In a perfect world, every potential customer that comes into contact with your brand would sign a lease to live in your community. But it’s not a perfect world, and if you’re not mapping your content to the buyer’s journey, odds are you are missing out on a lot of business. That’s because today’s buyer’s journey is drastically different than it was even 10 years ago. In concert with the rise of mobile technology, we’ve also seen a divergence from the traditional linear marketing model. There are now significantly more touchpoints for a prospect to interact or engage with your brand: social media, print marketing, local search, message boards, and many more.
With so many options for connecting with your potential client base, how do you know where to begin? The marketing funnel is a great place to start. By breaking down the buyer’s journey into awareness, interest, consideration, decision, and retention stages, you are able to meet your prospect where they are.
The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is where leads for your property are first generated. That means you need to put your best, most creative foot forward to stand out from the crowd. Attending trade shows, sponsoring events, even just posting blog articles with information relevant to the interests of your target audience can help establish your business as the solution to your prospective tenant’s needs.
Content Ideas for the Awareness Stage
- Sponsor a community event frequently attended by your target audience
- Blog articles - how to’s, life hacks, local events
- Social media advertising - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat
Now that the buyer knows who you are, it’s your responsibility to assist them in determining whether or not your community will help them meet their needs. As a digital marketing company, we like to start with a responsive website that prioritizes user experience. Rich visuals, compelling copy, and real-time pricing and availability are ideal for the Interest stage of the funnel. Not only do they form a base that will shape your user’s experience with your brand, but it also shows them up-front what you have to offer.
Content Ideas for the Interest Stage
- Lifestyle videos
- Floor plans and site maps
During the consideration stage, it is crucial that the content you produce provides intrinsic value to the user. This is when they start to eliminate the properties they don’t feel are the right fit for their needs. Your job is to convince them otherwise. A great way to do so is to develop a selection of content pieces that set your business apart as experts in the field. For example, a self storage facility may utilize a storage calculator to help prospective tenants choose the right size unit to fit all their belongings. A senior living community may publish white papers or research that supports the methodologies utilized in their memory care neighborhood. As the marketing manager of an apartment community, you can send out a moving checklist to help your prospect prepare for their upcoming life change.
Content Ideas for the Consideration Stage
- Virtual property tour
- Cost-of-living or storage calculator
- Moving guides or help sheets
The lower you move down the funnel, the more creative you need to be with your content. At this stage, the ultimate goal is to convert your prospect into a buyer. Clearly, they’re interested, but now is the time to really convince them that your brand is trustworthy and that your community is right fit for their needs. How do you do that? You hit ‘em with the good stuff, like reviews and awards from third parties, or with discount coupons to incentivize their signing. When it comes to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, you need to wow them, and you need to do it while you still have their attention.
Content Ideas for the Decision Stage
- Testimonials from current residents or tenants
- Third-party reviews
- Sign-up bonus or discount
If you thought the buyer’s journey ended with a purchase decision, think again. Getting your customer to convert is only half the battle. Signing new leases is great, but retaining them is better. Not only is it more cost-effective than continually chasing new leads, these individuals also serve as your greatest advocates to reel in new business. User-generated content, like positive Yelp and Google+ reviews, add an element of authenticity to your brand. You can stand on a soap box expounding your community’s many attributes, but if you don’t have anyone to vouch for you, it may just come off as fluff.
Content Ideas for Customer Retention
- Onboarding packet with helpful community information
- Fully developed resident portal with easy online payment option
- Referral bonuses
Meet Your Customer Where They Are
The buyer’s journey is always changing, and as a marketer, your job is to meet your customer where they are. It’s important that your brand has a presence that nurtures leads and expertly guides them down the marketing funnel.
To learn more about developing a content strategy that delivers results, download our Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing.