By Pat Sherlock, Founder QFS Sales Solutions
Lenders and their originators have long used TV, radio, direct mail, and print ads to get their message out to potential buyers.
In the past, these standard marketing tools worked well, but today they are overshadowed by social media content marketing that is driving higher rates of engagement and generating more leads. Research indicates that social media content marketing delivers six times the performance of traditional marketing methods in terms of lead generation. This shouldn’t surprise you.
Unlike mass marketing tools which are intended to reach as many people as possible with the hope that some will be interested, content marketing targets a more specific audience. Content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This strategy is best implemented by a salesperson since marketing from an individual is better received than a corporate effort. Today, consumers are geared to automatically tune out mass advertising. There is a reason that TiVo and DVR are so popular.
Obstacles to Using Social Media
Why aren’t more originators using content marketing when the research is clear that it is an effective tool? The biggest reason originators cite is that they don’t have the time to devote to it, especially since they have a lot of other responsibilities.
It certainly is true that lenders are asking originators to do a lot and, in my opinion, handle way too many administrative functions considering the technology that is available. When you look at the stats, two-thirds of a typical salesperson’s day is involved in non-selling activities.
In today’s ultra-competitive retail environment, does it make sense for a company to have their best influencers doing administrative work? While it is true that most originators are super busy, the key question is whether they are focusing on the sales activities that will generate new business. When you see the mortgage industry’s dismal originator production numbers, it is evident that something is the matter.
Yet, there are top producers who have figured out how to consistently market while dealing with the administrative side of the business (they have teams); while others haven’t and need help to organize their daily activities.
How to Implement a Content Marketing Strategy
Regardless of the industry’s productivity sagas, content marketing has now risen to such importance that it is worth originators redirecting their time to include it. Here are three steps originators can take to launch a content marketing strategy:
- The most important step is for originators to analyze their current customer base and align this profile with an ideal customer profile that fits their market, lender and selling sweet spot. Too often, this step is ignored under the premise that the originator already knows this and they don’t need to do the analysis. Or the salesperson believes that everyone is their customer, which is simply not true. When this effort is skipped, the content marketing is too general and doesn’t work to attract followers. Determining a targeted profile is essential to succeeding in social media content marketing.
- Finding the content that is most relevant for their ideal customer is perceived as time-consuming by many salespeople. The good news is today there are many advanced sales services, such as Feedly and Pocket, that don’t require a lot of time once you have set parameters on what information you think will be of interest to your target audience. Free trial editions make it easy for originators to try this approach.
- Distributing valuable content is also easier than ever with service providers that can be used to schedule social media distribution for you. Hootsuite and Hubspot are two popular ones. The advantage of using these services is that an originator can sit down and schedule content well in advance, instead of having to do it every day. This is a major time-saver.
Content marketing should be an integral component of every originator’s prospecting efforts. When researching their housing financing decisions, consumers are looking for credible information from a trusted source. Don’t miss the opportunity to provide it!