So, you found the right angle, but you can still mess your next real estate Facebook marketing campaign if you don’t find the right campaign objectives & target audiences.
Please bear in mind that giving you suitable objectives or target audiences for your next real estate facebook marketing campaign is not a guarantee that they will work.
The tips in this article should rather be considered as inspiration for how you can approach finding the right ones and thus improve your odds of success.
Success Factors for Facebook Ads
1) Real Estate Marketing with Facebook – Campaign Objectives
At the time of writing this article, Facebook provides 11 campaign objectives, which are:
- Brand Awareness
- Traffic, Engagement
- App Installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Catalog Sales
- Store Traffic.
You might already discard some of them for real estate only by reading their names, such as Catalog sales, Store Traffic, and App Installs.
The results and the success of your campaign will greatly depend on the objective, and there are some objectives that are more suitable for the real estate industry, while others are less suitable.
In the end, it comes all down to testing.
Facebook offers an abundance of campaign objectives which can quickly become overwhelming for the unexperienced marketer, so they also offer the boost post option, which seems to come in handy at first glance.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the latter.
In several tests run by different marketing agencies, these boosted posts usually get you low results in terms of conversions.
However, they can get you nice results in terms of “vanity metrics”, meaning you can get many likes but those, unfortunately, don’t sell or buy you properties.
Which Facebook marketing campaign objectives are suitable for real estate?
From my own experience and by researching this topic, I found that only three campaign objectives make sense when you want to generate leads for your real estate business and these are “lead generation”, “traffic”, and “messages”.
All the other objectives are either not relevant for a typical real estate business or are more suitable for already well-established brands such as “brand awareness”.
For the average small to mid-sized real estate business, these three seem to be most suitable.
1) Lead Generation
With this type of objective, you can capture buyer or seller leads right within Facebook and you won’t need a landing page with an opt-in form from your own website. The potential lead stays on Facebook the whole time.
What are the benefits?
- You won’t need a landing page
- With pre-fill form fields it’s much easier for your potential customer to submit their information, especially when they are using a mobile device
- You can download the leads directly to a Google sheet
- It can be connected or synchronized with different CRMs or marketing automation software such as MailChimp, InfusionSoft, and many more
By choosing Traffic as an objective, you encourage your potential leads to visit your website and your landing page.
This one isn’t necessarily better or worse than the lead generation objective, because it depends again on how well your website or landing page converts its visitors.
If you have a well-converting landing page, it could be worthwhile testing this objective.
What are the benefits?
- Since you own the landing page in this case, you can test more elements of it and, by doing that, influence your conversion rate in different ways
- You can convert visitors not feeling comfortable in submitting their information on Facebook, which happens with the lead generation objective
- Visitors might find other interesting offers on your website, and convert for them too or instead
The objective of this Facebook campaign is still kind of “newish”, because it shows your ads to people who are likely to engage with your company in a messenger chat.
After selecting this objective, you can choose if your ad should be shown more to people likely to interact with you via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Since there are more options to automate this process via different chatbot providers, I would recommend going with the Facebook Messenger option.
Another reason to choose the Facebook Messenger is, again, that people stay on Facebook for that, which can have an influence on the conversion rate.
You should use a messenger bot builder such as ManyChat for that, since this enables you to prepare a nice automated chat sequence beforehand where you can do all kind of different things, depending on how you have designed your funnel.
You can basically let the chatbot do everything you have already planned for your lead funnel.
For example, it can ask your potential distressed seller leads for how long they have been trying to sell, what they think their property is worth, and convince them to schedule a call appointment with you by offering them a link from your scheduling software like Calendly.
Another advantage of this kind of objective is that the costs are still low.
The objective isn’t used as often as the other campaign objectives.
2) Real Estate Marketing with Facebook – Your Target Audience
Although I mention this second (it comes second when you set up a new Facebook campaign), it is actually slightly more important than the campaign objective you select.
The targeting options Facebook provides are very powerful and unmatched compared to other paid ad platforms.
If you did the work to find the right angle and thus now know enough about your target audience, you can use this Facebook feature like a sniper and reach your potential customers very efficiently.
If done right, only the people who are likely to be interested in your offer will see your ad.
You can define the target audience in the “Audience” section of the Facebook ads manager (see second right picture).
These are the options you can select, and to make matters worse, you can test each one separately in different Facebook Ad Sets, creating a large number of possible test combinations:
- Custom Audiences: A previously created and saved audience, or a lookalike audience (once you have run a successful campaign for a certain time, you can extend the reach to people similar to your already successful target audience)
- Locations: Here, you can go from countries to small towns, depending on which market you are targeting
- Age: If by creating your angle (see part 1 of this series) you found that you need to target millennials, you can select here an age range between 26 and 39
- Gender: If you found out that the majority of your target group consists of women, you might want to select only women here.
- Detailed Targeting: Here, you can choose between different demographics, interests, and behaviors. Depending from where you use Facebook, you can have fewer options here. For example, in the U.S. you can even select different income groups. This feature is not available outside the U.S. for the most part. So, if you are preparing a campaign to get cash buyer leads, you might want to choose a household income in the top 5% of the demographic section.
- Languages: Here, you could target for example non-English speakers in the U.S. (e.g. Latinos), should this be your niche for potential tenants of your studio apartments. You can see it all depends on how well you know your target group.
- Connections: This one is helpful if you had past engagements with your Facebook page, app or events. Here, you can re-target this specific audience.
Suitable targeting ideas for the real estate industry
How you use targeting in your real estate Facebook marketing campaigns is a bit of a mix of putting yourself in the choice of your target audience you got to know when you created your angle and again testing different targets.
So, the following ideas are not even close to being complete, but may give you an idea.
There are many further tricks you can use to find, for example, additional interest groups that the Facebook Ads Manager doesn’t show you at once.
If you are part of the Valhalla Real Estate Marketing Insiders, when you subscribe to my newsletter you might already know what I am referring to.
So, without further ado, here come the ideas.
1) Targeting Potential Buyers with the “Buying a House” Interest
In the Ads Manager, you can find a specific interest for people that are potential buyers. This is called “Buying a House”.
This is likely more suitable for realtors looking for retail buyers, than for real estate investors looking for other investors in the case of a wholesale deal.
Those potential buyers might need a real estate agent or other related products and services.
This kind of interest helps you to better narrow down your target audience, then, for example, just using the demographic target of a certain household income.
If you only use the household income, you might end up with a rather large target group in the six figures.
If you add to that the interest “Buying a House”, you can reduce this number very often to a five-figure audience, which still doesn’t keep you from having a successful Facebook campaign.
2) Indirectly Targeting Potential Buyers via Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow
During my research, I couldn’t find reliable numbers, but we can assume that a majority of visitors of these sites are still retail buyers, and maybe 20% are investors and other real estate professionals.
So, the people visiting these sites are looking for homes.
This means you can use these sites as additional interests to the already selected ones or as an extra interest in a separate Campaign or Adset (sorry for being annoying, but again, it’s testing).
What we can say with a certain amount of confidence is that those people are likely to be pre-qualified leads, since they are actively browsing real estate sites.
3) Targeting Real Estate Investors
If you are in the real estate investing business and, more so, if you are in the active real estate investing business, you might need to attract investor leads for a deal you have under contract or other reasons.
In this case, you are likely specialized in a certain area with certain zip codes.
For the sake of example, let’s say you are focused on Miami, FL.
For your targeting, this means you would…
- Select all Miami zip codes of the area where you want to generate investor leads
- Select a certain gender and age groups
- Select the interest of “real estate investing”
3) Real Estate Marketing with Facebook – Your AD
This one is the least important factor, but it still matters quite a lot.
At this stage, you decide which kind of ad (single image, carousel ad, lead ad, video ad, etc.), the ad copy and the media (image/video) you are going to use.
The combination of the right images or videos and, of course, the copy makes or breaks an ad in terms of the conversion you want to achieve.
And, as you might have already guessed, all of these different variations can also be tested separately in different Ad Sets.
4) Real Estate Marketing with Facebook – Ad Placement
Placement pre-defines on which devices and Facebook platforms your ad will be shown.
With regards to devices, you can choose between desktop and mobile.
As Facebook platforms, you can choose between the following:
- Facebook News Feed
- Instagram Feed
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Video Feeds
- Facebook Right Column
- Instagram Explore
- Messenger Inbox
- Facebook Stories
- Instagram Stories
- Messenger Stories
- Facebook In-Stream Videos
- Facebook Search Results
- Messenger Sponsored Messages
- Facebook Instant Articles
- Audience Network Native
- Audience Network Rewarded Videos
- Audience Network In-Stream Video
Most people keep the device and placement configuration at default configuration, which is very often a mistake.
The Facebook Ads Manager insinuates that having all these options selected is the most recommended, but I think it’s mostly recommended by Facebook for them to make more money.
Just by not showing ads on desktop and by unchecking this option in the device section, you can usually already reduce your ad costs significantly.
This is because, firstly, mobile ads have still lower costs per click then desktop ads and secondly, more and more people are using their phones to go online anyways.
On the other hand, it makes for easier testing down the road.
Once a campaign is successful on mobile, you can try to also scale it for desktop users.
The same situation is true for the different platforms you can select (by default, they are all selected).
For your campaign tests, it’s better to not mix things up and to know which platform your target audience is most likely to use.
For example, Instagram is used by younger demographics and Facebook by older ones.
So, if you know already that your potential customers belong to older demographics, it doesn’t make much sense to place your ad on Instagram.
Or, if you don’t plan a messenger ad with a connected messenger bot, it doesn’t make much sense to have your ad placed on the messenger.
All these placements are active if you don’t manually untick them.
So, if you don’t uncheck the irrelevant ones, it can cost you a bunch of money, increase your costs per click and, finally, decrease your conversion rate.
Therefore, I recommend that you choose the placements wisely and always according to your knowledge about your target audience or target customer.
Now, we are already at the end of this second part of my Real Estate Facebook article series.
I hope I could shine some light on the campaign objectives and targets and keep you from draining marketing dollars down the toilet.
Stay tuned for the next part, where we will get deeper into messenger chat bots. And if you liked the article feel free to share it.