Does digital advertising ever feel like Harry Potter got a hold of your company’s ad campaign? After all, it’s pretty magical. Fear not! You don’t need to go all the way to Hogwarts to understand digital advertising, we’ve got you covered at G5. Let’s begin by demystifying Facebook advertising. We’ll unpack why you should use Facebook to connect with prospective renters, what it means to be a Facebook Marketing Partner, and a few ideas for your next campaign. 

Why Advertise on Facebook? 

Facebook is the largest social media platform with, according to Statistica, over 1.69 billion users worldwide, and 169 million mobile users in the United States. Instagram and Facebook Messenger, also owned by Facebook, rank second and third with 121 and 106 million users respectively. Above all, it’s. important to meet your prospects where they are — and with most users checking their Facebook eight times per day — there is plenty of time to connect. 

What is a Facebook Marketing Partner? 

Are you a little skeptical of fancy inflated titles? That’s healthy. As I’m sure you know, some titles do carry meaning and value. Hint: this is one of those times. Facebook Marketing Partner (FMP) is a group of companies that have been vetted and certified by Facebook for their excellence in helping advertisers get the most from their campaigns. FMPs get early-bird access to alphas and betas on Facebook and Instagram. This means preferred partners will be well-versed and ahead of the competition on any upcoming Facebook advertising changes before they are broadly available to all Facebook advertisers. Additionally, FMPs get extra training and direct support from Facebook to deep dive into accounts for performance recommendations. Simply put, FMPs have more resources to make sure your campaigns perform. 

Facebook Housing Ads

As you may remember, Facebook has created a special advertising category for digital advertising which relates to housing, employment, and credit. With this distinction, ads have limited audience-selection options to prevent discrimination. G5 looks to our advertising partners, like Facebook, to reach users in our target audience. We do not target or exclude users based on protected characteristics. We use property features including geographic location, places of interest, and property amenities to build target audiences for digital campaigns. The G5 Digital Strategy team has been trained to comply with fair housing laws and builds campaigns with compliance in mind. 

Facebook’s algorithm will attempt to connect with people who are most likely to click. And you can directly appeal to prospects by including the property amenities prospects want to see to self-select and make educated clicks. It’s a best practice to direct the ad to a quick-loading landing page, or webpage, with essential information including pricing and availability. 

G5 has the ability to utilize the following placements through Facebook: 

  • Facebook: News Feed, Marketplace, Video Feeds, Right Column, Groups Feed, Stories, In-Stream Videos, Search Results, and Instant Articles
  • Instagram: Feed, Explore, and Stories
  • Messenger Stories
  • Facebook Audience Network: Native, Network Banner, and Interstitial

Audience Targeting with a Special Ad Category

Audience targeting is more limited with the special ad category, when compared with other Facebook Ad categories, in order to prevent discrimination and comply with fair housing laws. This doesn’t mean your housing ads will be ineffective — there are still customizable options to ensure you’re connecting with ready-to-rent prospects. Hyper-local SEO paired with local digital advertising is a classic two-part G5 marketing combo. With the special ad category on Facebook, you’re able to target as small as a 15-mile radius from the property address. You’re also able to appeal to users’ interests including internet listing sites (ILS) like Zillow, or Apartment Guide. By appealing to prospects interested in ILSs your digital advertising can speed up their research process, skip the middleman ILS, and connect prospects directly with your property. 

Facebook Pixel

Once you set up your Facebook advertisement to direct to a quick loading landing page or webpage with essential information, it’s a great idea to include a Facebook pixel. This is a small piece of code that your website engineer or a Facebook Marketing Partner can paste into your website code. This integration between your digital advertising and your website is impactful. The Facebook Pixel tracks both engagement and how people interact with your brand including what Facebook ads they saw before visiting your website, the pages on your site they visit, and actions they take on your website. The Facebook Pixel allows you to retarget an advertising campaign to previous website visitors. 

Your Next Campaign 

Digital advertising can be a little overwhelming when you’re already juggling property basics like leasing, invoicing, and repairs — and when you stack digital advertising on top of that — oof. A best-in-class marketing partner can help you cut through the confusion and build advertising campaigns that make your property stand out from the competition, and turn searchers into renters. While it’s great to have a pro managing the ins and outs of your campaigns, it’s also a good idea to have some foundational knowledge to understand digital advertising basics. Here are two kinds of Facebook ads to consider in your next campaign:

    • Carousel 

We’ll let you in on a secret: you’ve probably seen these, but now you’re learning the official name. They’re a fun and engaging way to promote your property. The carousel ad is a format available through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. Carousel ads showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad — each with its own link. You have a lot of space within the ad to highlight different property features, unit sizes, floorplans, etc. This creative space allows you to tell the story of your brand, your property, or your community  — and it builds sequentially across the carousel cards. You have the option to allow Facebook to optimize the carousel card sequence based on each card’s performance. Or alternatively, if you’re using the format to showcase a sequential story, be sure to opt-out of the optimization feature.

    • Video

Video content is everything. In fact, 60% of Americans who watch digital video, watch it on Facebook. Only YouTube (owned by our other marketing partner, Google) has a broader reach with 90%. Instagram comes in third at 35%. An important thing to consider about video ads is: 85% of them are watched without sound. Therefore, captions are essential both for accessibility, and users opting for a quiet scrolling experience. It’s also good to keep in mind that your video ads can be displayed in a number of ways on Facebook. Consequently, It’s critical to work with your marketing partner to determine which placement best fits your business goals and video content. If you haven’t captured your video content quite yet, connect with your marketing partner for guidance on aspect ratios, dimensions, and tips to craft compelling content for your next campaign. 

Let’s Make Magic!

We’ve covered the basics of SEO, SEM, Google Ads, and now Facebook Ads. As you know, marketing demands a multifaceted approach. Facebook advertising happens in chorus with other digital advertising efforts, which make up your digital advertising conversion funnel. Learn more about G5’s approach to digital advertising and schedule a demo.