Instagram is considered to be one of the best deals Facebook got in on when purchasing for only $1b in 2012. If you’re doing Facebook marketing (which you should be), you can easily expand to Instagram marketing.
One compelling reason to get in on Instagram is that of the audience. With Millennials being the largest group buying homes and Instagram being the largest platform Millennials spend their time… You get the idea.
However, just because you’re succeeding with Facebook Pages, Groups, and advertising doesn’t mean those same tactics will carry over to Instagram. Instagram can bring a whole new pool and niche of leads in a cost-effective and efficient manner if done correctly.
Step 1: Be Organic & Authentic
Unlike paid traffic tactics and traditional advertising, Instagram marketing is very closely-knit to your actual Instagram account and its following. Users very well may visit the account responsible for the ad expecting more content like it, contact info, and possibly even a follow.
This is the most difficult to implement because, unlike a few of the next steps, it’s a process that takes time. You have to build trust, provide quality images, include your expertise and insights, and just about anything that naturally puts you in front of potential homebuyers.
Appeal to your audience
If you’re targeting millennials who just added a dog to the family and hope to raise a family in a new suburban home, you’ll want to be sure your posts are exciting enough to win their attention. Since the home buying market is over 30% Millennials, it’s safe that choosing your Instagram niche to revolve around the interests of twenty-somethings isn’t a bad idea.
The most popular Instagram accounts comprise of celebrities and lifestyle bloggers. An easy hint to take note of here is that Instagram users love high-quality photos of lavish lives. Using this to the advantage of gaining buyer and seller leads, an Instagram marketer could easily capture beautiful and extravagant shots of homes. Tactics like this make you an authority on these types of homes as well as gives your personal brand a boost so people are more willing to work with you over someone who has no online presence.
Some of the more popular real estate Instagram accounts are pushing out quality photos of homes that just hit the market, just sold, or even tips, tricks, and inspirational quotes useful for anyone looking to buy and/or sell.
Step 2: Engagement
Engagement on Instagram can help you build trust and attain leads.
Comments: Users are going to comment on your posts and your ads. It’s natural for people to request more information, tag a friend who may be interested, or even just comment on how cute the front porch is. This is the perfect opportunity to swoop in and engage with anyone who seems even slightly interested. It’s essentially door-knocking without knocking on any doors.
DMs (Direct Message): Business deals, introductions, agreements, and much more go down in the Instagram DMs than you’d ever believe. Anyone can be contacted through DM on Instagram by hitting the ‘…’ and proceeding to the ’Send Message’ option. Your average homebuyer won’t have more than 1k followers so this ensures they’re not being bombarded with DMs and other notifications which makes them the perfect prospect to directly message and sell them a home.
Stories: Although an Instagram Story by itself isn’t directly engaging with potential buyers, it can turn into a dialogue very easily if you want it to. Stories are meant to be the more candid and personable view of someone’s life, brand or company which opens up many possibilities for gathering feedback, asking for opinions, and nurturing relationships.
Step 3: Gather Leads
Everything discussed above is going to help gather leads. This section discusses how you can unorganically, but perfectly legitimately, get leads through Instagram advertising.
Since Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world with billions of users, owns Instagram, you have access to all their data and demographics when choosing how to target your advertisements. This means you can narrow down exactly who you’d like to see your content:
- Men/Women between the ages of 23-30
- Who make over $80,000/yr (important so they can easily be pre-approved)
- Who currently live in whichever county
- Who are likely to move
Yes. Facebook can pinpoint your ad to people who are Likely To Move. The data is incredible. The copy used on these posts along with the image(s) or video should be carefully crafted to be friendly and providing enough value to entice taps.
The full list of how narrow you can target an audience includes but isn’t limited to:
- Location: States, cities, zip codes. You may also show or exclude in any given location
- Age: Anywhere from 13 to over 65
- Interests: Based on people they follow and pages they’ve liked
- Behaviors: Usage and purchase history
Types of Instagram Ads.
The type of Instagram post you go with could greatly impact how well you get leads and how many of those eventually convert.
Your options include:
- Photo Ads
- Video Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Stories Ads
Here’s an example of a Carousel Ad:
You can see it includes the learn more Call to Action along with an indicator denoting the number of images that are left to be scrolled through to view.
Now that we have an ad up and running, how do we get these to convert?
Step 4: Convert
This is where the magic happens. We put a lot of time and energy into building some followers on Instagram and now getting some potential leads through our ads that have pretty high engagement thanks to our master copywriting and high-end photography. Once they hit this enticing Learn More CTA, how’re we getting them to turn into a warm (or hot) lead?
Normally, it may seem obvious to just throw your agency-provided, personal profile website behind the call to action. This could work but of course, there’s a better way.
When you invite a friend to your home before you’ve arrived and they learn you’re not there yet, they may invite themselves in, help themselves to a glass of water, and patiently wait for your arrival on your sofa. They’ve been here before, they feel at home, and they’re comfortable with you and your home.
When you invite a complete stranger over the situation would play out very differently. They will likely not feel comfortable enough barreling through your door and drinking all your water.
This is exactly what happens when you lead people to your website without a proper introduction and that’s exactly what a landing page is going to help prevent. The landing page will act as the introduction. When you invite that stranger over, the landing page is the welcoming smile at the front door offering you a beverage and inviting you inside for some tête-à-tête.
Landing pages offer specific copy that relates to the ad the user clicked. The page will also provide a form so they become a lead and leave them with the promised content or value as a reward for providing their information.
The funnel looks something like this:
- I’m in the market for a home. I’ll follow some real estate agents who seem trustworthy and have an awesome Instagram account.
- Wow! This agent compiled a list of the best three-bedroom homes in my area. I’d love to Learn More!
- What a beautiful webpage that tells me exactly what to do and why I’m here. I’ll gladly insert my email and phone number to access this agent’s content.
- Neat! I’m immediately directed to the list of homes I’m interested in. Maybe I’ll even get contacted to buy one of these!
As you can see, the landing page is the perfect gap between your content and your website. It’s a tool used to nurture relationships and build trust. It’s also, unfortunately, one of the most underutilized tools.
Here are some examples of effective landing pages that get conversions.
Tracking With Facebook Pixels
Since Instagram began allowing ads in 2015, the platform has really grown and become much more optimized for the current state of technology. Some indicators of this include Instagram’s in-app web browser which ensures a smooth browsing experience — it’s your job to ensure your landing pages and websites are mobile friendly since over 60% of web traffic is on mobile devices.
Although your ad and landing page are going to get you leads, you may be compelled to collect some data on these conversions in case your copy, forms, or any facet of your funnel is failing in the process of generating leads. Facebook’s platform allows for inserting a bit of code called a pixel into your website so you can see what users are doing after they tap your ad. Are they going through with the form? Bouncing? Navigating away?
Once you have the pixel in place you can measure the results of your ad more granularly and how users are reacting as a result of your ad. Viewing event details like conversions, sales, time spent on the site, and much more are invaluable for tweaking your campaign to work for you most effectively.
Step 5: Follow up
Now you have your leads. They seamlessly navigated through your well-thought-out and valuable funnel and are placed in the hands of someone they trust and who can help them the best, you.
Next steps might involve optimizing this process and getting into more advanced features of the business side of Facebook’s products. Things like cross-posting your ads on multiple platforms, creating corresponding pages, and deeper customization are all really great ideas for getting the most out of your campaign and bringing you the maximum amount of leads.
I’d love to hear about any luck (or frustrations) you’ve had with platforms like this and running ad campaigns. If you need assistance or find something outdated (or incorrect) in the post feel free to reach out. I have a passion for social media, technology, and mobile and especially how they all intersect with the real estate industry. Instagram ads will progress, evolve, and become more and more exciting in 2018 — I’m eager to see how you utilize it!