3 Proven Home Builder Blog Formats That Win Over Buyers
When it comes to digital marketing content is king… or is it? Many companies are investing more money in content as part of an overall digital marketing strategy than ever. In fact, according to a recent study marketers are allocating an average of 32% of their budget to content in 2016 (up from 29% in 2015). That means the web is filled with content noise. Some of it is brilliant. Much of it is sales-y, boring, or downright inaccurate. The results is that home shoppers are more wary of the information they consume online. This also means more noise that you have to compete with to win a buyer’s trust and attention.
But there is good news. With so much bad content on the web, it’s actually much easier to stand out from the noise with a strategic and successful home builder blog content plan.
So what is great home builder blog content? To start, let’s review the goal of having a blog as part of your overall digital strategy. A home builder blog content should do three things:
– Attract active home shoppers to your website
– Convert more website traffic to web leads
– Convert more web leads to appointments (through RSS and eNewsletters)
Based on the 6 P’s of home builder digital marketing, great content is strategic (focused on your business goals), relevant (personalized for the needs of your buyer), and clickable (attracts website traffic from search engines and social media). There are many different blog formats that you can use to create content that clicks with buyers. Here are three blog formats that we often use with our clients to achieve more traffic, leads, and appointments.
The Photo Walk Through
The photo walk through is a great format to use to write the perfect floor plan blog post. This is one of the easiest and most fun to write, especially if you have great professional photography of your homes. It’s also much more fun for home buyers to read, especially those who find it difficult to picture a home from a floor plan or rendering. Simply choose 3-5 photos of a specific plan and write a paragraph about each photo. Write about features, reasons why other homeowners have chosen that plan, customization or Design Center options, and more.
Why it Works: Photos give your content a great visual while the copy is like an online version of your best salesperson demonstrating your model. The copy can include features, benefits, and even overcome common objections. This re-creates a skilled, in-person sales presentation online to engage potential home buyers.
Bonus Tip #1: Create a walk through for different buyer personas. Why would a foodie love the kitchen? What makes the home great for young families? Which configurations are available (such a loft or fourth bedroom) and what are some ways homeowners can use the space?
Bonus Tip #2: Add your logo and some text to each photo. Then include a keyword in the name of each photo title and alt text for added SEO benefit.
If you’ve ever seen an article on the web entitled “100 Things To Do With a Lemon” or “10 Reasons Why You Should Retire at the Beach” then you already have a good idea of what a list article – or listicle – is. Lists are popular, shareable and a great way to get home buyers to your site. Home builders can use listicles to promote a neighborhood (“50 Reasons Why Parents Love The Glen Neighborhood”), a group of floor plans (“10 New Home Plans with a Main Level Master Suite”), informational (“18 Common Mistake First Time Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid”), and more.
Why it works: Great for readers with short attention spans, the listicle is easy to skim and easy to share. It’s also a great way for you to highlight key information. Most people won’t read through long paragraphs of text, but a listicle that includes features, reasons to buy from you, neighborhood highlights and more can be skimmed in just a few seconds. This can often be just enough to compel a home buyer to add your new home community to their “must see” list.
Bonus Tip #1: To make your listicle even easier to read, break it up into sections. For example, a post about ways to customize your featured floor plan can have separate sections for kitchen, bath, master suite, etc. This makes it even easier for readers to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
Bonus Tip #2: Give your listicle a fun and catchy title to make it more shareable. Instead of “15 Reasons to Buy Our Harrison Model” try something like, “15 Surprising Features of Our Harrison Plan That Will Spoil You Rotten.”
The How-to Guide
As people who are involved in the homebuilding industry everyday, it can be easy for us to loose sight of how much people don’t know about the process of buying a home. This is true for first-time home buyers, but it can also be true for buyers who have not bought a new home in the last 5-7 years. New features, different financing guidelines, different stage of life, or even completely new emerging neighborhoods are all things that even experienced home buyers need information about.
Why it Works: Home buyers research the web looking for high quality information to help them make a buying decision. The how-to guide goes beyond the stats (bedrooms, baths, price), plans and photos to offer a consultative approach that wins buyer trust.
Bonus Tip #1: Personalize the information for each buyer persona. A how-to guide about finding the right neighborhood will be very different for a single professional than for a first move up family of four.
Bonus Tip #2: Offer a printout of your how-to guide to home buyers who register with an email address. Not only will you increase leads to build your all-important email list, you will have insight into what the buyer is looking for. This makes sales follow up more strategic and effective.
Those are just three popular home builder blog formats that you can use to attract more home buyers through search engines, social media, and email. What types of blog posts are you using that work best for you? Tell us in the comments below.
Need help developing a winning home builder blog strategy? Contact us for a free consultation.