Property developers have a massive opportunity.
By the very nature of their industry, they have time on their hands to craft a strong brand image. They also have multiple business challenges, clearly defined audience groups and great stories on the tips of their tongues.
Content marketing, come on down!
Real estate and content marketing should be hitting it off by now. But when it comes to messages, developers in Asia are mainly shouting at their potential customers, investors and commercial tenants about size, price and limited offers.
Everyone's talking "purchase, purchase, purchase", without really answering the "but why?" question (please do correct us if you've seen evidence of otherwise).
In Vietnam, we 'liked' one property-related sponsored post and our newsfeed has been flooded with them.
This is just two of hundreds that all look the same:
"Property marketers in Asia don't talk enough in the thought leadership or lifestyle space to draw people to their product," says Brand Director of Property Report and the Asia Property Awards, Liam Aran Barnes.
"It's always been hard sales first - using traditional marketing methods to promote fire sales, for instance - while the agents are usually left to sell the lifestyle dream."
Property developers can definitely find their own voice to drive the dream of real estate ownership, and actually own the stories they want to tell. By offering much more value through content marketing, they can be smartest not loudest, nurture customers and create sales.
Here's some Placester facts that suggest content is the ideal marketing tactic for real estate marketers:
“78% of customers prefer getting to know a company via articles instead of advertising”
You want to get to know them too, right? You can do that through content marketing.
“70% believe that organisations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them”
Forget good relationships - why not build great ones that can last a decade or more? Content marketing can help you turn readers into investors, happy residents and profitable commercial tenants. Not only for the short term, but for the long haul too.
So how to stop shouting?
1. Work with a content strategist to handle your 'owned' media channels, and/or plan for stronger content in your paid media channels
Internal strategists and/or publications like Property Report, can help you plan, tell and distribute strong stories at all stages of your development roadmap. Try thinking about content marketing opportunities from the very start and build them into your plans and budgets.
2. Produce audience-first content
You clearly think hard about your target customer when you design the property, so be sure to understand them when marketing it. Whether it's a mass awareness content push, or an attempt to move your leads through a purchase funnel, you always have to find the sweet spot - which often involves talking less about yourself and creating something that people genuinely need, enjoy, trust and share. Your content team should be producing audience profiles, too, but we'll save that for another blog post.
3. Be brave enough to own conversations in the industry
So if you do the ultimate investment guide that helps first time buyers understand the process, don't feel like you have to hard sell at the same time. Let your insights do the talking, capture data, get permission to talk to them again, and stand out by being the developer who went out of their way to give value.
4. From objectives to job roles, make sure you get everyone in a room to think about these 5 things before investing in content marketing
What are your objectives and business challenges?
Who is your audience now (create audience profiles)?
What does your content strategy look like to meet the objectives and challenges?
Who will glue it all together for you?
How will success be measured?
5. Get C-level buy-in and the whole company excited from the start
Without this, consistently digging up and promoting great stories from throughout the business will be tough. If you're going to be the property developer that smashes content marketing and sets the standard for the entire industry in Asia, ensure the stakeholders understand the value of content marketing and that all departments are fully briefed from the word "build".