If you are, or have been running Facebook paid campaigns to chase vendors, landlords or buyers, you may be familiar with the feature Custom Audiences.
This feature was every marketer’s best friend. With just a few clicks you could, for example, target everyone who has a mortgage or everyone who owns a second home.
Unfortunately, for the marketer and the estate agent, times have changed. Due to mounting privacy concerns, Facebook has decided to hold itself and its advertisers more accountable for how they target prospects. This does not mean you should not run paid campaigns. It simply means you will need to be more creative with how you re-engage prospects.
WHAT’S CHANGING – AND WHY?
Since Cambridge Analytica gained access to information on 50 million Facebook users, Mark Zuckerberg has faced quite a backlash. In response, Facebook has chosen to put an end to some of the previously available Custom Audiences and add safeguards to make the tools which remain less exploitable.
To identify the landlords in your area, you can create a ‘lead magnet’ that will attract those landlords.
A major change is the removal of Partner Categories. This allowed marketers to leverage on third party data without paying through the nose for it. Marketers could reach prospects based on a variety of information, such as what tax bracket they fall into, or where they work. Access to such information can save time and help put together high-performing and accurate audiences.
This data is sourced from big name partners like Oracle and Experian. But for those of us in the advertising community, it is being killed off as a means of protecting users’ data privacy rights.
SHOULD YOU STILL ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK?
Yes, absolutely. As of January 2018, Facebook had 2.1 billion monthly active users, according to Statista. Through Facebook targeting you can still target geography, demographics, industries, job titles, and interests.
For businesses in the property sector either currently using or planning to use Facebook to attract more prospects, it means that you need to plan and structure your campaigns a little differently. Yes, it will take longer, but on the flip side, you will end up with better quality leads.
A NEW APPROACH
Here’s my four-step approach to the new way of building quality audiences on Facebook:
- Spend more time defining your buyer’s persona. The more you know about your customers, the better.
- Use a free giveaway (a White Paper, a PDF download, a free service, a webinar) to attract and separate them from the rest. This step is now crucial as this is your way of identifying the right prospects from everyone else. For example, it is hard to know if someone is a landlord just by area or by age. To identify the landlords in your area, create a ‘lead magnet’ that will attract those landlords. This could be an interesting blog article, a download, or a video explaining something that will help their portfolio.
- Accumulate this audience in a pot and remarket to them. Make sure that every landing page you use which contains a Facebook retargeting pixel clearly explains that you use Facebook cookies. You must also explain how users can opt out of the collection and use of information for ad targeting. Always seek legal advice if you are unsure.
- Create lookalike audiences from your accumulated pot. Once the hard work is done, let Facebook bring to you more of the same. Lookalike audiences are people with similarities to the pot of people who have been attracted by your lead magnet.
You should always track, monitor, and measure the success of each campaign so that you can perform tweaks and improvements. The more steps you can introduce before you ask for the business, the warmer the lead. We have identified that for estate and letting agents the magic number is eight – it takes eight touchpoints for a prospect to book a valuation or a viewing, or register for an open house event.
So, use Facebook paid advertising to attract your ideal clients but don’t expect to convert there and then. You will have to work on it, nurture the relationship, and the results will come further down the line.
Nelly Berova is MD of Art Division, experts in digital marketing and property industry specialists.