Apartment marketing is composed of many moving parts – apartment social media, apartment SEO, apartment PPC, apartment reputation management, apartment marketing automation, and more. New technologies and techniques are ever-emerging, while the algorithms of Google and Facebook continue to change. It’s important to keep current on upcoming 2020 marketing trends so your apartment community stays competitive.
So much of multifamily digital marketing is about innovating and improving on existing tactics. When a marketing trend catches on, it can be harder for your marketing efforts to cut through the online clutter.
For example, long-form content was once viewed as the best way to succeed in the content marketing and SEO game. But now that long-form content is everywhere, that alone won’t help your apartment community rank higher in search engine results.
As we approach a brand new decade, the shifts in apartment marketing will continue to keep us on our toes. Here’s what we can expect to see more of in 2020.
Previously, we included voice search in a roundup of upcoming 2020 content marketing trends to be aware of. Voice search deserves a spot on this list, too, its importance cannot be understated.
It’s estimated that one in six Americans own a voice-activated smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo. Additionally, about 30 percent of smartphone users across the world use Siri or other voice-activated search tools. Not only that, about half of all searches are expected to be voice searches in 2020.
This means apartment marketers will have to continually fine-tune their apartment SEO strategy to optimize for voice search, and one of the most important things you can do is use conversational, long-tail keywords. For instance, use “Where can I find a two-bedroom apartment that allows pets in Philadelphia?” instead of “apartment Philadelphia two bedrooms pet friendly.”
Augmented and virtual reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality have surged in popularity over the last few years, but AR is predicted to outpace VR in 2020. Already, some major companies are finding ways to leverage AR. IKEA rolled out AR capabilities on its IKEA Place app, allowing users to picture how a piece of furniture would look in their apartment before purchasing.
In the multifamily space, AR and VR can be used to create virtual tours for prospective residents, allowing them to check out floor plans and amenities, for example. They can also be used to display property renderings so prospects can interact with them before construction even starts.
Smart bidding in Google Ads
Automation and smart bidding are expected to become the new normal in 2020 for PPC account managers. Google Ads rely on machine learning — the practice of identifying patterns in data for the purpose of making informed decisions — and it’s only getting more efficient.
Smart bidding or auction-time bidding for apartment Google Ads optimizes your bids for conversions through the use of machine learning. You can optimize your bids across several campaigns with a set of desired conversion actions, such as community tours or signed leases, which will assist you in helping to keep your occupancy high.
Sixty percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on Instagram, and it’s easier than ever for apartment marketers and merchants to sell their products thanks to shoppable posts. In recent years, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have introduced ways for marketers to use a native integration that makes it simple to shop for products and drive website traffic.
It’s easy to picture how this could be used to market shoes or clothes — by simply tapping a photo of something you like, the name of the product and the price appears. If you tap the price, you’ll go to a screen with more information on the product and the option to view it on the company’s website.
This could work well in apartment marketing efforts, especially if you have excellent photos of your apartment community. Keeping in mind that rental rates fluctuate depending on availability and other factors, the price embedded in the shoppable post could be designated as “starting at $X price,” or a range could be displayed.
Videos without sound
If you’ve been using videos to market your apartment community, how effective are they if the viewer has his or her sound turned to mute? An estimated 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. So, make sure that your apartment community videos are embedded with closed captioning, communicate your message, and elicit the emotional response you want even if they’re viewed in silence.
It would be smart to use the same tactics when producing video for Instagram and Instagram Stories, too. Luckily, captioning apps have made it easy to work around the silence, striking a balance between great visuals of your apartment community combined with text to reinforce the messaging.
Facebook Messenger marketing
Apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp aren’t just for communicating with friends these days. They’ve become an increasingly popular way for apartment marketers to communicate with prospective renters. Chat blasting allows marketers to send messages via Facebook Messenger, similar to an email blast.
But the message apps have a slight edge in the form of push notifications, which puts the messages quite literally in front of the user’s face, whereas emails can be easily overlooked. It’s really a win-win for both the consumer and the marketer. The ease of messaging apps give prospects direct access to the apartment community, and it allows for communities to deliver super-personalized apartment marketing directly to the user.
Apartment marketing is always evolving. Respage works with companies to stay on top of your game and maximize on the opportunities. What are some other trends that you see on the horizon as 2020 approaches?