What role does content marketing play in the homebuying process? It turns out, educational content can greatly impact the entire experience, which is exactly why CapWest Mortgage sought a partnership with Brafton in 2011.
In sitting down with President and CEO Monte Robbins, Brafton learned more about why this Costco Preferred Lender and division of Farmers Bank & Trust turned to custom content to improve homebuying for every American.
Q: Can you give our readers a broad overview of CapWest Mortgage’s content marketing strategy?
A: Since we started with Brafton, we have been publishing articles directly onto our main domain. My ultimate goal for someone who comes to our site is to find a plethora of meaningful, actionable information regarding the homebuying process. I want homebuyers in the early stage of the process to have all of the resources necessary to confidently make a purchase. Content can help CapWest become buyers’ first stop online, and compel them to come back throughout their research process. So many people hop from site-to-site – we want to have enough high-quality content that they don’t have to ever leave. This led us to develop a unique persona for our blog.
Q: How did you go about developing your blog’s persona?
You have to get together with your team and outline your vision. If you plan to use an outsourced team of marketers, you must come to the table knowing what you want.
A: You have to get together with your team and outline your vision. If you plan to use an outsourced team of marketers, you must come to the table knowing what you want. We developed the brand persona internally so the content wouldn’t become a faceless institution. We know our culture, personality, client base and goals better than anyone, so it was a matter of verbalizing all of that to our team at Brafton to ensure clarity around the strategy.
I wanted our blog to have a feminine touch and bring a new perspective to homebuying. It’s sad, but I see a number of banks marginalizing single female homebuyers. This is a growing market and one that definitely is under served in terms of how banks approach the overall experience. Our persona is a savvy young professional, and our content doesn’t say “Is your dad going to help you buy this home?” The bottom line is it empowers everyone to learn everything about homebuying and make informed decisions for themselves.
Q: Did you learn anything new about your audience through developing your brand persona?
A: We have a very diverse set of clients right now. On one end we have the very high-income professionals at the height of their careers who are quite successful in an array of industries. They understand that price is what you pay and value is what you get. They may be buying their third or fourth home and simply need a quick refresher on the details of the process as well as information regarding current market conditions around the nation.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have young, first-time homebuyers. We have found these people are typically bright, self-motivated and self-sufficient individuals who consume information like sponges. It’s a process they’ve never gone through before, so we want to lay the information out in a clear, concise way that helps them be well-educated buyers and borrowers. We want our clients to have a world class education on the topic of buying a home, whether they are seasoned pros or just starting out.
Q: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when getting your content strategy off the ground?
A: The biggest challenge was knowing where to start. We had to get everyone in a room and talk about our client base. Once we wrapped our minds around the opportunity and how to best leverage Brafton as a content creation resource, we began making strides toward a better web presence.
We had a flood of new business last year, and we were spending a lot of time on the front end, and very little on brand management. We used Brafton content to shape how people viewed our company, and generated brand ambassadors by distributing the content through social channels.
Q: How does the content you receive from Brafton help with your social media marketing objectives?
Brafton has been that dynamic team that amplifies and fuels our Social Media Director’s efforts – we have our own marketing engine in Brafton.
A: We recently hired a Social Media Director to manage our campaigns. She built the house – the structure for our future strategies – and Brafton provides us with the furniture – the content that helps us market smarter. This allowed us to take the house she built and turn it into a home, so visitors feel comfortable from the second they navigate to our website. Brafton has been that dynamic team that amplifies and fuels our Social Media Director’s efforts – we have our own marketing engine in Brafton.
Q: What’s the next step – where do you see Brafton content helping you out down the line?
A: We’re planning to put together long-form content like booklets that would leverage Brafton content. We’d target these resources toward first-time buyers who want additional help when searching for the home of their dreams. Through our content marketing efforts, we’re driven to learn from our audience, and create a constant loop of feedback. I see our blog becoming the direct line of communication to our customers.