Have you ever gone online to book a flight or a car rental and noticed that for days, and even weeks after, you see banner ads from Air Canada and Enterprise on almost every single website you visit? The same goes for your searches for hotels, insurance companies, furniture stores, and banks. These businesses that are figuratively "stalking" you around the web have discovered the great power of retargeting.
What is Retargeting?
Retargeting allows you to market exclusively to the people who have already visited your website. You may have also heard the term "remarketing". Remarketing traditionally refers to email-marketing campaigns; however, it is now synonymous with retargeting, thanks to Google.
If you own or manage rental communities and apartments and you have a rental website, there is nothing holding you back from replicating the same strategies that your favourite airlines, hotels, and rental car companies have been implementing for years.
(Don't have a rental website? I highly suggest you take a quick read of my colleague Malcolm Mo's recent article on the importance of having a rental website: 4 Reasons Your Rental Website Beats Any Listing Site. If you do have a rental site, keep on reading!)
Retargeting is not likely to be the "be-all/end-all" of your marketing efforts, but it's a fairly savvy tool that can give you a nice edge over your competition and can help you achieve low-risk marketing ROI without breaking the bank.
Why is Retargeting So Awesome For The Rental Industry?
1. Pre-qualified audiences are the best audiences
As opposed to other SEM (search engine marketing) options, with retargeting you are marketing to a qualified audience, which is superior to settling for just a targeted audience.
Rather than guessing at certain demographics, trends, and keyword searches, retargeting campaigns simply serve your ads to people who have already visited your website. Even more specifically, they can be targeted at people who have visited specific pages of your website.
A typical rental website (if built correctly) should showcase your properties as though they are products. Your property page is akin to a product page with details, photos, and prices for your property. Your city pages are akin to your "store categories" pages that list all your properties in that city and allow the user to filter based on price and features. This natural segmentation works great for retargeting as you can choose to serve specific ads, with specific messaging, to audiences that viewed your properties in specific cities.
2. Most of the time your ads are completely free
Google will serve up your display ads thousands of times per week for free. "Impressions", as they are called, don't cost you anything. It is only when a user actually clicks your ad that you will be charged. But here is the catch, users only click on ads less than 1% of the time meaning that 99% + of your served ads are actually pro-bono.
3. When it's not free, and people click, it's fairly inexpensive!
When a user does click through, display network marketing is still relatively inexpensive compared to traditionally SEM search campaigns. In the rental housing industry, display retargeting campaigns will typically only cost between $0.30 and $0.80 per click; whereas, many search network campaign clicks on apartment-related keywords (ie. "Ottawa Apartments") will cost between $1.50 - $4.00 (depending on the market you are competing within). This cheaper acquisition of visitors to your website can bring your cost-per-lead (CPL) down significantly. If you want to learn more about CPL and acceptable rates to pay – I recently wrote an article that you should check out called: How Much Is an Online Rental Lead Worth?
How to Get Started With Retargeting?
If you have the internet and a credit card it is possible to setup yourself from a Google AdWords account – but without watching a significant amount of how-to videos on YouTube or previous experience using ad words, it may prove to be challenging.
If you need help setting up a retargeting campaign or have questions about how it can benefit your business, feel free to reach out to me and I can help point you in the right direction.
If you made it this far down the page, you deserve a treat. Make sure you turn up those speakers and dim the lights. Here's the video to The Police's great hit, "Every Breath You Take". Now this is a real example of "stalking"!