Content that inspires, educates and solves problems
As part of a series of AIPP webinars to share ‘good practice’ on how members build their property businesses using digital media we asked three AIPP members to share their insights and some ideas via an online presentation. We have asked the same panellists to provide their presentations as a blog article.
In the second in the series, Claire Robinson, Editor of AIPP’s sister site, AIPO, shares her advice on creating content that inspires, educates and solves problems.
Content is STILL King
The phrase ‘content is king’ was coined by Bill Gates almost 2 decades ago – it still holds firm as long as the content is good. Plenty of websites offer ‘puff’ copy such as ‘Buy on the Costa del Sol – we have great beaches’ – but this is not going to ‘hook’ you readers or clicks when you are competing in such a busy stream of information.
Your content should be targeted to your buyer market, with well written headlines, relevant copy and updated regularly. In busy times this may seem like an impossible task, so take advantage of this collective pause to prepare some articles that you can use now, and when things bounce back again. And don’t worry if you don’t have a website that has its own blog platform. AIPP members are exclusively invited to submit articles for publication on the AIPO blog.
The AIPO (Alliance of International Property Owners) was launched in May 2018. Its purpose is threefold:
- To drive awareness of AIPP members by providing Consumer Education & Protection to buyers of a foreign property #buyright ownwell
- To provide knowledge, value, representation and community to 1.5 million British Resident Owners of a foreign property
- Promote the Overseas Property Market
So – how do you go about creating an article in the first place?
Identify your target market
AIPO’s target market is pretty broad – we are appealing to people who want to buy or who already own in all countries and for a variety of reasons, and we publish a wide range of articles.
Your target market may be the retirement, 2-bed apartment crowd, or folks looking for a luxury villa, front line on an up-market golf resort. It may be adventurers looking for a rural refurbishment project, or investors looking for the next trend and market.
It’s important to understand who your key demographic is and aim your content and tone of voice accordingly. Consumers buy ‘outcomes’ rather than products or services. Good content will tease an issue, then offer a solution. Might they be worried how far their pensions will stretch in the Costa Blanca? Tell them your experience of the cost of living – and how to budget and live well.
Are they keen to ride the next wave of new-build investment opportunities? Tell them where the smart money is heading next – and why!
Create a great headline
80% of people will read your headline but only 20% of people will read the article so take your time in creating a great title – write a few infact then choose the best one. As a rule of thumb headlines have a formula and there a number that routinely do well:
- Numbers & lists
- How to…?
- Scarcity – promising the reader the key to a secret
- The BIG Promise – so labelling something ‘The Definitive Guide to’, or ‘The only guide you’ll ever need’ or ‘ You NEED this..’
Pay attention to headlines you like, and the ones that make you click on them – and also notice the ones that really don’t or offend or bore you!
I organise the AIPO blog articles via content ‘buckets’ so I get a good mix of subject areas. By listing out some relevant topics you can start to break down areas into articles, rather than either putting all your ideas into one long tome or sticking with the same tired area the whole time. Your buckets could be for example:
- Food and Drink
- Gardening and Landscaping
- Budget and Taxes
- Community and Language
- Geography and History
- Tradition and Culture
- Health and Wellness
Generally speaking – start writing about what interests YOU and move on from there! One of our best performing blogs on the AIPO is Some Like it Hot – Best Plants for Sunny Balconies!! Don’t be tempted to make stuff up that you don’t know about though. If you quote figures make sure you can back them up. Accuracy builds trust – and personal stories are often the best for this.
Images and copyright
A picture speaks a thousand words – never underestimate the power of a good image. It’s better to have one good, clear pic than lots of badly focused ones with awful lighting. If you use a picture that you haven’t taken yourself however it is imperative that you seek the owners permission before you use it. Don’t be tempted to grab/copy any old image off of the internet. There are agencies whose job it is to scan the internet for images used without correct permissions and it could be a costly mistake!
Call to action
Finally, once all these things are in place -DO NOT FORGET TO TELL YOUR READER WHAT TO DO! Though you don’t want to look like you are overtly selling you still need to ensure the reader has an action at the end of the article. Tell them clearly where they can find out more, register for further information or contact you directly – this is the goal after all!!
AIPO Top Tips
• Don’t state the obvious and try to overtly sell – say something genuinely interesting!
• Posts should ideally be informative, entertaining or persuasive (all 3 if possible!)
• A strong and engaging first paragraph should give an idea of what the post is about
• Pull-quotes should be used when possible to break up text
• Posts should generally end with a further action the readers can take
• Titles should be about 5 words long and hook the reader i.e. a problem you are solving
• Choose language that is inclusive and avoid expressions with prejudiced overtones
For further information about submitting a blog post to the AIPO click on our guidelines here.
If you have some ideas that you wish to run by me, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help the best I can – Happy writing!