Bob Dylan wrote the song, “The Times They Are A-Changin” and those words ring true in today’s market. The marketing landscape has changed and continues to change at a rapid pace. It’s now a Web 2.0 Marketplace- a techno-driven, media-fragmented environment populated by empowered consumers. In a world where YouTubeTM videos and Facebook friends are common cocktail conversations, building and sustaining relationships with consumers has become increasingly difficult, forcing marketers to reach beyond familiar strategies and techniques.
Your residents, and the prospects you are targeting, are a lot different than they were in previous years. Today’s consumers trust referrals from family and friends over anything else, and where do consumers talk about their favorite products and brands? On the internet! Renters are talking about your communities, sharing opinions and experiences, and making referrals via social media platforms. Online social networking sites have revolutionized the way people interact with each other and gather information. It is essential that wherever consumers are talking about your brand (good or bad), your company be there-interacting.
Maintaining an on-going positive relationship with renters and prospective renters is critical to any apartment community’s long term success. Today, companies must be part of the consumer dialogue. Marketers must blend communication messages across all available media channels for the consumers to achieve a continuous brand experience. It is important to have an integrated marketing strategy that consists of print, Internet, mobile and social media. The key to success is to convey a message synergistically at every customer touch point. For Rent Media Solutions is adapting to the change and maximizing our advertisers’ marketing strategy by using an integrated approach.
Here are five marketing solutions For Rent Media Solutions can provide for your integrated marketing strategy:
1. Reaching Consumers on-the-go with Mobile Marketing
Some 80 percent of all Americans carry mobile phones. There are more mobile-only households than landline-only households. If businesses do not adapt to this channel, they will, eventually and certainly, suffer a disadvantage compared with those businesses that catch the vision of mobile data communications and take full advantage of the channel. By using technologically-savvy marketing tools such as text messaging and the mobile web, property managers can increase their reach, better identify with the apartment market’s target demographic and generate more LEADSTM from potential customers. Text messaging and mobile Web sites create opportunities for property managers to interact more with their residents-increasing the residents’ brand loyalty in the community and the property management company. Mobile marketing expands marketing reach to all types of media and results in more online conversions.
In January, nearly 12,500 text messages were sent to our advertisers. With text messaging, potential renters view a property’s listing in For Rent Magazine®, see a custom keyword text call to action on the ad or from the community leasing banner, and then text the community if they are interested in learning more about the property. The property can customize the response to the prospective renter and provide them with details, pricing, photos, a link to the ad on ForRent.com® and more. Our print ads also provide unique property URL’s which will send the consumer to the apartment profile page where they can fill out a guest card.
In June 2008, For Rent Media Solutions launched its mobile Web site http://m.forrent.com/.
Our mobile Web site can expose a property manager to a wider audience, making their apartment listings available to consumers not only through print publications and the Internet, but through their cell phones as well.
Tip: Include the free customized keyword and text icon that For Rent Media Solutions provides to its print customers on your For Rent Magazine ad, leasing banners and yard signs. Be sure to advertise your community’s specials, events, and promotions in your customized responses. For additional branding and traffic, take advantage of using your custom keyword on your brochures, direct mail pieces, flyers and more to track the success of your print advertising. Reach potential renters in a manner that is convenient and most frequently used by them.
Did you know?
- According to the Center for Media research, text messaging is the most preferred advertising approach among over two-thirds (69 percent of adults and 64 percent of teens) of consumers.
- 52% of mobile users access the Web via their mobile phones, and 35 to 44 year-olds are leveraging this technology the most, with 60% spending time each week surfing the Web.
- 25% of mobile users access video on their mobile phones, with 88% of this group spending less than two hours/week, which indicates a growing appetite for rich media with shorter duration viewing patterns.
- 25% of mobile users are accessing social networking sites from their mobile devices, with one in seven respondents between the ages of 23 to 34 doing so for more than two hours/week.
2. Combining Print and Internet
The print industry is not dying – it is simply adapting to the new world of marketing. In today’s economy, it is important to maximize your reach by using the most effective method of marketing and advertising. This is done by using the powerful combination of print and Internet. Research from iProspect and Jupiter Research found that 67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline channels. Of that percentage, 30% come from print ads. Even more impressive is the fact that print advertising topped the list of offline media sources that led to a purchase, with 30% of search users who opened their wallet and bought online coming from a print medium. Marketers worldwide agree! Take a look at this article found by Lisa Trosien, a nationally recognized apartment marketing expert, called, ‘Why Cutting Print Budgets Means Cutting Online Sales’.
For Rent Media Solutions continues to prove that the “The Power of Print and Internet” is delivering favorable results. In January 2009, nearly 1.3 million potential renters sought out more information on our advertisers’ communities through our various points of contact, including: text messaging, video, phone calls and online guest cards. For Rent Magazine continues to drive LEADS and traffic to Forrent.com. With more than 2 million publications distributed nationwide, we deliver nearly three times the amount of LEADS to our Print and Internet advertisers compared to Internet only advertisers!
Tip: Include your ForRent.com vanity URL on your print collateral to drive LEADS directly to your listing and to more importantly, track the success of print. Find additional tips on how to maximize your print and Internet listings here.
Did you know?
- Offering online and print solutions is essential to the success of your business. Why?
1. Not everyone has access to the Internet. According to a Pew Internet
Research study, one-quarter of Americans have no Internet access.
2. A 2008 Parks Associates study found that more than 20% of Americans had
never looked up a Web site or sent or received emails.
- New consumer research conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo and commissioned by Google, shows that “among people who research products and services after seeing them advertised in newspapers, 67% use the Internet to find more information, and nearly 70% of them actually make a purchase following their additional research.”
- This new study demonstrates that print ads also drive people to conduct additional product research online. “56% researched or purchased at least one product they saw advertised in the print ad in the previous month.”
- In addition, the use of newspapers and the Internet reinforces consumer confidence. The study also states, “48% of respondents said that seeing a product in the newspaper after seeing it online would make them trust the product more and be more likely to purchase.”
3. Connecting on Social Networking Sites
Social Networking is like the old shampoo commercial; “I told two friends, then they told two friends, and so on, and so on…” -Doug Ross
Social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, are growing daily. Consumers on social media Web sites aren’t just teens. Adults now outnumber teens on social networking sites. According to Enid Burns with Search Engine Watch, “the use of social networking sites among those 18 and older quadrupled over the past four years and seventy-five percent of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social networking site.” According to Hitwise, 27 percent of social networking traffic is moving to and from one another, suggesting that users have multiple accounts and can switch their loyalty quickly.
For Rent Media Solutions has over 50 MySpace profiles covering markets nationwide, exposing our brand and yours to more than 6,500 consumers. In addition to the profiles, we also syndicate your listings to MySpace Classifieds. Between Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, our direct social media network consists of more than 11,000 people and our extended network potentially reaches nearly 2 million people.
Tip: Set up a MySpace page or Facebook group for your apartment community to provide a distinct way for your businesses and brand to create direct connections with residents and prospective residents. Drive additional traffic and LEADSTM to your ForRent.com listing by including your apartment profile page URL in your social networking profiles. In addition, these online communities can also allow you to interact and communicate with your staff.
Did you know?
- Facebook has 175 million+ registered users and the average user has 120 friends on the site. More than 3 billion+ minutes are spent on the site each day and 850 million photos are added daily.
- MySpace.com has more than 100 million registered users. The site receives 55.7+ million unique users per month and 17.5+ million daily unique logins. The average MySpace user logs in 30 times a day.
4. Broadcasting with Online Video
Online video and video sharing sites such as YouTube are vital channels for driving user engagement and loyalty, as well as powerful internal tools benefitting employees. The impact of video is very strong when consumers find the videos though online search, social media sites or via the community’s Web site. Prospective residents are forwarding these videos via email and social media sites to friends who might also be interested in moving.
For Rent Media Solutions offers Community Theater®, a professionally produced online video that enhances the apartment shoppers experience by allowing users to view your apartment community’s most sought after units and amenities as well as the surrounding city it is located in. For Rent Media Solutions does the work for you. All Community Theater videos are syndicated to ForRent.com, your management company’s website, AptsVideo.com, along with more than ten major channels including Google, Yahoo, MySpace and YouTube. Along with the Community Theater video, the long description, community name/location and ForRent.com apartment profile URL are included in on social media Web sites to encourage traffic back to your listing. The Community Theater videos have received more than 7.8 million video views and more than 845,000 of those views came from social media Web sites.
Tip: For additional exposure, post your Community Theater videos on your property management social networking profiles. Visit our YouTube profile here to find your Community Theater video. Click on the video detail page, copy the “embed” code and paste it into your other social profiles or click on the ‘Share’ button then select the site of your choice to automatically syndicate the video to your profile. Another idea is to host a video contest for your residents and post the videos to your management company’s Web site and/or to your company YouTube page. User generated content can easily turn customers and fans into a network of content creators who communicate through video. Both online video and social media combined form new capabilities for business and foster natural dialogue for your brand.
Did you know?
- According to Facebook, more than 5 million videos are uploaded each month.
- According to YouTube, the site has over 70 million videos and receives more than 100 million+ video views per day.
- comScore Media Metrix states that 52.5 million viewers watched 371 million videos on MySpace.com in November 2008 (7.1 videos per viewer).
5. Building Relationships
For any business to survive in today’s economy they need to know the essence of networking. Same rings true for individuals. With our current market, networking your business and yourself is critical. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will see tremendous growth, as more and more people are flocking to these sites for contacts. Your company’s presence needs to be on these sites to network and interact with potential partners. For Rent Media Solutions is an active participant in the conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter. These sites allow us to gain faster access to insight and resources in the multi-family housing industry. Start networking with industry professionals and renters today. Join in the conversation on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.
Tip: Set up a LinkedIn group to communicate with your employees and current residents. Use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool and post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company. Listen to industry subject matter experts on the discussion boards in Multi-family Housing groups such as Apartment Professionals Network, Multifamily Technology, NAA, and Multifamily Insiders.
Did you know?
- Twitter has 3.5million+ users and more than 1.1 billion ‘tweets’ have been sent to date.
- LinkedIn has over 35 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
Bob Dylan said it best, “The line it is drawn.” It’s time for companies to accept the shift in media and move forward. Since the purpose of marketing is to generate revenue, increase LEADS, fill vacancies, and/or drive brand awareness, marketers need to find ways to do this effectively; and embracing an integrated marketing strategy is the first step. “You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.” Are you maximizing your advertising strategy with For Rent Media Solutions?