The Three E's of Content Marketing

I was speaking at marketing conference last year.  A session I was excited about attending was on what to post on social media.  One of the panelists in the session said that it really didn’t matter what you post on social media as long as you are posting.  He then promptly brought out his phone and began recording a live video saying that he was speaking at a conference on social media.  Really?  I thought.  Sure it’s good to brand yourself as an expert in what you do but it would be better to do a video stating that he was speaking at a conference talking about the top three messages that are easy to create on social media that drives attention.  That message would leave his audience wondering what they were.  They may even post something in the chat asking him to share.  He could later go on and share his three tips on social and link back to speaking at the conference.  Just shooting a video stating you are someone is like telling someone you are going to Starbucks for a latte.  Unless you are bringing me one back, why should I care. Don’t get me wrong.  You can post fun photos and videos, but when it comes to business videos.  Always lead with value.  While a short, “Hey, I’m at the Ritz Carlton” may be good once in a while, if you do nothing but post blank messages, people will tune out.  It’s like fishing with no bait on.  Why on earth would you think you would catch a fish with just a pole.  You need bait and you need to know what kind of bait the fish are biting on.   The right bait, in the right fishing hole at the right time usually results in fish on the line.  Now it’s up to you to reel them in.

As for posting content on social media, I would rather lead from a mix of valuable content that Educates, Entertains or Enlightens.  It’s what I call The Three E’s of Content Marketing.  (It’s not rocket science, but it is surprising how many people don’t do it.)  Now, you may be able to combine all three into one message, but usually you can pick one.  Let’s look at Educate, which is my favorite.

Educational Content

There are plenty of things you can educate on in the mortgage industry.  Pick one.  Keep it simple and be consistent.  If you don’t have time to write your own content or develop your own video, then at least share an article or guideline update.  Stop posting that you just closed on another loan or that rates or low.  It means nothing to anyone except you.  Consumers are looking for information and your post or video could be what they are looking for.  We have also seen many educational videos shared, over and over again to others.  In fact, we recently had one of our client’s videos shared by two big veterans organizations.  You never know who is watching you on social media and valuable content gets shared. Think about all the topics you could create educational content around.  For example, you could do a video around down payment options, or what is MI.  You could shoot a video about the top three things you need to do before you buy your first home.  The topics are endless.  

The next E is Entertain.

Entertaining Content

Not my specialty, but I have been known to garner some Michigan mittens to promote a session I was doing for the Michigan Mortgage Lenders virtual conference a few months ago.   Think of fun short videos you may do on what someone thinks happens when you get a mortgage vs what really happens.  Ken Perry with the Knowledge Coop does an incredible job creating entertaining continuing education content. Always be sure to be sensitive to others so that you don’t offend anyone.  Get creative because, mortgages don’t always have to be serious.  Once in a while feel free to make people laugh.

Finally, the third E, which is Enlighten.

Enlightening Content

Creating enlightening content can really mean two things.  The first is to inform which also links in with educational content.  I like to think of it as “bring attention to” something.  It may be informing real estate professionals about the misconception of the VA home loan process, or the real difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified.  Informative enlightening content is meant to raise awareness or bring attention to something in a positive way.

The other meaning of enlightening content is more in the lines of inspiring.  You know, the Oprah Winfrey stuff.  You may think you don’t have any enlightening content, but tell me the last time you had someone in tears in your office because they were getting into their first home?  Or the single parent who you were able to get qualified when no one else could.  These are some of the best stories.  It takes some time to create enlightening, inspirational content, but the message is important and one that resonates with consumers.  Make a list of some of your clients who where inspired by what you did for them.  

If you want to build value, create content that fits into The Three E’s of content marketing:

Educate, Entertain or Enlighten

In our next blog post, we will share how to make your message crystal clear.


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