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A look at where we should be spending our time and money in marketing efforts.

Is Traditional Outreach Marketing Dead?

The subject of outreach marketing and the part it plays in common day marketing at the site level, came up in a group discussion during the 2017 NAA Education Conference and Expo.  There were many opinions and all agreed that things have changed.

Delivering fliers to your surrounding businesses or taking pens to local businesses.  Are we gaining any leases from the same things that used to work so well to reach qualified prospects for our communities? Has social media, Google advertising and drip campaigns made traditional outreach marketing efforts pointless?  In our current advertising climates and the “Going Green” programs, does it make sense to keep bringing fliers or sending direct mailers any longer? 

Digital marketing has taken the marketing industry by storm.  While print marketing still holds power within the industry, it’s the digital marketing trends that are proving to hold precedence.  Per Forbes, “Web Strategies reported that in 2016 the five digital channels that saw large gains were email marketing, social media, online display advertising, mobile marketing and search.’  You’re likely wondering what this year’s growing marketing trends will be.  After all, the internet and all its trends are constantly changing and what was a marketing powerhouse last year could very well be old news this year.

Live Video Streaming will take off fully this year.  Facebook and Instagram have already integrated live video capabilities and other platforms are anticipated to follow suit.  Live Video, even when watching a previously recorded version, has the potential to draw in millions of people who are eager for a look at something that is happening right now. 

Virtual Reality is predicted that companies will start to provide VR experiences to reach a wider range of consumers.  Communities can provide various tours all in one place with VR and prospects can interact with others from their living room.  It’s a marketing trend that is inarguably going to become more wide spread in 2017, it is important to capitalize on it before it is common practice and no longer unique. 

Viral Marketing is one term that has been very popular.  Everyone wants their content to go “viral”.  Companies are now focusing on producing quality and catchy content that will potentially go viral. 

Google’s algorithm considers the social status of your content to determine your ranking in the search engine.  The more likes and shares of your content, the higher the ranking will be.  This new twist to SEO is expected to hold precedence over other SEO tactics.

Visual Content is what it is all about now.  While you still need to produce written content for SEO, visual content will be the main source for driving traffic and leads.  Info-graphics, photos, digital guides, presentations and graphics will become the ultimate way to generate new leads. 

Marketing trends are constantly changing.  It is important to always stay current with any changes in the industry and to challenge yourselves and owners to be at the forefront of these changes to garner the most benefit before the market is saturated with similar advertising. 

The reach with digital marketing is increasing by the thousands every year.  Facebook has over 1.9 billion users and continues to grow.  Linked-In is just starting to see some advertising.  So, while going to local employers and bringing cards, property information and pens is still great for branding keeping established relationships relevant, it does not allow the prospect to ask specific questions and receive specific answers regarding their needs.  It is argued that the time spent to drop fliers and pens off at local business could be better spent with chat bots or property specific video streams. Tap into your residents to be your business ambassadors at their place of work.  Find your influencers.  In the day and age of reviews and Yelp ratings, the existing customer experience is much more influential to the prospect than the feeling of being “sold” or “marketed” to.


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  • Travis Cason

    I personally have not been a fan of traditional outreach marketing. A majority of businesses would just throw my flyer on a table with a handful of other flyers. Creative digital marketing is definitely the future (and the present). The most successful companies will always try to stay on the cutting edge.

  • Misti,
    Great points here. I'm sure there are still very good cases where traditional marketing partnerships are beneficial but some of the new digital marketing strategies that you define provide so much more reach while saving time. Our clients are seeing strong results from things like Instagram and Facebook Marketing as well as Chatbots.

  • Misti, great post and great points! We still use different strategies in different markets. The internet reach is growing exponentially but we manage in submarkets and even to demographics that bring in the discount flyer they found at their employer's office! It's changing rapidly, and wise PMs should read and heed!

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