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The Challenge

LaSalle Investment Management contracted Catalyst to rebrand their website for a student housing property called The Edge at Lafayette in Lafayette, Louisiana, which catered to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette student market. In addition, because the client was not running any paid social ads, Catalyst saw this as an opportunity to increase visibility and promote the rebrand with an aggressive digital marketing plan for fall 2019 leasing. The Lafayette student market has seen a decrease in enrollment, and with two new developments delivering near campus, a strong digital presence was needed to capture occupancy.

The Solution

The Catalyst team established the brand look and feel along with the creation of a marketing strategy that would help support leasing efforts for The Edge at Lafayette team — a custom website, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), and reputation management.

After completing an initial brand guide for this student housing property, Catalyst gave their custom website an updated look and feel. The redesign centered on a new, darker appearance that allowed the content and the bright secondary colors to stand out. Catalyst also incorporated The Edge at Lafayette’s frequency bar pattern in several places throughout the site. Notable features include interactive floor plan tabs, a hot spot location map, and a contact form at the bottom of each page. The website footer was also expanded to give visitors convenient access to office hours, contact information, and social links.

SEO was utilized to maximize the clients’ online brand visibility while ensuring the site is streamlined and optimized to offer the best user experience, avoid search engine red flags, and implement strategic development and indexing of content. This allowed the brand to reach as many users as possible who are searching for an apartment to rent near campus.

The implementation of SEM was also a critical component to the brand’s lead generation efforts to leverage the power of search engines such as Google to reach potential customers. By using a thoughtful and strategic approach to building out their SEM campaigns, Catalyst ensured The Edge at Lafayette reached precisely the users they were looking for, at the perfect time and place, via a Search with Display campaign.

The off-campus property also incorporated Catalyst’s reputation management service, which improved the property’s image post-rebrand and served as a beneficial tool to increase leasing traffic. Each review received personalized communication, while the client received Online Reputation Assessment (ORA™) score monitoring, operational insights, PR and legal support, and more.

In addition, a strong aspect of establishing a standout digital presence was the implementation of SMM, where Tier 2 (carousel images) ads ran on Facebook and Instagram that captured the targeted audience’s attention.

The Results

At the time this case study was written, The Edge at Lafayette was leased up to 71%. The property is a strong rebrand that continues to position the client as a standout property in the Lafayette student housing market, while also giving prospective residents a strong first impression as the property ranks high in online searches. At the time this case study was written, the following data was available:

SEO (Date range: 1/16/19–9/26/19)

  • Improved aggregated ranking on Google by 29.09 positions
  • Impressions on Google: 129,000
  • Clicks from Google: 8,070 with a 6.3% CTR
  • SEM (Date range: 1/17/19–9/26/19)
  • 1,538,747 impressions on Google
  • Generated 16,061 clicks to the website

SMM (Date range: 6/5/19–9/26/19)

  • 215,841 impressions on Facebook and Instagram, and reached 25,572 users
  • Generated 1,387 clicks with a CTR of 0.64%
  • Generated 57 leads (4.11% CVR)

Website General (Date range: 1/16/19–9/26/19)

  • Drove 474 form conversions during this period (1.49% CVR)
  • Drove 892 Apply Now clicks (2.81% CVR)