We’re excited to announce that Firebelly was named a platinum winner in the Social Branding Campaign category during the 2019 dotCOMM Awards competition.
Out of more than 2,000 submissions from 42 countries, Firebelly has won Gold recognition in the 2019 Muse Creative Awards competition in the Social Media Campaign category.
We are excited to announced that Firebelly Marketing has been selected as a Shorty Awards finalist in the Best in Restaurants category for our work with Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza & Pub.
Kicksta is a service that claims to help brands and individuals “get real followers for Instagram and turn new connections into more gigs, paid partnerships, and sales.” I decided to test it for one month on my personal account to find out if it’s something I could recommend brands use. Does it work? Read on to find out!
When people are looking for a new apartment to call home, these days they often take to social media to find their new address. Savvy apartment industry brands understand this shift in the marketplace mentality, and are sharpening their social tools to reach potential residents and distinguish their offerings from their competitors.
Firebelly has been planning and implementing social media ads for apartments for over ten years. With experience in every aspect of social media marketing, we’ve developed specific approaches to deliver precise, desired results for our clients. This is targeted marketing, redefined.
In this Complete Guide to Social Media Ads for Apartments, we’ll outline some creative strategies and approaches apartment industry brands can use to drive more residents their way, and how to measure momentum along the way.
Why run social media ads for apartments?
With over hundreds of millions of users taking to social media on a monthly basis, forward-thinking businesses realize the opportunity this presents. In a report provided by Statista, 285 million users went to Facebook and Instagram during the month of July 2018.
Couple this captive audience with the targeting capabilities and analytics provided by these platforms and brands have the ability not only to reach new audiences with strategic design, they’re able to study audience behaviors, measure results of specific campaign messaging, and better account for their advertising spend.
We don’t have to guess what’s working; the numbers tell the story. And because this is the digital world, we can respond quickly, and cost-effectively, with precision in our messaging and our measuring.
RELATED POST: 3 Reasons Social Media Advertising Tastes Better Than Print
How to set objectives for apartment social media ads
All great marketing starts with first identifying goals and objectives. Like all other brands leveraging social media to reach potential new customers, apartment brands will do well to adhere to some basic strategies for successful sales cycles.
1) Stimulate brand awareness by introducing your brand. Ask yourself: who are you? What’s the image you hope to portray to would-be residents? What’s your mission? What makes you different from the competition across the street?
2) Once you’ve gotten audience attention, it’s time encourage and entice potential residents toward more information. Clever messaging isn’t enough. Your social media ads need to include a call-to-action.
3) Now that you’ve laid the tracks for a successful customer journey, time to begin measuring your impact. Look to these metrics to qualify your advertising impact:
• Increased engagement
• Gained followers
• Increased web traffic
• Increased landing page views
• More leads!
Do more than advertise
Build brand awareness by posting regular content to your social media channels. Provide content that educates people and answers the questions they are asking about you, your communities, and the apartment industry. People want to hear about offers, learn something new, and discover what’s compelling about your property.
What is the one approach to avoid?
Many fall quickly into the greedy marketer syndrome and go straight to “The Ask,” failing to keep their potential residents’ perspectives in mind. When developing a strategy, it’s necessary to keep the mindset of the potential resident at the front of your approach—where are they at in their decision, what they may know or not know about your community, and how can your brand promote trust. Cultivating a new relationship is an artform, which begins slowly, genuinely, and delicately. The overarching objective for any strong apartment brand should be loyalty and advocacy.
How to create social media ads for apartments
Building out a successful social media campaign is as much about aligning effort with objective as it is about employing creative muscle. Get your goal list back out. What sits at the top? Facebook’s Ad Manager breaks it down into three categories: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion.
Best ad objectives
For apartment social media ads, traffic and lead generation are two of the most commonly used objectives—both yielding positive performance and results.
Depending on your market and the type of potential residents you’re trying to attract, start by identifying the characteristics they share. In June of 2018, Facebook removed behavioral targeting which included income range targeting. Brands needs to understand their target audience demographics: where their perspectives live, their age, their gender, and their income thresholds.
It’s also important to understand their online behaviors: where they shop, in which activities they participate, their interests, professions, and education levels. This information is critical in developing a message that will resonate and truly mean something to this group of would-be renters.
Getting around the loss of income targeting
Though income targeting has been removed from Facebook, it is still possible to target people based on education and professions that align with the income levels you are targeting. When targeting renters, interests such as “Zumper, Zillow, Trulia, Rent.com, Hotpads.com, Apartment Finder, Apartment Guide, Apartment List, Apartments.com, Redfin, Apartment, Relocation (personal), lease” can be used to narrow your audience.
Choosing the right ad formats for the best outcomes
Depending on the property and intent of the ads (i.e. brand awareness versus web traffic), there are many different ad formats available through Facebook Ads Manager. The ad formats continue to evolve and adapt to the habits and consumption behaviors of the audiences. This creates an opportunity to showcase your brand and property in a variety of ways ranging from traditional single images, to carousel ads, to Facebook/Instagram Stories, to video.
Don’t limit yourself to one format. Capitalize on your creative assets and think of new ways to serve up ads that makes them engaging, fresh, and meaningful to your intended viewers.
Check out this quick overview of the various ad formats and ad specs provided by Facebook:
Selecting the right creative
In the world of social media marketing, imagery is the opening line in the narrative you’re trying to articulate. The creative starts the conversation and draws the audience toward another place. It’s the first opportunity to capture the audience, create context, and queue up your message. Your image is meant to create visual context. The creative assets you select need to illicit a reaction, garner some interest (enough to stop your readers’ scroll), and establish an instant connection.
Test your creative to see what’s resonating with the audience and don’t be afraid to abandon what’s not working; trust the data! Your creative starts the conversation—don’t stutter your way into the dialogue.
Avoid cognitive friction
The image on your website or landing page should be consistent with the one used in your ad, reaffirming your audience they’re in the right spot. Don’t leave people confused. They need to feel confident and familiar, knowing they are in the place they’d intended to go. The opposite effect leads to abandonment.
Creating strong copy and calls-to-action
Writing strong copy is more than the delivery of information. It’s an opportunity to further a story, evoke an emotion, and influence action. And because advertisers are limited to roughly 145 characters, your text needs to be tight, consistent, and to-the-point.
Ask the question: who’s your audience and what problem can be solved for them? Knowing their needs, knowing their challenges means opportunities for brands.
Your call-to-action is part of the copy and equally as important in rounding out the ad. Tell your audience why they should take action and then offer clear direction to take them to the next place.
RELATED POST: How To Effectively Measure Social Media ROI
How to measure success
With objectives identified, ads deployed, and results coming in, it’s time to take a more granular look at some key performance indicators to measure success. Was the right audience reached? Do the resulting demographics align with the target audience? Are leads being generated? Is the web traffic converting? These are the right questions to ask.
For apartment campaigns, here’s what you need to review:
• Results for demographics
• Link clicks/CPC
• Click through rate (target 1% or > for Instagram, 2% or > for Facebook)
• Leads generated
A more detailed analysis would include:
• Review ad placements outcomes
• Review and compare ad formats and outcome
• Review which creative assets are performing best based on reach, link clicks, CTR, and how well the asset resonated amongst the target audience.
Launch, test, review and repeat. Ultimately, success is determined by how well you attract, convince and convert. Digging into the analytics will help shepherd what’s working, and eventually yield a higher return on ad spend.
Regularly monitor your ad relevancy to ensure cost effective delivery. Low relevance results in poor placement and contributes to higher costs per result.
Social media was born from our human need to feel connected. Every morning, our culture wakes up and goes to Facebook and Instagram to find their friends and family, update their status, and check out what’s new in the world.
This cultural reality equals big opportunity for today’s apartment industry brands. Your potential resident are ready for your message; it’s time to show them home.
Interested in learning more about social media ads for apartments? Firebelly is here for you. Give us a call at (317) 557-4460, email us at email@example.com, send us a tweet, or fill out our contact form.
FIREBELLY WINS SPROUT SOCIAL’S CULTIVATE AWARD
We’re excited to announce that Firebelly recently took home the Cultivate Award at Sprout Social’s 2018 Sprout Partner Summit in Chicago!