were additional selling points for a young couple with an interest in having get-togethers. And so I played up on those points as well as all the upgrades, from the new granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to the easy-to-care-for hardwood floors and modern light fixtures a young couple might fall in love with. I, the storyteller, allowed my words and phrasing to paint a picture. Here’s an excerpt from the house flyer as an example:
“Fall in love with the floor plan of this Cape Cod home, featuring the master suite on the first floor and two identical spacious bedrooms upstairs with a full bath … A gas fireplace provides ambiance or added warmth to the living room. A large wrap-around deck is ideal for grilling out, outdoor dining and entertaining. Relax in your hammock in the corner of this beautiful, fenced-in back yard.”
Before you ever pen a piece, it’s vitally important to know your ideal audience for your product or services and let that drive the substance of your words, phrases and visuals.
Visuals are key
When I posted my home online and created informational flyers, the predominant photo I used was of the home’s exterior, featuring a freshly painted door, pruned shrubs and hanging plants to create a homey, welcoming feel. Realizing that mostly women are house-hunting online, I followed with photos of the kitchen, living room and master suite, and then added detail shots of features like the fireplace, granite counter tops and master bath, all things women find important when shopping for a new house.
Typically, after a buyer has determined price point and target area, it is a photo that beckons the online shopper to click further. Keep that in mind when you’re creating a picture-perfect site. Images, videos and infographics motivate online users to dig deeper.
Easy-to-read content with valuable key points
When I was shopping for a new home, not only were the photos of utmost importance to me for drawing me in for a closer look, but I also sought easy-to-scan bullet points that would present a quick snapshot of the amenities or special features of the property. With so many properties to scan in such little time, it was crucial to me to find exactly what interested me quickly so I could decide whether to spend a little more time getting better acquainted with the property or moving on to the next.
That is exactly the approach I took when I created the post for my property. Informative bullet points offer value, are easy to read and are welcomed by time-strapped buyers eager to narrow down the search among the hundreds of potential places to call home.
Exhaust all your resources
I saturated both my online and offline presence potential by taking advantage of nearly every possible resource available for marketing my property, including listing the house on all the home-selling websites, posting signage in front of and throughout the neighborhood, making flyers available and utilizing social media outlets.
When marketing your product or services, you will want to strike a balance between traditional and digital marketing for optimum exposure, much like the approach I used that ultimately proved successful.
The breadth of possibilities is limitless and worth the time and exploration. And if employed with integrity, honesty and a fair amount of creativity, your endeavors will ultimately prove fruitful in the end. As for me, I chose a two-story townhouse for my teenage daughter and I in a community that provides lawn maintenance and a pool, just exactly what I was looking for, closing on the same day as the house I sold to (get this) a young couple, recently married with dreams of starting a family. I’m glad my house could accommodate their needs!
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