We touched base with three G5 clients to pick their brains about customer-focused online experiences and digital marketing trends that have been successful in marketing to multifamily, self storage, and senior living. Here are the top three marketing tactics that have increased customer engagement and enhanced the online experience. 

Social Strategy

When it comes to social media, it’s important to remember that social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not simply another content sharing tool. They’re platforms designed to engage conversation, interaction, share ideas, and reach customers where they are — online and on social. While it can be tiring to post to all channels, all the time, it’s important to choose a social media channel strategy that works for your properties or communities. 

This could be focusing your social media efforts to an individual channel and going for a quality over quantity approach. Or, you might have different approaches for different channels. Perhaps, as we heard from Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing at Morgan Properties, your Twitter account is for the corporate level and Facebook is for the individual property, or community level. 

Or, in our webinar with Raheem Amer, Senior Vice President of Operations at Devon Self Storage, he talked about their CIA social media strategy. By CIA they don’t mean super-spies, for the Devon team CIA means Care Inform Appreciate. They share content on their social media channels that 1) shows care for their customers’ needs, 2) provides information that might be helpful to researching renters, and 3) shows appreciation for their renters. This broad brushstrokes strategy leaves room to tailor it to any property or community’s specific social media needs. 

In senior living, Ross Christensen, Corporate Marketing Director at Integrated Senior Lifestyles, chose to focus his social strategy on building awareness and gaining followers, so that, when seniors and their families began researching senior living with more intent to move-in, their communities would already be top-of-mind. 

Want more social media tips and tricks? Check out this blog. Bottom line, choosing the channels and approaches that are right for your property or community and then leveraging those platforms to build trust with researching prospects is the ultimate goal. Posting to social media for the sake of posting, isn’t the goal. 

Off Hours Engagement

Your customers’ lives are complex. To build digital relationships with researching prospects, we need to create intuitive online interfaces that answer their questions and take them to the next step in a complex journey. 

For example, someone looking for a new apartment might be transferring jobs and moving to a new city that they do not know well. While wrapping up a new job, and researching where they’re moving they might not have time to call during traditional “office hours.” This holds true for self storage, where perhaps someone’s college-age child is moving home and needs their bedroom (aka your Zoom office!) back. According to Amer, “Customers were reaching out to us at odd times of the day or night, we saw a huge shift toward night traffic.”

But, the customer journey is even more complex with senior living, where there are multiple decision-makers, who are trying to figure out the right next step, all while juggling the care and needs of their loved one. 

The good news: we heard from our panelists that chatbots and virtual sales assistants are working well for them. In fact, Morgan Properties can attribute 400 signed leases to their addition of the G5 Bot. 

Integrated Senior Lifestyles also recently added the FURTHER Virtual Sales Assistant (VSA). “To be honest, I’ve never converted more people from our website even before the pandemic,” said Christensen. For their communities, the VSA has served as a less intimidating and more conversational option for prospects to ask for information and continue the conversation. 

Pandemic Favored the Agile

The pandemic rocked all of our worlds — fast. This week marks a year since we started on this journey. At one point, we hoped we’d only be in “this” for six weeks. Clearly, that didn’t happen, of course, we need to be empathetic to our past selves about what we knew (and did not know) at that time. As the crisis unfolded, your teams were also tapped with being empathetic to your renters and residents. You needed to rapidly communicate with them about how you were keeping their safety at the forefront, and demonstrate through your actions that you cared for their safety and well-being during a scary time. 

Once March’s full-fledged panic wore off, properties and communities needed to know how to navigate their new normal. In each of our panels, we heard how working with a best-in-class MarTech partner, like G5, helped them nimbly navigate the pandemic-induced market. While this might sound like a shameless plug for G5, it’s a good reminder of what to look for in a technology or marketing partner. True best-in-class partners are quite literally your partner. They should feel like an extension of your team and have established integrations with other providers in your technology stack. Plus, they should provide industry-specific insights that are helpful to your sales and marketing teams. 

Learn From Your Peers 

Marketing isn’t one size fits all. So, what works for one property or community in one metro, might not work for one of a different size, in a different place. But, we can gain important insights from individuals facing similar challenges. Tune into these jam packed, fifteen-minute, industry-specific — multifamily, self storage, and senior living — webinars to learn more marketing tips and tricks. Curious to learn about other digital marketing trends in 2021? Download Part 2 of the G5 MarTech Series.