Display Advertising: A Cornerstone of Renter Engagement

For prospective renters, seeing is believing. That’s why most property managers consider tour scheduling to be a micro-conversion. It’s an important stepping stone on the pathway to a lease, as your prospects are more likely to convert once they’ve walked property grounds. So, if visuals and interactive elements play such an essential role in a renter’s decision-making process, why is display advertising frequently overlooked by managers and marketers? 

Text ads have remained a staple in the digital marketing playbook despite their lack of visual appeal. However, marketers must recognize that the attention spans of our consumers are shrinking, and we are often lucky if prospects read beyond the headlines. This is where display advertising can pick up the slack. Unlike static text ads, display ads combine creative, interactive elements to captivate your prospects with aesthetically engaging graphics and ad content.

What is Display Advertising?

Display is a digital marketing medium that combines text, visuals (image or video), animation and audio to convey a marketer’s message almost instantaneously. Display ad placements span more than two million websites, videos and applications comprising the Google Display Network (GDN). This massive presence, along with their interactivity, makes display advertising an effective strategy for increasing brand awareness and recall. Display ads also present an opportunity to increase website traffic and encourage conversions, as they can direct prospective renters back to your designated landing page when clicked. 

What does a Display Ad look like? 

Display ads are often informally referred to as “banner” ads due to their square or rectangular shapes. Although display ads come in a variety of dimensions and formats, Google defines the following as the primary four:

  • Text: One headline, two lines of descriptor text and a URL
  • Image: A static image with customizable layouts and background colors 
  • Video: An embedded video that plays within the ad
  • Rich Media: Interactive image ads that may contain animations or other elements which vary with audience and user actions

To capitalize on the strengths of each format, Google recommends that marketers enable the “responsive” display ad setting. Responsive display ads use account history and performance data to optimize creative in real time. Google’s predictive machine learning algorithms will alter the formats, text, and imagery of an ad to deliver the highest-performing impression possible. In addition, responsive display ads shapeshift — changing their dimensions to fit the ad is space available. 

As a result, you give your prospects a more enhanced, personalized ad experience, and you reap the rewards. In fact, it is estimated that conversions can increase by 50% (at similar cost) by adding responsive display ads¹

Who will see my Display Ads?

The GDN reaches 90% of internet users worldwide², which maximizes your potential reach and advertising opportunity. However, a display campaign’s targeting settings are highly customizable within the GDN, making display one of the most personalized and advantageous digital marketing media. 

Audiences can be strategically segmented based on user engagement and implemented as meticulously as at the ad-group level. Because of this, display ads allow you to target users at each phase of the conversion funnel. In addition to standard keyword targeting (commonly associated with Google Search Network text ads), the following audience and targeting settings are available for display:

  • Affinity 
  • Intent/In-Market
  • Similar
  • Remarketing

These audiences can be precisely targeted to establish initial brand awareness and re-engage users, guiding your prospects along each stage of the marketing funnel to conversion. Because the renter journey is far from linear, these tools can be especially advantageous additions to your multifamily marketing mix. 

Affinity and Intent/In-Market audiences are great for establishing awareness, as they are formed around a user’s interests and online research activity, but interest is often not enough to trigger intent. To target users further along the conversion funnel, Remarketing and Similar audiences need to be implemented. 

Remarketing (also called “retargeting”) is a popular strategy with display, as it allows advertisers to reconnect with prospects who have previously visited their website and left without completing a conversion. Many advertisers choose to solely target Remarketing audiences, limiting their outreach to whom they perceive are the highest-intent individuals. However, Google uses machine learning to expand your list of potential customers with Similar audiences. Similar audiences target users with characteristics and online actions that resemble your website visitors’, providing you with a base of new prospects. Simultaneously targeting both of these audiences is a very beneficial strategy for marketers, with Google reporting that display advertisers can see a 38% to 41% increase in conversions by combining Similar and Remarketing tactics³. 

How can you leverage the power of Display Ads?

Display advertising breathes life into the age-old saying “show, don’t tell” by empowering you to target the right audiences — in the right place, at the right time. 

These ads are not only engaging, but possess responsive design capabilities that can accurately deliver personalized content optimized for the ad space available. Perhaps it’s time to take advantage of display’s visual appeal, massive presence and audience data to provide your prospects with a guided purchase experience. Driving nearly 20% of total conversions for the average advertiser⁴, display advertising proves to be an excellent stand-alone product or the perfect supplement to any digital marketing strategy. 

The RentPath Network targets an average of 10 million unique visitors per month⁵. Not only can this provide your community with a qualified Remarketing audience of in-market renters, but it can offer you an abundance of Similar audience data for uncovering new prospects. 

To inquire about our display advertising services, please call 877-394-9599 or select “Get In Touch” at the top of the page.

By Ashley Shaw, Sr. Digital Marketing Analyst

1 https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6341296?hl=en
2 https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2404191
3 https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2676774
4 https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2740585?hl=en
5  RentPath Internal Data, Google Ad Manager, July 2019

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