This is Part 3 of a 3-Part series on creating real estate Facebook ads:
- Part 1: Introduction to Creating Real Estate Facebook Ads
- Part 2: The Tools & Structure of a Real Estate Facebook Ad Campaign
- Part 3: [Your Are Here] Creating Your First Real Estate Facebook Ad Campaign [Step-by-Step Guide]
Welcome to the final part of this series.
The good news is that this is the part where you get to put the things that you have learned into action and get your ad campaign up and running!
To get started, the first thing that you need to do is log into Facebook and go to Manage Ads (Facebook Ad manager), and then click on the tab for Power Editor.
As I mentioned last week, Power Editor gives you more power over creating your real estate Facebook ad campaign, and I highly recommend using it. However, feel free to use Facebook Ad Manager to create and manage your ads if you would like to.
For the steps below I will be using Power Editor, so if you choose to use Ads Manager the steps will look a bit different.
In this step-by-step guide I will be breaking the ad campaign creation down into three steps – campaign, ad sets, and ads – but when you create your campaign you can complete all three steps at the same time.
Step 1: Create Your Campaign
As we talked about last week, an ad campaign is made up of three levels, the first of which is the campaign level.
To get started creating our ad campaign you will want to click on the “Create Campaign” button (see image above). The will bring up a screen where you will set the details of the campaign that you are creating.
You will select the following three things on this screen:
- The campaign name. You can choose between using an existing campaign, or creating a new one. Since we are setting up our first campaign, you will select “create new” for this option.
- The buying type. You can choose between “Auction” and “Fixed Price”. For now I would recommend that you go with auction.
- The objective. You currently have a choice between 14 different objectives. (see image below)
What Objective Should You Choose?
You can test out the different Facebook objectives to see which ones work best for you, but to start out with the most common ones for real estate agents to use are:
- Clicks to Website. This objective is used for getting people to view your website, or a specific page within your website. Facebook will optimize this ad to serve it to people that they believe are the most likely to click on the link.
- Website Conversions. This objective is used to not only get traffic to your website, but to track it based on a conversion. For example, it could be used to track what Facebook users make it to your website and sign up for an automated home search. Facebook will optimize this ad to serve it to people that they believe are the most likely to convert.
- Page Post Engagement. This objective is used to get more people to interact with your page posts, but not necessarily to get them to move from Facebook to your website. However, if the page post has a link to your site in it, they may click the link in addition to interacting with the post. Facebook will optimize this ad to serve it to people that they believe are most likely to interact with it (like, comment, share).
- Page Likes. This type of ad objective is used to get more page likes. This is the sole purpose of this ad. It includes a large “Like Page” button on the ad. (Note: All ads served to people who do not “like” your page will have a like button on the ad)
- Event Responses. This type of ad can be used extremely well for events such as open houses, or for something such as a client appreciation event. Facebook will optimize this ad to serve it to people that they believe are the most likely to be interested in your event.
- Lead Generation. This is a new objective that Facebook just implemented. It allows you to create a form that Facebook users can fill out right on Facebook so that they never even have to make it to your website for you to capture their info. Facebook will optimize this ad to serve it to people that they believe are the most likely to share their information with you. One interesting aspect of the Lead Generation objective is that your ads can only be served on mobile devices. Keep this in mind when creating your ad, and your form.
Once you have named you ad, choose a buying type, and set an objective, the last step in the campaign level is to click the “Create” button. You will then see the campaign level setting page, and can verify the information that you just input.
Next, we will create an ad set. To get started just click on the “ Create Ad Set” link on the upper right side of your screen. (See image above)
Step 2: Create Your Ad Set(s)
The second level of the campaign creation is to create an ad set. This is the level where you can set the following items:
- Optimization & Pricing
- Advanced Delivery
I covered each of these last week.
After you click on the “Create Ad Set” link mentioned above, you will receive the screen that you had earlier when you created your campaign level, except this time it will say “Create Ad Set” at the top.
You will select the following two things on this screen:
- Make sure that the campaign you just created is listed next to “Use Existing”
- Give your ad set a name
Note: Throughout this step-by-step guide I will be creating an example ad campaign to try and get more sellers to allow me to list their home. You will see that I have named the campaign “Generate More Listings” and my first ad set is named “West Side Homes”.
In this example I could use this one campaign to try to get listings in a number of different ares of town, the west side just being one such area. To achieve that goal I would create a new ad set for each area that I was wanting to target. (More on this below when we talk about audience)
Once you have verified that the correct campaign has been selected, and you have given your new ad set a name all you have to do is click the “Create” button. (See image above)
You will then be taken to the ad campaign settings page where you can verify that the ad set name, as well as the objective that you set in the campaign level, are showing for this ad set.
Now it’s time to set up all the details of the ad set.
First – You have to set your budget. You have the choice between daily and lifetime. For this example since I am trying to generate more seller listings on a recurring basis, I am going to use a daily budget.
Second – You have to schedule your ad. Once again since the goal of this example is to generate seller leads on a recurring basis I am going to set the schedule to start soon after I complete the setup and to continue running as an “ongoing” ad.
Third – Now comes the part of the ad set that has the most effect on the success or failure or your campaign. The audience section is where you get to choose who Facebook will serve these ads to.
You have the choice between using a new audience and a saved audience that you have already created. If you want to use a saved audience, just click on the down arrow next to the word “NEW AUDIENCE” and select the saved audience that you want to use for this ad set.
If you don’t have any saved audiences, or don’t want to use any of the saved audiences that you have, you can create and edit a new audience by clicking the “Edit Audience” button. (See image above)
Note: Placement is the fourth step in the creation of an ad set, and it will be talked about below the next two images They both focus on creating and editing a new audience.
To create a new audience, the first thing that you will set is the location of your audience. For the most part with real estate this will be your local city plus a certain radius around it.
For this example since I am only trying to target listings on the west side of town (I am using Colorado Springs, CO in this example since that is where I live) I am only going to select Manitou Springs + 10 miles (is is located on the west side of Colorado Springs). I would have liked to make it a bit less than 10 miles since a 10 mile radius covers ares not considered to be on the “west side” but 10 miles is the smallest radius that Facebook allows you to use.
Note: In the case that you want to advertise to multiple different audiences, you would create multiple ad sets that targeted one potential audience each. Then you could connect the same ads (or slightly altered ads to make them fit the audience) to each of the ad sets and this would allow you to run a multi ad-set multi-ad campaign.
Next you can select age. Since I am trying to generate listing leads I want to exclude anyone who may not own a home. In this example I am only targeting people 25+ as I don’t believe there are a large number of under 25 year olds in that area of town who own homes.
The next thing I can select is located in the “More Demographics” dropdown menu. This has things such as:
- Home (home ownership is an option here)
- Ethnic Affinity
- Life Events
This is where you can really begin to narrow down your audience. If you know that the audience you are trying to reach are homeowners who are married and are part of the baby boomer generation, you can use the “More Demographics” section to narrow your audience down to only people that fit that criteria.
Connection is next. This is where you can target the following:
- Facebook Pages
- Advanced Combination (see image below)
This can be used in a powerful way. For example, you could target people who are connected to a local business in the west side area, but exclude people who are connected to one of your competitors.
There are an unlimited number of ways that you can use the advanced combinations section.
There are also 4 more additional targeting options:
- Languages. Enter a language here if you only want to target people that speak that language
- Interests. Much like the “more demographics” section there are tons of options here. According to Facebook this section “can help you reach specific audiences by looking at their interests, activities, the Pages they have liked and closely related topics.”
- Behaviors. Same as interests, this section has lots of options. See which ones you feel will help you to best target you desired clients. According to Facebook this section can help you “reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents, device usage and more.”
- More Categories. This section is mostly unused.
Fourth – You have to choose the placement of your ad. For most ads you have the choice of the following ares (See image located 3 images above):
- Mobile Newsfeed
- Audience Network
- Desktop Newsfeed
- Desktop Right Column
- Instagram (only an option on a few objectives – see my post on Instagram advertising)
It’s up to you where you want to have your ads served. I would recommend that you feature them on the mobile newsfeed and the desktop newsfeed. The other options may make sense, and you should test them out in your business, but the newsfeed ads tend to be the most popular and most native feeling. That being said they are usually the most expensive as well.
Fifth – You have to choose what to optimize for. For this example, with an objective of clicks to website, we are given the following options:
- Link Clicks to Website/Pay Per Impression
- Daily Unique Reach
- Link Clicks to Website/Pay Per Link Click
Usually it is best to start out with the first option, which is what Facebook recommends, but if you want to test out different options you could duplicate your ad set and run 1 ad set for each of the optimization types with all other ad set options being the same. This would be advanced testing and I would not recommend doing it to start off with.
Once you have made it through these five ares of the ad set, you are ready to move on to create your ad!
Note: You will see an updated potential audience that reflects the criteria that you set during the ad set level. If the potential audience is larger or smaller than you were wanting, go make changes to the criteria you selected until you achieve the size audience that you are wanting.
Next, we will create an ad. To get started just click on the “Create Ad” link on the upper right side of your screen. (See image above)
Step 3: Create Your Ad(s)
After you click on the “Create Ad” link mentioned above, you will receive the same screen you had earlier when you created your campaign level, and also when you created your ad set level, except this time it will say “Create Ad” at the top.
You will select the following three things on this screen:
- Make sure that the campaign that you created in step 1 is listed.
- Make sure that the ad set that you created in step 2 is listed.
- Name your ad.
For this example I am going to name my ad “West Side – 01” so that it helps me to remember that this is ad #1 in the west side ad set. This will come in handy after the ad has been created and I duplicate it so that I can alter it for split testing.
Once you have completed these three things, click on the “Create” button.
You will then be shown the ad settings screen, and just like in the steps above you will be able to verify that the details of the ad (the name, and objective) are listed correctly.
Now it’s time to set up the details of the ad.
First – You must select the page that you want this ad connected to.
Second – It’s time to design your ad. You have the option to either create an ad, or use an existing post. For this example we are going to create a new ad.
The first thing that you will select when designing you ad is whether you want to use a single image, or a carousel ad. Facebook recommends the carousel, but I have had more success with the single image ads. You can test this out in your business by running 2 ads that are identical except that one uses a single image and the other uses a carousel, and see which one works best for you.
You are then required to put in the URL of the page that you want to send people to. For our example I would enter a URL that took them to a page about selling their home, and all the services that I provide.
You can also enter a display URL if you would like.
Why would you do this?
Let’s say that the page you were going to send people to was “http”//www.yourwebsite.com/about/sellers/what-is-my-property-worth/“ you may not want to display that whole web address. Instead you would just have it show “YourWebsite.com”.
Next is the “Text” section. This is what is displayed above the image, and under the name of your page. Try to keep this short and to the point.
A good method to use is to begin by asking a question that you believe will invoke a “yes” by your desired target market, and then follow that up with a few short sentences about how you can help with that.
After the text section is the “Headline” section. This is the text that appears just below the image, in larger font. One of the many benefits of using the Power Editor is that you are not limited on character count for the headline like you are with Ads Manager.
Below the “Headline” section is the “News Feed Link Description” section. This should also be short and to the point.
Next you can choose the image that you would like to be featured for the ad. If the URL that you are using has an image associated with it, Facebook will automatically pull in that image. However, I would recommend that you create a new image for this ad that speaks to the message of the ad.
Just remember to make your image 1,200×628 pixels for it to display properly. If you need help creating an image, use Canva. It is the best free image creation tool on the market.
The last section of the ad creation is to choose your “Call To Action” button. You don’t have to have one, but it is one of the benefits of running an ad. You can try out the different buttons to see which works best for you, but “Learn More” and “Contact Us” are two of the most popular options.
Note: If you would like to track this ad for conversions, and you have a Facebook pixel installed on your site, you can select it at the bottom of the Facebook ad settings screen.
Congratulations, you now have created an ad campaign. You have a campaign that has 1 ad set and one 1 ad living within it.
Taking It a Step Further
The real power in running ads is that there are lots of ways to test and tweak your campaigns to optimize them so that only the best ads are being displayed.
Don’t worry. It’s not really that complicated.
Now that you have your ad campaign created, the first thing that we will want to do is narrow down our view so that we are only looking at this campaign. If this is your first campaign you can skip this step, as there will be nothing to filter out. However, over time you may have lots of campaigns in your dashboard. Filtering down to view only the campaign you are working on is extremely important and can help to make the process less confusing.
To filter your view just do the following three things:
- Click on the “campaigns” tab on the left side of the screen
- Checkmark the campaign you want to filter (the campaign that you want to see)
- Click on the “Apply” button
Now that you have narrowed your view to only the one campaign that you are wanting to work with, the next step is go to the “Ad Sets” tab on the left side of the screen.
From here you will see the current ad sets that you have created as part of this campaign.
In our example we have 1 ad set, “West Side Homes” created. The next step is to create another ad set. The purpose for this is to be able to target additional audiences with the same goal in mind, to gain more seller listing leads.
You can do so in 2 ways.
Method 1 – You can create a brand new ad set from scratch. This would involve re-creating the whole ad set and setting all the criteria just like you did when you created your first ad set. If this ad set is going to be dramatically different from the ad set that you already have created, then choosing this method may be your best option.
To create an ad set in this way just click on the “Create Ad Set” button located to the top left of the ad sets dashboard. (See image below)
Method 2 – You can create a new ad set by duplicating the previous ad set. This will allow you to keep some of the settings the same, but alter others. This can be a great option if you are wanting to keep things such as the budget, scheduling, and placement the same, but want to change the audience.
To create an ad set in this way just checkmark the box located next to the ad set that you want to duplicate, and then click the duplicate button in the toolbar above the ad set dashboard. It has 2 little squares on it. (See image below)
You can repeat this process as many times as you need to create as many ad sets as you need for your campaign. Just remember, don’t make this too complicated. Don’t try to create a bunch of ad sets for every campaign that you run, especially at first.
Not all campaigns need more than 1 ad set. But for those that do, maybe just try to create 2, or at most 3, different ad sets for a single campaign.
Now that you have all of your ad sets created, it is time to create more ads to put in each ad set.
Depending on the ad sets that you are running, you may be able to use the same ads in each ad set. Some times however you may want to run completely different ads to different ad sets if those ad sets have much different target audiences.
In our example I would want to run similar ads to each area of town that I targeted, but I would want to change the image and some of the ad wording to make it apply to the area that my ad set was targeting.
You can create new ads in 2 ways.
First you have to navigate to the “Ads” dashboard, which you can find by clicking on the “Ads” tab on the left side of the screen.
Method 1 – You can create a brand new ad from scratch. This would involve re-creating the whole ad and setting all the criteria just like you did when you created your first ad. If this ad is going to be dramatically different from the ad that you already have created, then choosing this method may be your best option.
To create an ad in this way just click on the “Create Ad” button located to the top left of the ad sets dashboard. (See image below)
Method 2 – You can create a new ad by duplicating a previous ad. This will allow you to keep some of the settings the same, but alter others. This can be a great option if you are wanting to keep things such as the URL, Headline, and Text the same, but want to change the image.
This can also be used effectively even if you are changing large portions of the ad. In our example I would duplicate the ad I created and then change the image and the wording of the ad to make it apply to a new area of town. In this scenario I would choose to duplicate my existing ad, but put it in a new ad set (one I had already created). This would allow me to split test 2 different audiences, with 2 very similar ads to see which audience responded better to my ads.
I could also do the same thing and duplicate my initial ad for the west side, but choose to keep it in the same ad set. In this scenario I could just change something in the ad – like the image – but still target the same audience. So maybe I changed the picture to an outdoor scene of the Garden of the Gods (located on the west side). This would allow me to split test the same audience, and the same ad copy, with two different images to see which was more popular.
To create an ad in this way just checkmark the box located next to the ad that you want to duplicate, and then click the duplicate button in the toolbar above the ad dashboard. It has 2 little squares on it. (See image below)
Over the past few weeks we have talked about everything you need to know to get your first real estate Facebook ad campaign set up and running.
You have learned how to create your why and your what. You have learned what the different options are that are available to you for creating an ad. And now you have seen – and hopefully have tested out – what it takes to create a real estate Facebook ad step-by-step.
There are tons of options, and you can take split testing to insane levels so just remember this as you get started:
Keep it super simple.
Don’t overdo it.
Don’t jump in and try to test 20 variables the first time you create an ad campaign.
Start out with a single campaign that has 1-2 ad sets and 1-2 ads per ad set. This will give you a great start on the process and help you to get familiar with what works and what doesn’t.
And last but not least…
Let me know how it goes for you. Leave a message in the comments, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and tell me about your experience with creating your ads.
I can’t wait to hear about them!