At GTMA, we talk a lot about controlling the online story that’s being told about your apartment community. That usually results in is creating social media profiles for joining conversations and letting future residents know what you’re all about. Additionally, getting ingrained in the local community and being a fixture in that community can also speak to what your community values and future residents can decide if those values align with theirs. Sure, creating a wide range of social accounts to be where the eye balls are is great and all, but there is another way to develop deeper relationships with caring residents and the local community: starting a on-site blog for your apartment community. And we’re going to tell you why.
1. It gives value to your brand.
The primary purpose of blogging is not promotion, it’s sharing. People read blogs to get information. When your apartment blog writes about topics of interest in the local community, people find value in the information given, and in turn, your apartment brand. Say you provide interesting information, present it in an engaging way, and deliver it with regularity. You will soon find yourself an established authority on your topics and become a go-to source for all things related to your town or city.
2. It can build relationships with local businesses.
When you blog about your community, you will inevitably mention places to go, events to attend and food to eat. Shoutouts such as these are always appreciated, and are an excellent way to strike up a conversation which can eventually lead to good relationships that turn into actual deals. Think about it. If you are an apartment community with 300 units, that translates to a minimum of 300 potential customers. Smart businesses realize the benefits of winning your partnership, and you should too.
3. It broadens your reach and recognition, generating more leads.
If you are new to blogging, it may be difficult to know how to make the best of it. That’s why we’re here. Instead of blogging solely about your apartment, we encourage you to think bigger. After all, whatever happens in the local region and the state as a whole affects your residents’ daily lifestyle. How wonderful would it be if a former resident of Hartford decided to move to Stamford and already knew she wanted to look at 75 Tresser because she had been following the blog? That’s an easy lead right there.
4. It shows that you care.
There’s a reason we teach our children that ’sharing is caring.’ This basic concept applies to your apartment community as well. In the classic film, ’Miracle on 34th Street,’ the department store Macy’s causes a sensation by sending their customers over to Gimbals, their main competitor. Touched by their honesty, the people of New York start raving about Macy’s and become loyal customers. While this may just be movie magic, the principle is easy to grasp. These days, with the transparency of social media, it’s becoming harder and harder to win people over with a promotional sales pitch. You need to show them that your business is more than just ads and specials. And this brings me to my last point.
5. Digital marketing is switching over from quantity to quality.
Two words: information overload. Before smartphones, we had access to ads via billboards, ads in public spaces and TV commercials. A lot has changed since. Now, every time we touch our phones (a 2013 study showed people using phones every six minutes, up to 150 times a day), we are flooded with information. There’s a huge opportunity for companies to place mobile ads on places like Facebook and Twitter, reaching potential leads every six minutes. All this means that in order to compete in the market, you need to deliver consistent top-notch quality content on every platform.
Think about the bigger picture for a second. What if one of your ads featured a blog post about local coffee shops? Social media platforms use analytics to customize ads for users. So on top of reaching people who are currently looking for apartments, you could also reach a much larger audience of people interested in coffee (75% of Americans according to the 2015 NCA study). And guess what? Many of them are renters, and even if they aren’t looking for apartments now, they will in the future.
Anyone can place ads, but unless it’s stellar, you can bet it will only get a glance as people scroll down through their feeds. And the great thing about blogs is that it can offer quality content you can’t get from just 140 characters.
Are you currently blogging for your apartment community? If so, what benefits are you seeing? If not, what are you waiting for? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @GoToMyApartment.