When marketing your community to attract new buyers, your job is not just to raise awareness about your brand, but to win people over in a personal way on an impersonal medium: online.
90% of people trust reviews over any other form of advertising. We consult upwards of 10 online sources before making a purchase decision. Because of this, adding a human element to the home buying process is absolutely critical.
At Zenzi, we do research to uncover the values that motivate purchase decisions, then create stories that speak to those inner needs and desires in a way that resounds.
Why do stories work so well? Because our brains are primed to heed their advice. They are persuasive because they are able to slip in under our radar and “transport us” to the tale being told. We tend to imagine ourselves in other people’s shoes during a story.
How can you source homebuyer stories and use them to inspire your marketing campaign? Follow these 5 steps:
1. Get the interview. Post on Facebook or send an email blast to engage new homeowners. Ask about their experiences around buying their new home. You will likely be surprised at the number of people who respond and want to share their story. Handpick a few of the most compelling residents and reach out for an interview.
2. Find the hook. Sometimes it may take awhile to get the real gold nuggets during an interview. It helps to let people start by sharing their personal story and how they came to find your community. Be prepared with questions that go beyond features and benefits and get to the heart of what motivated their decision. Were they seeking a safe community to raise their family or the excitement of being close to restaurants, bars and nightlife? Talk about major milestones such as signing closing paperwork, getting their keys, and small moments such as a family pets and kids exploring their new neighborhood.
3. Align with the buyer journey. The best stories become content that pulls people through the buying process. Think about the emotions people feel and questions they ask, and create stories that speak to their needs during each step of the journey. Don’t forget to add a call to action such as inviting people to explore floor plans online, talk to a new home advisor, contact the sales office or schedule a tour.
4. Repurpose and reuse. Typically, one interview can result in 40+ interesting quotes, engaging blog content, and the opportunity for multiple social media posts. Your content should focus on all the different aspects of your community such as the neighborhood, the design, the home shopping process and other amenities.
5. Don’t forget the visuals. The old saying is true, and good pictures can make or break a story. We’re not talking about formal or posed shots, we mean photos of the new resident with their friends, family or loved ones enjoying their community. Active brand ambassadors are readily willing to post photos on social media and eager to participate in promoting the brand.