I couldn’t make it any more straightforward than the title puts it. Using Facebook ads to retarget your audience with real estate advertising WILL save you money and improve your ROI.
I’ll outline how and why in a second, but it’s important to give some context first.
A Rundown Of What You’re Up Against
Since you’re reading an article about retargeting advertising, it’s safe to assume that you have good understanding of Facebook marketing. You’ve already seen the stats on how many people use Facebook every day. You know how powerful the platform can be for lead generation, brand awareness, etc.
Here’s the thing….everyone else has seen those stats too. Your competitors have read those same articles and have also hopped onto the bandwagon. And we’re seeing the same trend happening in many other industries, not just in real estate.
Unfortunately, not many advertisers are prepared for the implications of this trend.
You’ve heard of Facebook’s auction system, right? Simply put, Facebook uses an auction/bidding process (as well as other things) to determine whether or not to show your ad to a Facebook user.
Actually, let’s flesh that out a bit.
Facebook’s source of revenue is advertising. They monetize their platform by selling ad space wherever they can. Here are some of the places you could find their ads:
- The Facebook app (iOS/Android)
- Messenger App
- WhatsApp (coming soon)
- Partner Websites
But, and this is important, what determines the price of that ad space? With a newspaper/magazine, you just buy the ad space at the price you and the publisher agree on. Both sides know exactly how much money will be exchanged for a certain number of impressions.
Facebook, however, plays a game that earns them a whole lot more money…
The Bidding Process
When creating the budget for your Facebook ad campaign, you’re required to tell Facebook how to “bid”. Some real estate advertisers or agents will just set their “per day” spend or input their overall budget, then move on to making the ads. But the other powerful variable to tweak here is your bid.
Remember those ad placements we spoke about? Since there is a limited number of placements available and SO much demand for each spot, Facebook has set up a bidding system to determine who’s ads get displayed and how much they have to pay to get there. It’s the invisible hand at work, and I’m sure it brings a tear to Adam Smith’s eyes.
Every single real estate agent advertising on Facebook is entered into a bidding war. We’re all fighting over the same advertisement placements. Whoever bids highest, has a higher chance of having their ads displayed.
There’s an important disclaimer I’ll add to this. Even if you outbid your competitors, you could still lose the placement to someone else. This is because Facebook considers several factors before deciding on advertisement gets displayed.
Ok, so have you pieced together what the problem is yet? Because this next part covers exactly why retargetting is so important to your marketing strategy…
The “Bidding War”
As Facebook grows and your competitors begin advertising, the demand for each placement skyrockets. And that’s how there’s a perpetual bidding war happening behind each placement, for each person, 24/7.
And you’re not just competing with other realtors.
You’re bidding against EVERY business that is trying to speak with members of your target audience. Let’s say your targeting women aged 35-55 in your local area. You’ll be competing with every other business trying to connect with the same audience (e.g. gyms, e-commerce businesses, local events, other realtors, etc.).
Your pool of competition is more like a lake.
More agents, teams, and brokerages are using Facebook advertising every day. More businesses, in general, are jumping aboard the bandwagon. Demand for each ad placement is rising. Meaning each bid is also rising. All of us are paying more and more over time.
This is a real problem for heavy-handed advertisers that just blast their message to everyone they can. But savvy digital marketers have strategizing around this issue for some time now.
I’ll outline how retargeting is one of the most powerful tools you can use to preserve and improve your Facebook marketing ROI in the real estate hustle.
Funnels & Fine-Tuning Your Targeting
If you’re using Facebook ads for lead generation, the 2 main questions that you should keep in mind are: “How many people am I converting?”, and “How much does it cost me to earn a conversion?”
Now, I want you to picture your marketing/sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you have a number of people that have a lower probability of converting. They’re not very familiar with you or your brand. They don’t know that you’re the kick-ass realtor they need in their lives…yet.
At the bottom of the funnel, you have a more focused group of people. These people don’t just know about you, they’ve likely interacted with you and your brand (e.g. downloading a guide or checklist, made a purchase, etc). At this point, you know that you can safely spend time and money on these people because they’re one nudge away from becoming another happy client of yours.
How Will Facebook Retargeting Help Me?
Retargeting in the online advertising world is straightforward; target the people closer to the bottom of your marketing funnel.
There is still a need for advertising to cold traffic (people that aren’t familiar with your business), but think of retargeting as following up with people that haven’t bought yet. Just as you would send follow up emails or make “check-in” calls to prospects and leads, you can do the same with your Facebook ads!
Using Facebook’s powerful retargeting tool provides you with several benefits:
- It’s a powerful way to re-engage with people that have already seen & interacted with your brand & product. This is extremely important because it’s rare for people to act/convert the very first time they see your ad. In fact, according to Salesforce it usually takes between 6 – 8 touch points between you and a person before they convert into a lead or client. Your advertising needs to stay engaged with people even if they don’t take action the first time!
- Retargeting helps you to avoid the “bidding war” I described earlier. Rather than fighting every advertiser and business trying to speak to your audience, you can drill down and focus on the people that you need to be speaking to the most. Instead of spreading your ad costs across a wide group of people and just stopping there. Set aside a some of your marketing budget to re-engaging with those that will convert. You can squeeze out more conversions this way.
Now, if you’re a business owner, you’re probably about to go open a few tabs to see how you can set up retargeting on Facebook. Let me help you with that search by giving you a few ideas on how to approach the set up of a retargeting campaign.
- The Gold Standard – If you have experience creating Facebook audiences then you know that uploading client lists from your customer database or CRM is freaking amazing. If you haven’t done this yet, please do. Past clients are the people you want to maintain a relationship with.
- The Pixel – Oh the Facebook Pixel! I promise you, this little thing is simple but very, very powerful. It’s a tiny piece of code you or your web developer can put on ALL of your websites. Get this one thing done and you can then create advertising to follow up with people that are interacting with your business right now! For example, if I looked at your home evaluator/homebuyer checklist/listing notifier website and didn’t opt in to recieve it, you could follow up with me using advertising to get a second chance at converting me into a qualified lead!
- Video Views – You’ve heard about how important video is right? Well, you can use the increased engagement you get from video posts/ads to your advantage. Facebook allows you to create audiences of people based on how much of your video they watched, and it’s very useful. You can choose people that have watched 25%, 50%, 75%, or 95% of your video. The higher of a percentage you choose, the smaller the audience size and higher the engagement will be. Follow up with these people using Facebook advertising and see a better return.
- Emails – If you hosted an event (e.g. First-Time Real Estate Investor Workshop) and collected emails from the attendees, don’t just stop at calling/emailing them! You can target them with specific content or upsell/downsell offers on Facebook to generate more leads for your pipeline.
Done properly, using Facebook to retarget your audience with your advertising WILL improve your ROI and save you money. Take the time to implement a few retargeting funnels to see a great change in your online performance!