Given the recent property slump in India, marketing real estate projects is challenging; more so if you are looking to generate leads. In my earlier article, I had mentioned 5 rules for Real Estate Marketing. We explored how SEO is challenging for real estate and how new avenues like Facebook presents a better channel to generate leads for real estate projects.
We marketers have a bad name. We tend to ruin everything which works. There was a time, about 10 years ago, when Email marketing used to be a very successful medium to market your products and services. The email open rates and subsequent leads/sale ratio used to high. Then the marketers realized this and they started spamming everyone.
Compare this to the present day scenario. How many email promotions do you actually care to open? Gmail has even created a separate tab called Promotions. How many of you visited this tab last?
This goes back to the saying that “Marketers ruin everything”. When something works, marketers latch on to it, and eventually the efficacy of the medium goes down. Then the marketers look for other avenues which work better and the cycle continues.
We are at a stage when Facebook marketing has picked up, but it is still at its initial stages. Maybe 2 years down the line, effectiveness of Facebook ads will go down. So we still have a 2 year runway before that happens. This is what Real Estate companies can latch onto till it lasts.
How to promote your Real Estate projects on Facebook?
- Use Audience Insights
If you are a real estate developer in Bangalore and you have one of your projects in let’s say Hebbal, then you will need to find people with the right interests and behavior who are most likely going to respond to your Ads. Audience Insights is a very interesting tool given by Facebook to help you identify your target audience. You can segregate by Age, location, interests and behaviours. You will be able to understand what does your audience like? Which pages do they follow? Are they mostly male or female? Which age group to target?
- Segregate Ads by Gender, Age and Device
Do not create an ad that targets all age groups and all devices. Break your ads by gender, age and device. For example, you can have an ad that targets Male, between 30-34 and Android. Similarly you can have the same ad, but targeted for iOS users.
This means that for each target audience, you will have 3 ads based on 3 devices. Likewise, you will need to repeat this for Age group 35-40. And likewise you can break it into Male or Female.
By segregating the ads, you will be able to test which ads are responding to you better.
You can then pause the ads that aren’t converting and increase the budget for the ads that are working better.
- Conversion Pixel
Facebook helps you create conversion pixel. You can create pixel based on the goal of your campaigns. For example, you can have Leads as one conversion pixel and Keypage views as another.
You will need to add a piece of code to your website to ensure that the pixel is installed properly.
When you start generating leads, Facebook will show you the correct Lead count.
- Custom Audience Pixel
You can create audience based on specific pages which they visit on your website. For example, if you have a page that details about the property and layout plans, you can create a pixel for that page. When someone visits this page, Facebook will capture the data as part of your audience pixel.
- Lookalike Audience
Lookalike audience is an awesome mechanism to create audience from your existing data. For example, if you have 100 conversions (captured by Leads pixel); you can use this data to create a lookalike audience. Facebook uses its own mechanism to create lookalike audience based on the pixel. So, if you have 100 leads, and you create a lookalike audience of the same, the chances of that audience to convert as leads are higher.
You can create lookalike audience based on any of the pixels you have used.
Retargeting is a powerful mechanism to target people who have visited your site earlier. In point 4, you have created a custom audience. This is for people who have checked your page where the project layout plans are given. You can target these people with another ad. Usually when a person sees the ad multiple times, chances of conversion increase. You can give an offer as well to this retargeted audience.
- Give away something for free
We have seen that, just showing an Ad for a property may not be enough to generate a lead. This is because the supply is more than demand in the real estate space in India at the moment. You need to offer something of value to the user for free to get his/her interest. For example, we experimented with an ebook on Guide to Investing in Property. The ebook ad has done well and we have generated lot of leads from this. Some other free stuff you can offer are – Book @ 2 lakhs and pay the rest in EMI. You need to find an offer that will attract your target market more.
- Mobile responsive
You need to have a mobile responsive site. This is the most basic requirement. No two ways about it.
- Ensure images load quickly
Sometimes in pursuit of a beautiful website, we often forget to optimize the size of the images on our website. But this is crucial to your campaign’s success. A lot of your users will be accessing the site on mobile. And if they are on a 3G connection, big sized images take almost 5-10 seconds to load. People will not wait so long for the images to load.
- Use a heatmap tracking tool
Heatmap tracking tools are great to understand user behavior once they land on your site. By observing user behavior you can unearth potential issues with your website which you might have missed out earlier.
- Build Trust
Trust is one of the biggest challenges in the real estate market right now. With too many new developers in the space, and with too many of them involved in money laundering and other legal tangles, buyers are now concerned about whether to trust a developer or not. Therefore, you need to have a website that evokes trust with your audience. List all the bank approvals, your past projects, your credibility as a builder, your core team etc.
- Test, test and test
As with any marketing strategy, you have to keep testing and fine tuning your target audience, your ad copy, ad image, as well as landing pages to find out what works best with you. What worked best for one audience or one project earlier may not work this time. So keep testing till you find the jackpot.
Facebook is a great platform to target audience for your real estate projects. They are cheaper than Google Ads and you can target people more effectively based on their interest and online behavior. Ensure you create the right ads, the landing pages and keep testing till you start getting results. Google luck!