We’re not going to lie, we rarely used to recommend Display Advertising (or programmatic) for marketing your multifamily apartment communities. Typically the digital marketing budgets within the industry don’t leave a lot of room to play around with platforms that cast a wider net and are not seen as direct response. However, with digital budgets within the industry increasing and the technology on display attribution evolving, we have seen some recent success with generating high quality leads using programmatic advertising.
Recap: Marketing Budgets Through the Years
So just how much are digital budgets increasing? Reports on this vary. Dating back allI the way to 2010, the results of a Property Solutions International, Inc survey quoted that the “average monthly marketing spend reported for 2010 was $20 per unit and $2,845 per property, with an average property size being just over 140 units.” It was determined that 53% of budgets were spent online. From a study done in 2013, the average online-only monthly marketing spend was $1,023.71. Fast forward to 2016, Rental Housing Journal quoted the average marketing budget for lease up properties was $275/unit/year ($68,750 per year or about $5,730 per month. This was for every single marketing channel (website costs, email services, PPC, SEO, customer surveys, tracking services, referral fees, promo supplies, events, etc.). Not a ton of budget per channel once you divvy this all up. And that is just for a lease up, for stabilized properties that cost was about 63% of that, $43,50 per year ($3,645) on a 250 unit building. An article published by NAA in January of this year predicts a shift in resources, “As apartment marketers look to spend on digital strategies in 2018, traditional avenues could continue to lose traction.” What does that mean? More room for cooler toys, and we think display should be on that list while still making the most of your budgets. To achieve this, here are our top tips for programmatic/display advertising within multifamily.
Tips for Today’s Programmatic/Display Advertising for Multifamily
Make sure your website is properly setup to track events, conversions and view through traffic. Depending on what ad server you or your agency is using, make sure you have tracking pixels set up on your website to track view throughs, virtual tour views, contact us form fills, direction buttons etc.
As always, pay attention to your creative. Make sure you are leading with high quality images and a strong call to action, featuring what is unique about your property. Track performance by creative to see what is working the best.
Use UTM codes. Look at how the traffic from the campaign is interacting with your website, but keep in mind this isn’t the full picture. View through traffic is the other half of the story and can’t always be tracked in Google Analytics.
Think about your frequency cap. You don’t want to annoy prospective tenants, but in general you can hit users with your ads more frequently than you think.
Finally, splurge on your data. Certain data providers will provide a list of everyone that your ad was served to (usually first and last name). Match this back with your guest card data to how many of those people you have a record of. Keep in mind these people are likely to have also got hit by other advertising channels you are running to, but we have seen as high as 11 leases in 3 months that were influenced by a programmatic campaign.
Have you set up your campaigns and need a second set of eyes, or need help setting one up from step #1? We’d love to be your guide!