July 20, 2022

How video marketing can help make your apartment community a renter hotspot

It’s official, video marketing has become the world’s favorite type of online content. It’s estimated that in 2022, video will account for 82% of the global internet traffic — that is 15x times higher than in 2017. 

Video content is becoming so predominant that Instagram is testing full screen video as the default on the home feed, taking notes from TikTok and shifting away from photo sharing.

This not-so-subtle shift to video means having a video marketing strategy in place is essential to helping you reach future residents and connect with them more effectively. Which will ultimately help you fill up your apartment community faster.  

This blog post will dive into how property managers and marketers are implementing video to advertise their communities across all main social media channels. We’ll review each platform, provide insightful examples, and analyze what type of content works on each social media platform. 

So let’s dive in!

The rise of short-form video on social media

For many industries, video marketing is a tried-and-true way to boost your reach, engagement, and conversions. So the question is, how can multifamily properties effectively incorporate video as part of their marketing strategy?

First, let’s take a brief look at the recent changes in how we consume video on social media. 

We can all agree that video as a format is not new; it has been part of social media and marketing for a very long time with platforms like YouTube reigning as the king of video content for many years.

So, what has changed? Why the sudden shift to all video, all the time?

  1. Anyone with a smartphone can create high-quality video content. Recording high-quality video has never been so easy with smartphone camera technology, meaning just about everyone has a powerful video camera in their pocket.

  2. Community building. Access to quality equipment and limitless online communities means that everyone with a smartphone has a powerful voice, enabling many individuals and brands to express themselves anywhere, anytime. 

  3. The rise of short, concise, and vertical videos In 2020, the massive rise in popularity of TikTok was a gamechanger in how we consume video content, and popularized short-form video.

    TikTok’s video format of 30 seconds or less introduced a new way of storytelling. Because of the restriction in time, the best-performing videos turned out to be packed with action and entertainment.

    The formula has been so successful for TikTok that other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram/Reels, and now even Youtube/Shorts, are replicating it to catch up with the consumer’s demand.

Video marketing for apartment communities

So, how can apartment communities benefit from this massive shift to video? We searched various social media platforms to find out how properties are utilizing video as a marketing tool, and analyzed their performance across different channels to determine the best strategy for multifamily video marketing.

Instagram: Videos, Stories, Reels & IGTV

Instagram ranks the 4th largest social media platform worldwide, and as of January 2022, Instagram reported 159.75 million users in the United States. Users aged 25-34 are the most significant cohort of Instagram viewers, making it the best platform to reach younger millennials.

Instagram offers four different ways to distribute video:

  • In-feed Videos: Videos that will appear on your follower’s feed and on your homepage.

  • Instagram Stories: Allows you to post photos or videos; with stickers, music, texts, and links that disappear within 24 hours of being posted.

  • Instagram Reels: Instagram’s version of short-form vertical videos similar to TikTok. These videos can be viewed on the newsfeed, under ‘Reels’ on your profile, or shared to your Instagram Story.

  • IGTV: Live videos on Instagram that allow you to connect with your audience in real-time.

Of the four ways to post a video on Instagram, Reels has become the fastest-growing feature worldwide, surpassing Instagram Stories’ popularity and giving a solid signal for marketers to add Reels as part of their Instagram marketing strategy. 

An added benefit to uploading a Reel is that it can be found in multiple locations in the app and has the potential to reach a new audience and enhance your organic reach. You can also repurpose your Reels and share them as an Instagram story to create more content.

Instagram for Apartment Marketing

Uploading apartment tours is a great place to start your Instagram video marketing. Here are a few examples of how communities are showing off their listings on Instagram:  

Tip: To maximize your reach when uploading an Instagram Reel, we suggest pairing the video tour with a trending song or sound. 

How to identify trending songs or sounds: 

Go to the Reels tab on Instagram. As you scroll, you’ll notice that some videos have an arrow pointing up in the bottom left corner, next to the name of the song/sound, which signifies that the sound is trending.

Adding text to your video within the first three seconds can also help draw in viewers. Use the text to describe what the video is about. This may pique the viewer’s interest before automatically scrolling to the next video. 

Facebook: The largest social media platform in the world

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, and this year, it is estimated to reach 332 million people in the United States alone. 

If the target audience for your multifamily community is between 30-45 years old, Facebook can be an excellent platform to help you reach potential residents as 26.4% of the platform’s user base are millennials and 36% of Facebook’s audience in the U.S. is over 45 years old.

Similar to Instagram, you can upload videos to Facebook in four formats: Facebook In-Feed video, Facebook’s Stories, Facebook Reels and Facebook Live. 

In February Facebook shifted in line with Instagram and introduced Facebook Reels, marking a clear path for Meta’s shift to short videos on both of its most popular platforms. 

While it might feel too early to start Facebook Reels, this is the perfect time to get free organic reach – and it won’t take any more time! Just repurpose your Instagram Reels and share them instantly to Facebook by using the “Recommend On Facebook Feature”. 

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TikTok: Authentic short-form content

TikTok has 78.7 million users in the United States alone, and it’s projected to increase to 84.9 million by the end of 2022. The average user spends 32.8 minutes watching videos daily — nearly as long users spend on Facebook (average 38 minutes per day).

As we mentioned before, TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity is partially responsible for this shift to video marketing. One of the main factors that sets TikTok apart from other social media platforms is that it rewards authenticity in the content. People and brands can be more genuine and creative in their videos. 

TikTok for Apartment Marketing

An excellent example of authentic apartment marketing on TikTok is Watercourse Apartments. The Watercourse team takes a creative and fun approach TikTok style to communicate their value proposition:

@watercourseapts0 There’s a reason why we only have 3 apartments left!!! It makes us the best😎 #fyp #apartment #NC #watercourseapts #northcarolina #apartmenttour ♬ original sound - alicyn 😉

Those videos alone have accumulated nearly 2 million views. 

TikTok’s algorithm rewards genuine interaction and authenticity, so even though it may seem uncomfortable at first, don’t be afraid to show your personality! In just over a year, Watercourse was able to grow its community to nearly 16,000 followers and has accumulated over 400,000 likes on TikTok. 

Youtube & Youtube Shorts

And finally, YouTube—the king of video content and the second most visited website in the world, projected to reach 210 million users in 2022. 

YouTube decided to launch its own version of a short-form video platform to compete with TikTok and Instagram Reels by the end of 2020, called “Shorts.” And by July 2021, the feature had been launched in over 100 countries and surpassed 15 billion daily views.

YouTube supports both short-video (60 seconds), long-video (+10 minute) formats; and anything in between.

YouTube for Apartment Marketing

Like other social media platforms, tours and apartment hunting are prevalent ways to showcase your community, units, and amenities.

An excellent example of YouTube Shorts is the videos shared by RentNewYork

In less than 60 seconds, they take you on tour from the outside of the building all the way up to the inside of the apartment. All, while narrating detailed reasons why this is the perfect apartment for a specific audience.

Cash Jordan Shorts is also a popular YouTube creator who has found a winning formula for quick, engaging apartment tours. He makes sure to include the monthly rent within the first three seconds of the video and tours the apartment while describing and commenting on the apartment’s features. 

Apartment tours on longer-video formats also have good engagement. You can find more examples of how to market your apartment on YouTube here.

Start Creating Your Own Video Marketing Strategy

Short-video formats have taken over social media platforms, and provide some of the most engaging and highest-performing content on the internet. 

The most creative short videos are being generated on TikTok, which can be your North Star if you need inspiration. You can also find examples here: 20 Marketing Ideas to Help Your Apartment Go Viral on TikTok. 

Although each platform has slightly different core audiences, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube are all pursuing short-form videos as a source of entertainment and education for their users.

But don’t worry, you won’t have to create unique content for each platform. Perhaps your property has a stunning swimming pool that TikTok users would love to see – but the gym junkies on Instagram love your fitness center. Try posting the same videos to each platform and measure what works best for your community. If you want a more in depth guide on how to create social media stories, check out Social Media Stories: What Are They And How Can They Help Market Your Apartment Community.

Experiment! But most importantly, have fun!

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