It’s crucial in the digital world for a company, small or large, to develop a strong digital marketing approach. Traditional marketing approaches, which include print, cold calling, and broadcast marketing, have proven to be quite costly over time. With the growth and development of the Internet however, businesses of any size are no longer reliant on these approaches. If you are using one of these approaches in your day-to-day business, you may not be seeing the optimal results.
The traditional approaches are “tried and true”, but they do not work for every company, especially ones without a large marketing budget to spend. Stepping back and looking at the big picture may be all you need to see why your marketing approach isn’t cutting it. Some questions you may ask yourself include:
Has our company created buyer personas?
People are increasingly reliant on the web to inform their purchasing decisions. They look to reviews, opinion articles, and related web pages to make choices. It is important that your site and social media appeal to your targeted customer’s interests, concerns, and lifestyle. It’s with this reason that every business should develop buyer personas.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional characters who represent the potential buyers of your business that your company would be marketing towards. Personas are not purely demographics; they are a way to understand the wants and needs of your properties’ potential residents on a personal level. Developing buyer personas take time, and it should be precise and accurate. This can be achieved through interviews, big data, internal research, and understanding market trends.
When determining who to interview, there are four outlets you can turn to: customers, third-party networks, prospects, and referrals. These are people who you may already know that can provide you valid, useful, and valuable information for your personas.
Negative personas are also beneficial for a company to create, as they pinpoint the individuals that you are trying not to reach. This could be people who are looking for apartments at a lower price-point, people out of the properties desired age group, or people who are likely to be destructive residents. If it seems like a lot of time, or disadvantageous to your properties current marketing approach, we still recommend you give personas a try. There are multiple advantages of using personas for Real Estate Marketing. You can use Criterion.B’s buyer persona worksheet here to help you get started building your own personas.
Is our approach entertaining and educational to our buyer?
Potential residents generally do not have an interest in reading about the latest developments in the multifamily industry that do not apply directly to them. This relates back to buyer personas and their importance. You need to understand exactly what your ideal resident is searching for online and wants to read about. This should guide your content.
A good way to think about it is the cocktail party analogy: no one wants to sit and listen to someone talk about themselves for the duration of a party. Rather, people will gravitate to the person who listens intently, and gives valuable responses. You should aim to be that person. Educate and entertain your potential and current residents in a way that is valuable to them. You want to be able to anticipate the questions your target consumer is asking online, provide an answer, and improve your credibility. Use keywords, descriptive image alt-tags, and meta descriptions to increase your SEO and move from page 2 to page 1.
It doesn’t matter if you are an established company or just starting out, the path to becoming an industry thought leader is the same. What exactly is an industry thought leader, you ask? It is someone who is an informed expert leading conversation and insights in their field of expertise. Becoming this person takes time, patience, and a little luck.
Impact offers a post suggesting 10 ways to become and industry thought leader. As you read through the list you will notice that buyer personas, valuable content, and a social media presence are all key elements to becoming a thought leader in the real estate industry.
A marketing approach that mixes entertainment and education successfully will appeal to customers far more than a company that employs intrusive advertising and marketing methods. Taking the spotlight away from your brand and company is important when you are trying to appeal to the consumers wants and needs over direct promotions. Of course, you can talk about your company and what it has to offer, but it should be consumer-driven, rather than profit-driven.
The goal of your marketing efforts should be to help guide the consumers through the buying process, and to convert visitors into leads. There are a number of companies that do this successfully, and your company can as well. Developing buyer personas is a key first step so you can formulate just how to entertain and educate your target consumers.
Are we utilizing social media and digital platforms effectively?
Social media is the digital driver in the world of marketing, and a company should be taking advantage of everything that the platforms have to offer. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest are the top social media outlets, and each offer a unique way to market your company. Don’t be afraid to be informal, humorous or informational. Social media gives your company a chance to directly interact and relate to consumers, so take advantage of that and drop a few puns every now and then. Need some inspiration? Check out these brands that are using social media effectively.
Social media and other digital platforms, are a good way to reach residents where they already are. Billboards and flyers are good marketing tools, but they do not bring your property to the top-of-mind of your ideal residents. This is another area where buyer personas come in handy (see, we told you they would be worth your time).
You will have already determined who you are targeting, where they can be found, and what their favorite media outlets are. All that is left to do now is to figure out what you are going to say. No need for pick-up lines or corny jokes. Find your property’s personality, own it, and above else, make it relatable for your potential residents. You will be an industry thought leader in no time, and residents will be flocking to your door with the desire to live at your property.
Understanding why your marketing approach is not working for your company is the first step. The second step is approaching those issues head-on. Consider conducting some research about inbound marketing as well. Inbound Marketing is a technique that pulls customers in through social media marketing, relevant content, and search engine optimization. It is taking over traditional marketing, and it is creating an exciting future for marketing and the approaches used by properties and developers everywhere.
Stay tuned for more insights on inbound marketing as we help you navigate your property’s marketing strategy.