The Secret to a Successful Multifamily Marketing Strategy: Influencer Marketing
Millennial and Gen Z renters no longer consider commercials or ads the major influence in their decision-making process. Many brands know this, using their marketing tactics to focus on influencer marketing to reach beyond the typical leasing billboard.
From reviews to thought leadership, social media for apartments offers a unique outlet to build fans as an influencer. Social media influencers in the real estate world are recognized for their large following and insights covering all aspects of the multifamily space.
A strong social presence is necessary to hold an influencer status in addition to quality posts. Turning to these influencers as a voice within the industry will result in valuable relationships that companies can leverage.
So who exactly are these valuable assets?
Social media influencers are a group of users that have a large following and are “influencing” the community. They are often viewed as a more trustworthy resource than advertisers, thus better capturing an audience.
According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands. It makes sense, right? Who sounds more reliable, a brand trying to sell you something or an individual just stating opinions?
Influencer marketing has become an increasingly important tool for businesses in recent years, and the multifamily industry is no exception. Influencers are social media users with a large and engaged following who can help to promote your brand or product. When done correctly, influencer marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach new prospects and generate apartment leads.
What does influencer marketing mean for multifamily?
As property managers take to more nontraditional methods for reeling in renters, social media influencers hold an interesting opportunity for multifamily. Influencer marketing is an indispensable asset as it allows a third party to promote your property.
For instance, influencers have brought attention to properties through guest blogging and social promotion, like TweetChats. Most of them participate or host weekly Tweetchats, like #AptChat and #REOnline, where real estate professionals exchange ideas while networking. Apartment communities can join the conversation and leverage the popularity of online hashtags run by influencers.
Leveraging influencer marketing for your property
There are a few key things to remember when leveraging influencers for social media.
- First, it’s important to identify influencers who are a good fit for your multifamily brand and who have an audience that overlaps with your target market.
- Second, you’ll want to develop a clear strategy for working with influencers, including what type of content you’d like them to create and how you’ll promote it.
- Finally, ensure you measure the results of your influencer marketing campaign to continue improving your multifamily marketing strategy over time.
Connect and Engage With Influencers
Connecting with real estate professionals is the first step to becoming aware of how influencers can help your marketing. Engaging with these professionals in relevant topics will help develop a network that can be used to get involved with the community.
Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have a large commercial real estate community, so it’s important to know where to go to connect with the right professionals. TweetChats and LinkedIn groups are great places to engage with property managers, so use these to your advantage. As long as you’re getting your name out there, other professionals will start to see you as a reputable source.
Socialize With Quality
Focusing on sharing quality content is important to real estate influencers. Social media should be an outlet for property managers to be themselves and talk with other professionals. Sharing relevant content and using popular real estate hashtags will elevate your presence. Further, voicing opinions on certain trending topics will show a positive interest in building an active, involved community.
Boost Your Multifamily Marketing Efforts
Influencers are great marketing tools because they know the ins and outs of the industry. Connecting with these professionals allows property managers to market their property simply by becoming visible to their followers.
Rather than spending large marketing dollars on billboards or print ads, influencer marketing is free or significantly cheaper. Consider allowing one of these professionals to guest blog on your property’s site, for example. They can share your article with their followers, and you have more content to add. It’s a win-win!
By following these tips, you can maximize the impact of influencer marketing for your multifamily business.
Understanding the Relationship Between Multifamily SEO and Social Media
Did you know that multifamily SEO matters on social media?
More and more multifamily properties are hopping on social media, which serves as another channel for them to share and interact with renters and the community. But perhaps you don’t see the appeal of a social media presence?
Well, we’re here to give you another very important reason to be on social media, and that’s search engine optimization (SEO). Multifamily SEO is essentially the process of optimizing your content for search engines.
For most platforms (i.e., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, to name a few), there are a few simple steps you can take to move your multifamily property up in search engine rankings:
How do you optimize your social media profiles?
1. List Basic Information
All social media platforms have a place for users to list basic information: Company Name, Location, About Us, Address, etc. Make sure to fill out all the information sections on your profiles with specific keywords. The more information you share, the more chances you have to be indexed by Google. Besides, you want to make sure that anyone who comes across your property online knows exactly where it’s located and how to contact you.
2. Anticipate Popular Keywords
Brainstorm words or phrases that are relevant to your multifamily property. Perhaps it’s “lofts in downtown Dallas” or “Houston apartments with a dog park.” What is your property or multifamily business offering? What would your target audience search specifically? Use these keywords at a high density throughout your social media profiles and bios; include them in your social media captions when it’s natural to do so. You also might want to use them in hashtags (within the caption and not the comments) to get users on social media to find you more easily.
3. Invite Reviews
Display a section for reviews when possible. Facebook pages have a review section on the left side panel with 1-5 star ratings for the user to evaluate and post comments. It shows real people living in your multifamily property, providing real feedback. Again, it’s more opportunities to be indexed by search engines. This also allows you to publicly address any issues that your residents may be having, ultimately showing potential residents that you’re on top of handling problems.
4. Link Often
Outbound links are one of the most important aspects to multifamily SEO, so be sure to link to other sources! In your use of social media, provide links to relevant blog articles and neighborhood events. Spread the word out about the great happenings going on around your neighborhood and property. Not only is it good for multifamily SEO, but “linking” is a great way to connect with people and businesses in your community.
5. Create Shareable Content
Inbound links are equally as important to SEO, yet you have to earn them. When people link back to your multifamily website or social media pages, it means you’re sharing content that is high quality, compelling, and helpful.
Some ideas include:
- Make and share a weekly newsletter with information about what’s going on at your property.
- Post interior design tips for small living spaces.
- Write about apartment decorating and storage hacks.
- Promote local events and happy hour specials in your community.
Creating shareable content starts with knowing your audience and what they would find interesting and resourceful.
6. Utilize Multifamily PPC
While SEO is the organic approach to driving traffic, multifamily PPC is the paid. PPC ads display at the top or in the sidebar of search engine results. A successful multifamily PPC campaign combines your keyword research and your insights to design highly targeted ads that drive traffic to your website. It’s important to note that well-qualified traffic is the result of research and continued testing. Understanding your residents should be an ongoing learning process and the foundation of any SEO or PPC campaign (not to mention, all digital marketing).
7. Update Your Instagram Bio
Potential renters don’t just use Google to find new apartments, they use Instagram too. They go to the search bar on the explore page a type in “apartments in [city]” and maybe even include a descriptor such as “affordable” or “luxury.”
The way you give your property’s account the best chance of showing up in a related search is by adding keywords right into the “Name” of your profile’s bio. While the label for this section might make you assume you’re limited to just having your property’s name, there are actually no rules for this section. You can put whatever you want for your bio’s name. There’s also quite a bit of space you have to work with.
Here are some examples:
- Rio Villa Apartments | San Angelo, TX
- LVL 29 | Luxury Apartments in Plano
- Willow Creek | Affordable Apartments in Austin
- Prairie Pride | New Homes in Midlothian
If you feel like your Instagram handle is enough to communicate the name of your property, you could even remove the name entirely and focus more on longer or multiple keywords.
Following these simple steps is a great way to improve your search engine ranking with the social media platforms you’re already using. It ultimately makes your content easier to find, allows you to connect with your audience, and helps you build the brand that you’re striving towards.
How Do You Measure Success in Social Media?
When it comes to proving the value of a digital multifamily marketing strategy, return on investment (ROI) is the keyword all executives want to hear. It may seem a simple enough request, but calculating social media ROI can get pretty tricky.
While social media ROI is definitely important, there’s a different way to think about ROI that’s critical for marketers; the foundation that a strong initial multifamily marketing strategy can provide for all future multifamily marketing endeavors.
While it may seem minimal compared to the numerical value that a multifamily marketing strategy can provide a company, it’s important to remember that the work done in an initial strategy can make or break any future marketing efforts.
Our 7+ Years of Multifamily Marketing
Why Strategy Lays Important Groundwork
It’s easy to espouse demographic information about a brand. For example, a majority of Oreos purchasers are parents between the ages of 24 to 39. But what does that information mean? This explains a core distinction between digital marketing strategy vs. traditional marketing efforts.
For traditional marketing, this information is simple enough for Nabisco to decide to put out a commercial, during daytime hours for stay-at-home parents that heavily features children enjoying Oreos.
For digital marketing, the approach is more complex. From this demographic information, what do we know about these parents? Where do they spend their time online? What does their buyer’s journey look like? What is a deciding factor in their purchase?
As Oreo is an established brand with years of name recognition under its belt; it’s unlikely that they would have to seriously consider these factors in order to find marketing success. For other companies entering the world of digital marketing, this information is “make or break.”
Knowing the important factors of your digital multifamily marketing strategy are important not only in your first campaign but campaigns developed down the road. When this information is not addressed upfront, it could lead to catastrophe, forcing marketers to return to step one.
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Multifamily Marketing By the Numbers
For multifamily marketers, content marketing can take time to show real results. That being said, it’s a long-term approach that improves your brand’s visibility online and helps you nurture stronger customer relationships.
While it can be difficult to assign a dollar value to marketing ROI or ROMI (Return on Marginal Investment), there are still numbers that are important to the marketer more focused on marketing and results than the value of the marketing.
Consider the following statistics to further understand the value behind marketing beyond ROI:
- Companies that blog 15 or more times per month see 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog.
- 82% of businesses report actively using content marketing, up from 70% last year.
- Marketers with blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t.
- Marketers who prioritize blogs are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI.
- Video content is 50x more likely to drive web traffic than plain text.
- Using photos of real people rather than stock photography can result in a 35% conversion increase.
- Video was the primary form of marketing media created in 2021, followed by blogs (used by more than half of marketing teams), and infographics.
- Social engagement as a success metric was also on the rise; it was up 187% from 2020.
These statistics are developed from the analysis of a widespread amount of marketing data and are incredibly important as marketers decide what tactics work well for their strategy. For example, knowing that blogging daily can have a large effect on the chances of customer acquisition is helpful. It may even lead to a heavier blog focus in a group’s digital multifamily marketing strategy. But if persona research suggests that the key personas won’t read a blog, it might be wiser for the strategy to put less emphasis on blogging.
While marketing statistics aren’t a guarantee that a tactic will work for all marketers, they do allow us to see important trends. Though innovation is important in multifamily marketing, it’s also vital that you’re not constantly seeking to reinvent the wheel. By utilizing trusted statistics, marketers can make educated decisions about the tactics to funnel their efforts to.
How to Plan Your Next Inbound
How Companies Are Rethinking the Value of Social Media
Social media reigns supreme in the marketing space, even above multifamily websites. Last year, a website was the No. 1 marketing channel for business. This year, social media is the top dog. In fact, it’s at an all-time high.
What does this mean for your multifamily organization? If you aren’t on social media in some capacity, you are already behind and missing out on qualified leads.
Did you know that 8 in 10 companies invested in social media marketing in 2021, and 39% plan to invest this year? Over the last year, companies had to rethink their strategies and some even hired customer experience officers to help lead the charge in this realm.
The Easiest Way to Determine
But how do you measure success on social media? Engagement metrics are helpful to track, but how does that translate to conversions and social media ROI? The primary tactic for social media marketing in 2021 was listening — something that will continue into 2022 and beyond.
The true value of social media lies in the relationships you make. By establishing relationships with your followers, you can learn how to engage with them, support them, and — most importantly — convert them into sales and loyal brand advocates.
While the most popular platform for marketers is Instagram, many teams are starting to see the most social media ROI and conversions from Facebook. This is likely due to Facebook’s robust advertising platform and ability to run lead form ads. This shows that while social media listening is a critical component of your marketing strategy, you can still achieve social media ROI with lead form ads and an effective Facebook advertising strategy.
Assigning Value to Your Marketing Efforts
Assigning value to marketing efforts doesn’t have to be solely numerical. Instead, it’s important for marketers to understand that marketing strategy offers an important starting point to all future endeavors. A digital multifamily marketing strategy also offers social media ROI that is not necessarily easily measured but impactful all the same.
3 Keys to Multifamily Branding
Success with Instagram marketing varies for every industry. For multifamily properties and businesses, some are finding success by highlighting residents, showcasing events, and being a part of the community.
Here are some ways to find success with your commercial real estate Instagram marketing strategy to help build your social media presence.
Instagram Insight #1: Adopt Instagram as a leasing tool.
Commercial real estate Instagram marketing is about more than just scheduling out some posts and letting it be. To take full advantage of your social media, you need to use it as another leasing tool. Your Instagram should inform, engage, and delight your residents — enough so that your prospects not only want to follow you but also want to schedule a tour to learn more about your property.
Located in the renowned area of West Plano, Texas, LVL 29 is a luxury apartment community that takes full advantage of its Instagram to showcase unit interiors, available floorplans, leasing specials, and unique community amenities. The property not only has a growing following, but its residents often take to Instagram to tag the property and reshare posts thanks to LVL 29’s consistent Instagram marketing strategy.
Additionally, Discovery Park Apartments in Denton, Texas, is another property that uses Instagram as a leasing tool. Eye-catching interiors and amenities are a great way to engage potential renters and start a conversation about what’s available at your property.
Instagram Insight #2: Feature your world-class staff.
3700M is a luxury apartment complex located in West Village, Dallas, that frequently uses its Instagram to highlight property staff. This Instagram marketing strategy allows both current and prospective renters to put a name to 3700M managers and employees. By personifying the property and showcasing the friendly faces that make up their resident community, 3700M humanizes the rental process and opens the line of communication for their resident community and future tenants.
AvalonBay Communities, an equity REIT, also does a great job showcasing its staff and company culture on Instagram. From posts about National Hiring Day to interviewing staff for Hispanic Heritage Month, AvalonBay publishes a variety of content to inspire its followers while personifying the company in a unique way.
Instagram Insight #3: Get crafty. Hold a contest.
AMLI Residential is a property management company that has mastered the art of creativity on Instagram. They showcase everything from new property photos to cute canine residents, but most importantly, they’re not afraid to get crafty. AMLI recently held a contest, encouraging residents to share their creative DIY projects. Their Instagram is worth a visit, as AMLI does a great job sharing photos that spark opportunities for resident engagement.
Instagram Insight #4: Highlight resident events.
Century Apartments is another property management company that has multifamily properties nationwide. They often use Instagram to promote upcoming resident activities at each of their properties, as well as provide coverage of events that are being held. Not only does this approach encourage participation from current residents, but it allows prospective residents to get a sense of the personality of Century Apartment communities. They also share photos from various philanthropic events, which show how their properties are giving back to the community.
Instagram Insight #5: Change with the seasons.
We often talk about the importance of being helpful on social media by anticipating your residents’ needs and interests. Prairie Ridge, a master-planned community in Grand Prairie, Texas, maintains a cohesive Instagram feed aesthetic while still changing with the seasons.
In December, for example, Prairie Ridge shifts to images of the homes with Christmas trees and cookie decorating. In the summer months, the community’s feed transforms to children playing in the sprinklers in the front yard and eating ice cream in the driveway. The community’s content changes with the seasons to show prospects exactly what life can be like in their homes.
Instagram Insight #6: Embrace your city.
While Anatole at City View is located in the smaller town of Lubbock, Texas, the apartment community embraces its city on social media by focusing some of its Instagram posts to showcase nearby eateries.
Additional ideas to include in your commercial real estate Instagram marketing strategy are posts to show support for local businesses, upcoming events, nearby retail shops, and the best drinks to try at the closest coffee shop. The goal is to embrace and celebrate the unique culture and events of your home city.
Instagram Insight #7: Showcase your location.
With prime locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming, NE Property Management’s communities each showcase the incredible views that come with location, location, location. From relaxing pool views to breathtaking rooftop views, NE paints a picture of luxury at its properties. Each of its properties’ Instagram accounts are portrayed as if from the eye of a resident — one who loves their city and loves what their property location has to offer.
Instagram Insight #8: Celebrate your residents.
Your residents are the ones who make your community great, so why not focus on them? Winsted at White Rock in Dallas, Texas, celebrates the faces and personalities of the people who live there. Not only is this a great way to engage with current residents, but it gives prospective residents an idea of the kind of people who currently live in your community.
Instagram Insight #9: Utilize influencer Instagram marketing.
Social media offers a unique outlet to turn fans into influencers, particularly with commercial real estate Instagram marketing. Influencers are recognized by their large following and insights covering all aspects of your respective market. Often, influencers are viewed as a more trustworthy resource than advertisers, thus better capturing your audience.
By connecting with these influencers, you can market your property or multifamily business simply by becoming visible through their followers. Consider allowing an influencer to guest blog on your site, for example, or have them take over one of your channels for a day to motivate your followers to engage.
The Morris Apartments in Nashville, Tenn., regularly has social media influencers “take over” their Instagram page for a day, such as beauty influencers like Leigh Taylor who share beauty tips and advice on the property’s Instagram Stories.
It’s crazy to think that an average of 95 million posts are uploaded onto Instagram every single day. Even in our own networks, we are bombarded with numerous photos on a daily basis that we often succumb to an aimless scroll — seeing but not really retaining.
When it comes to social media for apartments, we pause to see something that really catches our eye. Whether it’s vibrant food or a scenic location, something about that image stops us in our tracks.
Here are some tips on how to stop your followers’ endless scrolling and enhance your multifamily marketing strategy:
1. Don’t be in the shadows.
Lighting might be one of the first aspects to stop someone in their tracks. Brighter images will draw attention more often than darker ones. Play with brightness settings to increase light in specific areas or in the entire image. Take advantage of natural lighting. Especially when highlighting details in food or texture, brighter or natural lighting allows for clarity and proper emphasis on specific aspects of the shot.
2. Make it pop.
Color is key. Bright, vivid images are a great way to catch one’s eye and draw attention to a post. No matter the subject in the frame, try to include colorful objects or even add some filters or effects to boost the color. With that said, make sure your use of color sticks to your theme or brand tone. If you’re running an account for a company or brand, make sure you don’t stray too far from their tone and color scheme. It’s very easy to get carried away with bright colors that you completely forget who you’re posting for.
Take @lvl29life on Instagram as one example. The luxury apartment community’s overall Instagram feed is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also is in tune with the brand’s color scheme and multifamily branding. LVL 29 utilizes high-quality photography and design to create social media graphics that are cohesive, engaging, and unique to the brand.
3. Focus, focus, focus.
When highlighting a subject, play with foreground and background. Most commonly done with food, put your subject in focus and blur out the background. This technique blatantly directs the viewer to see the most compelling part of your image.
A purposeful focus adds texture and depth to your image in unexpected ways. A general approach to any of these images would position the subject on a table with nothing too exciting about it. By focusing the camera on the subject, the photographer captured the detail of the object while also allowing for greater context on the outer part of the frame. Whether the background is bland or has more action going on, focusing helps to organize what’s important in the frame and, when done well, can look quite striking.
For example, a multifamily property might want to highlight its resident dog park on social media. Rather than simply sharing an image of the park, ask one of your residents to pose their dog in the park while you take a picture of the dog in the foreground with the park slightly blurred in the background. Playing around with the focus of the image and making sure your residents (and their pups) are the star of your photo is a creative way to showcase your property amenities without being overly-salesy.
Interested in more multifamily marketing tips for your social media? Check out our other blog, 4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Socia Media Strategy.
4. Don’t be boring.
Depending on what you are posting, variety may be a good attention-grabbing tool. Adding an assortment of objects and textures to an image can tell a greater story than expected. People are quick to look past singular images. By adding multiple objects into the frame, the viewer is invited to spend more time looking at the post and absorb every part. With variety, your eyes are fed with new and different images around the frame, sparking curiosity about what all these objects have in common.
5. Position with a design eye.
Instagram allows anyone to instantly become a photographer. When taking and editing images, consider the positioning of your subject relative to the things around it and your perspective to capture the image. If you’re taking pictures of food, approach it from unconventional angles or perspectives that make even the blandest piece of toast look enticing.
If you’re taking pictures of nature, walk around and take a number of different pictures at different angles and distances to compose completely different images. Experiment with angles and positions to bring a creative edge to your image. Two images of the same object can look completely different with different angles and positions.
6. Experiment with videos and Reels.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 Instagram users watch videos daily? Never underestimate the power of video on social media. Video allows you to go beyond static images to capture viewers’ interest. Instagram offers several ways for you to share videos, including on your Stories, feed, via IGTV, and Instagram Reels. Instagram’s latest algorithms put a significant focus on video, primarily Reels. It’s time to find a trending Reels sound and get creative with your content!
7. Use design apps like Canva.
Even if you don’t have a graphic design team in-house, that doesn’t mean your Instagram posts need to always be static content and Stock images. Design apps like Canva offer anyone the ability to create unique and branded posts with a few taps on your keyboard. Be sure to upload your fonts and hex codes for your brand colors to ensure your content is consistent and cohesive with your multifamily branding.
Want to see this in action? While our graphic design team helps us create a majority of our posts, our content team also utilizes design apps to enhance our feed. Follow us on Instagram to see for yourself!
8. Have fun.
No one said Instagram had to be serious. Have fun with what you share. Use every post as an opportunity to experiment with any of the above tips and bring new life to your account. Don’t be afraid to get weird or quirky. It’s the odd things that make people stop and stare.
For more multifamily marketing tips and tricks, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
What Is Experiential Multifamily Marketing (And How It Can Benefit Your Property)
The best way to understand the power of an experiential multifamily marketing campaign and how it can help you increase your apartment leads is to take a look at some popular brands that have executed it effectively.
Imagine you are at New York’s JFK Airport. You’ve got the ticket, passport, and carry-on bags all ready to get on board. But right on your way to the gate, you see a huge board like this…
Heineken has given you a challenge. If you push the button, you get free round-trip tickets to a new and adventurous destination. Sounds great right? But here’s the catch: You don’t know where the destination is, and you have to leave right now.
To date, the event video named “Departure Roulette” has gained over three million views. Further, the story was featured by the New York Times, Time Magazine, AdAge, and countless others.
So, why does Heineken do this? Why doesn’t it just stick to the entertaining beer commercials and social media?
What Is Experiential Multifamily Marketing?
The answer is simple: Friendly multifamily brand engagement on social media no longer sets you apart. Today’s audience craves suspense, wild creativity, and digital experiences that translate into real ones. They want a full-on experience with a multifamily brand.
This is where an experiential multifamily marketing campaign comes in.
According to Jeff Benjamin, the Chief Creative Officer at JWT North America, experiential multifamily marketing “is what brands do in the world that gets people ‘participating.’”
The participation started with passengers at the JFK airport when the event first took place. But thanks to the mighty power of social media, everyone on the internet is now a potential participant.
The beauty of experiential multifamily marketing, as David Moth explains, is that it “creates a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.”
The best way to understand the power of an experiential marketing campaign is to take a look at some companies that have executed it effectively.
The Dos Equis Experiential Marketing Campaign
Several years ago, Dos Equis launched a national campaign called “Masquerade” to gear their fans up for Halloween and help them “stay thirsty” for the brand. The prize was a trip to New Orleans for the Dos Equis Masquerade, featuring musical guest Q-Tip.
As usual, it would not be a Dos Equis campaign without their brand persona: The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Different from past campaigns, however, The Most Interesting Man doesn’t just tell another adventurous tale. He invites the audience to become part of his story.
To kick off the experiential marketing campaign, Dos Equis launched an interactive video. Before a viewer starts playing the video, there is a mission on the screen: “Find The Most Interesting Man’s Little Black Book and Be Rewarded With a Very Interesting Phone Call.”
When the viewer hits play, the screen displays a navigational question. Each navigational choice leads to a different party room and story scenario. Throughout the video, there are several different navigational choices; the viewer’s decision will decide whether he or she can find The Most Interesting Man’s lost little black book.
Additionally, Dos Equis planted 21 virtual reality headsets in a few bars in the brand’s key markets (including Texas). Patrons could enter The Most Interesting Man In The World’s exclusive Masquerade party and travel through the rooms to become a part of the story.
The interactive video of the experiential marketing campaign was viewed more than 27 million times. The #xxmasquerade hashtag garnered 1,861 posts on Instagram. Countless major media platforms have covered their story. From a metrics standpoint, the campaign was a huge success.
Why Dos Equis’ Campaign Worked
The key to an experiential multifamily marketing campaign is to have digital meet physical. Dos Equis perfectly enabled this integration through their use of technology, storytelling, and a physical event (Dos Equis Masquerade in New Orleans).
The virtual reality headset and interactive video allow viewers to immerse themselves into the fictional world of The Most Interesting Man. With the prize being combined with the physical event of a real Masquerade party in New Orleans, Dos Equis amped-up people’s desire to see their fantasies become reality.
The technology perfectly supported the creative strategy, which in turn provided the audience with a fun and relevant experience. From a consumer engagement standpoint, Dos Equis definitely earned themselves a big “Bravo!”
Ubisoft’s ‘Amazing Street Hack’
If you own a Wii, Xbox, or PlayStation console, you probably have heard of UbiSoft. UbiSoft is a French video game developer that produced several popular adult-oriented video games in the market today.
A few years ago, UbiSoft created an experiential marketing campaign called the “Amazing Street Hack” to help promote WatchDog, its new open-world action-adventure game. Because its video games carry a strong plot, UbiSoft usually promotes new games with a trailer/demo on TV or online. However, this time, UbiSoft added an incredible guerrilla marketing element.
The stunt began in a set-up consumer electronics store with a big sign on the storefront that read, “Special Offers: Smartphone Repair in 15 minutes 24/7.” Anything overly suspicious? Probably not.
Of course, the smartphone repair is only a cover. In addition to fixing their phones, the salesman installs a “special” mobile app — a magical tool to help you become a real street hacker.
The salesman walks outside and shows customers how it works. With this app, they can unlock cars, change traffic lights and pump money out of an ATM machine (all coordinated by UbiSoft, of course). Want to see what exactly happened? Watch this “Amazing Street Hack” video here:
Why Ubisoft’s Campaign Worked
The “Amazing Street Hack” video garnered more than 23 million Youtube views and a countless number of featured stories in media. The query “Amazing Street Hack” also returns 30 million search results on Google.
Obviously, this “pranks-vertising” worked very well for UbiSoft and WatchDog. Why?
First, it has all the elements that make this experiential multifamily marketing campaign an experience. The street stunt was impeccably planned and executed. It caught people off guard and it gave them an experience that was “of another world,” suspenseful, and relevant.
The great content provided the online audience with great entertainment value. This quickly turned the experiential marketing campaign viral on social media. And most importantly, it gave people the motivation to buy the game. All these amazing hacks without taking real responsibilities — you can have it all with WatchDog from UbiSoft.
Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” Campaign
Marketing professors always like to quote: If you stripped away all of Coca-Cola’s physical assets, the company could still get back on its feet so long as they didn’t lose the right to the Coca-Cola brand.
Ranking No. 6 on Forbes’ The World’s Most Valuable Brands list with a brand value of $64.4 billion, Coca-Cola is indeed the epitome of branding success.
In 2009, Coke replaced its four-year global “Coke Side of Life” campaign with “Open Happiness.” The experiential marketing campaign debuted with the usual TV commercials, print ads, and outdoor advertising. However, the viral element to this campaign was Coke’s brilliant use of vending machine hacks. Through these hacks, Coke “dispensed happiness” to millions of people who were having an otherwise ordinary day.
The first vending machine hack — “Happiness Strike” — was launched in 2010 on a college campus in New York. At the school cafeteria, an unsuspicious-looking vending machine sitting by the wall delivered students endless free coke, fresh flowers, pizza, balloons, a 40-inch long sandwich, and of course, an indescribable amount of happiness to everyone on the scene.
The video went viral online, which inspired Coke to take this vending machine happiness hack to the world stage.
In South Korea, Coke installed a dance machine featuring a popular local band 2PM’s classic dance steps. Using MicroSoft’s Kinect motion sensor technology, people could mimic 2PM’s dance moves. The more accurate they were, the more free coke this dance machine dispensed.
In Belgium, Coke partnered up with the new James Bond movie SkyFall. Commuters were challenged in a local train station to jump across platforms in 70 seconds with obstacles in the way. As a result, the winners received exclusive tickets to the movie premiere and a bottle of Coke Zero.
Additionally, Coke used a high-tech vending machine installed in malls in Lahore, Pakistan, and New Delhi, India. The machines aimed to help people separated by political reasons to resolve their differences, connect, and share a happy moment.
Why Coke’s Campaign Worked
Consistency, relevance, and wild creativity are the three most defining characteristics of Coke’s “Open Happiness” experiential marketing campaign.
Consistency: Since the campaign’s inception, hundreds of videos have been produced for “Open Happiness.” Both commercials and real-world events deliver a seamlessly integrated message: Coke is for your happy moment. Whether you are in the video or watching the video, you invariantly experience the joy from the scene.
Relevance: Coke’s change of brand message began as a response to a culture shift in our society. In a world of uncertainties, people are yearning for a place of comfort and optimism. With a unified “happiness” message and customized local campaign executions, Coke made itself relevant to customers emotionally and geographically.
Creativity: “Open Happiness” deserves applause because it took digital beyond the internet and made technology interesting in real life. When combined with creativity, even a vending machine can become a source of entertainment. After all, happiness often finds us when we least expect it!
The Bottom Line of Experiential Multifamily Marketing
The core event of your experiential multifamily marketing campaign is to engage your consumers. There have to be people physically participating in the events and people online passing the message along to others.
And the power and presence on social media do not go unnoticed. So back to the Departure Roulette: A few lucky Twitter users that tweeted their excitement about the campaign got an unexpected visit by the Heineken crew. The campaign enthusiasts were visited by the roulette board and given an opportunity to push the button that held their travel destination.
When consumers are actively engaging a multifamily brand or campaign and then get rewarded, you create advocates — and other consumers notice. Leverage these opportunities to create experiences consumers want to be involved in.
As multifamily marketing tactics continue to evolve, how do you think marketers will begin to incorporate an experiential marketing campaign into their own efforts?
6 Marketing Ideas for Apartments to Incorporate Into Your Facebook Strategy (#3 Might Give You a New Perspective)
Despite the economic climate, now is not the time for apartment communities to ignore social media.
In fact, Atlanta-based RangeWater Real Estate decided not to cut its budget in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — a risky decision for an apartment marketer to make during a global crisis.
However, this seemingly “big risk” reaped big rewards for RangeWater Real Estate. The company saw a 35% increase in overall impression share across most of its submarkets between April and May 2020. Additionally, the company’s apartment communities appeared on Page 1 of search results more frequently than before — the ultimate win for any property.
In short, RangeWater was able to attract a larger percentage of leads using the same budget despite a huge upheaval in the economy. How did they accomplish this?
Below, we’ve compiled some of our best marketing ideas for apartments and how to effectively use Facebook to bolster your apartment marketing strategy.
Making the Most of Your Facebook Strategy
Facebook connects more people with businesses than any company ever has in the past. Businesses know this fact, which has caused brands to constantly rethink their Facebook strategy every year.
Are Your Residents Still on Facebook?
Despite trendy platforms like Snapchat and TikTok gaining popularity among young adults, Facebook is still a relevant social media channel among your renters. According to Statista data, 65% of Facebook users are under the age of 35. This means your millennial and generation Z residents still use Facebook actively.
However, as the multifamily market shifts and renters’ needs evolve, so too does Facebook. It’s critical for multifamily marketers to stay ahead of the game to ensure they make the most of their Facebook strategy.
But even knowing how important social media is, how can you best use Facebook to your marketing advantage? Below, we’ve outlined some of our top marketing ideas for apartments and how to incorporate these tips into your Facebook strategy:
1. Always remember the 80/20 Rule.
Social media management should be treated like a cocktail party. You need to take the time to meet the other people at the party (residents, neighborhood businesses, new millennials, Gen Z renters, etc.) rather than monopolize the conversation. Only when the conversation presents itself should you share what makes your community so great.
From recommendations and leasing details to customer service and reviews, renters are turning to social media for property information, and this trend will only continue as a younger, social-media-savvy generation gets older.
In the meantime, be a resource for your residents. Publish fresh, helpful content to inspire and engage your current and prospective residents.
2. Practice patience and consistently engage with your followers.
Years ago, you were finding residents. Nowadays, residents are finding you. People are searching online for places to live, and it has become the apartment’s job to intercept them. You do this by providing fresh content, sharing helpful information, and having conversations.
Multifamily professionals who have dabbled in social media will claim that it doesn’t bring them any conversions. However, keep in mind that social media is not about the sale; it’s about engagement and customer experience. When you successfully and consistently engage with your residents online and share quality content, their byproducts are relationships, referrals, leases, and retention.
Any good salesman will tell you that relationship-building drives sales. And Facebook is an optimal relationship-building platform.
3. Focus on the qualitative aspects of your residents.
Who are your residents? We don’t just mean demographically, although that too can be important. Instead, you really want to focus more on the qualitative aspects of your residents.
- What kind of lifestyle do they have?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are the things that cause them stress or trouble as residents?
This is where your resident buyer personas come in handy. If your community is home to several working professionals, helpful content may come in the form of quick-and-easy dinner recipes. If your community is home to several dog owners, you could share an interactive map of the dog parks in your city. The information you share should be a mix of content you create and content you aggregate.
4. Share community events and partner with local businesses.
Your residents shouldn’t have to rely on the local news for happenings. Are there any upcoming events that you can pass along to your residents — festivals, charity events, happy hours? Find things that are within walking distance or close proximity to your property.
Sharing helpful content could be as simple as re-posting farmer’s market hours, sharing restaurant specials, or providing tips and tricks for navigating the local flea market. Searching Facebook events for local on-goings is another great and easy way to find shareable content your residents will find useful.
You could also try partnering with local businesses to arrange special discounts for your residents; this provides great content for sharing on Facebook.
5. Publish property updates.
Yes, we know we’ve advised against talking about yourself, however, this form of self-promotion is very different. Instead of telling everyone how great you are, show them.
Try posting photos from last week’s movie event showcases, or get some shots of residents enjoying a nice day by the pool. Are you giving away free donuts and orange juice in the leasing office? Share that, too! Your property’s social calendar paints a picture of resident life and engagement, and it gives insight into your property culture. Isn’t that what you’d like new residents to stumble upon when they’re researching your property?
6. Take advantage of Facebook Advertising to bring in more apartment leads.
A social presence is a great tool for properties looking to improve their lease-up. But sometimes, just posting and sharing isn’t enough. Without a decent following or active residents, your social media efforts might be falling on deaf ears. Thankfully, there’s Facebook Advertising to help.
Facebook brought in $17.44 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2020, a 17% year-over-year increase from the first quarter of 2019.
Facebook did experience a “significant” fall in the demand for advertising in March amid COVID-19, but data from April indicates that demand is already returning to normal.
Paid social media ads can seem overwhelming or a huge investment, but Facebook has done a great job of making its ads cheap and available to a wide audience. There is any number of ad types to run, and they can make a difference in giving your social media reach.
If your Facebook is new, a “Page Likes” campaign can be key to helping you get followers that will see your content by encouraging them to like your page. This can greatly increase your reach for a couple of dollars per like.
Similarly, if you have a particularly well-performing, helpful piece of content, boosting that post for a few dollars can expand its reach to hundreds or thousands of others in your area. While you should not dump all your time and resources into ads, running some every so often can be key to giving your Facebook strategy that extra edge it needs.
You can also launch a giveaway campaign to promote Page Likes. Last year, Criterion.B hosted a Facebook giveaway for one apartment community client. The giveaway consisted of a swag basket followers could win by liking the apartment community’s Facebook Page and tagging their friends in the post to increase awareness.
At the start of the campaign, the apartment community had only 450 Likes. Within two months, that number increased to nearly 700.
Convert More Apartment Leads Into Leases With a Successful Facebook Strategy
The benefits of utilizing Facebook are two-fold: not only does it foster resident relationships (and retention), but it provides a window for prospective residents to peer into your community. With Facebook, we embrace this customer-centric approach that lays the foundation for all of our digital multifamily marketing efforts.
With the right Facebook strategy and these marketing ideas for apartments, you can better position yourself to become a valued resource for followers and ultimately convert more apartment leads into tours and leases.
3 Digital Multifamily Marketing Fundamentals You Need to Focus on Today
Digital multifamily marketing is constantly evolving. To keep up, you need a solid foundation and the capacity to think critically, act independently, and be relentlessly creative.
There are three main facets of digital multifamily marketing that businesses should focus on — social media, multifamily SEO, and paid search.
Below, we’ve highlighted those three facets and steps you can take to launch a successful digital multifamily marketing strategy.
1. Kickstart your digital multifamily marketing strategy with social media.
Of course, we are all too aware of Facebook and Instagram, but why should a multifamily marketer really care about social media? Audience accessibility.
Companies can interact directly with their customers for free, and in a way that others can easily view. Social media is a great way to get your multifamily organization’s name out — be it through giveaways, funny interactions with anyone who reaches out to your company or posting videos or photos.
Start by researching which platforms your resident buyer persona(s) use on a daily basis. Are you targeting commercial real estate professionals? Then, LinkedIn and Facebook might be your go-to digital multifamily marketing channels. Is your audience younger millennials who work in an apartment leasing office? Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest might be more in your lane.
Need a little help with your persona development? Our CEO Jon Simpson breaks down the basics in this helpful video:
After researching your target audience, create your preferred social accounts and fill in all the About Us details. It’s important not just to slap your tagline and phone number on your social media pages, then forget about it. Add details about your services, business hours, and more.
Next, start strategizing your social media postings. Create a calendar that details what you will be posting and when to help keep yourself accountable and organized.
Create a free Buffer account or use Hootsuite to schedule your posts a week at a time easily; that way, you won’t have to remember to publish content each day.
2. Multifamily SEO is the way to go.
Now for the more technology-focused digital multifamily marketing options — SEO and paid search.
The technical way to explain multifamily SEO is that programmers optimize the coding of your website to help it appear higher on organic search results on search engines.
Let’s say you are Googling apartment communities in Dallas, and you see that the link to your company’s website is on the third page of search results. Do you really want that to happen? No! So, you call up your friends at Criterion.B and ask for help. With some magical clicks on our keyboards, we optimize your website so — POOF! — it appears in the top results.
What’s awesome is that if your website appears in the top results, searchers are 31.7% more likely to click on it. This means that people are 31.7% more likely to learn about your company and definitely fall in love with your multifamily product or service. Additionally, if your page is the No. 1 organic result, it’s 10 times more likely to receive a click as compared with a result in the No. 10 spot.
Beyond the expert work of Criterion.B, there are several simple steps you can take yourself to enhance your multifamily SEO. Here are a few tips we recommend to get started:
- Optimize Your Blog Titles — The optimal length for blog headlines is 8 to 14 words, and they should include one H1 tag and a main long-tail keyword that your blog is targeting.
- Add Alt Tags, a Title Tag, and Meta Description to All Pages — Implementing these three portions to your blog images and pages can significantly boost your web optimization.
- Target Two Long-Tail Keywords Per Blog — 50% of search queries contain four or more words.
- Increase Your Word Count to Increase Your SEO — Sometimes, the key to ranking higher in search results is upping your word count to increase your keyword usage without being flagged for keyword stuffing.
For an in-depth look at multifamily SEO and common mistakes multifamily marketers make, check out this blog.
3. See results pour in with multifamily PPC (pay per click).
Paid search, or pay per click (PPC), is kind of like SEO in that both want a link to your company’s multifamily website in the first few results on search engines. However, the main difference with multifamily PPC is that you pay for your link’s spot in targeted organic searches.
Strategy-wise, this is absolutely brilliant because you can pay for a link to your company’s multifamily website to appear when someone searches for your competitor. You can also have it appear when someone searches for something related to your complex.
So, say you own an apartment complex with an outdoor pool area. You can pay for a link to your website to appear when someone searches “downtown apartments Dallas” or “apartments with a pool in Dallas.”
Digital Multifamily Marketing Made Simple
Congrats! Now that you are officially no longer an online marketing beginner, get out there and educate the world with your newfound knowledge. Maybe you can show off some of your new social media knowledge and tweet about it. The key to success with digital multifamily marketing is to have an integrated strategy that speaks to your customer in ways they want.
Think back to the content that captured your attention the most on social media this week. What posts prompted you to hit the share button or tag a friend in the comments section?
Chances are that the content was in the form of a video — whether it was a silly clip of a cat running into a mirror, a step-by-step video of a new recipe, or a how-to video of a creative DIY project.
On average, U.S. adults spend six hours watching videos every day. (That’s only about one hour less than the average American’s amount of sleep every night!)
If that statistic does not scream “massive video marketing potential” to you, then it might be time to rethink your strategy to place branded video content in the front seat of your marketing efforts.
Why Is Branded Video Content Important?
“Video marketing is the most effective way to communicate with your prospective customers,” Chad Rogers, Lemonlight’s Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, said at the Inbound 2018 conference. Video works because it captures your audience’s attention and creates emotion, he told attendees.
In fact, 85 percent of people want to see more video content from brands, and 95% have watched an educational video to learn about a product or service.
From live streaming to online shopping, today’s consumers seek instant gratification. Rather than scrolling through lines of content, they want to be stimulated and receive information at the touch of a button.
Videos allow companies to fuel this need for instant gratification by visually introducing their brand and summarizing their message in a short, engaging way. It also enables customers to connect with brands on a personal level.
Additionally, video marketing is becoming more affordable, while offering targeted advertising opportunities and advanced analytics, according to Lemonlight’s Rogers.
Effective Content for Your Video Marketing Strategy
Understanding and accepting the importance of video marketing as part of your overarching strategy is only one piece of the puzzle. The hard part is determining what types of videos will be most effective for your business.
During his session at Inbound 2018, Rogers highlighted 20 different types of content for attracting, engaging, and delighting your audience. Below are some of the different types of clips to attract new customers:
Social videos are short, conversational clips designed specifically for social media. From live streaming on Facebook to Instagram Stories, brands can cast a wide net around prospective customers and reel them in with captivating content. While every consumer is different, most social users do not watch videos longer than two minutes. We recommend keeping your content short, sweet, and engaging.
For example, as part of our overall social strategy, the Criterion.B team posts bimonthly videos to our Instagram feed called “Tip Tuesday.” With these short 15- to 20-second clips, each member of our team shares a comical life tip. The strategy behind these clips is not to provide motivational advice but to make our followers smile and encourage social engagement.
Brand vs. Product
Brand videos offer a high-level overview of your company’s brand, mission, and style. This content can be clips of your office and can showcase company culture, but should not sell a product. According to Rogers, you should think of a brand video as your mission statement.
Product videos, on the other hand, educate your audience about the benefits of your product or service. With this content, it is important to highlight and explain customer benefits and not just the features.
Customer spotlight or testimonials showcase one of your customers and how they benefited from your product or service. These videos offer a great alternative to a traditional, written testimonial on your website.
At Criterion.B, we have seen word-of-mouth communication as a powerful force — especially when it comes to building brand trust. Your prospective customers will trust the opinions of your current customers more than they trust your website content, blog, or advertisements. Video testimonials are an authentic way to capture your customer’s feedback and potentially drive more leads to your business.
These videos leverage a trending or timely topic at the core, whether it’s a clip related to a holiday, an upcoming election, or just a hot topic within your industry.
For example, we developed a video on the importance of building buyer personas, which was featured during a panel discussion at NAA Apartmentalize. The clip was timely (for the event), trending (within the multifamily market), and relevant to all of our buyer personas. Watch the full video below!
Captivate Your Customers
While social media videography is important, you should also leverage video across your website, landing pages, and emails. The idea that branded video content offers massive marketing potential is not new. What is new is the increasing popularity among consumers, and the importance marketers are putting on this content. It’s up to you to take advantage of this popularity to attract new customers and engage your audience.
Hands down, one of the most significant pain points for our clients is developing and sticking to a consistent social media strategy.
You might know that social media is important in attracting new customers, but it’s also critical in building brand loyalty. While each platform’s effectiveness for your business will heavily depend on your buyer persona’s interests, there are several tips you can incorporate into your strategy now to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
1. Create a Content Calendar
While it can be difficult to draft a content calendar for the first time, it proves immensely beneficial for your social media strategy in the long term. Content calendars not only keep your publishing schedule organized, but they prevent you from missing any important dates.
At Criterion.B, we use Google’s collaborative platform to manage clients’ content calendars so our internal team of project managers, designers, writers, and editors are able to communicate and interact in real-time.
With your marketing team, create a content calendar that typically includes regular blog topics, social media imagery, interesting articles, and local events. As you consider your calendar, don’t forget to highlight a few fun days that can bring exposure to your business! For example, on National Margarita Day, be sure to plan a social media post showing your team cheers-ing at happy hour.
Remember to plan ahead as your business and surrounding area evolve. These posts can all be added to your content calendar in advance so that you can plan out your days to ensure nothing overlaps, you aren’t over-promoting your business, and that you are diversifying your content appropriately.
2. Follow the 20/80 Rule
Social media, regardless of the platform, is not a microphone for self-promotion. While it’s tempting to blast your latest offers, promotions, and new amenities across each channel, this “interruptive” promotion is not always effective. There’s a time and a place for promotional content, and that time accounts for about 20% of your feed.
Overall, 20% of your shared content should focus on you, while the remaining 80% should be about your audience and what interests them. Take this 80% opportunity to be a resource, a thought-leader, and a value-add for your customers.
At Criterion.B, we refer to this rule as the “cocktail party methodology.” When you arrive at a cocktail party, what do you do? Most people walk up to a small group of people and ask about them: their names, their work, where they live. You ask follow up questions to get to know them and seek out common interests.
With time, the conversation turns back to you, allowing you to share about yourself. It would be rude to interrupt the current conversations and talk about yourself first. This is how social media works, too — it’s a conversation.
3. Pin Posts to Your Twitter and Facebook Feed
Did you know you can pin important posts to the top of your feed? From your latest press release announcing a new product line to a fun giveaway promoting your participation at an upcoming trade show, there are plenty of opportunities to highlight important social posts.
Pinning posts to your feed is a simple three-step process:
- Go to your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed and find the post you want to pin.
- Click the down arrow in the corner of your post.
- Select “Pin to Top.”
By pinning an important post you can extend your reach, potentially attracting more engagement and interest. Don’t forget to “unpin” your post after three to four days to prevent ad fatigue. These reminders can be part of your content calendar.
4. Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing
From reviews to thought leadership, social media offers a unique outlet to turn fans into influencers. Influencers are recognized by their large following and insights covering all aspects of your respective market. A strong social presence is necessary to hold an influencer status, as well as quality posts that followers are actively engaging. Often, influencers are viewed as a more trustworthy resource than advertisers, thus better capturing your audience.
By connecting with these influencers, you can market your business simply by becoming visible through their followers. Rather than spending large marketing dollars on print ads, influencer outreach is free or significantly cheaper. Consider allowing an influencer to guest blog on your site, for example, or have them take over one of your channels for a day to motivate your followers to engage.
For example, The Morris Apartments in Nashville regularly has social media influencers “take over” their Instagram page for a day. More recently, beauty blogger Leigh Taylor — with her 15,300 followers — took over the property’s Instagram Story to share beauty tips and advice.
A Guide to Developing a Social Media Strategy
Social media is key to attracting and engaging with your customers, but each platform is unique. This issue is further compounded if your property has more than one buyer persona. How do you effectively market to each persona in a way that will appeal to their unique desires? Download our guide to learn the dynamics of developing a social media strategy.