What is Google and Facebook retargeting and how does it work for the property market

Whether your business offers a service or sells a product, visitors to your website are unlikely to get in touch with you immediately – especially if you specialise in big-ticket items, such as kitchens, construction or property.


The power of Google retargeting, image: Art Division

When it comes to property, homebuyers and tenants can spend days and weeks researching locations, prices, and the types of property available before making contact with an estate agent to book a viewing. The same goes for landlords and vendors – they often visit several agent websites before booking a valuation.

But how do you bring the visitors who failed to fill out an enquiry form back to your website?

Study after study has shown that the more familiar a brand or product, the more likely consumers are to make a purchase or send an enquiry.

If someone visits your website, you have already made the initial leap into their awareness. In the unlikely event of them converting immediately, your objective should be to stay in front of them in order to earn their business.

Retargeting (also known as remarketing) is a simple and effective way of achieving this, and allows a business to direct its marketing budget at an audience that is likely to convert.

1. What is retargeting?

Remember when you searched online for a special Valentine’s Day gift or a mobile phone case on Amazon, and ads for that product seemed to follow you around the web? That’s retargeting.

Traditionally, retargeting is used by big ecommerce sites, enticing you to complete an order or increase repeat visits and purchases. Often they would chase you with banners containing the exact product you looked at on their site.

But we are now successfully using this approach in the property market as well. If a tenant has looked at a few of your properties to rent but hasn’t booked a viewing, that particular tenant can be chased around the web with dynamically-generated banners containing the exact properties they looked at, encouraging them to book a viewing. Likewise, if a vendor visits your site but doesn’t book a valuation, that vendor can be chased with a banner encouraging them to take action.

How does retargeting work?

Every individual visit to your website is recorded by a piece of code known as a cookie. These pieces of code, which are available from both Google (including YouTube) and Facebook (including Instagram), are the foundation stones of any retargeting campaign. They allow website owners to compile lists of the type of visitors you receive. In the case of estate agents, this could be landlords, tenants, vendors, or those interested in purchasing a specific type of property.

To run retargeting on Facebook, you need to have a minimum list size of 100; to run a retargeting campaign on Google, the pot needs to contain at least 200 prospects.

When setting up a remarketing campaign, it’s advisable to create a series of banner adverts with a specific sales message aimed at the audience you have defined. For a banner ad to deliver a return on investment, it should link to a custom-made landing page on your website that is designed to encourage your audience to take a specific action, such as ‘Book a Viewing’, ‘Book A Valuation’ or ‘Register Your Details’.

Like property, retargeting comes in many forms. But the most cost-effective way to use remarketing is in the space your sales targets are already in.

Facebook Retargeting

On any given day more than 1 billion users log in at least once to Facebook, making it the most popular social platform in the world.

Facebook’s retargeting efforts have come a long way since it introduced its Website Custom Audiences (WCA) tool at the start of 2014. The WCA tool allows advertisers to capture onsite user behaviour data and target those people with relevant ads on Facebook.

But the real breakthrough came with Facebook’s dynamic product ads. Used alongside the WPA tool, these ads help any business to promote relevant products to people who have visited its website or mobile app. For estate agents, we can now remarket to buyers or tenants with the exact properties they looked at on your website.

The advantages of DPAs include the ability to:

  • Set up your campaigns once and continually reach people with the properties they looked at on your website, if they haven’t booked a viewing yet.
  • Reach targets with adverts on any device they use, regardless of their original touch-point for your business.

While DPAs are favoured by ecommerce advertisers, they can greatly benefit businesses that do not rely on online sales, such as estate agents.

Here at Art Division, in one of our campaigns, we used Facebook remarketing to attract landlords who were looking for a property valuation. We managed to generate 20 enquiries for a £460 investment, which amounts to only £23 per enquiry.

We run several dynamic remarketing campaigns for clients, which not only increase the chance of conversion from a website visitor to a viewing request but also provide a point of difference when talking to potential vendors and landlords. So a remarketing campaign can help you increase your viewings AND attract more stock.

Google Retargeting

Google AdWords retargeting enables sites to show targeted ads to users who have already visited their site. Past visitors will see these ads while they are browsing the web, watching YouTube videos or reading news sites, ensuring your brand remains familiar to them. This will entice visitors to come back for more.

Similar to Facebook, you can use this approach to encourage buyers, tenants, vendors or landlords to return to your website and take action, be it filling in a form or calling your office.

You can create different Google remarketing lists. For example, you can choose to go after people who have searched your properties for sale with ads, showing them the exact properties they have looked at and inviting them to book a viewing. Or you can go after vendors who have visited your sales-related pages with a banner inviting them to book a valuation.

Google retargeting also gives the impression that your business is bigger than it is and is proactive. This, in turn, helps to build trust and increases the chance of conversion. The beauty here is that your visitors will see your ads on sites they visit, even if those sites have nothing to do with property. The idea is to increase your touch points with each and every prospect, increasing your return visits and enquiries.

Need help ?

We can help with the set up and running of a retargeting campaign

If you need help creating or modifying your current lead generation or social lead generation strategy, you can book a strategy call with Nelly here...

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