Content Marketing Doesn’t Work…or does it?

Year after year at every conference we attend, there are at least one if not twenty sessions regarding content marketing. After all the hype about content marketing, we’re seeing a backlash and marketers everywhere are rebelling against the concept. But this doesn’t spell the end of content marketing. What it does mean is that property management companies HAVE to leave behind bad content marketing practices and focus on those that add real value to the business.

It means stop accepting that hiring someone to give you the same benign post that they are selling to forty other companies, checks the box for content marketing. That means honing in on the ways that content marketing can build your property brand as well as better customer relationships.

We’ve been sold this idea that content marketing is cheap – it’s not. Strategizing, creating, and analyzing take time. However, when done correctly, it is so valuable. (Tweet This)

If you want your content marketing to be successful, you have to commit some time and probably some cash! Here are four tips to ensure that your content marketing strategy results are worth the hype.

1. Stop buying recycled garbage

There are many companies and vendors in the industry creating more content than ever before. It’s fair to say that a high proportion of that content is poor or useless.

There’s no point in trying to make yourself heard by churning out {or paying someone else to churn out} more content that looks just like all the other PM companies and people competing for attention. Instead, stand out from the clutter by creating unique, high-quality content that is actually useful and interesting to your prospect.


content marketing doesn't work or does it

2. Your SEO, SEM & Content should be on the same team!

Many property management companies have yet to pull SEO and content marketing into alignment. Your content manager  should work closely with whomever you have put in charge of optimizing your SEO {even if they are two different 3rd party vendors}. This is crucial to the success of your strategy. In fact, do you even know what you are getting for the SEO optimization that you are paying for? {That will have to wait for an entirely separate post.}

Again, put yourself in the shoes of your customers – what are they going to be looking for and what search terms are they typing  to find it? With the right search terms backed up by high-quality content, you will nail your content marketing and search strategies alike. Want to read more about this? 30 Lines wrote a great post here breaking it all down.

3. Focus on the customer’s needs

Too much content marketing is from a broadcast-led mentality rather than a customer-led strategy. Many marketers still start out thinking about the property they’re trying to lease or the brand image they want to cultivate.

Scratch all of that.

Go back to your customers’ needs and wants. Who is your target market? What do they care about? What do they think they need to know? Create content that will mean something to the audience you are trying to reach.

If you produce content that is valuable and relevant to their interests, your audience will actually read it.  (Tweet This)

Also, where possible, use your property management software databases to personalize the content you distribute. I know you are tired of hearing this one, but email marketing is not dead! Use it to deliver personalized messages to your customers.

Everyone likes to feel special so when possible, treat your customers as individuals. For instance we, right now are working on a drip email campaign that sends out helpful messages to prospects based on how far out their move-in date is. This gives us a basic idea of where they are in the buying cycle and we can customize our message accordingly.

We have a separate campaign for our applicants who have not moved into buildings yet. Everything from moving tips, to simple reminders and checklists. This is helpful information for them….not mindless clutter.

4. Want to be visible? It’s time to Pay to Play!

Thanks to the way Facebook and other social media platforms have changed their algorithms to push advertiser content, it’s harder than ever to be seen. I saw some stat that said a business page’s post might only be seen by 20% of their audience, once a week. When you are seen, it should be something of value, right? Not the 20 best city parks? We are fighting for that visibility more than ever before.

You can rebel against this situation by trying to use other platforms like your own mobile app to interact with customers. But it’s a challenge to build an audience on your own platform. We’ve been working on one of our property blogs for two years and only have 300 subscribers. Again, this goes back to the content overload that your customers are dealing with every day, on every channel.

That means it’s time to pay to play.

This is not as expensive as you may think…and we have seen awesome results! On FB you can promote a post, promote your page, have sponsored ads or some combination of all three.

If you are creating awesome useful content, then promoting a post is a great way to get that directly in front of the audience you would like to see it.

Twitter has promoted posts and ads. We are still playing with these…the ability to target is really intriguing. There’s such a volume of users on the Twitter platform, you really need to think through your strategy – make sure those you do engage with are landing on the right content for them.

There’s no point in creating great content if no one knows about it, conversely there’s no point in generating a bunch of leads and directing them to subpar content or a non-conversion optimized landing page.

Content marketing doesn’t replace advertising – advertising complements your content marketing by bringing users to you. (Tweet This)

Bonus: Talk it out

When you’re ready, it’s a good idea to have a partner in crime. We at Apartminty are passionate about apartment marketing. If you ever want to bounce ideas off of us, we’re here. If you want to join a larger conversation, join some of the best multifamily marketing minds in the business on Twitter every Tuesday at noon for #AptChat. Get your questions answered; hear what everyone else is trying, join the conversation!

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