At the time of writing this, student accommodation brands and companies will be preparing for the mass of new and returning students entering their halls.

So, it wouldn’t hurt to get a few extra social shares and mentions in the bag, would it?

The following article is going to reveal powerful technique for getting shouted about in the community surrounding your accommodation locations.  It doesn’t require any advanced software. Neither does it require any special knowledge. And it doesn’t require deep pockets.


A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest most important sound…

Some of you might be familiar with this quote. It made its debut in Dale Carnegie’s famous book on communication – How to Win Friends and Influence People.

The quote still stands true to this day.

“If you want to get someone’s attention, talk about them and put them on a pedestal. This is one of the reasons people love being called out on radio, TV, and Instagram. People love the attention.”

Of course, the sentiment must be positive. Nobody wants to be called in an unsavoury way. However, how does this all translate into the realm of online marketing?


Ego Baiting the Local Community

Mentioning people in your content is a great way to put a smile on their face and entice them to share that content with the world. Especially if the content presents them in a positive light.

In the world of online marketing, this is sometimes referred to as “ego baiting”. And it’s been talked about a fair bit over the years.  The trick is to mention people who have audiences or authority that you could ride off. Specifically, look for someone who could help your business. You don’t want to be mentioning and ego baiting every Tom, Dick, and Harry. It would be a waste of your time and money.

If you’re a student accommodation provider, a powerful target to ego bait would-be businesses and prominent individuals in your local community. That is the local communities surrounding your accommodations.  By local, I mean the shops, stores, and attractions that are within the city in question. Don’t just focus on the super near-by shops round the corner.

Three core areas to get your content shared:

  • Local Business’s
  • Local Communities
  • Local Influencers

With the strategy now laid out, how do you go about including these people in your content?


The Method Behind the Madness

The simplest way I’ve found to get the attention of the local community is through roundups and “best of” type articles.

The general premise here to find a list of businesses or individuals in your local area who all belong to the same market or industry (think Chinese restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets, etc.) and offer a top 10, 20, or even 30 list featuring their business.

To take this to the next level, you can focus on student favourites, such as bars, clubs, and attractions. You could even go ahead and ask local experts why they think are the best.

On a similar vein, think of the local experts you could write about. With platforms such as TripAdvisor and Couch Surfing, people can register as local experts, offering opinions on the best places to go.  Why not do a roundup featuring these individuals? Some of these experts might even have blogs to link from and audiences to share too.

Majors and politicians could even be potential targets. However, depending on brands and political affiliations, this could turn out badly depending on who you discuss. So, tread carefully with this one.


Getting in Touch

There’s no secret sauce when it comes to reaching out and letting the businesses or individuals know they’ve been featured.

In the past, I’ve had success with simple social outreach.  The trouble with social outreach, however, is that some businesses take ages to reply. They might not be managing their socials every day, so experimenting with multiple touchpoints is a good practice.

Emailing and tweeting can also work. If you want to optimise for links, emailing typically is the best way to go.  If you’re going hard with this approach, calling might even be an option.

The takeaway point is to let them know they’ve been mentioned and ask permission to send them the article.

One thing we’ve noticed with outreach is that you’ll get more positive replies if you DON’T ask for a link or social share.  If the mention is positive and shines a positive light, they’ll share it regardless. Plus, people don’t like to be bossed about by someone they’ve never met. Be polite and always ask!


How Far Can You Leverage?

If you had a lever big enough, you could lift the world, right?

I can never remember who said that. Someone a lot smarter than me probably. But it’s true, isn’t it?

The question you need to ask yourself is: how far can you extend your digital lever? By this, I mean, what additional value can you provide to the businesses and people you mention?

Just because you’ve mentioned them and got a share once, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. You should seek to extend that relationship and build on it where you can.  Maybe you could offer an interview? Ask for further recommendations on the local area? Ask if they have any plans with their business?

Not only does this show interest but it also could produce content for future campaigns. It could even go as far as to warrant a press release to the local papers. Think of the impact links would have from those kinds of establishments…

As you can see, this is a superb way to not only get shares and sometimes links from your local area, but it’s also a way to build relationships.

Indirectly, you may even start getting referred by these contacts as your brand enters the ears of the surrounding community.


That’s All Folks!

The above is just one technique you could deploy to get your content marketing started in the student accommodation space.  It’s also a solid way to get a footing with the local community, resulting in shares and links from neighbouring businesses.

It is small, easy, and effective if done right. Especially during peak time, given it’s September.