2021 Digital Marketing Trends To Keep An Eye On
In order for a multifamily professional to be successful, they must approach their target residents where they are. In the past, this meant placing billboards on their route to work or an
advertisement on an apartment search site. As technology has radically evolved, digital marketing has changed the way companies must work in order to keep appealing to target residents.
Digital marketing trends that apartment communities and developers should be aware of include the growth of augmented reality, live videos, increased personalization, and native advertising. When a company is willing to evolve with the development of technology, they will always stay ahead of the game. Keep your strategy relevant by adopting some of these forms of digital marketing:
Chatbots are the small chat windows that pop up at the bottom of a web page, offer assistance, and answer any questions you may have. Some people choose to interact with these bots, while others ignore them. But not for long. Chatbots gain intelligence with each interaction they have, making them more effective by reading the user’s needs. They also give the company time back that they may have previously spent answering customer concerns.
Chatbots are effective in marketing because they help promote your apartments, gain resident insight, personalize your brand and community, and increase engagement. It gives your web page a human-like interaction that customers would not get otherwise.
As chatbots gain traction in the digital marketing community, they will become increasingly effective and lead to more customers using them. Rather than relying solely on leasing offices and manual messaging, chatbots will be able to quickly answer questions that potential and current residents have, allowing you to gather more accurate data about your residents.
Did you know the video streaming market is projected to hit $184.3 billion by 2027? Currently, internet users watch 1.1 billion hours of live video, which means a large portion of the market can be reached with the use of live videos. They consistently see more engagement with followers than any other form of content. The best sites to utilize for live videos are Facebook and YouTube, because they can be viewed even after the live streaming has ended. Live videos are an effective and engaging way to show off resident-exclusive events, grand openings, or other celebrations that bring excitement to your brand.
Live videos invite your followers to see and be part of what you are all about, letting them get to know the faces behind the brand. And while live videos are a fun way to interact with your audience, they can also be used to provide information about upcoming events, specials, or new properties in the works.
AUGMENTED REALITY & VIRTUAL REALITY
Augmented and virtual reality are technologies that are continually on the rise. From virtual tours of apartments to games like Pokemon Go, augmented reality has a lot of potential in increasing your brand awareness and engaging residents. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offers consumers a chance to interact with the world around them without leaving the comfort of their home, which is an idea marketers need to capitalize on.
The idea of virtual reality was introduced to consumers through smart technology that can be brought into their home. Both of these advancements make marketing efforts more impactful, and allow the consumer to interact with your brand in exciting ways they have not been able to before.
In the multifamily industry, AR and VR can be used to display property renderings and allow customers to interact with them before construction begins. You can create a virtual tour for people who may not live close-by or are simply browsing options, allowing them to explore floor plans and amenities without the travel. The opportunities with AR and VR are endless, allowing for creative digital marketing campaigns and features that appeal to target residents.
Native advertising, while considered an older method, is proving to be useful once again with the rise in technology. With the use of ad blockers and the avoidance of everyday ads, apartment marketers are looking to native advertising. It blurs the lines between advertising and content, coming off as less promotional and more as a casual nod to the brand and how it can benefit consumers.
Some examples of native advertising include sponsored ads seen on Facebook and Instagram, or product placement. The native ad should be able to fit in with the host’s media if your company's logo is removed.
This strategy builds your brand's credibility and trustworthiness because you’re not bombarding your target resident with promotional content. Instead, you’re leading them to your site organically and building that relationship. In 2021, it will become crucial to take advantage of sponsorships on social media and other platforms in order to maintain and grow your target audience.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
Artificial Intelligence is complex and advanced, making it similar to augmented reality and virtual reality. AI is redefining the customer experience, but is a concept that apartment marketers have to experiment with. Developers and properties that are willing to accept the challenge of adopting AI will see great payoffs in the future. AI can be applied in many ways, but has been used to build websites, segment customers, and in the automation of big data.
While this is an expensive and timeconsuming addition to your company, it has the ability to improve your apartment marketing efforts and results greatly. A strong AI strategy can lead to more cost effective campaigns, as AI can gather and process large amounts of data more quickly, allowing you to develop marketing material earlier on. More effective apartment marketing items will result in more leads, and eventually more customers. Your target audience will be able to relate with specific material, which will aid in building a long term relationship with residents.
Meet Your Residents Where They Already Are
These are the major digital marketing trends your company should be looking for in 2021. If you are able to adopt some, or all, of these forms of digital marketing, you can expect to see greater returns on your strategy. Multifamily development is back on the rise, and great customer service is one of the main factors residents look for in a community. By utilizing digital strategies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, or live videos, you will be better positioned to reach your audience in a variety of ways.
Ashley Tyndall is the Chief Relationship Officer at Swiftly, and frequent contributor to Apartment Trends Magazine