Many office and industrial real estate professionals are notoriously bad at content marketing. Content marketing is the story behind your listing (or the headlines in your market). The fun facts and trends that your listing represents.
First, lets take a look at what content marketing is exactly.
Content Marketing: The art of Communicating with and educating your customers, clients and prospects without selling products or services. Instead, imparting information to educate or amuse. It’s an ongoing and consistent process, providing valuable information so that your target audience ultimately turns to you “to buy”(or lease, consult-buy in).
Look at top end residential real estate brokerages. They milk their listings for all they are worth. Have a waterfall countertop in the laundry room? A Hammock Bath Tub in the Guest Room? Forget Facebook, top residential brokerage houses post those pictures (and 30 other well-lit, highly Photoshopped pictures of the property) across Instagram, Pinterest; tweeted it, and snap chatted the video. They are pushing it to Houzz and Curbed, and linking all those photos back to their personal web sites. If there is history or local lore and legend connected with the property, they have promoted it by linking it to local historical societies, wiki pages, their local patch news websites, and any other features space on the web that will have them. They are creating content and marketing it from a simple house listing.
If one residential agent can promote that amount of content (analogue translation: human interest features in the Sunday paper – back when reading the Sunday paper was an event), from one home listing, think about the amount of content that each one of your listings contains.
1. Industrial Warehouse – Did the company, expand, move or down-size? Why? Did you ink a deal on a local Amazon warehouse? Don’t just write a press release. Write ten lines about Same-Day-Delivery Demand increasing the number of ground breakings for Amazon hubs and fulfillment centers nationwide.
2. Lease that warehouse to retail products seller? Write a couple paragraphs about retailers rewriting their business plans to embrace the “Showrooming” Concept that has plagued bricks and mortar since “etailing” took off.
3. Retrofit a Warehouse to a Sky Zone Trampoline Park? Put together a blurb about Recreational Facilities taking over dark big boxes. Instead of a blurb, create a meme. Shoot a photo of you or someone in action, splash a witty caption over it and post away. Writing is great, but the internet is visual, so include photos, create infographics, post video. Marketing a multi-tenant property in any category? Create an infographic about the life cycle of a multi-tenant property: lease terms, sizes in most demand, and changes in the tenant mix over twenty years, or the last ten. Free infographic templates are abundant on the web in the marketing space. Visme, Google Charts, Easel.ly, and Venngage are just a few popular sites.
4. Office properties are a font of potential content. Take a cue from the Residential Side and hype the amenities in your building with high quality pictures. Tout the big name employers in your tower; better yet, the cool employers. Write or record a video listing the “Five Best Things” about working in that tenant company, using the staff’s own words. Have a Millennial-led company on the property but not in your space? Promote that company’s story as a potential “future perfect” to the next company.
5. Use your property, regardless of type, to demonstrate the larger trends in the sector using charts, infographics, or take the deep dive and break it down in podcasts (radio shows you can record from home while wearing your bunny slippers (no one will know).
6. Shoot a before and after video. Have a Light Industrial Flex building that can be repurposed? Have one undergoing a Retro-Fit? Attach a camera to a roof joist or an immovable tripod and set the camera to take pictures every 5 – 15 min for the next 90 days and just change the batteries and memory cards. Post the time lapse everywhere. Use it as a “Tenant Fit-Up” Tutorial.
7. Look at the Headlines of the Trades and Economic Journals. Apply the leading headlines to your space and make it an example that demonstrates the news of the day. We have more content within each listing waiting to be promoted than we can identify. It’s time to make each listing the marketing machine that it can be.
Bonus point: Drones. Everybody loves a good ground to aerial video.
Remember, Content Marketing is not posting your listing presentation on your website and sending out ten tweets and five emails, it’s about engaging your targeted audience with knowledge, humor, and anything that makes them say “Aha.”
Kristin T. Geenty, SIOR
President, The Geenty Group Realtors