Localized Content Proves Meaningful to Residents, Not Just Marketers and Search Engines
In recent years, the multifamily industry has seen an increase in the way apartment communities utilize content to reach target audiences, whether distributed directly through a website or across social media. According to the Content Marketing Institute, ninety-two percent of marketers say that their company views content as a business asset, and there have been numerous case studies, whitepapers, and reports surrounding marketers’ obsession with using content to reach modern-day audiences. But, what do prospects and residents really think of this content we work so hard to produce?
While producing and publishing content to your website, social media channels, and other online spaces is important to certain factors like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content is also vital in establishing trust with your prospects and current residents as well. Sixty-six percent of U.S. consumers spend more money on brands to which they feel loyal, and one proven way to establish trust with your clientele is through providing resources to them at no extra cost. Since content enriches SEO and audience engagement, while costing less than traditional marketing methods, it’s little surprise why eighty-one percent of B2C marketers create content with a focus on building brand loyalty.
As content marketing continues to proliferate our industry, multifamily operators and marketers must find ways to integrate the practice into their marketing and retention strategies, if they haven’t already. It all starts with finding the types of content valuable to your prospect or resident. For apartment communities – which are becoming increasingly neighborhood-centric – local content, hyper-focused on community events and activities, is preferable. Consumers echo this sentiment, with recent studies indicating that 4 out of 5 consumers want content customized to their location.
By promoting nearby events, you’re not only informing residents of local happenings, but you’re also encouraging them to meet people outside of their normal social circle and immerse themselves in activities and conversations that add value and purpose to their lives. While it may seem trivial, posting local content that inspires residents to step outside of their comfort zone and explore their neighborhood is important to a larger shift occurring in the multifamily space.
Nowadays, housing functions as a necessary extension of – and relief from – modern residents’ active lifestyles. As the National Multifamily Housing Council explains in their semi-annual report, Disruption, “The need for retreat, rebalancing, and rest is the driving force [for seeking] enough sanctuary space to counterbalance digital connectivity.” Therefore, today’s residents not only want a secure place to sleep and store their belongings, but also a community that offers a certain way-of-life. You can trace this yearning for a sense of community to the sharing economy, which has gradually erased the staunch divide between public and private spaces in recent years.
In response to NMHC’s suggestion that “tomorrow’s apartment communities [must] be more integrated into the fabric of the community at large,” the industry has begun to tout mixed-use developments, boasting retail, dining, and green spaces designed to facilitate a “community-first” lifestyle. However, not all communities have the means necessary to provide these amenity-rich spaces to their residents.
For communities with modest features, the promotion of local events — like farmers markets, exercise classes, food tours, museum exhibits, theatrical performances, movie screenings, sports competitions, festivals, and concerts — is essential. Thanks to mobile-first technology, content creators are now able to produce relevant content that can be viewed at any time and across any device, positioning your community as a local resource and establishing brand trust with your prospects and residents alike.
Wherever you decide to post your content, it’s best to create a “marketing loop” between your marketing website and social media channels by creating valuable inbound links. These links improve your site ranking, and encourage click backs to your website. Increased click backs signal to search engines that your business and website are reputable. Through this process, you will also create brand advocates, who will follow, like, and comment on your social media pages, increasing your approval among both social media algorithms and prospects seeking a lifestyle-oriented apartment home.
While housing has always been a commodity designed to fulfill a basic need, it has transformed in so many ways since the beginning of the 21 st century. According to NMHC, “housing is becoming much more reflective of how people view themselves, a veritable extension of their values and customized for their individuality.” Clearly, tomorrow’s renters are shaping up to be very different from the prospects the multifamily industry has become accustomed to, and we must adapt or risk facing a disconnect with our targeted audience.