Our competitive landscape today has evolved beyond thinking of competitors as the apartments just down the street. In a highly expansive online digital landscape, your competitors are those who have a stronger online presence than you. Are your communities growing their fan base among consumers who are only beginning to think about moving? Are those consumers being drawn to your online content first?
If you’d like to answer ‘yes’ to these questions, you will want to start by having a quality content marketing plan that attracts and delights potential and current residents. Apartments no longer stand out simply because of location or Class A amenities. They stand out thanks to strategic marketing and exceptional customer service.
While the marketing department or marketing director will create a strategy to help you stand out in the online crowd, the onsite staff must understand how to support the strategy and execute social sharing to promote their property and improve engagement with current and potential residents. Here are a few digital marketing strategies that will set you on the right path.
Know Your Market
Before producing any content on your property, it’s smart to know exactly what type of resident you’re trying to reach — as in understanding their lifestyle, hobbies, interests, and job location. The best way to do this is through developing a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal resident, and a tool you can reference when developing your internal marketing materials, blog, social media, and advertising content. The best way to develop a buyer persona is to set up 3-5 interviews of current residents to discover their demographic, rental behaviors, communication preferences, interests and pain points when apartment hunting. When establishing your buyer personas they should be general enough not to isolate nor violate Fair Housing protected classes.
Also by using your social media channels and tools like MyBestSegments you can gather greater insights to develop a strong persona.
For example, your persona might be an active financial professional looking for an apartment near downtown, or an active empty nester looking to downsize.
By understanding your persona inside and out, you can better get your property in front of like-minded renters that are searching for living options online. Maybe Facebook ads are more effective for attracting renters to your property, or perhaps your Instagram feed highlights the community’s active and friendly residents. It’s important to discover how current residents found your property, why they chose it, and and what pushes them to sign or renew a lease.
Map Your Content
Now that you have content types in mind that you can share to attract residents, it’s important to organize your approach. How and when you share social media posts will make a difference in their effectiveness.
Consider creating an editorial calendar that outlines each day’s posts, images, captions, etc. in order to keep your strategy on track and your onsite team focused on their action items. Leasing teams can maintain and share the calendar with the marketing department and bring in relevant content for their specific property. Are there events coming to the area? Is there relevant geo-targeted news to share such as the relocation of global business headquarters to an area? By varying the topics you share on social media, your accounts will stay fresh, relevant, and interesting to your target.
Execute Diverse Content at the Property Level
Once you have your buyer persona developed you can create content that will attract your ideal resident.
Residents consume information in many different ways so to have a variety of content in a variety of different outlets can put you a step ahead of your competitors.
Producing blogs on a consistent basis that provide solutions to your persona’s problem is a great way to attract more leads to your property.
According to HubSpot, “B2C companies that blogged 11+ times a month had almost 3 times more traffic than those blogging 0-4 times a month.”
So if your persona is the “Young Professional” you might write a blog about the “5 Things to Look For In A Downtown Apartment” or “Closet Organization: Maximizing Storage in Your Loft.”
Social media is another important outlet to post and share content. In fact, “77% of people using Facebook say they use their newsfeed to find interesting and relevant content.”
So for your multifamily property you want share reputable content from influencers in your industry, such as your local newspaper’s real-estate news. You can also share content about restaurants and events going on around your property to showcase increase interest in your neighborhood. To get your community involved in the conversation online and establish additional value to potential renters.
A great example of this is The Rivington in Hoboken, New Jersey run by the Bozzuto Group in Boston. Their Instagram page is full of vibrant photos showcasing the easy-going, active lifestyle of their residents and their blog showcases interesting reads the resident will find valuable. Simply scrolling through their feed, you can easily get a snapshot of all that the neighborhood has to offer.
Beyond producing and sharing content, a simple way for you to stand out is to respond promptly when potential residents reach out to you. By responding to comments and concerns you will show renters that you truly care about what they have to say, and they’ll spread the word about your excellent customer service. When responding to consumers, be sure to follow company policy. This may seem like common sense, however, social media comments can contributing to the overall brand perception in your local market.
Visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. Therefore, creative visual content should be prevalent in your social sharing strategy.
Visual content can come in many different forms. Some of the most effective types of visual content are infographics and videos as they are easy to digest and likely to be shared on social media.
You might create an infographic on “How Millennial Trends Are Driving Multifamily Development”. A walkthrough tour video of your multifamily property is exciting for a prospect and could increase the volume of showings.
Posting a community events calendar, followed by photo or video montages of residents enjoying the events each month are tangible ways for the onsite staff to promote the sense of community and increase likes and shares.
Using content to outperform the competition
The primary goals for your multifamily business should be to provide quality content and create experiences for current and future residents. By creating engaging content through the methods listed above, you will put your multifamily property a step ahead of competitors and assure residents sign a lease with you.