Influencer marketing has been around seemingly forever; yet, most real estate professionals have been slow to leverage this particular resource fully.
Back when I first entered into marketing and public relations, it was normal for companies to hire spokes-people. We would find—and pay—well-known celebrities or industry experts who would ultimately mention our product or services in their appearances. Once they were adequately trained on how to weave in a mention or two about us effortlessly, we would pitch our spokespeople to a wide variety of TV and radio shows. As they spoke about their current movie, show, team or research project, we had our fingers crossed that they would get us into every interview.
The same game was played in fashion where companies loved the opportunity to dress a celeb or brands provided a sports figure with a hat or t-shirt to wear.
Those With Followers Carry Weight
And now we have evolved to the Kardashian era. Those with followers carry weight. That’s why they’re known as influencers. Companies look to identify major stars and niche players who have large followings. These firms then work with the influencer on the type of content they’re looking for them to generate. Essentially, a mention, post, or blog talking up a product or service should ring the bell, drive traffic and hopefully sales.
But it doesn’t always have to involve major stars.
I know of a food prep company that specializes in making and shipping pre-cooked meals targeting those who love bodybuilding. The company finds fitness stars with large social followings and provides them with free meals in return for social media posts. Each influencer gets a code, so when they post and offer their followers a discount if they use the code, the company sees how many of the influencer’s followers actually followed through with a purchase.
Influencer Marketing Works
Influencer marketing works, but not in the way we’ve been used to it working. From a brokerage perspective, you want as many people as possible in your area to know about the company, your agents’ abilities, and listings. So, who can be your influencers?
I believe it’s your agents.
They’re in the people business and should have amassed quite a few followers on their social feeds. While they likely have the numbers, most have proven to be relatively unskilled in crafting content that breaks through and engages. And, let’s face it, those who post a series of listings are essentially spamming unless they do so in creative ways.
Instead, what if you approached your agents as legitimate influencers? Let them amass the crowd, and you provide the content.
Brokerages can create a wide variety of shareable information from graphics to blogs and teach the agents how to share and engage with their sphere of influence. The brokerage wins through increased exposure, and the agent benefits by having valuable content that can engage far beyond what they have been previously able to do.
All of a sudden, those firms who might be struggling to get an engagement at the company level, now get it through their influencer program.
And the best part is that you didn’t have to pay millions to Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and the gang.
David Siroty has spent 30-plus years in marketing and communications, the last 15 in real estate. He launched Imagine Productions, a marketing and communications consultancy focused on assisting real estate brokerages, in December 2016 after 13 years leading global communications for Coldwell Banker. He can be reached at email@example.com.