As the number one website for advertising in the manufactured home industry, we work with a variety of different professionals. More and more we see companies that manage multiple communities with everything from two communities to 200.
This article is part 1 of a 3-part series offering tips when it comes to managing your community managers.
Managing Community Marketing
Marketing for multiple communities can be done different ways dependent on your area, and your audience. Some companies brand all of their properties with the company name or logo. Other companies want each of their properties to have their own identity, independent of the company.
The decision is whether you want a “branded house” versus a “house of brands”. For instance, Apple is a strong branded house. Nearly all that it makes bears the Apple name and/or logo. Proctor & Gamble is a house of brands. It has an unassociated corporate name that runs major brands like Tide, Gillette, Vicks and many others.
If you have communities that vary in style, price, age restriction, and location, consider pushing the individual community’s brand. The reason being, the audience will be quite different for each property.
However, a unified identity for your collection of communities may be the way to go if your portfolio gears toward age-restricted communities in South Florida. This will train your targeted audience to recognize the organization. Plus, they will know there are options should their first community choice be fully occupied.
Make a Marketing Plan
Once you have decided how you want to brand the communities, the next step is creating a marketing plan to deliver to the community managers. This step is crucial in effectively managing the representation across the board.
Creating a shared folder or common drive is a great option since you always can update the information and contents at any time. Plus, everything is digital these days, so by providing your managers with everything in this medium, it will speed up the process for them in general.
The plan should include:
Logos and Imagery
High-resolution logos and images are probably the most important element to provide your team. Include multiple styles of logos that are specifically the size for social media too. (Here is a great source for current size requirements on each of the most dominant social media platforms).
Language and Messaging
Providing your managers with some marketing text for the community and homes gives them a solid base. This helps establish the language, and voice of the community. Dependent on how your portfolio is managed it may be unnecessary to have all of the marketing language come from the top of the organization. Regardless, include text to get your team started, then they can take it from there.
Your message should be refined to precisely your place in the market, with your audience in mind, and kept consistent across platforms.
Maybe you start with a blank page, or create some kind of tool — like a positioning statement or value proposition exercise. Regardless, the language should be refined, and set to different lengths with the same central theme. Keep it in a file and the message can be used in a press release, on a flier and on a web page, or for a tweet easily and quickly.
Important Web Links
Include any necessary links within the MH space. This gives your managers a central location for general web links, but also specific pages where you might want to add a UTM code to effectively monitor the marketing. (Not familiar with UTM codes? Check out this article for more information!)
Strategy and Checklist
Give your managers the tools to effectively and efficiently manage their property. By providing them a marketing strategy with set goals, you allow them to see the big picture and also maintain the company’s goals. A checklist of social media platforms and advertisement options will make managing the marketing for the community organized and concise.
Create a marketing calendar for each community. This is another essential tool. Your team can plan in advance for advertised community incentives and specials.
Maintain the Marketing
Once you have the plan in place and distributed to your team, the next step is ensuring the maintenance of the marketing plan for your community. Regularly updating the marketing plan is the obvious first step in maintaining the marketing. You also want to stay current when it comes to social media platforms. (Pro Tip: Here is an article that has some great tips on managing the social media platforms for your company!).
Although adding new properties to a portfolio can come with its share of heavy lifting, if you have an established marketing plan already in place, it can really help ease the transition for everyone.
Also, if your communities aren’t being managed on MHVillage yet, did you know you can advertise them on our site for FREE? Check out this video for more information!