At this point, it’s been widely accepted that Google and its cornucopia of offerings — Thanksgiving, anyone? — are the cream of the crop in the digital marketing world. The online media conglomerate hosts Google Ads for search, Google My Business for web and map visibility, and now, Google Posts for content marketing efforts.
Yes, you heard that right – Google has officially entered the content marketing arena with its newest add-on for Google My Business (GMB) users. Google defines Posts as a way to “connect with existing and potential customers via messages posted to your business listing.” It as the easiest way to improve your online marketing strategy.
As with most Google features, however, there is a preferred way to utilize Posts. While learning the ropes may seem inconvenient to your already crammed schedule, it’s necessary in order to reap the benefits of this newfound tool. Trust us — if there’s one thing you’ll give thanks for this holiday season, it will be this blog, which will provide insight into the power of Google Posts for your multifamily community.
What are Google Posts?
In a nutshell, Google Posts are bite-sized snippets of information that appear in your Google Knowledge Graph for up to seven days. Unsure of what your Google Knowledge Graph is exactly? Well, it’s that nifty box that comes up when your business is Googled by users. It contains all the pertinent information concerning your business including your address, hours of operation, website, and phone number.
As for the Post feature itself, it allows you to post up to 58 characters in the title and 1,500 characters of text in the body, which will appear on your Google Knowledge Graph alongside your business information. The post may also include high-resolution images and videos up to 30 seconds in length. As of now, posts must be created in real time, as the feature has not yet been embraced by social scheduling software—yet.
Google Posts are best used for spreading awareness about events, special offers or discounts, updates, or announcements. Because your posts are displayed right underneath your GMB listing information, taking advantage of this free feature is a great way to prompt prospects to visit your website or call your leasing office. As a relatively new feature, the ultimate fate of Google Posts is yet to be determined. However, given that Posts were first introduced in 2016 as political “candidate cards” and has since evolved, it’s safe to say that Google has deemed Posts worthy of widespread use.
What are the Benefits Associated with Google Posts?
Aside from granting businesses with free advertising, Google Posts are valuable for creating content that the search engine recognizes and respects. It’s well-established that Google favors reputable content when ranking the billions of websites currently occupying the Internet, and nothing is more trustworthy than content generated by – and for – Google users, which further enhances the search engine’s know-how we’ve come to rely upon for the most trivial of everyday tasks.
Additionally, market researchers have concluded that Posts may be yet another strategy digital marketers can use to improve their website’s online ranking, although a clear correlation has yet to be uncovered. But, a 2018 study released by Blue Corona found that traffic generated by Google My Business converted at twice the rate of organic traffic. Therefore, there’s reason to believe that search users rely heavily upon GMB listing information. Plus, we wouldn’t be hard-pressed to say that GMB listings appear to be the clear forerunner in accurate local search results. So, by that logic, boosting your GMB stature with Google Posts is a great idea for apartment communities wanting to direct more traffic to their website.
Another useful component of Posts that helps align the tool with likeminded platforms is Google Insights. A simple, built-in dashboard reminiscent of social media engagement trackers, Insights takes the guesswork out of Google Posts. There, you’ll find out how many times your post was viewed and how many times your link was clicked— assuming that you incorporated a button into your post, which you should, in case there was any doubt. With these analytics at your side, you can evaluate your current marketing efforts and plot out next steps.
Nailing Google Posts for Multifamily Communities
Multifamily communities will find that Google Posts should be approached in a similar way to social media marketing. However, because posts are rather short, multifamily marketing teams must develop concise ways to target prospective residents. Here are a few tips if you’re seeking favorable results from Google Posts:
Although up to ten posts can be published at once, Google will only visibly display two posts. With that in mind, be sure that your most relevant content is posted first.
Considering that our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, inserting an image or video into your post is a simple yet effective way to enhance your message.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with imagery, either! You can take photos or videos of your community staff, resident events, nearby landmarks, or cool happenings around your location.
Because the first 100 characters of your post is what will be displayed to consumers, make sure that the first line is impactful and accurately conveys your marketing message.
Select the most appropriate button for your post. Before you publish your update, take your pick from the following selections: “learn more,” “reserve,” “sign up,” “buy,” or “get offer.”
Given the many benefits associated with Google Posts, it’s hard to find any downside in using this simple, free tool. This especially rings true for those of us working at the forefront, the battleground—the apartment community itself. It is up to these team members to generate leads, keeping a steady flow of prospects coming through the front door, and now, in this modern digital landscape, it’s more imperative than ever to set your team up for success.
If your property management team regularly posts to social media channels, try adding Google Posts to the usual roster of calendared content to be published. Doing so will only add a few additional minutes to your current workflow and will go a long way to establish your property as the engaging, innovative community we know it to be – and that is certainly something worth celebrating this holiday season.
Kerry W. Kirby is a global entrepreneur, technology innovator, philanthropist, and the founder of 365 Connect, an award-winning technology firm within the multifamily housing industry. Over the course of his career, Kerry has been the recipient of an array of highly acclaimed awards, including the esteemed Louisiana Governor's Technology Award. He has been named to the Silicon Bayou 100 List of most influential entrepreneurs for nine consecutive years and has received a prestigious Titan Entrepreneur Award for his technological achievements. An acclaimed speaker, author, and award-winning podcaster, Kerry has appeared on the BBC Digital Planet program, NPR News, and various media platforms and outlets. Kerry has contributed to an array of articles and studies on the convergence of technology in the rental housing industry.
Kerry serves on the Board of Advisors of Rainbow, a national nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for affordable housing communities across the country. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Multifamily Women’s Summit, an event that allows women to strengthen their expertise, influence, and professional network in the multifamily housing industry, and is Chair of Technology Initiative for the Multifamily Innovation Advisory Council, a private, members only group focused on assisting owners and operators of multifamily communities by reducing risks associated with vetting new technologies and implementations.
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