Apartment Leasing

The TikTok Effect: Short-Form Video Turns Prospects Into Residents

by Kathy Neumann

Gothenburg, Sweden – March 23, 2022: A man’s hand holds a Iphone 13 Pro max with social media apps, against the background of a laptop. Blurred background. Selective focus.

When you hear the words “search engine,” most people immediately think of Google. However, Gen Z and millennials may be utilizing another search engine when hunting for their next apartment — TikTok. TikTok and other short-form video platforms are now a vital ingredient in your marketing mix and one of the most important ways to attract prospects.

Multifamily marketers are leveraging TikTok to showcase their properties creatively. From virtual tours to resident testimonials, these short and visually appealing videos generate leads and convert prospects into residents. Nearly half of all companies are using some form of social media to sell, and more than 60% of B2C companies use it, according to the most recent annual report by The CMO Survey.

Multifamily Must Embrace Short-Form Video

With the abundance of information available to prospects, standing out among the crowd is crucial. Well-produced and creative content grabs the viewer’s attention and helps them visualize what it would be like to live in your community. Short-form video invites marketers to be creative and experiment with new and exciting ways to engage prospective renters.

One of the benefits of short-form video is that it can be used across multiple platforms. While TikTok is currently the most used, all the other social media platforms enable short videos, and Meta’s Threads is the latest sensation. By focusing on concise and captivating messages, multifamily marketers can increase the likelihood of their content being shared by residents and potential prospects, expanding their reach and brand awareness.

Creating and Managing Engaging Content

From virtual tours to resident testimonials, these short and visually appealing videos generate leads and convert prospects into residents. However, to have the most success requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a checklist to leverage successful short-form content.

◯ Identify your target audience. Researching the demographics and interests of potential tenants will help determine the type of content that resonates with them and guide you toward the best avenue to engage your audience. For example, if your target audience is young professionals, your videos should highlight the community’s proximity to popular dining and entertainment areas.

◯ Focus on storytelling. People connect with stories, so narrative elements make your videos more engaging and memorable. Creating a video that follows a prospect’s journey from searching to signing the lease can evoke emotions and foster a connection with the audience. This is just one example of what you can do. A day in the life of current residents, illustrating how residents use the amenities and showcasing events can also make for excellent stories.

◯ Incorporate interactive elements. In order to keep visitors engaged, incorporate clickable elements that allow viewers to explore specific features of the property. By encouraging participation, you create a more immersive experience that keeps viewers interested.

◯ Develop a content calendar. Outline the types of content you will create and a posting schedule. Consistency is key to building brand awareness and maintaining engagement. The calendar should also include a mix of content formats, such as videos and slideshows, to cater to different preferences and capture a wider audience.

◯ Keep up with the latest trends. Communities can increase their visibility by watching trends and challenges (the safe ones, not the dangerous ones) and incorporating their own content to match. Collaborating with influencers, if possible, who align with the target audience can amplify your reach.

◯ Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and track metrics. KPIs, such as the number of views, likes, shares, comments or inquiries generated from the content are vital to make sure your short-from marketing is moving in the right direction. Monitor these metrics to assess the effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to optimize future strategies.

◯ Gather feedback. Surveys of residents and prospects can provide valuable insights into how your content is perceived and whether it influences decision-making. Listen to your audience and refine your content to meet their needs and expectations.

Challenges of Short-From Video

Short-form video offers numerous benefits but also presents challenges. You don’t want to overproduce but you also don’t want long gaps between posts. You need to be authentic without being too off-the-cuff. Rushing the process can result in subpar content that fails to appeal to your target audience. Producing quality content requires you to first examine why you want to produce a particular piece then have a plan for the process before you produce any video.

Accessibility is another important consideration since these videos often rely heavily on visuals and audio, which may exclude individuals with disabilities. Multifamily marketers should ensure that their content is accessible to all by providing captions, alt text or transcripts.

Short-form video can be an indispensable tool in the multifamily marketing mix. Its ability to capture attention, maintain engagement and encourage sharing makes it important to stand out in a crowded digital landscape. By leveraging platforms like TikTok and incorporating storytelling, interactivity and visuals, you can create compelling short-form content that resonates with your target audience. 

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