“Performance Marketing” is a catch-all phrase that refers to data-driven, ROI-focused digital advertising methods. These types of campaigns offer marketers the unique ability to measure effectiveness down to a single user interaction and, as a result, are often leveraged to achieve maximum impact on a client’s business goals.
In the multifamily housing industry, campaign effectiveness should correlate with brand awareness and lead generation — the fundamental business goals of a property management company. To achieve both of these objectives, RentPath has launched digital marketing solutions across three channels of central importance: search engine marketing, social advertising and display marketing.
Search engine marketing is one of the most effective ways to get an ad in front of its intended audience. Studies estimate that 84% of renters begin their search for apartment homes online¹, and 90% of users are searching via Google.² To be competitive, properties need to ensure that they not only have a presence on Google – but are top of page.
Google allows marketers to control their brand presence by auctioning off advertising space above and below their organic search results. However, more than a competitive bid is required to achieve the top spot. Google ultimately favors quality over cost when determining ad rank and for this reason, it is important to optimize each campaign’s ad copy based on expected click-through-rate and landing page relevance. Campaigns also require regular optimizations to targeting and bidding based on location, audience size, renter device, and time of day.
All of this can be overwhelming and, if not attended to properly, result in the loss of valuable marketing budget. Many turn to RentPath’s digital experts for in-depth optimizations to ad quality and targeting. Leveraging first-party ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com audience data, RentPath’s SEM campaigns market well-tailored ads to high-intent renters. Each ad shown is created to achieve the lowest possible cost-per-click, highest possible chance of conversion, and best allocation of budget for the targeted market.
Advertisers often turn to social media marketing as a way to increase brand awareness because of its audience size and user-friendliness. These ads mimic organic posts by appearing within a renter’s feed on social media platforms. Unlike search engine marketing, no user action is required to trigger an ad’s appearance. Renters can discover a property by simply scrolling through friends’ Facebook posts and Instagram stories, which makes reaching the intended audience that much easier.
With over 2.7 billion people present on at least one of Facebook’s core platforms³, advertisers are often drawn to social media marketing for the potential reach. However, it is important to note that high-frequency, untargeted advertising should be avoided at all costs. In fact, modern audiences are “2.3 times more likely to disengage when bombarded with large numbers of irrelevant messages,”⁴ meaning advertising should be highly-relevant and appropriately segmented for the target market.
Although geo-fencing and audience segmentation can help you hone in on renters, Facebook recently announced significant restrictions to their targeting practices for housing-related advertisements. As a result, marketers are relying on custom audiences to provide unparalleled targeting power. RentPath is the only company to leverage first-party visitor data from ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com to create hyper-targeted custom audiences. Paired with a listing or dedicated account manager, these campaigns deliver fully-optimized ads to in-market renters for unmatched brand awareness and return on investment — all in a non-discriminatory way.
For captivating image- and video-based content, multifamily marketers can look to display. Display campaigns enable marketers to place visually engaging advertisements across any of the two million websites in Google’s Display Network (GDN).
The GDN’s expansiveness allows marketers to significantly grow brand awareness by targeting both new and existing users on the websites they frequent. New renters can be captured prior to searching for a property, placing it top-of-mind within the early stages of the renter’s journey. A retargeting audience allows campaigns to recapture traffic that has previously been to a property’s website, keeping it top of mind as renters navigate to other websites.
As ad viewability is more strongly correlated with conversions than with clicks, it is important to maximize brand exposure by marketing to renters who do not immediately convert. RentPath’s digital analysts work toward this goal by developing and implementing custom retargeting audiences for each client’s display campaign. They combine the property’s retargeting audiences with ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com visitor data to create digital billboards that are only presented to the highest-intent, in-market users.
When mapping your performance marketing strategy, it is important to focus on the modern renter’s journey. While SEM, social advertising and display marketing can each be successful when deployed alone, advertising efforts are most effective when combined. Most renters adopt a multi-faceted approach to shopping for their new home and will turn to multiple channels to research their options. Remember that conversions, leads and leases can rarely be attributed to a singular source, and having a strong presence on multiple platforms is crucial to achieving the greatest return for your advertising efforts.
1 “Maximizing Apartment Marketing Return on Investment: How Changes in Renter Behavior Are Affecting Apartment Marketing Strategies.” Multifamilypro.com, July 2009.
2 “Search Engine Market Share Worldwide 2019.” Statista, 9 Sept. 2019.
3 “Facebook Global Community MAU 2019.” Statista, 25 July 2019.
4 “Days Of ‘Spray And Pray’ Marketing Are Done.” CMO.com by Adobe: Digital Marketing Insights, Expertise and Inspiration – for and by Marketing Leaders, 13 July 2013.
5 “For Display Ads, Being Seen Matters More than Being Clicked.” Comscore, Inc., 2012.
By Ashley Shaw, Digital Marketing Analyst