Friday, March 14, 2014

Build your #CRE biz with CONTENT!

We all have read, seen, and heard lately that "content marketing" is the new SEO.

As a disclaimer, I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA, I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984. I have blogged, v-blogged, and media-ed socially since 2009...with a fair amount of success...thus this post.

Just what is content marketing anyway?

Before I jump into that fray, let me give you a simple way to think about content and where you may dwell on the content spectrum.

If you have ever watched a TV show, read a newspaper, listened to music on an IPod, or looked at an image on Pinterest, you have consumed content.

Walking up the sidewalk of content, if you have told a buddy about the terrific episodes of House of Cards, mailed an article you found in the Orange County Register, or...wait for it...emailed a link to a great tune that reminds you of your daughter's wedding, you have curated content.

Now for the coup de grace...content creation. If you write for a newspaper, produce a TV show, blog, make YouTube videos of a trade tip, publish silly commercial real estate cartoons, author e-books, host an Internet radio program...congratulations! You are a content creator.

Now before you puff out your chest and start believing that you are the content creation shit...just remember...ALL content creators need content consumers and content curators to "hear and spread the word". What would the Dave Ramsey radio program be without listeners or the Location Advice blog be without people to advise?...a lone scream in the wilderness, that's what!

Should you choose to embark on a content creation journey and start a content marketing campaign, here are a few "rules of the road" for your consideration:

Honestly consider why: The why of creating content can be very illuminating. Are you a multi year veteran with something to share? Do you engage in a unique specialty that is hyper local? Are you in the PR biz with a dramatically changing landscape of pimping products?

Figure out who cares: AKA, what is the audience that you want to reach?...small business owners, brokers, wedding planners, etc?

Examine what they care about: AKA, do a lot of "listening" in social media channels to "dial in" on content that appeals to the audience you are trying to reach.

Identify how often they care: If you are publishing market data for industrial buildings, what is a realistic time frame between your last publication?

Start small: For some this could be simply finding an online article once a week and emailing this to a number of clients. For others this could be creating a blog or a video series. You determine the "small".

Stay consistent: If you do nothing else...PLEASE be consistent! If you commit to a weekly post...then do it. If your consumers get used to a weekly video clip and you miss, they will wonder why and maybe stop tuning in. To borrow an old consumer goods metaphor, you don't want to be out of stock when the customers come to your store...they will buy elsewhere.

Check relevance...constantly: Is your message still relevant? a good way to gauge is to see if your readership, viewership are growing. If not, maybe the content is irrelevant...sorry!

Have fun! Content creation can and should be fun! Let your personality shine through and your authenticity become apparent.

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