Monday, April 4, 2016

Search Engine Marketing

3 PPC Alternatives for Multifamily Marketers

Chris Sumida

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Using paid advertising online to market an apartment can be an expensive endeavor. From competitive and oversaturated markets that demand high visibility, to competing for clicks with less advertising slots available on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), paying per click can potentially leave you with a pretty sizable advertising bill. Google’s recent removal of all of the ads in the right sidebar on their SERPs has shaken up both competition and ad spends for many key phrases. Competitive markets, like Phoenix, DC, and Boston, can have multifamily managers paying over $3.00 for every click to their site. Coupled with high competition, bidding wars can drive prices up just to get someone at the very top of your marketing funnel.

To ensure you keep top-of-funnel leads at a low cost, we’ve outlined three alternatives to traditional Pay-Per-Click that can help apartment marketers to drive traffic to their site, nurture and qualify their leads, and amplify their property or brand.

Geo-Targeting in App Ads

While it’s no secret that Internet usage on mobile devices has been on the rise, it’s impressive how much of the time spent surfing the web is spent within mobile apps. Last year, TechCrunch identified that nearly 85% of the time we spend on mobile devices is spent within apps. That’s nearly 480 hours each year!

To take advantage of mobile users who may be too invested in the app of their choice to pay attention to ads on mobile SERPs, start spreading your advertising to a specific market based on geographical features, and target them within the apps they are already using. GeoTargeting works almost like a billboard; an image featuring your management company or property is shown as a banner ad, usually at the bottom of the app while it’s in use. As impressions and frequency begin to rise, users begin to become more familiar with the brand and click to learn more. Instead of costing nearly $3.00 per click, these clicks come at an incredibly low cost and are an effective way to help bring customers into the top of your marketing funnel.

Geo-targeting can be used as a top-of-funnel tactic to help build brand awareness about your property and introduce viewers to your site. Once on your site, you can use retargeting to help give them the nudge of encouragement that they need to return and convert.

Site Retargeting

On-site retargeting is a great way to take top-of-funnel leads and nurture them until they become applicants or residents. Moving to a new apartment is a big decision. As a result, users are rarely, if ever, going to make their decision on the first visit--less than 2% do! Instead of using a large budget to capture clicks, leveraging a low-cost top-of-funnel approach combined with retargeting can be incredibly effective.

Retargeting is incredibly common in eCommerce. From Amazon to Zappos, stores often try to retarget products to customers by using Google’s Display network to get them back into the shopping funnel. This can also be incredibly attractive for multifamily. While prospective residents may not make a decision on their first visit, multifamily managers can use retargeting to gradually nudge a user back to the site. Since these ads are only targeted or displayed to users who have visited the site in the past, the ads come at a much lower cost-per-click, yet tend to be much more effective. Retargeting is an incredibly dynamic process as well--customers can set-up different types of ads to represent customers at different stages in the purchasing funnel. Perhaps they exited the site after visiting a specific property’s contact page; in that case, ads can appeal to that page’s call to action, offering help to find a property that better fits them or encouraging them to get in touch about that specific apartment home.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.34.00 AM

Search Retargeting

In addition to image ads on the display network, Google also provides search-retargeting. The name itself can be a little misleading, because while this still “retargets” to a degree, users don’t necessarily have to have visited your site to see the ad. Instead of waiting for users to visit your site, search retargeting is a type of retargeting that serves ads to people who have searched for a specific phrase.

Rather than traditional AdWords results, search retargeting allows you to target users through the Display Network based on their previous searches. If a user searches for a term that you’re looking to target, they will be served your ad as they navigate through different sites that are within Google’s Ad Network. While this is a more indirect approach to retargeting, it can yield powerful results when matched with the right language and formatting.

Ensure that your calls to action and visible wording within display banners reflects some of the keywords that you’re looking to target. The combination of the appealing visual reinforced with the appropriate language will help you reach a new audience, eager for your services.

While pay-per-click advertising will remain as one of the biggest players in the digital marketing space, don’t forget these alternatives to expensive AdWords markets. Leverage low-cost, top-of-funnel ads and combine it with retargeting to help build a pipeline of leads that will successfully convert. Our Geotargeter product is a fantastic testament to the value of retargeting, as apartment managers can start building their prospects by advertising to specific communities or geographic areas, and then grow their retargeting list and watch their conversions increase! All of these alternatives above are critical parts of our Geotargeter product. Don’t wait to change your advertising strategy; get in touch today to learn more about the benefits of retargeting!

 

Chris Sumida

Chris Sumida

Business Development & Digital Marketing Strategist

csumida@leaselabs.com

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