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9 minute read

So you’ve taken the leap and embraced the fact that Facebook, and all other social networks currently dominating the digital space, are pay-to-play.

In your case, maybe ‘taken the leap’ translates to boosting a handful of posts living on your real estate Facebook business page. Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to set up your Facebook Business Manager, with the intention of targeting beyond your Page likes to reach custom audiences.

No matter where you’re at in the process, it’s important to approach next steps as strategically as possible. There’s hard earned money at play here, after all. This is to say that if you’re putting ad spend behind posts for the sake of Likes (and Likes alone), you’re likely not coming at Facebook advertising from the most efficient business angle.

Priming the Facebook Advertising Pump with Content

As a real estate agent, your end goal when talking to any potential client is to represent them in their selling and/or buying endeavours, correct?

With that being the case, think of every digital marketing move you make, every post you distribute across Facebook—or any other social channel—as a necessary step for conversions. In addition, keep in mind the number of touchpoints it typically takes to actually convert a potential customer (Salesforce claims it’s 6-8).

You wouldn’t expect to approach a complete stranger on the street, offer them a discount or trial of your real estate services, and immediately expect a positive return from the interaction, would you? These individuals likely have no prior knowledge of who you are and—perhaps most importantly—may not even be in the market for what you have to sell.

These are not odds that will end up working in your favour.

And applied to Facebook, the same rules apply. When you’re targeting users through interests, demographics, and location, these will likely be individuals that have yet to be introduced to your real estate brand.

Facebook Ads: Define your audience by including or excluding demographics, interests and behaviours.

Because of this, approaching ad creative from a conversion standpoint probably won’t yield high performing results. This is where ad funnels come into play, and more specifically, ad funnels that start with content.

What Role do Testimonials Play in Facebook Advertising?

Testimonials and case studies on behalf of your real estate business are powerful persuaders in and of themselves. In fact, online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions. They’re essentially as good as a personal recommendation and certainly much more impactful than your words as the business owner, alone.

If you’re trying to convince potential clients that your services are worth pursuing, let your past clients do the talking. They’ve walked that similar path in deciding who to partner with in selling their property and have weighed the pros and cons of agent competition.

Ultimately, they achieved what they wanted to in partnering with your business. That’s something worth sharing.

With regards to Facebook ad funnels, think of your testimonials as those first tiers of introduction. They serve to bring awareness to your business in a more natural, convincing way. Once they’ve been circulated around, in a variety of forms, you can begin to get in front of users with ads that are more focused on the hard sell.

Steps to Building a Facebook Ad Funnel Using Testimonials

From a high level, structuring your Facebook ad funnel to potential sellers may seem pretty straightforward.

First, you’ll want to engage audiences with a soft awareness piece. This could translate to a brand or agent overview, a neighbourhood tour, new development, or case study video.

You’ll then want to expose the individuals that have engaged with your video content and shown interest with business-specific testimonials. You’ll then time out your ads to ensure that, at the bottom of the funnel, your audience sees some sort of conversion-based ad.

Easy enough, huh? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of Facebook ad funnel orchestration.

Top of the Funnel: Launch a Video Ad to Warm Your Custom Audience

At the top of your Facebook ad funnel sits the video ad.

The main reasoning behind a focus on video is that:

a) video marketing creates strong customer engagement, and

b) you can retarget viewers.

If you’ve yet to dabble in video as a real estate agent, there’s no better time than the present. Download one of the many smartphone video apps available on the market, then point and shoot.

It doesn’t have to be the more perfectly polished creation, as long as you approach the subject matter with purpose. Case studies are a great place to start in developing video content that showcases your businesses’ selling points naturally.

Create a New Campaign

In Ads Manager, you’ll want to start by setting up a new campaign. Label it accordingly and select Video Views as the objective.

Next you’ll want to work out a budget. This step will be crucial to the success of your future ads in the sense that you’ll want to have a big enough pool of viewers to retarget. Set a daily budget that projects to enough viewers to fill up your ad funnel.

Create the Custom Audience

If you’ve yet to set up a custom audience prior to campaign creation, no need to worry. You can create it without leaving the campaign interface.

Preferably, use a warm audience you’ve seen success from targeting in the past. This could be one generated from a custom list, website visits via Facebook pixel, or otherwise. You can even create a custom list based on audiences that have engaged with your Facebook Page in the past.

Set Location and Placement

As a real estate agent, location is certainly a high value targeting category for your audiences.

Narrow in based on what makes sense for your territory. You can then leave demographics like age and gender at their defaults since your custom audience list already embodies those who have shown interest in your business.

Assuming that your video is between 30 seconds and 5 minutes in length, they won’t be applicable to Instant Articles, in-stream videos, or the Audience Network. You’ll instead want to focus video placements on Facebook feeds and suggested videos, as well as the Instagram feed.

How You’re Charged

For the sake of retargeting audiences that have shown a reasonable level of interest, choose to optimise your ad delivery by 10-second video views. Then choose to be charged by each 10-second video view unless the cost per view gets too high for comfort.

At that point, you might instead choose to be charged by impressions.

Upload the Video for Your Ad

The last step of the process is to select your ad creative.

Upload the video if you haven’t already, and be sure to lay out headlines and video detail accordingly.

If working with a case study video, for example, you’ll want to quickly highlight who the customer is, what they were looking for from a  selling perspective, and what the end result was.

Middle of the Funnel: Launch an Image Ad to Engaged Video Viewers

The next round of advertising in your Facebook ad funnel will be geared at those who have shown interest in your business based on video views. You’ll want to use a set of image or carousel ads with a focus on additional testimonials at your disposal.

Create the Second Campaign

Again, you’ll want to label the campaign in a discernible way to distinguish it from the rest of your funnel. This could be something as simple as ‘Testimonial’. Your objective for this campaign should be set to Reach.

If you have multiple testimonials available to feature, consider staggering them on different days of the week. This way, you don’t exhaust the retargeted audience with the same content on repeat.

You can set this up within the budgeting and scheduling section of the campaign, set up by choosing to run the ads on a schedule. Select days and times based on when your audience is likely to be most active on the platform (based on data you can find in the Facebook Insights for your page).

Create the Custom Video Audience

The audience for your second portion of your Facebook ad funnel should be focused on those who have watched at least 50% of the video surfaced in the first ad. Choose to Create New Custom Audience and choose the Custom Audience option.

You’ll then choose to create the custom audience based on Engagement followed by Video. At this point, you’ll be presented with video options to select from. If you have more than one video audience that you want to be included, you’ll have the option to group together multiple audiences.

Set Location and Placement

Set location according to territory and leave all other targeting options (i.e. age, gender, detailed targeting) to their defaults.

For placement, focus in on Facebook feeds and Instant articles, as well as the Instagram feed.

Upload the Creative

The final step will once again involve setting up your ad creative. Upload images accordingly, along with corresponding, engaging text.

You can choose to also link to your website with a “Learn More” call to action.

Bottom of the Funnel: Launch a Conversion Ad

The last piece of the puzzle is all about conversions.

At this point in your Facebook ad funnel, you’ve narrowed in on interested audiences to a point where pushing a harder sell makes sense. Or at the very least, it makes more sense now than it did two ads ago. The key at this stage comes down to timing.

Say that you choose to circulate your second round of ads Monday through Friday. You’ll then want to set up your final round to surface Saturday and Sunday.

Create the Final Campaign

Name the campaign accordingly and give it a reach objective, similarly to how you had set up ads in the middle of your funnel.

Run the ads on a schedule as you did previously, with a focus on days that come after those selected for ads in the middle of your funnel.

Choose the Custom Audience

For the audience, you’ll want to focus on the same custom group targeted previously. This time around though, it’s already been created for you from before. Choose the video engagement custom audience.

Set Location and Placement

This will mirror setup done for ads in the middle of your Facebook ad funnel. Make sure to set the frequency cap at three impressions per day.

Set up the Offer

Keep it simple. For your conversion ad, consider a ‘What’s my home worth’ style ad.

Final Thoughts: Building a Facebook Ad Funnel Using Testimonials

Approach advertising on Facebook as you would any potential client on the street—as a thoughtful, multi-step, relationship-building process. In doing so, you’ll find that positive ROI becomes as easy as counting to 3.

Ready to put full-funnel Facebook ad strategies to work for your real estate business? Contact the Stepps team today.

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