Making content work for your office

Published: 06/10/2016 By Angela Peters

p>Do you struggle to update your website with original content? Do you find that no matter what you do, there’s just not enough hours in the day to promote, chat and tell the world about what your Estate Agency does or to share topical information with your audience?

The thing about creating news/blog content, and even social media updates, is consistency. You’d be better off regularly writing a piece every Tuesday and having your audience know that your Tuesday Corner is coming, than to try and commit to a daily blog and shout about it, only to find that you frequently end up posting ad-hoc articles once per fortnight to a month, and your audience can’t be sure when you’ll be back online.

If you can’t employ an SEO company to take care of this task for you, here’s some tricks and tips to help you get on top of the blogging world and bring in more content for your website:

1. Decide what you’ll write for content:
There is little point in getting more structured with your blogs if you aren’t prepared to do the work and discover what your blog/news niche will be.

If you’re competing (and you are!) against literally thousands of other Estate Agents then you need to know what your potential market share is and capitalise on that. There is little point being all things to all markets. By being micro niche in your area or a specific part of the Estate Agency market, you’ll have a much greater chance of getting those highly coveted top organic spots on the first page of Google. You’ll also become sought after for your advice and expertise within that area.

Only Estate Agents who have a huge multi-office presence around the globe or UK are going to be able to compete across the board in many parts of Estate Agent related areas (think tax, insolvency, lettings, sales, management, conveyancing, commercial...the list goes on). You don’t need to be that if you’re a one to three (or even six) office franchise. Your business can, and will, still be hugely successful when you focus on one small area or component within this market.

Perhaps you’ll focus on Kensington properties only and discuss the merits of living and buying in that area; your area of expertise might be tax in relation to Estate Agents; or you could know a lot about loft conversions; can your business offer financial advice? What is going to be your “thing” that makes you content king?

And then get ready to get writing.

2. Schedule your content: 
Once you know what you’ll write for your content, the next important factor to consider is when you will write it. This will be your publishing days and writing days. And that includes follow up tweets, FB posts, Instagram posts if that’s your thing, and any other social media that you find helps with your Estate Agency engagement.

Utilise websites that offer calendars to help you schedule content, or keep it simple and add it to your Outlook calendar with a date, a reminder and a colour that is distinct for your ‘blog content and social media updates’. Then sit down monthly for 20 minutes and work out when you want to write (not post) your articles. If you intend on getting four news pieces out for the month of October, when are the best days of the week for you to write these? When won’t the office dog, staff, or customers be beating down your door all demanding your attention? Include these in your calendar as content writing days.

For those of you who plan on writing more often and becoming quite structured in delivering content for your website and social media platforms, a content calendar can be the way forward. It helps you to keep organised and on track with those dates you’ve emotionally committed yourself to delivering on. Here are some suggestions for content calendars that you can use to schedule your content:

  • CoSchedule – editorial Calendar offers a free trial to see if this is the sort of resource you need.
  • Hubspot– free calendar to help set up social media content. Just fill out their details online. (hint: they also provide useful ongoing articles and tips).
  • Postplanner– This site is littered with general good tips for content and sharing.

Check out this Co Schedule article on the best time to blog. The magic day for traffic appears to be Monday at 11am. But if you want comments, then that you can capitalise on these on a Saturday. Though data suggests that people look online on Tuesdays at 9pm the most when searching for and sending property enquiries *. (Could it be they're over the weekend hump.)

Most importantly, you need to know what you want to achieve through your blogs. If you are trying to drive traffic to click on your inbound links – valuations, properties for rent, contact page – then you are going to have a different focus to someone who wants to accumulate comments about their industry news. Work this out then use the above CoSchedule best time to blog article to help you work out when you should schedule in your content delivery (how is that for some SEO savvy words...corporate bingo anyone!).

3. Delegate:
A great way to enthuse your staff is to get them involved. If you don’t have time to write four posts a month, there’s a very good chance that your staff don’t either. So perhaps you can delegate an article to each team member once a month through to every two months. This gives them plenty of time to consider something to write about and jot down some notes in between viewings and phone calls.

If you are concerned that they won’t have any ideas of their own to offer, then perhaps consider a few topics and recommend them to your team, letting them choose which topic they feel most comfortable talking about.

Not all staff are comfortable writing pieces so do be open to this outcome and offer for them to collaborate with another staff member if they’re struggling with the actual piece and grammar. The last thing you want to do is terrify your staff into writing. If it’s just the idea that their name might appear on the website next to what they’ve written, you can always have a generic name for the person who writes your Estate Agency posts. Some Estate Agents have their pets name as the blog author. Or, if you’re using the Webdadi system to write your blog, consider leaving the Author’s name out.

Letting your readers connect with individuals will definitely help your agency, so it’s a good idea to encourage your staff to use their real name, or for you to use yours. You just never know when you might generate a lead from your blog posts.

So in summary:

  • Consider what you want to say
  • Think about who your audience will be
  • Give thought to when the best times are for you to write your content
  • Get a schedule together and actually commit in principle to getting content out regularly. It will do wonders for your SEO and brand.

* Reference from Rightmove