Marketing is often defined solely as a means to sell something, however, the truth is more nuanced. Story-based marketing allows enterprises to create a stronger, more lasting connection with an audience, immersing them in a branded lifestyle or experience that highlights a shared relationship, rather than putting the focus on a product or service.
There are many advantages to using stories in marketing. Stories can more effectively capture audience interest in an era of abundant content and short attention spans. Highly focused marketing can turn off an audience, who doesn’t want to be subjected to a hard sell. Stories also can be used to build a community-like relationship, which helps sustain interest and enthusiasm.
For those of us in the multifamily marketing space, effective apartment marketing needs to be story-driven to connect and engage with audiences. If you can spin a brand story that positions your properties within an appealing lifestyle, you have the capability to build and nurture a community that is loyal and advocates in the marketplace on your behalf.
Here's a closer look at how brand impressions are shaped by storytelling, and how you can make this strategy pay off for your apartment community marketing.
Marketing storytelling deploys a variety of techniques to create a deeper, more meaningful connection with audiences. Designing a shared journey between brand and audience is a more effective platform for building, nurturing, and inspiring that audience.
Story-driven marketing is being further evolved by emotional content marketing, a strategy that recognizes many customers make decisions based on their emotions rather than just logic and reason. Marketing that can leverage common emotional or psychological triggers has a better chance of breaking through the clutter of our modern highly-mediated environment.
Whether it's Coca-Cola's story of a little kid meeting Mean Joe Greene and sharing a personal moment, or Apple's Siri welcoming home FKA twigs after a long day at work, or Toyota spotlighting Jessica Long's journey to Paralympic gold, marketing stories are used to make an impact with customers who are increasingly resistant to traditional forms of marketing that use a more straight-forward, “just the facts” approach.
Apartment marketing is playing catch-up to this emerging movement. Most apartment community enterprises are still using traditional marketing techniques focused on showing off details of their communities using photo galleries, video tours, and social media. Only recently is multifamily innovation being directed toward more effective marketing strategies that embrace storytelling as a means to drive audience engagement.
So... what can apartment storytelling do that other strategies can't?
1. Create a Memorable First Experience. Brand recall means a brand is quickly identified and recognized as distinct from competing brands, even in very competitive markets. In an apartment marketing context, have you created an experience that prompts your customers to identify your property and think about it before other properties in the market?
Effective apartment storytelling supports improved brand recall by crafting a memorable experience. Through the art of storytelling, you can highlight the amenities relevant to your prospects and their lifestyle, or showcase a more exclusive community. Your apartment branding story helps position your property foremost in customers' thoughts so that when the time comes to choose a new place to live, yours is the first name that comes to mind.
2. Engage with Prospects. Getting the attention of audiences is a challenge in today's world. People have short attention spans and are constantly bombarded with coercive content. How can you connect with prospects in this highly competitive environment?
Story-driven apartment content marketing can make an impact where other forms of marketing struggle to penetrate. By creating a narrative of common likes, ideas, and goals, you can inspire prospects to take a closer look at what might be a more inviting community. Getting them to authentically engage with your story can get them in the door and further down the funnel to connect with your sales team.
3. Differentiate Your Property. If your audience can recall your brand, the next step is helping them understand your unique selling proposition. Do customers know what makes your property special and more desirable than competing properties?
A good story tells customers how your property is different and why they should want to live there. Whether your story celebrates a desirable lifestyle or highlights a distinct community, it should allow your audience to identify themselves as part of the action.
Your story becomes an effective way to define how your property stands out in a crowd and it delivers a meaningful expression of how the community fits your prospects' lifestyle.
Apartment storytelling is more than simply adding some photos or videos of a property to your website. That's useful for sharing relevant information, but it doesn't create a compelling narrative that drives engagement.
The prospect search experience is fragmented and their attention is pulled to multiple sites, hosting a jumble of different content formats (photos, videos, tours, etc.), which makes the messaging difficult to consume. Traditional methods don't make engaging with content simple for prospects and instead rely on the slim hope that they'll take the extra steps to migrate down the funnel.
Properties, despite having consistent messaging, do not utilize the art of storytelling on their platforms to create a memorable first experience, effectively engage with prospects, or differentiate their properties within a crowded marketplace.
Multifamily marketing still is not utilizing the full potential of storytelling to connect in a way that builds loyalty and creates a dedicated, enthusiastic community of highly motivated residents. Traditional strategies are not returning marketing investment value.
The more effective strategy is to leverage an emotional context through storytelling, with the potential to generate an authentic, relevant, and meaningful reaction in the audience.
There's more to share about how the art of telling a story is impacting multifamily marketing. In the next blog, we'll discuss how storytelling is evolving as an effective tool in multifamily apartment marketing. This will include valuable insights and actionable strategies to help you realize the highest return from your content marketing spend. We'll see you soon!
If you're interested in learning more about Apartment Stories or how users are engaging with your website content, contact Lineups.io today.