It can be hard to know where to begin something new, and sometimes starting a new marketing tactic can feel daunting. There is so much to learn, and as a marketer, you know you want to advertise with intention. Building a baseline vocabulary of digital advertising terms like keywords, impressions, and clicks will help you understand a little more about how digital advertising works and different digital advertising strategies. Since you’re ready to begin, here are four tips and best practices to follow as you embark on your digital advertising adventure. 

1. Set a Strong Foundation

Before you get carried away with an elaborate digital advertising campaign and strategy, be sure your website and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is up to snuff. There is nothing more discouraging for a potential renter or resident to find a seemingly perfect fit via a digital advertisement, and then reach a website that doesn’t deliver.  Plus, you’ll increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital advertisements when your website is at its peak performance. Learn more about SEO basics, and the difference between SEO and SEM in these blogs.  

2. Keywords Are, Well, Key

Keywords are the phrases, or words, that a researching renter or resident would type into a search engine query. Dialing in the right words and phrases ensures you reach the right audience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a minute. Think about how they might search to find your property or community. Be sure to include specific property amenities, neighborhoods, and location-specific keywords. Avoid keywords that are industry-specific, and acronyms that prospects might not know to search or understand. At G5, we believe in using a long-tail, hyper-local approach to keywords as it narrows down your audience to those with high-intent. 

Additionally, it’s important to consider what keywords you don’t want your property or community to show up in during an online search. In the words of one of our G5 digital advertising strategists, “Finding search terms that are relevant for your business is fairly simple. But, you’ll get a lot of irrelevant traffic with almost any keyword. Use negative keywords to avoid showing (up) for searches that aren’t bringing relevant traffic.” In addition to irrelevant traffic, some keywords might bring unwanted traffic. For example, when COVID initially hit, we added words like pandemic, infection, and virus to negative keyword lists because we didn’t want ads for properties and communities to show when people were doing informational searches about the virus. 

Read more about Keyword Essentials in this blog

3. Set SMART Goals for Your Campaigns

At G5 we believe in setting big audacious SMART goals and then achieving them. By SMART, we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. 

  • Specific: As a marketer and communicator you know that vague language tends to confuse. Make sure your goals are dialed in by using language with precision. 
  • Measurable: The ability to quantify your progress toward a goal is vital to identifying if and when you’ve achieved your goal. Choose an applicable metric for success to make your goals mathematically verifiable. 
  • Attainable: It’s important to dream big, so please do that. But also be honest, and set achievable goals. There is nothing more discouraging than working toward something that will constantly remain out of your reach. 
  • Relevant: Your goals need to be applicable and impactful to a facet of your job, life, or interests. 
  • Time-Bound: Deadlines help motivate action. Set a date, or line in the sand of when you want the goal accomplished. 

Use this goal-setting framework to become clear on what you’re trying to accomplish with your digital advertising campaign. Do you want more brand awareness, or do you need your advertising to drive action? Before you begin, decide how you’ll measure success, that is, which Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, you’ll be turning toward to understand your advertising performance. Learn more about marketing KPIs in this blog, and if you need an extra boost with your goal setting check out our Goal and Intention Setting Journal

4. Let the Data Be Your Guide

In general, good digital advertising is backed by data-driven decision-making and automation. But, it takes time to build up enough data for your advertising models to be operating optimally. As one of our G5 digital advertising strategists shared, “Be patient. In order to generate enough data to make any educated decisions, we typically need between one and three months of quality user data.”

Generating higher quality leads is a long-game, particularly in multifamily, self storage, and senior living, which have average customer journeys of 20, 10.9, and 29.5 days, respectively. Plus, a digital advertising strategist needs time to thoughtfully build and implement your campaigns. According to our specialists who do this daily, when the campaigns are already set up, managing a single property’s portfolio can still take all day. Ideally, each campaign for a location only takes a few minutes, but depending on what they’re seeing in the advertisements, and in the data, the changes the account needs may be more demanding and intricate. 

Like other forms of advertising, A/B testing different messages, visuals, and calls-to-action can help you better understand which messages are resonating with your audience. As one of our G5 digital advertising specialists put it, “Explore with your strategy to begin and then once you have an understanding of your market trends you can start tightening your targeting in order to maximize return on quality traffic.” Then, once you’ve explored and tested for a sufficient amount of time, it’s important to let the data, meaning how your ads are performing, guide your advertising strategy to optimize performance. 

Find a digital advertising partner that uses data science and automation to make these decisions faster. Rather than waiting months to make adjustments, the newest AdTech, like G5’s Ad Optimization and Intent Trends, use customer intent data to automatically adjust campaigns in order to drive more qualified leads from every ad dollar spent. Being proactive in marketing today means using data to help you make your next move.

Better Together

At G5, we believe that teamwork makes the dream work. Perhaps that’s a little cheesy, but the truth is there is a certain synergy that happens when your digital advertising and search engine optimization work together. We asked G5ers — Pat Kane, SEO manager, and Devon Stanzione, Digital Advertising Strategist — to explain this in under a minute. Watch, and learn more. Want to learn more about our approach to best-in-class partnership and digital advertising? Schedule a demo.