Student Housing Marketing Ideas
One of the best student housing marketing ideas to generate scalable awareness and increase the leads for your property is by hosting a contest. Whether cheap or expensive, the goal is to reach the most students while ensuring the lowest cost per lead. When hosting a contest, most student housing properties never reach the amount of people they hoped to and lack the proper approach to design, promotion, logistics, lead generation, and relevance. Here are a few tips:
1) It’s The Thought That Counts
In almost all cases, student housing properties put more focus on what they would like the prize to be and not enough focus on giving their target audience what they would want at that moment. Gift cards tend to be a favorite amongst student housing marketing ideas, but $25 gift cards are not special, creative, or personal enough to a student to drive massive awareness. Instead, dig a little deeper. Think about what a student would want at that very moment. Similar to the contest we created and managed for our client, University Towers. The freshman only student housing property gave away what we knew only the freshman of the University of Texas would want, University of Texas apparel. A contest like that is cheap, but more importantly relevant. University Towers drew in over 160 leads, in four days, strictly from the contest.
2) Make It Simple
What is one secret to running a successful contest? Make it easy to enter. More rules equals less participation. Most student housing properties try to pin to many of their objectives, such as data collection and virility upfront. An entry process that asks for a student to like, upload, enter data, share, and get their friends to join in order to win is a tad much. You must remember that your contest is not a necessity and students weigh the option of time spent entering to the value of what you are giving away. Instead, use a sales approach that will entice first, build up a want, and make the entry process feel second to the excitement of obtaining the prize.
3) Lead Generation
An important aspect of obtaining leads is obtaining a leads’ information. To many properties have contest to build awareness with no means of following up with those that have entered and don’t pay enough attention to influencing purchasing decisions during the contest. We suggest killing two birds with one stone. Host an entry form on your property website that will collect the data of those that enter. Also ask questions that will lead students to think about why they should move to your property, influence purchasing decisions. Ask questions such as, “Did you know our rooms are 30% bigger than our competitors?” That way, when a student enters the contest they are also immersed in what your student housing property has to offer and what sets your student housing property apart. Lead generation from the start is more than just obtaining a name and phone number. If your contest only makes the students want what you’re giving away and doesn’t at least get the students thinking about living at your property, you should revise your lead generation method.
4) Social Media
The biggest reason why the contests of student housing properties fail is also the reason why the contests of our student housing property clients excel. Most student housing properties’ social media presences are not large enough to reach a large number of people, according to our quantitative social media audit of the top 25 student housing management companies, or only rely on their Facebook account. A property with only 942 Facebook fans, 124 Twitter followers, and 42 Instagram followers can’t expect much. Our clients all have targeting student followings of over 1,000 on their social media accounts because there is power in numbers. Our client, Westmar Student Lofts, boasts a following of over 7,000 on Twitter and over 4,000 on Instagram, the largest in the student housing industry. There’s a saying that goes, “it takes money to make money.” When dealing with social media and lead generation, it takes numbers to produce numbers. The more you invest in building a strong social media presence the more potential leads you have to market to AT ANY TIME.
There are countless student housing marketing ideas. A contest is a sure way to build massive awareness and increase leads for your student housing property when done correctly.