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YouTube's Search Prominence Makes it Essential for Apt Community Marketing

July 21, 2020


If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Apartment communities that aren’t maximizing YouTube as a primary marketing channel are missing out on traffic.

And, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on July 14, Google in many cases is making sure of it.

YouTube is owned by Google, and the search-engine giant appears to be juicing the algorithm to prioritize YouTube posts compared to others, despite their competitors’ hosting of the exact same video, WSJ writes.

Dana Pate, Senior Director of Marketing, RangeWater, says her communities are “hyper-focused on YouTube as an extension of our video strategy.” And why not?

It continues to be an influential platform given its connection to Google, especially during the age of Covid, she says. In fact, YouTube is the second most-preferred platform for watching video on TV screens among 18- to 34-year-olds, “which just happens to be a large target market for most of our assets.”

Pate says each of her properties have individual accounts in which their teams are responsible for managing -- with corporate marketing guidance and support. “In tandem, these same videos are being used in RangeWater’s online ads.”

Gates Hudson is among the many companies to have its recorded virtual tours uploaded to its YouTube channel. And Entrata’s Virginia Love has pointed to YouTube advertising as a relative bargain.

But for how long? Google’s competitive practices are already under heavy scrutiny amid allegations it uses its dominance in search to suppress competition in other markets, WSJ writes. While that won’t likely affect apartment marketers’ use of the channel, another algorithm tweak by Google could affect search results.

Google will testify before Congress on July 27 as part of an investigation into their power over the digital marketplace.

You can read more details about WSJ’s testing here, but to summarize, “in searches for Facebook video titles where Google returned a video carousel on the home page, the YouTube version was in the first slot 95% of the time.”

“When the Journal bots searched for the titles of the Dailymotion videos, the YouTube versions came up first 82% of the time. Twitch also sharply underperformed in video carousel search results.”

You get the picture.

In addition to marketing on YouTube, apartment communities managed by Lincoln and Pinnacle are also leveraging a new tool – transparency – to reach their target audience.

Like video, transparency can increase trust in apartment communities for those residents who start their new apartment search online. Prior to scheduling an in-person visit – if they even do – residents are able to get a much better sense of how the community is managed.

OpenProperty is the first transparency platform for apartment communities that requires no additional work from on-site staff. Once in place, OpenProperty automatically collects information about security deposit amounts and charges for every resident who moves out.

This information is published on an SEO-friendly page on the OpenProperty website, so that new prospective residents who have concerns about how much of their deposit will be returned (a majority) can feel comfortable that a well-maintained apartment will result in a full deposit refund.

Book a demo with Frank Pounds to learn more about how OpenProperty can increase transparency at your communities.

Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash