Ask An Ambassador: Is Canned Content Right For You?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Every so often you'll see it happen on the blog roll.  In a short span, you'll see the same title appear again and again and again and...

Yep, it must be the day Keeping Current Matters (KCM) has released a new post or two for their paid members to use.  It's not plagiarism since it's bought content with full rights for use by the paying members.

But is it useful to use canned content?

And the answer is as it is with most things in life, "it depends".

It depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your blog.

It depends on your target audience.

It depends on how well and how often you can generate your own content.

It depends on how well you can remember what you posted!

 

In a nutshell, there are two types of audiences:

1.  Captive:  People that already follow you and will be shown ANYTHING you post

2.  Free range:  People that don't know you and have to FIND you and then read what you post.

 

If you've got a captive audience, the need to be original probably isn't as critical.  The readers aren't cruising ActiveRain's blog roll and seeing the same post title a dozen times and saying a little whut da Hades?? to themselves.  So a good quality, general interest post is going to work.  The same thing applies to non-real estate topics, if you've got a captive audience, recipes, pictures and other things that have zip to do with homes for sale are going to work for you.  Those posts are keeping you top of mind with past clients, friends and family.  They don't need outstanding SEO to be found because you're already known to your audience.

If on the other hand your blog is meant to create new business without a large existing sphere of followers, you're after the free range audience. 

You need to write what that audience needs. Be relevant AND be unique.  In that case, KCM type content probably isn't going to help you get found by free range consumers.  A canned content post may be identical to literally 100s (maybe 1000s) of other posters, so don't expect Google to place that post anywhere even close to page 1.

You can see why I keep pounding on the value of niche and long tail type posts.   They hit the unique requirement and if providing what consumers are looking for, relevant.  Your odds of being found go way up, as do the odds of your blog actually paying you back for your time and effort creating unique, relevant content.

There are pros to canned content.  It saves you a lot of time and it SHOULD be well written (really important if you already know grammar and spelling aren't your strong suit).   In most cases, canned content is better than NO content, so that's good to.  Just one caution, make sure you're aware of what you're posting and how well it aligns with YOUR specific local market.

So is canned content right for you?  Maybe so, maybe not.  Each blogger has to assess their purpose for blogging and make the decision if canned content is part of that blogging tool bag.

 

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Comments (20)

Jeffrey Richman
Immediate Home Solutions - Waxhaw, NC
Creative Real Estate Specialist

Hi Bliz,

Interesting take on this.  I was wondering as I perused AR and saw much of the same thing.  Now I know why.  Thanks for the explanation.

Jun 15, 2021 05:07 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

For the most part on the blog roll you'll see a wave of the same title, same feature photo come through.  Some bloggers provide the attribute line for KCM, some don't.

Jun 15, 2021 05:49 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I don't find that kind of content appealing, but I see the value in it since everyone has different followers and we don't know who will see it where.

Jun 15, 2021 05:14 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I find my most effective posts are very locally specific.  In general, canned content is going to be to a broader audience (national?) and may not have as much applicability to my local market. 

Jun 15, 2021 05:51 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Liz and Bill. Making the right choice depends on your point of view, but it deserves thought and occasional review. Enjoy your day.

Jun 15, 2021 05:18 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

For some people it may make perfect sense to use the service, but any blogger should understand the pros and cons of their choices.

Jun 15, 2021 05:51 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good morning and thank you for your post. I haven't used canned content at all because I'd like whatever I send out to be in my words. I do see though, why some people might want to do so.

Jun 15, 2021 05:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ditto.  Something I construct myself is going to be easier to remember if someone calls, and there won't be a disconnect in style or tone as there might be if someone else was providing my material.

Jun 15, 2021 05:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - through time on this platform, I can sometimes sense a tsunami alert being called for an onslaught of the same material coming forth on the blog roll.  If it gets eyes and results coming their way - so be it. 

 

As for me, like Susan Emo has said(consistently over the years) "I keep my eyes on my own paper".  And that's a lesson I try to follow each day.  No fee either though I am sure Susan would be happy to collect one if she could.  😃

Jun 15, 2021 06:03 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I'm always curious if it works for them or not, although I've seen more than 1 who is using almost entirely content wonder why they never get Featured? 
For me, my paper is filling with my own words and thoughts, and also no fee :)

Jun 15, 2021 06:36 AM
Susan Emo

Michael Jacobs - thanks for the honourable mention; I almost missed it as I had my head down, focusing lol

Jun 15, 2021 08:07 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Bill,

We are deluged with the same content, and I just pass right by it.  And it makes me wonder for a moment or two, but then I realize that is how people are regardless of what anyone says.  It is the same old story since time immemorial. A

Jun 15, 2021 06:21 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I can see under the right circumstances where it might work, but I'm not likely to click/read on anything here in the Rain that I recognize as prepared content.  I'm looking for original work by the blogger so I understand more about how they operate.

Jun 15, 2021 06:38 AM
Bill Salvatore - YVP Blog
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - Valley of the Sun / golfArizona@cox.net

I agree with Brian above, you market for your audience,  and thanks for the post.   Make it a great Tuesday, and dont forget IT'S TACO TUESDAY. Bill Salvatore

Jun 15, 2021 06:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think we're grilling some metts tonight :)

Jun 15, 2021 06:34 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Bill I don't remember using any canned contect since I started my blogging journey. In fact, I am not a fan of canned at all.  But that's just my style. If it works for others then good for them.

Jun 15, 2021 02:37 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I'm kind of hardcore about writing my own stuff.  I've reblogged twice total, each time to promote a cause for a Rain friend.  If it's real estate related, it's my writing.

Jun 15, 2021 04:27 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bill- excellent point!  When I began doing this, I'd get the same email title in my Inbox but from different agents. Back to back, no less!!!  Canned content isn't the best way to let readers know who you are, but it might be a good way to get people to begin reading your information. 

Jun 15, 2021 02:41 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It can serve a purpose, but your audience needs to not be exposed to multiple agents transmitting the same message as you were getting.  It still needs to at least appear to be unique and original to the reader, even if it's been produced by someone else.

Jun 15, 2021 04:28 PM
Sara Mehrpouyan 818.903.2040
Beverly & Company Properties 818-903-2040 - Sherman Oaks, CA
CA- Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills Real Estate

As Jeffrey said- this is one of the reasons that AR bloggers posts like yours are so addictive.

 

Jun 15, 2021 08:20 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We try to make the time spent reading our posts worthwhile to the reader.

Jun 16, 2021 05:44 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I try to be as timely as possible but I understand it we are all busy in our own ways and individual lives. ;

Jun 15, 2021 10:26 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Compromises have to sometimes be made to accomplish all we want to.

Jun 16, 2021 05:45 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I'm too much of a free thinker and rebel to use canned content. Maybe that works in some businesses but real estate is so local and constantly flowing. I just don't see the point of generalizations from canned content.  I get a few of those "canned" newsletters and they go straight to the round file because it isn't customized for me.

Jun 16, 2021 05:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

In general, national real estate stats don't mean a thing to my local market.  Maybe years from now my market will match what is happening in NY or CA, but probably not, and it's the bigger states that get the most representation in the widespread canned content.  My local consumers need to know the answers regarding the LOCAL real estate market, and that can come from me.

Jun 16, 2021 05:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Excellent points, Bill. Canned content - using it or not, AND what you use -  is one of those BIG "it depends" issues.

Jeff

Jun 16, 2021 07:53 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've seen some take the extra step and connect the national canned content to their local market, a bit of the best of both worlds scenario.
Others I don't think use anything but KCM type content, so you never really get to know what they know about their local market, their personality, etc.

Jun 16, 2021 09:10 PM
Miriam Odegard
United Real Estate Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
Real Estate Broker Serving Greater Indianapolis

Excellent post! I've always wondered about "canned content". I try to write my own, but sometimes life happens and it's easier to use "pre-made". ;) 

Jun 17, 2021 05:18 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And it's possible to get pre-made that is more specific and more limited distribution, but of course there's a cost to that.

Jun 17, 2021 05:27 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Add me to the list of folks who find canned content a big yawn. I feel the same about canned newsletters I get in email too. Don't bother. :) 

Jun 18, 2021 09:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

About a decade ago we used a canned snail mail newsletter, but it was a bit of a hybrid, Reader's Digest type small articles mixed with our own content (market stats, a full page from us) that gave us a good balance.  But over time it stopped making sense to continue, the ROI wasn't good enough and too labor intensive to prep the 1000+ mail outs every month. 

Jun 19, 2021 06:10 AM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I really prefer to mix up my topics. Real estate, localism,  and other. Keeps it fun and interesting.

Jun 18, 2021 01:36 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Outside of the AAA series of posts, most of my blogging is done with the assumption that I'm after the free range readers so I'm targeting being on the end of a long tail search.

Jun 19, 2021 06:11 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I can see the value of canned content for an individual blog, and in fact for years I supplied a weekly post to a group of subscribers. I sold those posts as "something to keep your blog alive when you don't have time to write." I discontinued that service this year becaus I couldn't think of anything new and fresh that would work across the U.S.

However - I don't think canned content belongs here. As you pointed out, people scrolling though the posts see the same title over and over so skip all of them.  Secondly, I think our posts here need to be in our own voices. We ARE getting to know each other via posts and comments.

I feel strongly about that, so when I have been approached about writing unique content for the purpose of posting on AR, I've declined.

Jun 19, 2021 10:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Marte, I agree, if one isn't blogging at all, a solution from pros may make sense. 
And agreed, here in the Rain if I'm cruising the blog roll and I see the same photo/title pair over and over, the odds of me reading any of them are about zero.  I'm looking for original content that gives me insight into the author, their local market, etc.

Jun 19, 2021 04:54 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I don't see much of it anymore except for KCM things. I will say that their infographics are very valuable to start a post off with but they are not very meaty.

You still have to add facts for your reader to come away with.

Jun 19, 2021 11:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

KCM is the main thing I see, and creating infographics is not my strong suit.

Jun 19, 2021 04:55 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

I realize the value canned content might have to a lot of agents. It's easy and quick to get a consistent message out. It's never been an approach that I loved but I can see how it can help a lot of agents.

Jun 19, 2021 06:09 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's a business decision to make.  Time spent blogging , or not at all, by your own hand or with assistance?

Jun 19, 2021 08:31 PM
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Well now...as a KCM member, let me chime in here. 

I've been having one heck of a time getting back into blogging. I know it needs to be done...and I know when my website (s) don't get new content, their ranking can suffer. My long standing website MyMidtownMojo.com suffers from that lack of updating. Once I was #3 on Page 1...now I'm often on Page 2. 

I have my KCM set up to post automatically to my Facebook Business Page. It gets regular content there, and I can see the engagements happening as well. 

And I have actually posted the KCM content on one of my blogs. But, I will say it's content that is relevant. As Liz and Bill Spear  pointed out, they make killer graphics and they can be great filler's on my IG and FB feeds. I do, however, choose to post the content AFTER it has come out, so I'm not a victim of what many of you have mentioned ...seeing the same content from several people. 

But that's here in The Rain......and if an outside user (consumer) is here, then yes, they (and us) might notice what is the same article, over, and over, and.....

So, I work the content differently..but posting it at different times. And I've also added my own content along with the post. 

I get a lot of value out of my KCM membership...and it's all about how you use things. 

Jun 23, 2021 05:55 PM