Speaking Gen Z.

Housing students around the country.

ADOWA is an established property development company, whose focus is on high-quality, affordable student accommodation. In order to effectively connect with a younger generation, ADOWA needed to develop specific marketing and communication channels that resonated with its audience.

Students across the board are seeking transparency, access to accurate information and a thriving student community within their residences. We’ve helped ADOWA establish and implement an effective marketing strategy that places their students at the heart of the organisation.

"ThinkStory has played a pivotal role in our journey as a company as well as understanding what our students want and what  they respond to.  Having not known where to start in marketing our properties, or how to reach out to our potential clients, ThinkStory assisted tremendously with regards to this and ensuring that our socials are always kept up to date with the relevant information .

We are very impressed with the team's eagerness and willingness to always assist even when ridiculous turnaround times are required of them.”

Zethu Mkhabela

Property Portfolio Manager

Social Media & Content Creation

It was important to develop a strategy with human connection in mind. And social media is one of the best way to connect with students where they are. These channels were established and we implemented a strategy in order to develop and sustain community relations between ADOWA and their students.

Over the past year, we’ve used these social channels to communicate important information to the students, and get their feedback. Social media management is an ongoing effort, which requires a long-term strategy to develop and maintain an engaged community.

We have also assisted ADOWA with content creation elements such as graphic designs, posters, CI elements, social templates and more.

Website Development

When we started working with ADOWA, they needed a rapid website build in order to process upcoming student residence applications. Students would be moving into the residences within a few months. Because of the influx of applications, we built their website with a fast server and high-speed site performance to handle that traffic.

We incorporated their new CI into the brand identity of the website, and developed a student portal that would allow students in remote areas, with limited signal, to access the website easily. Because of increased traffic during application periods, we’ve ensured that the ADOWA servers can scale to accommodate all users. This has allowed students from across South Africa to be apply for accommodation quickly.

UGC Strategy

User-Generated Content (UGC) is one of the highest performing social media formats and demonstrates how effectively a brand or company has connected with their audience. We’ve worked on an on-going basis to engage with students living at ADOWA residences, and have seen an increase in student-led UGC.

By creating deeper and genuine connections with students, ADOWA has seen an increase in engagement, especially towards the end of 2022. Increasing brand awareness and engaging with their students effectively is part of ADOWA’s long-term business strategy.

Influencer Social Media Campaign

Connecting with students through relatable content, on the platforms they spend time on, was a very important aspect of the marketing strategy. We collaborated with a number of student community pages and student “meme” pages, which became the perfect opportunity to direct students to ADOWA.

Through this effective meme campaign, in collaboration with large student pages on Instagram, we were able to create a buzz about the ADOWA residences and connect with students in an engaging way. This influencer campaign reached over 90 000 accounts within a few months, resulting in application numbers that surpassed all expectations.

Analytics & Reporting

What’s the point of doing marketing work if you can’t review what’s going on? This is where our analytics and reporting comes in. Because ADOWA’s strategy has specifically involved connecting with their students, monitoring their social media performance has been a vital analytical tool.

Their social media engagement has increased drastically in 2022, and we have managed to build trust and authority with the student audience.

Media Production

As a newcomer to the market, ADOWA was in need of quality video and photography content to advertise their residences. We provided video and stills production, showing off the spaces in the most compelling way.

Having realistic videos of the residences allows students to make informed decisions about their accomodation. The media content we have produced also established a level of quality in service delivery, by showing the students what their ADOWA residence truly looks like.

Brand Messaging Strategy

At the end of the day, everything comes back to messaging. We’ve developed a brand messaging framework for ADOWA, that will be used in their communications and all external touchpoints going forward.

Brand messaging gives a business a sense of purpose. You’re able to develop the vision, mission and purpose of the business, and define the core values that drive the business forward. Comprehensive brand messaging gives stakeholders an idea of what the organisation stands for and it allows for people to connect with the business’s vision.

Community Management

After creating ADOWA’s social media channels, we have provided them with on-going community management, by engaging directly with students and developing a student-focused ADOWA community.

We facilitate comments and reply to students’ direct messages, answering their questions or connecting them to the correct person who can help them or provide them with more information.

We have also created a WhatsApp group chat, in which students can communicate and discuss what is going on at the residences with members of the ADOWA team. This project has built a level of trust and transparency with the students.

FAQ Database + Translations

Producing a comprehensive FAQ database has been an important on-going project. Providing students with the answers to questions before they’re even asked, builds trust and gives students access to the information they need.

Most of ADOWA’s students are multilingual, with isiZulu, isiXhosa and Sepedi as their preferred languages. By developing this database in multiple languages, we’re able to more effecgively connect with and help students from across South Africa.

The FAQ database is in the process of being translated into these three African languages, so that all students, no matter their preferred language, can get the correct information about ADOWA.

Long-Term Digital Strategy

We have assisted ADOWA in their long-term digital strategy, developing a strategy that aims to solve all the students’ problems in the next 3-5 years.

This includes the design and development of a student portal and a WhatsApp chat bot that will make applications and admin much simpler for both students and the ADOWA team.

Another project is the creation of a phone app, that will allow ADOWA students to connect and communicate directly with people in their residences, log issues and make site specific comments.

A story that resonates.