Your Property Has Stories to Tell
Using content marketing to entice and retain residents
If you’ve been poking around, searching for the best way to promote and market your property, you’ve probably come across a lot of current buzzwords like story-driven marketing, content creation, and starting with Why. The marketing world is anything but immune to trends and patterns, even though they are the ones who usually create and promote them.
You’re hearing and reading so much about telling your company’s story because it works. Content marketing or story-driven marketing are essentially interchangeable terms. They represent an evolved form of marketing and advertising that has growth exponentially with the proliferation of digital marketing options.
Let’s go back a little bit before we get into tips for creating and sharing your property’s stories. First, we need to know why content marketing is so popular today. The simple answer is that our brains crave stories. We understand the basic beginning, middle, end structure of a story so well that we don’t even recognize our brain’s incredible power to remember, recall, retell, and interpret stories. We do it all day. We read, write, and talk in stories when we’re communicating with others. And whether we’re watching Prime shows or catching the new Marvel movie, we’re consuming stories and allegories in record numbers.
It used to be that the story was separate from the ad. For decades on the radio and in print, we put ads at intervals between creative content. It might be an add for aprons in the middle of a Good Housekeeping story on creating the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. It might be a local auto dealer boasting about their customer service between songs on your favorite FM station.
When TV came along, we did what knew how to do, so we mimicked radio ads. TV ads were inserted in the commercial breaks of your favorite shows. Writers and storytellers gripped you with the content, Perry Mason or Workaholics, and then advertisers paid to pitch you their products in the breaks. It’s known as interruptive advertising. And now, people hate it.
Ad blockers and on-demand television followed DVR and Tivo, and now, it’s more expensive and less effective than ever to advertise in the old, interruptive way. For years, brands struggled to connect to the audience as they shifted their attention away from the TV and toward their smartphones and web browsers. Brands could no longer simply pay to be associated with their audience’s prefered content. People were fastforwarding through ads and outright ignoring the outlets that wouldn’t let them do so.
Then brands started to utilize the connectivity of social networks and digital platforms. Instead of binding their products to sought-after content, they started creating their own content.
About ten years ago you could do a YouTube search for just about any brand and you’d find dozens of videos created by the company to tell their story. But people started to see those as the longform ads that they were, so once again, companies and marketers evolved. They started telling the best stories they could tell. They told stories that their audience would connect to and share, and they worried less about specific product promotion.
That’s where we are today. Companies use content marketing to entice their audience. It turns out that sharing your story doesn’t have to be an obvious, direct, interruptive ad. Instead, companies share stories to collect an audience who learns to appreciate and understand the brand through the content they create.
How Can A Property Manager Use Content Marketing?
Simple. Here is a broken down and simplified plan that can get you started in creating content for your social media channels, YouTube channel, or even print and digital ads.
Consider Your Audience
Don’t assume you know who would live in your property. Start by surveying and studying your current residents to see what types of content might connect with them. If you find out that your place largely full of families, then create family friendly stories that gently encourage your residents to stay put in your beautiful property while enticing other families to move there.
Do not beat your message to death with transparent advertising. Tell a good story in the best way you can, and your audience will associate you and your story with your brand. You might tell a story about a resident who just achieved a huge career milestone. The fact that you are telling this story on a social network or in a sponsored content format is enough for the audience to associate you with the piece, you don’t need a “Please Move Here,” tagline added on at the end.
You would be amazed at how many stories you can tell. And each one can be retold in different ways to appeal to different audiences. Use all sorts of fun, creative media from videos to posts to art installations to share a bit of your brand with your ever-growing audience.
Measure and Report
Your boss is going to want to know why you’ve changed your marketing style. They easiest way to keep her happy is to show her the reach, impact, and eventually the sales that result from a story-driven content marketing approach. Create consistent, honest metrics and share them at regular intervals. You might measures newsletter opens, social network reach, phone and email inquiry frequency or any other number of stats to show the impact of your marketing efforts. When done well, it’s as much math and science as it is art and storytelling.
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