If you’re looking to attract potential renters to your property, a good marketing strategy is obviously a no-brainer. Whether you’re seeking to keep current renters or draw new prospects, sometimes your results seem almost insulting to the time, effort, and money you sink into your respective campaigns. But, if you’ve already realized this, first off, congratulations are due. You’ve accomplished the first step: you realized your current strategies are not effective for one reason or another.
No need to be discouraged! It’s on to the next one. But, before proceeding with full steam ahead, you have to ask yourself, where did it all go wrong? It may be best to sit down with your marketing team and figure out exactly where you missed the mark. Sometimes, it can be a complete strikeout, but other times, you’re simply missing a key element that can make all the difference. With some attention to detail and a little bit of determination, you can easily increase your residential occupancy with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Sure, recognizing that you went wrong in some aspect is the hardest part, but evaluating where your strategy went wrong can be just as difficult. With this in mind, MultifamilyBiz.com has compiled our top 5 suggestions for evaluating the wrong turn made during your current online marketing campaign.
Your property lacks a social media presence.
Social media is the all-star of the digital marketing game for many types of businesses, and your multifamily community is no exception. According to recent studies, at least 78 percent of Internet users in the United States have at least one social media profile. And with every demographic—from Baby Boomers to Gen-Z—utilizing social media at their leisure, it isn’t too assumptive to believe these users will eventually stumble upon your brand on one of these channels. Therefore, it only makes sense to create or further boost your social media presence.
Social media outreach is a popular way of spreading important information about your apartment community. On these platforms, you can announce anything and everything, from community events and giveaways to renter specials and updated features. Start by optimizing your social media channels for consistency! Make sure that each online listing has the same property name, address, phone number, and website listed for NAPW consistency purposes. Then, establish a regular posting schedule for your content; infographics, videos, and blogs are usually the typical choices. From there, be sure to interact with your target audience to increase engagement, and in turn, secure in-person tours—and dare we say it—leases!
You have yet to identify a target audience.
Well, now that you have your social media set up, you should be in the clear, right? Wrong. There are other important aspects of your digital marketing campaign to consider—one being your target audience. How can you aim to sell if you don’t know exactly who you are selling to? First, consider the type of community you’re attempting to market—are you trying to reach maximum occupancy for a student property near a popular local college, or is it an active living community for 55+ residents? Is your apartment community considered luxury, affordable, or somewhere in-between? These are all factors to consider while determining your target audience.
Not only is it crucial to know who you’re trying to reach, but it’s also important to consider what types of content will be most beneficial and relevant to them. By working with a target audience in mind, you will find it simpler to craft authentic, engaging messages that will encourage your prospect to move the needle on the leasing process.
You do not track your analytics.
As you can see from the oversaturation of graphs and charts on every social media channel, we live in a data-driven era. We like to track just about everything online: clicks, views, likes, follows—the list is seemingly endless. You may have a fully functional website live on the Internet, but what’s the use of it if you aren’t aware of the traffic it drives?
Take advantage of the multiple tools available to you at a time when analytics are King. Whatever campaign you instill, whether it’d be regularly scheduled blog posts or social media updates, it’s important to track the overall effect of your strategy. Luckily, there are plenty of free tools available for businesses, like Google Analytics or Instagram Insights, which should shed some insight on your current efforts. If you need further assistance converting your new intel into data-driven directives, consider hiring an agency or implementing a paid software that excels in measuring traffic, conversions, and other important measurements.
You refuse to address online reviews.
While the online world provides users with many benefits, there’s nothing quite like a negative review to leave you and your staff feeling down in the dumps. Unsurprisingly, 91 percent of consumers read online reviews to determine whether a business is good or bad. As much as management teams dislike dealing with online reviews, they have become a vital aspect of online marketing, and when handled correctly, they can become a valuable marketing tool as well.
It is absolutely crucial to monitor your online reviews at all times— and on all platforms. We’ve all been on the other side of the table, knowing full-well that all it takes is one bad review to invalidate all of the positive ones. What we suggest is fairly simple: respond to all reviews, whether they’d be glowing or scathing. Be transparent in your response, starting with taking accountability when apologizing. Next, formulate a structured plan of action to resolve the issue and follow through with your proposed strategy. Most of the time, if you remain neutral and objective, you should be able to clear the proverbial “air” with little issue. By remaining consistent in your new craft, you might even be able to convince the reviewer to change that 1-star into 5-stars!
Internet users are unable to find your website.
Out of all the technology-driven changes occurring in the multifamily space, one facet remains the same: the industry’s competitive nature. While renting is on the rise, younger generations are more discerning about the brands they choose to support, making it more important than ever to stay on top of your marketing game.
Any digital marketing plan is seemingly incomplete without considering one of its most important factors: SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. In other words, where does your website link appear on Google’s lengthy roster of search results? There are many tactics—both on and off-site—that will allow you to improve where you appear in search results; however, there is no exact science to the process. We suggest implementing on-page content full of rich keywords, metadata and tags, and a solid website structure to start. Then, simply go from there as you see fit, whether you choose to focus on link building or social media sharing.
It’s important that you realize the holes in your marketing strategies as soon as possible. This way, you can make the necessary changes and supplement for any void found in your strategy. If anything, don’t allow one failed campaign to deter you. Marketing is a non-science based in trial and error, which makes it incredibly satisfying when you get it right. With these 5 pointers, your property is well on its way to becoming a lean, mean leasing machine.