Every trick in the ‘book.
8 April 2019
Using Facebook ads for property marketing.
Depending on your age, I bet when you got into the real estate game, you didn’t reckon on the importance of social media, did you? It’s a game of brick and mortar, right? Of for sale signs, smart suits and speaking in euphemisms. (“It’s not small, it’s bijou.”)
Nobody said anything about the internet.
These days, though, there’s no getting around marketing online, and Facebook ought to be your first port of call. We’ll talk about why in a bit, but suffice it to say that using Facebook isn’t just a matter of having a leg up on your competition. It’s become so vital in today’s market that you risk losing money if you don’t use it.
What are Facebook ads?
Have you ever wondered how Facebook makes its money? A lot of people have asked that question, from your grandma who doesn’t understand the internet, all the way up to the United States Senate… who also don’t understand the internet. And the simple answer to that question is, as Mark Zuckerberg’s himself puts it, “we run ads.”
Facebook’s ad service is unique. Using all of the information that people input into their Facebook profile, Facebook ads can be targeted to very specific subgroups of people. Want to sell Star Wars merchandise? Target your ad to people who list that they love Star Wars in their profile. Need a shortcut to sell craft coffee? You can market purely towards coffee lovers. If you can think of a niche, you can market to it on Facebook.
That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but how does that help me sell real estate? Well, would you believe that Facebook lets you target users who are likely to move? How about likely to move and in your postcode? The possibilities are endless with the targeting software that Facebook uses because the only thing you have to do to find your customers is to tell Facebook what your ideal customer looks like.
How to use Facebook ads.
Using Facebook ads is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you need it, we’re going to lay it out step-by-step.
1. Head over to www.facebook.com/adsmanager.
2. Click “Create Ad” – the green button with a plus sign on it.
3. Choose your ad objective. Facebook will offer you a list of things you want to accomplish with your ad, so pick the one that aligns with your goals the most. Hit “Continue”.
4. Follow the directions on the next page. They will vary depending on which ad objective you selected, but you’ll likely have to set up Facebook Pixel, which is a system Facebook uses to track activity on your sites. Follow the instructions.
5. On this page, you can choose your audience, so tailor it to your niche. This is also where you’ll choose placement and budget. Hit “Continue”.
6. Here you’ll decide the ad type and the look and feel of the ad. When you’re done, hit “Confirm.”
Et voila! You’ve got ads running on Facebook and you’re well on your way to a more tailored and easy-to-sell-to audience.
Some Tips To Keep In Mind.
Tip #1: Layering demographics.
With so many options, it’s easy to forget that you can use Facebook to narrow down your audience incredibly specifically. Use Facebook to your advantage by targeting age range, people who have interests in real estate listing websites like Zillow, and income percentile (target the top 25% of income in a certain area, for example.)
Making Facebook work for you means narrowing your niche down to as specific a group of people as possible. If you know what your customer is like, you can make it easier for Facebook to find more customers like them. Try to use at least three different criteria when specifying your audience to make sure you’re really reaching the customers who are looking for your services.
Tip #2: Use lookalike audiences.
This particular tip is fast becoming one of my favourite ways to use Facebook ads.
As you’re going through ad creation, when you come to the audience selection screen, you’ll notice some text that says “Lookalike Audience”. Clicking this allows you to upload the names of your past customers – people who have already spent money with you – and Facebook will use its algorithms to look for people with things in common with your audience, thus creating a hyper-specific tool for selling property management that requires very little effort.
Tip #3: Use carousel ads.
If there was a type of Facebook ad tailor-made for property marketing, it would be the carousel ad. Carousel ads feature multiple images and help showcase all the different rooms in a single property. Or, if you like, you can group similar properties together in one ad, and serve them all at once to your customer.
This makes Facebook property ads incredibly effective for people promoting something that requires a lot of photography. And because you’ll already have images of the insides of your properties, you won’t have a problem finding multiple images.
Tip #4: Hire a professional photographer.
Ads are only as good as the images in them, and hiring a professional to take those images will go a long way towards the ad’s effectiveness. Not only should you make sure the lighting is good and the photos are clear, but you should look like you are selling a lifestyle to the customer.
Hire a photographer who is skilled in telling a story with images, and then tell your potential customer about the life they’ll be living in your home with props, angles, and anything else at your disposal.
Tip #5: Include a call to action.
All ads should have a call to action: a simple, instructional statement at the end that prompts the customer to do something. It’s amazing, though, how many Facebook ads that don’t use them.
The psychology behind CTAs is simple: our brains hate leaving things unfinished, so when we see a call to action we’re compelled to follow it through. Having the CTA at the end of your ad makes it much more likely to get traffic.
Make it clear what you want the customer to do with your ad. Something as simple as “Click here for more info” can have a huge impact on your click-through rate.
See, that wasn’t so scary, was it? Facebook ads are a hugely useful tool in your property marketing arsenal and all you have to do is take a deep breath and dive right into making your first one. Once you get the hang of them, they’re pretty straightforward, and because they offer so many benefits you’ll wonder why you didn’t use them before now.
So, now it’s your turn. Head to www.facebook.com/adsmanager and create your Facebook ad – then come back and let us know how it turned out. Did you have any questions about the creation process? Run into any problems? Was it easier than you thought it would be? Let us know in the comments below.