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Apartment Guide: Utilising The Facebook Marketplace

25 October 2019

Placing your adverts in the Facebook News Feed is an easy way to put your brand in front of your potential customers. As the viewers are already engaged with the feed, they're more likely to receive and digest the message on this format in comparison to TV or print advertising as the people often switch off, or don't see it in the first place when delivered through traditional marketing channels.
Beyond this, there is another feature that Facebook offers to businesses which can allow them to fully get the most out of the news feed.
This is known as the Facebook Marketplace, which can be added to a business' News Feed placement. A perfect example of how to take advantage of this can be seen in the case of Apartment Guide's use of the feature. The business's rental listing service added the Marketplace to their ads which doubled their property enquiry conversions when compared the ads in the News Feed alone.
Apartment Guide is an established brand that serves as not only a point of information for property questions but also actively helps people looking to find a property decide where they'd like to live. The company's apartment listing harnesses advanced search capabilities alongside industry insights to provide a simple and clear guide to renters on apartment living.

What Was Their Objective?

Prior to this campaign, Apartment Guide often utilised Facebook ads but they wanted to trial the Marketplace feature so that they could compare the effectiveness of it to their current marketing efforts. Specifically, this feature was chosen as it promoted a range of properties whilst making it simple and convenient for renters to show interest in listed properties.
Measuring the results of a marketing decision is essential for analysing the effectiveness of a campaign. Therefore, the company set up a Facebook conversion brand lift study so that the marketing team could see how much of an impact the new Marketplace ads generated when combined with a News Feed placement. 
Facebook ads give a brand the ability to target lookalike audiences, these are based on custom audiences of people who had previously enquired about the business's products or similar ones. In this case, this feature was used to identify people that had actively sought out more information on high-value properties as these people would be more likely to proceed if they saw an advert.
To measure the results of this, the Facebook pixel was placed on the Apartment Guides' website. This is a piece of code that follows users as they visit a website and records various pieces of information - such as the amount of time they spend on a certain page and the content/services they interact with. For Apartment Guide, they used it to record the information entered by renters when they enquired about a property - otherwise known as a lead submission.
These adverts were delivered in a carousel format which allowed multiple apartment complexes to be shown at one time within a single ad unit. Only the most important information about the property was displayed such as the rent alongside exterior and interior photos.
Two tests were conducted with randomised groups made from the campaign audience. The first test showed that the ad placement in the News Feed alone resulted in a 17% increase in more conversions when compared to customers that didn't see the ad at all. Whereas the second test saw an increase of 34% in more conversions when customers saw both the News Feed ad and the Marketplace ad placement when compared to customers that didn't see the advert.
As shown by the numbers, use of the News Feed placement plus the Marketplace ad doubled the lift during the process of the campaign. There was also a 45% decrease in cost per incremental conversion when the two placements were used together. 

“By adding Marketplace ads to our current marketing mix with Facebook, we were able to extend the reach of our campaigns to additional in-market audiences. The extra reach and increase in frequency reinforced the value of our properties, and it allowed us to continue to feature properties we thought the renter might be interested in." - John Thornton Senior Director of Performance Marketing, Apartment Guide

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