At Digible, we pride ourselves on being industry experts, on understanding what works best for multifamily as a whole. However, what we are finding more and more is that what works for one specific market may not work for another. Different cities are almost their own industries in the way that they function—so much so that there is rarely a single set of best practices that can be applied across the board.
Since our team is working with so many different properties in so many different areas of the country, we’ve made it a priority to meet regularly and talk about what’s working—and not working—in each market. These round table discussions provide us the time and space we need to share the city-specific insights that might otherwise remain siloed.
At the end of the day, our goal is to deliver the best service for our clients. And the best way to do that is to make sure that everyone is familiar with all major markets and the strategies, trends, and tests that generate results.
Here’s an inside look at our discussion about Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Overall, the Minneapolis market is fighting an uphill battle with current leasing trends. There are more people moving out of the city than moving into it. This is likely due to a combination of COVID-19, safety concerns, political unrest, and the steep amount of competition within the city.
Property management companies in Minneapolis typically aren’t that interested in pushing the envelope when it comes to digital marketing. Professionals in this market are used to relying on what they know and generally prefer to stick with more conventional strategies like search and social.
Side note: The city basically stops moving in the winter! Aside from occasional changes to the weather—moving from cold and grey one day to colder and greyer the next—there is not a whole lot going on in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market during the winter months.
Let’s talk keywords.
Properties that are near Minneapolis but outside of city limits should consider running ads with keywords like "Near Minneapolis'' or "Neighborhood - Minneapolis'' to capitalize on the additional search volume. These same properties should also think about adding relevant neighborhood keywords to non-brand campaigns.
All properties should consider using ‘skyway’ callouts in ad copy and extensions. While these keywords don't always generate the most search volume, they are valuable assets in the Minneapolis market. Just be sure to say it like a local— ‘skyway,’ not ‘skywalk’—when crafting those ads.
Overall, we recommend that clients stay extremely focused on neighborhood keywords. We’ve found that this is how the majority of users in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market search. They want to know exactly where the property is located. The more detail about the neighborhood, the better.
Now, onto ad creative and targeting.
We recommend that clients run specials in ad copy whenever possible. The market is highly competitive, so every single concession makes a difference. Seriously. Every single one. Don’t believe it? Consider this: After removing a special from the ad copy of a Facebook lead gen ad, one Minneapolis property watched their form fills take a complete nosedive.
Always make sure that you use high-quality and aesthetically pleasing images in your ads and social campaigns. Focus on unique amenities and stand-out features—really show off your best stuff! With so much competition, you need to take every opportunity to set your property apart from the other rental options in the area.
Is your property close to a university? Consider focusing on recent graduates of those nearby schools. Even if you’re not a student housing specific property, we’ve seen success with this type of targeting.
Thinking about going with geo? Overall, we’ve found that geo targeting is a little hit or miss in the Minneapolis market. Tests around Mayo Hospital generated low CTR and no walk-ins. With several comps in one small area, geo targeting can be difficult.
Properties in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area should consider implementing more awareness tactics and testing new audience segments. Marketers should also consider placing a greater emphasis on concessions and market-specific amenities in ad copy.
It might also be time to expand the Minneapolis digital market outside the norm of search, social, and display. Be bold! Live a little! Non-traditional platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok have far less competition, meaning that it’s just that much easier for your ads to stand out.