Out of all the digital real estate marketing strategies available today, it can be hard to determine which strategies will best help move the needle on your leasing and sales results. After all, you’re not just choosing from the wide variety of advertising platforms out there, you’re also sifting through many different types of ad campaigns those platforms offer—so how do you make the right choice for your real estate brand?
Answering that question comes down to your marketing priorities and the results that are most important to you right now. For those who are launching digital marketing for a new development or getting the word out while occupancy rates are already stable, brand awareness tactics should be at the top of your list. Brand awareness tactics help you reach potential residents during the Awareness phase of their digital renter journey, sometimes before they’ve even begun their housing search.
Brand awareness tactics aren’t focused on getting quick conversions so much as they’re focused on, well, making people aware of your brand. That means impressions and views are the name of the game more so than clicks and conversion actions. So when focusing on brand awareness, you’ll want to select digital real estate marketing tactics that optimize for impressions and views rather than skipping straight to the click-driving, conversion-oriented tactics like lead generation ads or retargeting ads.
Here are some of the top-performing digital tactics for real estate marketers looking to drive impressions and views that increase awareness among your target audience.
Video Ads on YouTube
Since views and impressions are the name of the game with brand awareness, YouTube ads are an excellent place to start. Video ads on YouTube can be targeted to a wide audience in your area based on a variety of targeting characteristics. With an average view rate of 31.9%, YouTube ads are a great way to get in front of your audience at any stage of their renter journey, including before they’ve even performed a housing search.
Video ads are also a great awareness tactic because they are engaging and informative—far more so than a static display or search ad tends to be. You can feature more photos, value propositions and qualifying details in a 30-second video ad.
If you’re early in your development process and have limited photography or renderings to include in your video ad, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Supplement your visual assets with lifestyle footage, which can be found on platforms like Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.
Social Ads on Facebook & Instagram
Social ads for apartments on Facebook and Instagram offer similar targeting capabilities compared to YouTube, giving you the opportunity to reach your audience on some of the digital spaces where they spend the most time.
There are a variety of ad types you can run on these platforms, but to reach prospects in the awareness phase, we recommend Traffic ads on Facebook and Instagram. Traffic ads are focused on driving traffic to your real estate website, so those who do click are given the opportunity to learn more about your property. When optimizing for brand awareness, we particularly recommend opting for carousel ads over single image ads because they provide a fuller glimpse of your community and provide a way for users to engage with your ad (by scrolling through the images) even if they’re not ready to click through to your website and really dive in. This provides a fuller opportunity to become intrigued and commit your brand to memory.
Addressable Marketing & Geofencing Ads
Targeting specific households, businesses, hotspots, or competitors in your area can help you raise awareness among a highly specific audience who is most likely to resonate with your brand. Addressable marketing and geofencing ads both rely on virtual “fences” drawn around specific locations within which users may be served your ad. Typically, a conversion zone is also drawn around a physical location such as your leasing office in order to measure offline conversions, but you can also measure online conversions from these ads when a targeted user visits your apartment website.
When a prospect enters the fenced location (e.g. their home address), they will be targeted with your ads on their mobile and desktop devices for 30 days. When the customer enters the conversion zone (e.g. your leasing office) with their mobile device after being served your ad, the conversion zone recognizes the prospect and attributes their visit as an offline conversion. Or, if a prospect converts online by filling out a contact form, that action is measured as an online conversion.
Addressable marketing campaigns allow you to target prospects based on household location, income level, home equity information, number of household members, and a variety of interests, contributing to highly qualified online and offline traffic down the road. By raising awareness among a highly qualified audience, you increase the chances that awareness eventually turns into action when your prospects are ready to start or continue their housing search.
One addressable marketing tactic we recommend is CTV (AKA Connected TV) ads, which allow video ads to be served to Smart TVs while your target audience is using a TV app like Hulu and other streaming services. Like YouTube video ads, these ads are more engaging than static display ads and reach prospects while they’re going about their day-to-day lives, so they’re aware of your real estate brand when it comes time for them to search for housing.
Google Display Ads
Though video ads may on platforms like YouTube tend to be more engaging, Google display ads are also a great way to increase brand awareness among your target audience. Whether you create an animated ad or keep it simple with a static image, Google serves display ads over a vast network of partnered sites, targeting users across many of the same parameters you’ll find on YouTube ad campaigns (Google owns YouTube, after all).
Display ads are a strong choice for brand awareness because they reach users while they’re going about their normal online browsing activities, but also link directly to your website so that impressions can easily turn into traffic. And even if a user doesn’t click through when served your ad, just getting their eyes on your brand makes them more likely to convert later when they are ready to conduct their housing search and learn more about some of the options in their area.
With many different ad sizes available, you can choose a variety of placements, but the 300×250 size tends to get the most impressions and clicks.