The Shift in Content Strategy with Apartment Guide and Rent.com during Coronavirus

I had the opportunity to chat with Brian Carberry, Managing Editor of Content Marketing, about the insights they’ve gathered in lieu of Coronavirus and how this has positioned their content strategy.

For some context, Brian and the Content team dedicate their efforts to providing helpful trusted information that encompasses topics revolving around the apartment renter’s journey. Whether you’re a first time renter or looking to set roots in a new state, you can find a wealth of useful tips, guides and data-driven resources on Apartment Guide and Rent.com

As of late, the team quickly pivoted as needed to deliver content that resonates in the current climate.

“Questions and search inquiries coming in now didn’t really exist a month ago, we’re trying to keep abreast of all the trends and what is relevant to people now” Brian shared. 

And there are uncertainties that come up for renters around what they can do, as well as those who are still looking for a place to live during this time. 

To address these questions and concerns, his team collaborated with the SEO team to validate identified trends and produced 50+ articles and counting that offer advice on what steps renters can take. 

“We are trying to stay on top of what people are talking about and doing a lot of social listening” explained Brian.

How have you approached the work process differently to deliver relevant content in a timely manner?

Brian shared that usually the team is able to plan for what their output looks like months in advance but this hasn’t been the case with Coronavirus related content since what’s ahead isn’t as certain.

“Quick turnarounds are possible with the understanding of the urgency behind short deadlines during this time” Brian explains, and this works because “our team is very much aligned in our goals for success”. 

Has work been especially challenging due to the shift?

“Right now it feels like working in a newsroom and I have a news background – I’ve worked in that industry for 12 years before I got into content marketing so I’m kind of used to having to roll with the punches” says Brian. 

In regards to the Content team as a whole, he confidently stated “we’re built for this, we’re built for adapting like this”.

On an interesting note, Brian has been interviewed 40+ times on TV and radio stations across the nation (in the comfort of his own home of course). 

He shared that “for the first few weeks, interviews were largely focused on ways to stay safe and socially distant, however, over the past week, there has been a large interest in what renters should do if they cannot afford to pay rent.”

Though he has found it to be a unique experience (and nerve-wracking at first) being in front of the camera to this degree, he finds that having the news background has really helped. And there doesn’t seem to be a slowdown of the media features in sight – he’s happy to continue delivering information that can help others in their time of need.

Written by Christine Nguyen

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