Real estate content marketing master Sam DeBord dishes on his content strategy

Seattle broker and agent team leader Sam DeBord is a content marketing master.

As managing broker of 300-agent brokerage Coldwell Banker Danforth and eight-agent team Seattle Homes Group, DeBord oversees a lot of content.

His content marketing strategy includes a lot of quality contributed content, which he says burnishes his firm's brand, increases inbound Web traffic and credibility with search engines, which boosts organic traffic.

DeBord is perhaps best-known for his well-written, thoughtful analyses of industry issues in articles for prominent industry publications Inman News and Realtor Magazine. He writes for a dozen publications in all, including WSJ MarketWatch. All of his excellent writing can be found on his blog.

DeBord agreed to participate in HageyMedia's "What is content marketing" series, which examines the methods, definitions and winning strategies used by some of the practice's most notable practitioners.

See the first two installments: New Jersey broker Joe Rand and Seattle agent team leader Kim Colaprete.

Sam DeBord's best-performing piece of contributed content, a piece for Inman News on where brokers fit into the rapidly evolving listing data landscape.

DeBord responded to HageyMedia's content marketing questions below.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is value-first marketing. It is creating a product that provides knowledge or substance for a potential customer and marketing it to increase brand awareness and customer contacts.

What content do you frequently produce? (i.e. blog posts, podcasts, videos)

We market with blog posts, evergreen geographic and industry-related content, video, and timely news material.

Who’s your audience?

Real estate consumers, practitioners, and media outlets are our audience. Anyone who can expand the reach of our branding and our visibility is our target.

What are your goals? Why do you do it?

We build credibility with the public by building credibility with the search engines. If Google says we're credible, consumers believe it.

How do you measure content marketing success (if you do)?

Traffic is the primary measure of success, both initial and long-term.

What’s content marketing done for you and/or your business?

Our entire business is built on lead-gen, which is mostly driven by content marketing.

What’s been your best performing piece of content?

Off-site content has driven the most credibility and leads to our team. Writing for news outlets has delivered a diverse link profile that has long-term, sustaining value for our websites. (i.e. search Seattle condos for sale and see SeattleCondo.com)

How do you view off-site content versus on-site?

We're in the business of eyeballs. We do content marketing two ways: on-site and off-site. 

Onsite content is meant to engage consumers directly and entice them to contact us.

Offsite content is meant to leverage others outlets' visibility. By giving others quality content, we generate brand recognition, inbound traffic, and credibility with the search engines for organic rankings.

Best-performing pieces of content?

On-site: Where to find homes for sale in inventory-starved Seattle

Off-site: Broker-driven MLS future on Inman

DeBord's best-performing on-site content, a post highlighting where Seattle homebuyers can find homes in the inventory-starved city.

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