Become the Media, Hitch Your Wagon to a Larger Audience

June 7, 2012
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Good Times Ahead

So we are well into the “leasing season” and all is well. Occupancy is rising and rents are pointed up. All is well! Good times ahead!

What are you doing with your apartment marketing as the rental tide rises? Could this be considered a “safe time” to try a new and innovative approach to weaning your apartment communities reliance on outside, third party advertisers, such as the apartment magazines, ILS’s (Internet List Service) and such. We think so. There is no reason to over market when you are full, so take some of that marketing budget and start to experiment with Digital Marketing and Branded Media.

While we go into more detail below, think about this. What if your marketing department were the “go to” group for anything hyper local in the neighborhoods where your apartment communities are located. What if every local festival or local event wanted to partner with you to help promote. What if bigger brands wanted to partner with you for like causes. Ad all of that up, and you have your own Branded Media, where you consistently Hitched your wagon to a larger wagon, with like audiences as your core prospect. Achieve that, and you can, you will start to self produce an excellent and endless crop of prospects, absent any outside third party venders, and their associated costs.

Branded Media 

Becoming the media, not just using it, will attract prospects you need to reach to keep your occupancy full by giving them a branded experience of the content that means the most to them. Start to transform your marketing department into a media department. Start to think and act like publishers, editors, writers, producers and broadcasters rather than like promoters and campaigners always talking about unit features and sparkling pools.

“The Urbane Way” Breaks From the Pack of Apartment Commodity shunning traditional marketing for Social Media Marketing and PR. The Urbane Way effective uses of social media efforts are progressive and efficient – even cutting edge in the apartment industry. These marketing initiatives have been strategically integrated across multiple platforms to achieve sustaining business results.

Your web site is your electronic storefront.
The core purpose of this Social Media Marketing initiative is to increase traffic to your business web site, and secondary to establish engagement and two-way communication with your customers and prospects. There is a direct and proportionate correlation between increased web traffic and increased Guest Cards and Leases.

Your web site is static
It is not uncommon for an apartment community web site to not have been updated in years, equating to stale content. While the algorithms of how the search engines work can be complex, they operate on fresh and relevant content. Stale, static web sites fall out of favor with search engines quickly, and your electronic storefront falls lower and lower on the search engine chain.

Shoppers today type something into a search box
Over 70% of the time before making a purchase or deciding where to shop, shoppers type something into a search box. It is paramount for your business to be “searchable and found”. The days of needing to be AAA Plumbing so you can be first in the Yellow Pages are long gone. You need to rank high in an Internet search for a multitude of key words and search strings for your business.

The cornerstone of your Social Media Marketing strategy is a blog, or an On Line Magazine.
A blog allows fresh and relevant content to be posted frequently. A well-crafted content plan laced with rich keywords and search strings raises the Internet awareness of your electronic storefront to be found by customers and prospects.

Objectives
·     Establish Online Brand Recognition and a Digital Footprint for your Business
·     Foster and build a Community of Interest and followers for Your Business
·     Establish Your Business as searchable on Google and Bing search engine results and rankings
·     Monitor and respond to what folks are saying on line about Your Business
·     Increase Leads and Leases
·     Reduce Marketing Expenses


 

Eric Brown

Eric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine. You can connect with Urbane_Media on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications;  Multi Housing News Social Media Examiner Search Engine Guide

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