Content Marketing Basics
Chances are you’ve heard plenty of buzz around the term ‘content marketing’ or been told that you apartment community needs a content marketing strategy (yes, you do!). Regardless of how much time you spend in the blogosphere or social media universe, it’s important to understand how this powerful marketing tool might involve anything from a blog post like this one to a social media update and how they work together. Unless your apartment community is at 100% occupancy with maintenance issues that fix themselves, it’s generally understood that the management team is far too busy to develop and execute a content marketing strategy. Plus, creating quality content in today’s noisy online landscape is a whole new ballgame, which is of course where GTMA steps in.
Social Media Content Marketing
So how does content marketing bring leads to your website? One of the simplest and best uses of content marketing is the funnel you create between your website’s blog and social media, and then direct that traffic back to your site. Social media platforms may morph and change over time, and they do not always turn directly into leads so it can be difficult to see the value. However, if you look at your online presence from social media to landing pages, ads, blogs, etc — each is a piece of infrastructure surrounding your website and guiding potential residents to the place you really want them — your website where they can be converted into an actual lead.
It’s important to understand that while social media platforms go in and out of style every few years they are not to be ignored. In fact, there are many uses for social media that renters and customers now consider a given, such as answering questions and managing reputation from negative comments and reviews. More and more, residents expect immediate responses via social media.
Although we do our best to make your page as intriguing as possible to anyone who might come across your page, your audience is generally local and specific. That’s why we pay such careful attention to crafting a hyperlocal strategy for your community that caters to your specific niche. Realistically, your target audience is not very large — it encompasses current residents, their friends and family, plus a few new captures who are looking for apartments in your area. So while you might not be pulling in Buzzfeed traffic, you will cater directly to your local audience, which translates into resident retainment and intrigue from other local renters!
Content creation for multifamily communities is not designed like a large nationwide business would be, rather, the content that performs best on social media (meaning it is liked, tweeted, and shared) is usually pictures of the property and staff, onsite events, and highlights of very nearby attractions like restaurants or entertainment.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that social media platforms come in and out of style. Facebook still reigns supreme in the world of content marketing, but if it does happen to lose its momentum you wouldn’t want to have spent all your time and resources on creating a great Facebook following and page only to have it become irrelevant. At this current point in time, Facebook is probably the most powerful tool our there for marketers to target relevant audiences, but it shouldn’t be the only destination goal for your internet traffic. That’s where your community blog comes into play.
Essential Content Marketing Ingredient: Community Blog
Your community blog is a reliable place to create meaningful content, and it allows you to create shareable microcontent on any social media platform without investing valuable resources on just one platform. The beauty in a community blog is that you can focus on creating useful, fun, and quality content where it will live indefinitely.
We’ve gone just a step further by creating synergy between social media, SEO strategy, and influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has proven to be much more effective than outbound marketing in the current digital landscape. Influencers are people who are active on social media and blogs, and are often brand advocates and niche promoters. True influence drives action, not just awareness. The collaboration with influencers creates shareable content on social media and within blogs that drives traffic directly to your website, boosts the domain authority of your website, and creates brand awareness through the sharing of the content. We call this strategy ‘search and social’, because it creates a well-rounded and comprehensive use of content throughout the client’s website, blog, and social media.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the type of influencer you might see promoting Adidas through social media is not the kind of influencer that will help an apartment community reach its goals, or would it be within their means to use this type of influencer! Instead, we’re looking for people who have authority in a very narrow locale. For example, a Nashville food blogger, or a photographer in the RiNo Denver arts district with a substantial local following. Usually these somewhat small but focused influencers are more than happy to contribute to a company blog by sharing a quote, giving an interview, or sometimes even guest writing a blog! When an influencer contributes to a community blog post, more than likely they will share it with their followers, meaning that your content not only gets seen by far more eyes, but you may even get qualified leads out of this arrangement as the audience will be local. In any case, relevant traffic is directed to your site from social media and boosts your SEO rankings!
Blogs should always be designed to generate organic traffic as well by using keywords within a blog that match relevant search engine searches. Adding backlinks from other related websites by creating content for their site is another huge SEO boost for a community blog. To top it off, creating new media that can be used on social and in blogs catalyzes shareability of content across social media platforms.
Case Study: Boca City Walk
Boca City Walk in Boca Raton Florida is an ideal case study for a comprehensive search and social strategy. Our team found a local foodie influencer who regularly did restaurant tours in the area and was thrilled to work with Boca City Walk. She ended up writing blogs, creating a video about local restaurants in the area, and has even hosted culinary events at Boca City Walk!
The Content Marketing Funnel
Good content marketing is essential to creating leads, but it’s not often easy to see how your social media efforts translate into leads. That’s why we approach social media marketing, SEO, and content creation as a whole, using each in synergy with one another to achieve a larger goal. When done right, your content marketing strategy works as an aggregate, taking your online presence in multiple sites and platforms and funneling them to the target — your website where leads can be converted.