With all of the emphasis that today’s marketers place on social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing, it’s easy to understand why some apartment communities are reluctant to embrace blogging. But while this early Web 2.0 term may seem antiquated in 2015, the practice of blogging is actually more important than ever. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that a company’s blog is the backbone to all social media, SEO, and content marketing efforts.
If you are considering scrapping your apartment community’s blog, please consider the following three questions before finalizing your decision.
Do You Have the RIGHT Definition of Blogging?
To understand why blogging is important, you must first disassociate the word “blog” from your teenage niece’s online diary. Sure, sharing your opinion about why the latest Miley video is “on fleek” is technically a form of blogging. But so is Medium.com, the critically acclaimed multi-million dollar website created by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams.
Personal blogs and news sites aren’t the only forms of blogging, either. There’s also corporate blogging, which is the form of blogging that apartment communities should be using for their marketing, branding, and public relations initiatives. This very article is published on a corporate blog.
Fundamentally, a blog is a regularly updated website where individuals, groups, or organizations share news and – usually – encourage discussion among their audience.
Do You Understand Why Blogging is Important?
Blogging about a subject demonstrates that you know something about that subject. If you do your research, it may even demonstrate that you’re kind of an expert on that subject. And if you demonstrate that you’re an expert on a subject, you’re going to catch the attention of people and search engines.
That’s where things get interesting:
People who find informative articles on certain subjects enjoy sharing those articles with friends, oftentimes through social media. Likewise, search engines that find informative articles on certain subjects enjoy rewarding those articles, oftentimes by raising the article’s rank in search results for relevant search terms.
When people share your blog’s content on social media, each person who views that blog is directed back to your website. That’s why it makes sense for apartment communities to create and share their own personalized content, rather than simply syndicating another website’s content.
There’s a similar advantage in terms of SEO. Since creating high quality content boosts your site’s ranking in search engines, and prospective renters are more likely to click on the top search engine results, blogging directs more traffic to your website from search engines.
Ultimately, blogging directs more traffic to your site from social media and Google.
Can You Distinguish the Right Way to Blog From the Wrong Way to Blog?
In order to maximize your blogging efforts and increase your community’s chances of building buzz on social media and boosting your website’s rankings in search engines like Google, you must understand that not all blog articles are created equal. Even if an article is extremely well researched, it’s not going to do your marketing efforts much good unless it’s relevant. A 10-page essay on Hemingway’s love for fishing doesn’t make sense on an apartment blog, unless of course your property is located near the Hemingway house in Key West, FL and you rent short-term units to seasonal fisherman who embrace the Hemingway lifestyle.
So how do you discover relevant topics to write about? Simple: Look at what your apartment community has to offer, think about who would be most interested in those offerings, and then target that audience.
For example, let’s pretend you manage an apartment community that’s close to a college campus. Obviously, students would be a great demographic to target. So it makes sense to write a well-researched blog post about something that interests students, ideally one that’s also relevant to your apartment. A post that provides transportation tips for college students who don’t have a car would be a safe bet, especially if your apartment community has some kind of bike-sharing amenity that you can promote.
Hopefully this blog post has prevented you from pulling the plug on your apartment community’s blog. For tips and tricks that will help to improve your blogging efforts, check out our resources page.