Advertising has evolved to the point where it’s more of an exact science than a best-guess scenario. With the ability to target specific audiences based on their unique needs, you have a high probability that your ads will be seen by your exact target audience — especially when you use Facebook advertising.
To help you to create effective ad campaigns that target renters on Facebook, we’ve put together a list of available targeting options. You don’t have to use them all, but rather you can choose the ones that help you meet your campaign goals.
It’s worth noting that while access to precision targeting on Facebook is extremely helpful, there’s been some concern that these features make it easier to discriminate against certain groups of people. In fact, HUD is suing Facebook for discrimination.
We’ve tried to provide you with all of the best practices that also comply with the law to make sure that your ads don’t discriminate against anyone. That being said, we aren’t lawyers, so we still recommend that you discuss any targeting options with your legal team to make sure that you’re in the clear.
Use compelling ad copy to target renters on Facebook
The first step in targeting renters on Facebook is to understand your audience. You spend time talking to them about their needs at open houses or during the buying, selling or renting process. You may even follow their conversations and comments on social media. Take all of the information you get from these interactions and incorporate it into your ads.
For example, if you have a new rental to promote, consider highlighting special features that you know renters will appreciate like “waterfront view” or “central location” in your ad’s headline and description to get your audience’s attention.
Renters want to feel as though their need for a specific kind of property is being heard and you’re not just trying to sell them something that doesn’t meet their requirements. Talk about the features and amenities that matter most to your audience to attract them to your properties.
What to do
Don’t run just one ad hoping to target all of your target renters. Create multiple ad sets in your ad campaign so that you can run ads with copy that targets different kinds of renters.
In your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard click on “Create,” select an objective, and then click on “Create Multiple New Ad Sets.”
Enter Audience details, the ad Placement, Optimization & Delivery Strategy, and the Budget & Schedule. Then click “Continue” to enter in ad details for each ad set you want to create. Use this section to differentiate your copy between each ad set for each target group.
Define your ideal audience
The Lookalike Audience feature lets Facebook show your ads to people who are similar to your current audience. Targeting Lookalike Audiences makes new targets more receptive to your ads.
Facebook reviews the types of people who visit your Facebook page and website and then creates a profile of sorts of who these people are — for example, where they’re from, their interests, the groups they’re part of and more.
If you want to get even more specific about who will see your ads, Facebook lets you specify which pages to look at to find target customers. For example, if you have a lot of traffic on your condo rental listings page vs. your residential home rentals page, you can get Facebook to analyze the traffic coming to the condo listings page so that your ads target people looking for condos.
What to do
As you create your ad set, you’ll need to create a custom audience to direct your pixel to. Click on “Create New” in the Audience section:
Then click on “Custom Audience”:
Choose “Website Traffic” from the list of options:
Then specify which type of website visitors to target:
Facebook can use its own user data to see what kinds of people visit your Facebook page. Your website is a little different. You’ll have to first install a Facebook pixel and add it to your website. This way, Facebook can see the types of people who visit and target more of these types of people.
If you have a large enough customer email list, select “Customer File” from the “Create Custom Audience” view and upload an Excel spreadsheet. Instead of letting Facebook automatically decide who sees your ads based on traffic characteristics, you specify what types of people to target based on your customer list.
Incorporate detailed targeting once you know your audience
The Detailed Targeting feature lets you specify who among your audience will see your ad campaign.
When you advertise rental properties, chances are high that you know the areas they’re located in very well. As a result, you have lots of insight into the types of audiences who are more likely to rent them. For example, if you specialize in rental properties in residential neighborhoods — like houses or townhouses — then include people interested in parenting in your targeting. This way your ads are seen by people who have families and are interested in the types of amenities residential neighborhoods offer.
It’s important that you look at targeting as inclusive. To fight back against discriminatory ads, Facebook is removing thousands of targeting options.
Going forward, when you think about how to target prospective customers, think of targeting as a way to make sure that the people most likely to be interested — regardless of their beliefs, politics, etc. — will see your ads.
What to do
Detailed targeting gives you lots of options and combinations to choose from. The better you know your target audience, the more focused your targeting is. For example, focus on just demographics, interests or behaviors at first. Track how different ads perform and then start to combine options. You can target people who are newly engaged and interested in food and drink if those two categories perform well for downtown condo rental properties.
With detailed targeting, you can ensure that your ads are seen by the right people. This improves click-through rates since your audience sees exactly what they need.
Target renters based on their location
You can attract renters on Facebook by targeting them based on the city they live in and their proximity to your available properties. You can even refine your targeting further so that the people who see these ads are either everyone in the location, people who live in the location, people who recently visited or people who traveled there.
This ensures that the people most likely to be interested in your properties see your ads and can contact you. Whether your ad is seen by longtime locals or newcomers to the area, think about the impact of them seeing an ad advertising rental properties close to where they spend time. This highly personalized engagement might be enough to spur them into taking action, whereas without a targeted ad their thoughts would have been nothing but wishful thinking.
What to do
In the Location field of the Audience section, specify the geographic region your listing is located in. You can use the map to specify which area your ads should be seen in and how large of a radius it should be:
Or you can type in the exact city or address you want ads to appear in:
You can even add in a location variation — include nearby cities or exclude certain areas within a city — to better manage the multiple geographic locations your ad will be seen in.
Use retargeting to re-engage your audience
The majority of people visiting your site and seeing your ad for the first time won’t convert and become customers. There are a lot of other realtors and rental properties vying for your audience’s attention. You need to show your audience your ad more than once for it to stand out in their minds.
The more your audience sees your ads, the more likely they are to convert. They’re more familiar with who you are vs. a brand-new prospect seeing your ad for the first time.
What to do
To target people who’ve been to your site at least once before, use the Facebook pixel you’ve installed on your site and create a catalog of the rental properties you want to show your audience again — using dynamic ads. Let’s say you want to target people who saw ads for condo rentals; use your catalog to store this information so that you can use the properties in your ad.
In the Audience section of your ad set, choose “Create New” and select “Use info from your pixel or app to create a retargeting audience.”
Next, choose the retargeting option. For example, choose “Upsell Products” for people who landed on your listing page but didn’t click to make an appointment or contact you. Finally, enter, in days, how long it’s been since your audience visited your site. Do you want to target people who were on your listings page 10 days ago or more?
Making this powerful tool work for you
With Facebook targeting, you can reach the exact audience members who match your rental properties. This precision takes out the guesswork and makes your advertising efforts a little more predictable.
Remember though that targeting is only powerful when used mindfully. Use Facebook’s targeting tools to create inclusive campaigns that are fair.
Once you’re comfortable that your ads aren’t inadvertently discriminatory, experiment with what type of targeting results in the most click-throughs. As your audience’s needs shift, change your approach to accommodate and to make sure you’re still getting a steady stream of potential new customers.