I had the pleasure of interviewing Gayle Kantro, director of corporate communications at JLL, about their content strategies. In my opinion, JLL is a real pioneer in real estate media and content marketing. On The News Funnel, JLL Real Views is one of the most popular sources amongst our readers. Content marketing in the real estate sector is something I have been focused on for the past few years. It's why I built my site - to provide a platform to host all of the industry’s content in one location. More and more companies are discovering the power of content to build their brand, tell their own narrative and position themselves as a thought leader in their respective niche.
Here is how one industry leader views their own content strategy...
Me: When did you first launch Real Views and what was the original strategy behind the launch of the site?
Gayle: We recognized the opportunity to tell our own stories and distribute them directly to our target audiences by incorporating content or brand journalism into our communications mix. As a global content-driven website, Real Views was an exciting step for us to take and marked a first for the real estate advisory sector when it launched in May 2015.
Real View offers JLL’s perspective on the trends and developments shaping the global real estate industry through a mixture of written and multimedia content presented in a style and design that’s distinctive from the rest of JLL’s communications.
We focus on high quality, professionally written articles that complement other content and marketing communications initiatives from the firm. We’re not trying to take on newswires or trade media - we’re very clear we’re producing brand journalism. We showcase our knowledge and expertise within our stories rather than explicitly promoting JLL services.
Me: How does producing this type of original news and trend content help build the JLL brand?
Gayle: By producing fresh and engaging content focused on the bigger picture issues affecting the global industry, Real Views makes it clear that we are experts in real estate and the development of cities. JLL produces a huge amount of research and has thousands of real estate experts working with clients on projects around the world so we’re certainly not short of good stories to tell. With Real Views we have a great platform to be able to connect with our audience, contribute to conversations in the industry, and promote and build the JLL brand.
Me: Where can industry professionals find Real Views? How do you distribute it to the marketplace?
Gayle: Real Views is a global standalone website that everyone can visit. The site is mobile responsive so readers can easily catch up on the latest stories on the move (we know about half of our traffic comes from mobile devices.) We market our content through social media, including the JLL LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages. We also send subscribers weekly wrap ups featuring all content published on the site (www.jllrealviews.com/subscribe.)
Me: Where does the content come from? How do you arrive at your editorial strategy?
Gayle: The content comes from our internal and external writers and from our business experts. Our stories cover four main categories – Trends, Places, Economy and Industries – and look to the real estate industry, the business world and local markets for inspiration.
We pay close attention to metrics to help us fine tune our content strategy and ensure that Real Views is adding real value to the business and our stakeholders. Although Real Views stories may cover regional topics, we strive to make them relevant for our global audience. We aim for a mix of content – some light-hearted slideshows, some serious features, some topical news pieces – which are driven by what’s going on in our industry and the world.
Me: What are your longer term objectives with the site?
Gayle: We want Real Views to be a destination site for professionals seeking insightful, interesting and timely stories about trends in the real estate industry and how real estate is impacting the world. We have achieved a solid grounding in the year since we launched Real Views and we have plans in place to reach a wider audience and further build the reputation of the site.
We consistently seek to find creative and interesting ways to produce high-quality content that engages readers. While much of our current content is written, we are expanding our use of high quality multimedia to reach our audience in different ways.
Me: JLL has historically been recognized as a market leader when it comes to marketing. What other media strategies does the company focus on these days to tell its story to the marketplace?
Gayle: In our multi-channel world, we have a broad view of the mix of marketing channels. We have a strong track record in media relations and this remains a priority for us. We love broadcast and put a lot of effort into training our spokespeople (for both print and broadcast media). We see Real Views as complementing our media efforts, not replacing them.
Thanks Gayle for these amazing insights! Check out JLL Real Views here.