As 2015 comes to a close, the 30 Lines team has been digging into the most talked about marketing trends at this year’s multifamily conferences, and determining how they can be applied to your brand to build your online presence, increase your conversion rates and close more sales.

Below are five of the year’s top tools, tips and tricks. Keep your eye on them. Implementing even one is certain to give your digital marketing campaign a boost!

Beacon Technology

While retailers have been some of the first to embrace and beta test beacon technology, multifamily marketers are starting to explore it as a way to out-tech their competition.

Beacons are a Bluetooth, short-range messaging technology that can be accessed from both Apple and Android devices. Businesses can employ beacons to send push notifications to customers about special offers and coupons, retention and loyalty rewards incentives, and a myriad of other campaigns.

Facebook has rolled out Bluetooth beacon technology, and the best news is it’s free on their platform. You can set up Facebook Beacons for your business page, which will push special information about your community to any user who opens or uses the app during their visit.

We’re loving beacons right now because, in addition to encouraging customer engagement, they help you build custom audiences that you can then target via your social ads. (Just imagine if you could capture the information of every Facebook user who walks or drives by your community each day, and then target them with a custom Facebook ad.)

You’ve heard about Beacons – now be one of the first to try it with the 30 Lines Local+Beacon bundle.  Claim your business on 80+ local listings + launch Beacon technology for your community to help you convert more traffic to rentals and create custom online audiences you can continue to market to. $100/month special introductory pricing. Click here to learn more and lock into our conference special today.

Video and Micro Video

Video, video and MORE video— this was one of the most talked about trends at Brainstorming.

We know, we know. Not everyone is a talented video producer, and you might feel as if you have to hire a professional in order to create amazing videos that properly market your community or business and tell your story. But this is truly NOT the case.

Traditionally, the multifamily industry has relied on two- to five-minute long, professionally produced videos featuring tours of communities, including apartments, amenity areas and local points of interest. These are typically the videos that land on the homepage of your websites or on one of your ILS listings.

However, today’s consumers are enamored with the “on demand” video circuit and micro videos, which are short six- to 15-second clips made popular on Vine and Instagram.

The micro video trend has presented multifamily marketers with the unique opportunity to experiment with creating their own amateur productions. And consumers are responding positively to the types of real-life and real-time information micro videos offer.

Not sure you’re ready to move into the amateur video production realm?

Think about some of these statistics that were highlighted at the Multifamily Pro Brainstorming conference:
  • Including video in email can boost open rates by 20%.
  • Using video on your website can boost your front page Google ranking by more than 50%.
  • Audiences are 10 times more likely to share, embed and post video content via social media.
  • 71% of marketers say video conversion rates outperform all other marketing content.

We’re experimenting with video more and more here at 30 Lines, and we think you should, too.

Landing Pages

For years, it’s been standard operating procedure to track various advertising sources and ad campaigns, usually with a lead management system, where we assign specific telephone numbers or email addresses to each individual campaign.

However, it’s time to take this concept a step further, by using customized landing pages for each ad source or campaign. Using custom landing pages allows for a richer consumer experience because they are customized with a very specific set of selling points based on what customers are looking for.

So for example, if you are running a campaign that is focused on moving two-bedroom apartments, your landing page would feature very specific information that relates to your two- bedroom floorplans: pictures, words, links, videos.

This helps keep the customer focused on what they are most interested in and pushes them to take the next action in the sales cycle— whatever that action might be.

Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews have always been a hot (and, at times, controversial) topic, but they are still at the forefront of today’s marketing conversations.

Staff often feel helpless about reviews, but instead of trying to control what customers say about you, focus on whether their feedback is even helpful to your team and to prospects.

The key takeaways focused on a few things:

Where should we push customers to leave their reviews?, Yelp, Google, other sites? Most marketers agreed that we should be encouraging renters to leave reviews in a variety of places, with Google being the number one choice.

What should we be encouraging customers to leave feedback about?
Of course we appreciate when someone leaves a review saying, “I love it here, the staff is so friendly.” But it doesn’t give the reader (or potential resident who may be reading that same review) much information.

We’re left wondering, “What makes you love living here?”

On-site and operations teams should urge reviewing residents to be as specific as possible when leaving feedback. Providing specific information and details helps prove that it’s a “real” review, and helps paint a better picture of the community’s culture. It’s a win-win!

How can we get more happy and satisfied residents to leave reviews?
There are multitudes of ideas out there about how to solicit more and better reviews, but the conversation this year was centered on how to better automate this process.

An easy solution that was discussed is using email marketing campaigns targeted at new residents, and incorporating a variety of landing pages. (We told you these are popular!)

The page a customer lands on is dependent upon how they rate your service. This gives the marketing and operations teams a chance to customize the message a customer receives.

For example, if someone gives a poor rating, the message may contain content consistent with learning more about the issue so it can be resolved.

If a customer offers an excellent rating, the message should urge them to continue the positive review in other online forums.

Defensive Marketing

Sometimes we get so busy trying to implement the latest and greatest technology, or trying to be the innovators in the industry, that we forget to play defense.

What does this look like for a multifamily marketer? What kind of defense should we be running?

Here were the top three ideas:
  • Always be defending your business name with your Google AdWords campaign.
  • Own as much “screen” real estate as possible. In the physical world, real estate is all about location, location, location. The same principle should be applied to your business online.
  • Reposition your product by highlighting features or services your community has that your competition is weak on. This can be done with content and copy on your website or in direct messaging to your customers via email, blogs, and social media campaigns. (This same technique can also be employed across your AdWord strategy, using words and phrases the competition might use.)