By jumping into (real estate ) content marketing, you can face the risk of hidden costs and wasting valuable time.
In today’s article, I will show you how to avoid hidden costs and potential time-wasters with so-called “free” marketing.
It will help you make an informed decision and avoid losing out on other marketing opportunities, as well as help you find out if this is the right approach for you.
But first, the short answer to whether content marketing is low cost.

Low-cost or even “free” real estate content marketing doesn’t exist.

You will need at least six months of constant content production and promotion until you get sufficient market data to test whether your efforts bring results.

The disappointing thing is that there is no such thing as a “free” lunch or “free” marketing. 

Depending on your situation, if you prioritize real estate content marketing early on, you might miss out on other, maybe more efficient, marketing channels.

Let’s talk briefly about the hidden costs of real estate content marketing.

The Hidden Costs Of Real Estate Content Marketing

Yes, it is partially correct that this type of marketing doesn’t cost you too much money, but it costs you your time if you don’t delegate content creation to a service provider or freelancer. 

Suppose you have an hourly rate of $21.60 (source).

To bring in enough traffic with the organic search to see results, you must create content in articles, videos, or podcasts regularly and for a decent amount of time until you get some traction.

If you are lucky, it takes a few months to produce at least 1-2 pieces of quality content per week, and if you are average, it can take 1-2 years to see some traction.

Let’s be optimistic. Suppose it takes only six months until you get some results. 

This means you need to create about 48 pieces of content (6 months x 4 weeks x 2 pieces =48).

If you have the skills and have already produced content before (video, podcast, or articles), you might make one piece, including ideation, research, production, editing, design, etc., within three hours. 

Applying the assumed hourly rate of $21.60, we are talking about (48 pieces x 3 hours x $21.60=$6,912) costs of $3,110.

Unfortunately, that’s not all. 

You will need to promote the content on different channels to be found. 

There are some free methods, but it will still take your time. Let’s assume you will need one hour of promotion per piece of content.

This promotion adds another $1037 to your costs from above (48 pieces x 1 hour x $21.60=$4,800) and makes for a total cost of $4,147 per six months.

Per month, it would mean costs of $691.

That doesn’t sound that free to me anymore.

Okay, you might think: “Well, if I do it myself, it’s my time, but I don’t have this much money to pay to anybody.”

That’s correct. The time you invest in this type of marketing can’t be used for other methods that might cost real money but get you faster results.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against content marketing because, otherwise, I wouldn’t operate this website in the first place. 

But the point is that it’s not free and might not be the method you want to start with. 

It’s More Challenging to Test Your Offers.

If you want to test your real estate website or property landing pages to generate leads for different offers (e.g., different types of properties, deals, etc.), it will take time until you know what works and what does not.

Sure, you can promote your content via Facebook Ads and see what sticks and works, but for that, you don’t need to have a whole content production regularly going just yet.

You could test different landing pages for different kinds of offer funnels with paid traffic in the first place.

Once you know what your target group wants and what works, you can go from there and use this market knowledge as your basis for building your content marketing strategy.

And you wouldn’t need a total budget of $4,147 to get your results.

is real estate content marketing low cost

What Budget Would You Need for Facebook Ads and/or Google Ads?

In the real estate industry, the cost per click is more expensive on Google Ads than on Facebook Ads, as seen in this analysis

It averages around $2.37 per click in the United States.

Facebook Ads are, in general, still cheaper than Google Ads. 

For the real estate industry, the cost per click averages 0.99$ per click in the United States, as you can read here.

But please bear in mind that these are averages. 

You can reduce click costs if you have outstanding ad creatives with a high click-through rate (CTR). 

The same is true if you have a crappy CTR, which can go up even further. That’s why good copywriting with good ad creatives is so important overall.

Now, let’s look at some more numbers here.


It’s Calculation Time for Your Google AdWords Budget

In this article, I explained that you need at least 30 clicks (100 would be closer to statistical relevance) to get enough market data to draw good enough conclusions for your marketing tests. 

If you would like to get this data within one day, you would need a daily budget of $71.1 (30 clicks x $2.37=$71.1) and a monthly budget of $2,133 ($71 x 30 days=$2133) for Google Ads in the United States.

But of course, if you are on a tight budget, you could spread it out further to get to 30 clicks within two days or even a week. It all depends. 

The higher your daily budget, the sooner you can see the results and thus keep improving the campaign until you see conversions.

Assuming you would like to get to this data within a day, it would still be more than the theoretical monthly budget for content marketing of $1,952. 

Still, you have to compare it to the total budget of $4,147 because if you only do one month of content marketing, it is better not to start with it in the first place.

After one month of a Google AdWords campaign, you will already have more market data than a content marketing campaign and maybe already have some conversions if you know what you are doing. 

It is also true if you spread the 30 clicks over several days and reduce your monthly costs accordingly.


It’s Calculation Time for Your Facebook Ads Budget

In the same article, I mention that you need between 200-300 clicks on your Facebook Ads campaign to collect enough market data until you can make a pivot with your campaign.

Applying the average CPC for the United States of $0.99 means that after spending between $198 and $297, you can improve the campaign using better copy, ad creatives, targets, geo targets, etc. (Facebook Ads has many options for that).

How soon you get the market data depends on your daily budget. 

So, with a daily budget of $10 and $300 per month, you can get helpful marketing data within four weeks and further improve the campaign to get conversions.



“Free” real estate marketing using content marketing doesn’t exist. 

It’s only “free-ish” if you do it yourself and ignore that you will spend your own time, which should also have a specific price tag.

You need to invest at least six months of constant content production and promotion until you get sufficient market data to test whether your offer converts.

A shortcut uses paid traffic methods such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads to test your offers, which need a monthly marketing budget, but get faster test results within a few months.

Once you know what’s working, you can apply this market data to real estate content marketing strategies

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher