In this article, we're going to discuss what PPC marketing is, how real estate ppc marketing can help you generate leads, and things to thing about when your previous PPC marketing campaigns haven't been successful.
Pay-Per-Click or PPC marketing, as the name suggests, is an internet marketing model where advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. It is perhaps the most common form of paid advertisement online. PPC for real estate is powerful because it gives complete control to you, the realtor, and does away with uncertainties associated with traditional advertising. Equally importantly, real estate ppc is an indispensable lead generation system. It has one fundamental goal - generate leads to convert them into buyers or sellers.
PPC marketing's effectiveness is predicated on the fact that big corporations like Google, Facebook, Bing, and the like are able to collect and interpret massive data pertaining to their users. Literally, millions of people use these platforms everyday. The fact that they are able to interpret this data means they can show our ads to exactly the type of audience that will most benefit from it. Imagine the cost of having to do this research yourself. Imagine the time it would take.
Where can I show my PPC ads?
Each social media platform and search engine has its own PPC marketing platform. You can execute a PPC Marketing campaign on Facebook using Facebook Ads (any ads on social media is referred to as social media marketing). On Google, you can use AdWords. Further still, on Bing, you can use Bing Ads (paid marketing on search engines are called Search Engine Marketing or SEM). In some cases, you can also show your ads on partner sites. In Google's case, as an example, YouTube is a partner site and is part of their Display Network.
In the not-so-distant past, search engines were just digital directories, nothing more than the web equivalent of yellow pages. Today, they interpret data and render smart results (see image below) according to the searcher's context. This is one of the reasons search engines like Google are so successful - they provide contextual, highly-relevant information to their users. So this is a great opportunity for us in the real estate industry to show attract attention.
What are some of the benefits of PPC Marketing? Here they are at a glance. Scroll below to read in more detail.
1. Precision targeting
In exchange for their free services, platforms like Facebook and Google collect extensive information about their users. In turn, they sell the data - without giving away personal information - to advertisers, in this case, us.
As an example, you can sell your online services to anyone across Canada, or you can promote your new condominium development to men and women aged 30-45 in the GTA. The benefit of precision targeting is that you don't waste money showing your ads to those who aren't interested. Put another way, you show your ads to exactly those that are looking to buy or sell. This helps you save a lot of money, and can help reduce marketing costs to as little as 1/10th of your current spend.
2. Lower cost than traditional marketing
Traditional marketing can be expensive and in many cases, ineffective. How many times have your postcards been thrown in the trash? How many times have your ads been obstructed (see: how effective are your traditional marketing efforts)?
On the other hand, PPC can cost very little. Because of precision targeting, the conversion rates are much higher, which means that the cost per lead is low. Since you don't get charged unless someone actually clicks your ad, you save a lot of money. Your budget lasts longer.
3. Analytical Tools
Each marketing platform such as the ones already mentioned are highly effective. Their built-in analytics and reporting tools help track leads and conversions (read our primer on lead tracking for realtors). You can find out which of your ads are performing well and which aren't. In addition, you can find out what time of day they're performing the best. Even more importantly, you can learn which devices prospects use to find you - desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones. Since you an target your ads based on device (see below), this knowledge can be useful - even though it can sometimes be overwhelming (which is where we come in).
These metrics really are the golden ticket to success because what you can measure, you can achieve. Recalibrating ads saves you even more money, so you have a lower cost per acquisition.
Even with precisely targeted ads to the audiences that are specifically looking for them, people might not be ready to make a purchase. This is because they might not yet know or trust you (the basics of building rapport with potential clients) to work with you. Perhaps the buying decision is a big one so they might not be ready to take the next step yet (see: one-step-at-a-time moments). They might click on your ad then navigate away from your landing page.
Re-marketing allows you to show your ads - or variations of it - to the same people who initially expressed interest in your business. Research suggests that it may take as little as 6-8 and as many as 13+ touch points before someone converts. Retargeting is a powerful, cost-effective way to make this happen.
5. Device-based Marketing
We're in an era of mobile devices and 'I-want-to-know moments.' When people want access to information, they pull out their mobile phones and immediately find the answers they need. PPC allows you to conduct either an exclusive mobile marketing campaign, or a multi-device campaign. Here's a fun fact:
Does PPC Marketing Actually Work?
Not having a call to action
Look, this is an important question. You've generated leads through traditional marketing but you're not so sure about how successful PPC campaigns can be. This is a legitimate concern. I've had realtors tell me that they've done Facebook ads before, they've done Google ads before and it's been a waste of money. The most, craziest, out-of-this-world successful PPC lead generation strategy is part of a marketing funnel which takes an unknown user who has clicked your ad to a page that does three things:
- 1. Give them what they're looking for.
- 2. Have a simple, yet prominent call-to-action.
- 3. Get your prospect's contact information.
So, say you have an ad for a house you're selling on Facebook. When someone clicks your ad, it should show them pictures. The call-to-action could show them a phone call button, a sign up button, or take them to a landing page. A landing page gives prospects a little bit of valuable information and a contact form they can fill out. When they click submit, the form sensd you their information and you can follow up with them. So, if your advertisement is done right, you'll generate an actual lead with a name and phone number associated with it.
Pro-tip: Use the built in call-to-action buttons so that those on mobile devices have a smooth user experience and a higher conversion, i.e. more phone calls.
Not using the best ad format
I mentioned above that search engines show data in a variety of interactive ways based on the type and structure of data. This is backed by important research and evidence that shows how people interact with the same information that is presented in different ways.
On Facebook in particular, I see people take advantage of the "Sponsored" option when they upload pictures or create a new album. This is great when you want to show case a property. But an even better way to do this is to use carousel ads. These are great because you can show details of your listing (such as high quality faucets, or a fantastic backyard), a caption to go with each picture that is also prominent, and leads to a logical call-to-action.
Pro-tip: This works great on mobile - add a drone video in the first part of the carousel to attract and hold attention.
Using low quality or irrelevant images
Some ads - not all - tend to have low quality or irrelevant images. The dimensions may not be optimized for the relevant ad platform. Do you know what the image dimensions are for the various types of Facebook ads? Or the camera quality itself maybe low. This happens even with the newest generations of smart phones. Spending some time to familiarize yourself with the various technical details that directly contribute to an ad's success. Furthermore, understanding buyer behaviour and intent can optimize your conversion rate.
Is PPC Marketing Right for Me?
To answer that question, we need to do a Cost-Benefit Analysis. The bottom line to consider is that if your cost per conversion is higher than the profit you make from the conversion during the lifespan of a client, then it's not for you. If, however, one client converts bringing in several thousands of dollars, then it's a no-brainer! PPC marketing is great!
PPC Marketing works great in the real estate and home improvement sectors and should be used by realtors, mortgage brokers, interior designers, landscapers, HVAC and general contractors. It's precision-targeting as well as low costs can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Re-marketing is a powerful way to bring in those clients that are not yet ready to purchase but will be in the near future and have demonstrated intent.
But the goal of PPC marketing should not exclusively be to sell a service. Make sure the landing pages to which your ads direct are generating leads so that you can add them to your email marketing list. When an investment opportunity arises, you can email prospects in your list to apprise them of it.
If you would like help with generating leads through your website and landing pages, we can help. Click here to book your free marketing consultation.