The growth of Instagram has brought a new way for apartment marketers to spread the word about their communities: influencer marketing.
At its core, influencer marketing brings together old and modern marketing tools, combining the tried-and-true approach of celebrity endorsements with content-driven marketing campaigns.
Except that these endorsements aren’t coming from celebrities, they’re coming from so-called micro-influencers who have a social media following of 1,000 to 50,000. And unlike famous people, micro-influencers build relationships with their followers through engagement and, in turn, they build trust.
Micro-influencers can be anyone — a woman who has a following for her beauty tutorials, a man who has a popular cooking blog, people who’ve done something that’s resulted in some media attention, for example — and they can be anywhere.
They can even be in your apartment community.
Influencer marketing is relatively new in the multifamily sector, and the potential return makes it something worth considering: Businesses are receiving an average return of $7.65 for each $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
So, how can your apartment community get in on this?
Find your influencers.
Not only should you seek out residents of your community who have large Instagram networks, they should also fit in with your brand.
For example, if your community is big on energy efficiency, ideally your influencers should be people who care about being green so they can speak to it and get their followers to care about it, too.
Don’t overlook employees of your apartment community who might have a decent following on Instagram, either.
Determine what’s in it for them.
How are you willing to compensate your influencers? You could offer a discount on rent (or maybe even free rent), discounted or free amenities if your community charges for them, or a free reserved parking space, for example.
Or you could treat the influencer like a vendor and compensate them directly.
Email or direct message your potential influencers to gage their interest. Make it clear you want this to be a partnership in which they’d have the freedom to come up with their own ideas as to how they’d like to work messaging about your apartment community into their Instagram content.
You also can set some expectations, such as one mention per week, or whatever makes sense for your specific set of circumstances.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Guidelines state that influencers must fully disclose any paid endorsements. More information can be found here.
The multifamily industry is just beginning to realize the potential of influencer marketing. Have you tried it yet?