You’re probably focused on running paid advertisements through Google AdWords, Facebook, and local media (magazines, TV, radio, etc.)
Chances are, you do this because it works, and frankly, because it's what everyone else does too. It's predictable. It's scalable. And most importantly, it gets results.
If you don’t know how to use them, there’s lots of training available online.
There are people in the industry who have already “cracked the code” on how to make these platforms work and be profitable.
And that’s what makes them so attractive: people know about them.
There’s no risk when you choose to advertise through these mediums.
With the right skills and effort, it’s going to work.
It’s not a matter of “if” it works, but “when.”
And on a side note: have you ever stopped to think if you were one of the first people to use them?
Imagine being one of the first people to use Google Adwords.
You would have purchased clicks for pennies.
Right now, there's one platform that's being neglected and you can be one of the first to get on it.
It’s rejected because people simply fear the unknown.
That platform is Instagram.
Most real estate agents right now are looking at it from a surface level.
They think it’s associated with funny memes, stories, and the famous DM.
At first glance, it's not somewhere you’d do business in
And the people who are known for making money on the platform are usually influencers in the modeling, bodybuilding, culinary and artistic space.
That's why local Realtors are quick to dismiss it.
They think it's something millennials use to show off their weekend or to take pictures of what they're eating.
This blog post aims to break that point of view.
When used correctly it is a powerful platform that can target a very specific set of prospects that you are looking to attract.
Since the majority of realtors are not using the platform, by understanding the fundamentals you can have a competitive advantage against your competitors.
We’re going to teach you exactly what makes Instagram different and how you can position yourself to fit the demographics that are present within the platform.
So let's dig in...
Why Instagram Ads?
According to statista, Instagram has 800 million users (and it keeps on growing).
With so many people scrolling their thumbs on the app, there's no way that you can't possibly find the customers you are looking to attract.
And the best part about the platform is... the engagement of its users.
According to Instagram, 60% of people discover new businesses on the platform and 75% of them take action after they see a post.
In the world of marketing (and in an ever noisy world) those are very high numbers.
Now, like other platforms, the more people use it, the noisier it becomes.
If you want to stand out you need to take a different approach.
Building up your audience organically can take years of hard work and dedication.
And to be honest, it's almost impossible to do it that way these days.
The whole concept of “ keep putting out content” and “hustle” are outdated.
These days it's not about grunt work and massive quantity.
It's about the quality of content you produce and the strategy behind it.
And to get that right you need to understand your customers on a deeper level.
The Psychology Of Users On The Platform
If there's one thing you need to understand about Instagram is this:
It was built so people could easily share visual content with each other.
Before Instagram, people would take pictures on their phones, and keep them there.
It was hard to store, organize, and link this content to other people.
Instagram made it easy to share and connect with people.
As time went on, they introduced videos and stories which were two other things that people began sharing with each other on a larger scale.
So when advertising on there, know that text doesn’t really cut it on this platform.
You’re going to get much better results if you use an attention-grabbing image or video.
Now, don’t get us wrong, you still need good copy that appeals to your prospects deepest pains and connects with them on an emotional level.
It's just that people expect images and videos here.
It’s why the platform was built in the first place.
Now, another thing to take into consideration is the demographics
The platform is mostly used by younger folks.
55% of users are in the range of 18 - 29 years old.
28% of users are between the ages of 30 - 49 years old.
This means that you're mostly appealing to millennials or the last of the baby boomers.
As a real estate agent, this is great news for you because these demographics are within the range of people who are starting a family, buying their first homes, and have a genuine need for your services.
And most importantly, remember that people are on there during their free time.
They use the platform to take a break and catch up with their friends.
Therefore, the best way to advertise on the platform is to keep things interesting.
Just don't make it seem like an ad.
Developing Your Strategy
This is where we want to kill all the bad advice that you've been given.
Most of the gurus keep telling you: “keep pumping out content.”
The problem is that when you follow this advice…
You wind up publishing a large volume of low-quality content.
They create content that has no value and substance.
Content that’s not going to be genuinely useful for the people that are reading and watching it.
That's why you need to have a strategy behind your actions.
From our experience, it's best to create one high-quality piece of content and promote it through paid ads to the right people.
And when advertising on Instagram here are the things you need to take into consideration:
Put yourself in your clients shoes
Remember: people are quickly scrolling through their feed.
There's no time for long introductions and explanations.
You need to get your client attention fast.
This is done by making a strong impression in the first few seconds of your content with visual elements that stand out.
You need to hook users in that time frame.
Because those few seconds will make or break your campaign.
After you’ve done that, you need to give them a reason to keep watching.
We recommend you follow one of the most common copywriting formulas.
PAS: problem, agitation, solution
Your goal should be to identify their pain points and provide them with the best solution at the end.
- What am I promoting?
- Who am I promoting it to?
- What are their pains and problems?
- What are the objections they have?
Finally, don't forget to focus on one problem at a time.
A lot of realtors get excited when creating their ad and end up talking about a lot of different things.
This can cause overwhelm and confusion to the person that's seeing the ad.
Remember to focus on:
- 1 person
- 1 problem
- 1 solution
Creating Your Ad
As of now, Instagram has various advertising placement options.
For this particular blog post, we're going to be focusing on Instagram story ads.
Effective online direct response follows three principles.
- Get traffic
- Convert them into customers
- Make a profit
Now, when people are scrolling through their feed, they do so at a fast pace and usually take a quick glance at the content that’s available to them.
Most usually don't click on the content unless it's to give it likes.
That’s why advertising on a feed is great if you want to increase your brand awareness.
Yet, not so great if you want to convert them into email subscribers and customers.
It’s simply because this ad placement doesn’t stimulate that type of response.
However, with Instagram stories, we see something different.
Every piece of content takes up the users entire screen.
It's also where influencers go to promote products and services.
Therefore people are used to clicking on links within this section of the platform.
It's the place on Instagram where “ business is done.”
That’s what makes it the ideal spot to place your ads.
The best way to create this ad is to give the option to click and load a mobile website directly inside the Instagram app.
This gets rid of the need for people to leave the platform and to see your website.
In simple terms: you make it for the person to learn more about your services.
And this is exactly what the modern buyer expects: convenience.
Remember: the ad is the first part of the process.
You also need to give them something of value in exchange for their contact information.
That’s why you need to create a lead magnet and landing page.
The funnel looks like this:
Ad > landing page with lead magnet > thank you page > receives offer via email.
Let’s start with the ad first.
Here’s how you can create a stories ad for your business:
Go to your Facebook business page and click on “create ad”
Choose traffic as your main goal.
Then, once you have set up the people you wish to target, budget, and other factors.
On the adjustment section click on Instagram > stories
Be sure to remove everything else and only have stories selected.
Now, as you mentioned before if you want to have good results with Instagram and then you need to focus on visual content.
However, most real estate agents aren't skilled in editing videos
Luckily, today there are websites such as promo.com that allow you to create videos with relative ease.
We recommend you go to that website and create an Instagram story video that:
- Is visually appealing
- Hooks the viewer in the first few seconds
- Identifies a painful problem
- and provides a solution
Now, once you have the creative aspects down, you need to be able to redirect your potential customers to a specific page where they can receive your lead magnet.
Most people get hung up at this stage because of the technical difficulties.
That’s why we recommend using MailChimp's landing page builder.
It's easy, intuitive to use, and gets the job done.
It's drag-and-drop and will give you exactly what you need to get results.
Remember: the simpler it is the better.
That's because if you have too many elements on the page, users get distracted.
Make it easy for them to get what they came for.
Once you have all of these things and please, it's time to start running your ads.
Measuring Your Ads Success
While there are many ways to figure this out, we like to keep things simple.
First, identify how much you are willing to pay for a new client.
From our experience, always work with a least a 2:1 ratio.
For example, we’ll spend up to $1000 to land a $2000 deal.
Next, keep track of 3 things:
- Number of clicks to your ads
- Number of clicks to email subscribers (20%)
- Number of email subscribers to clients (1%)
These are conservative metrics.
This makes it a great baseline to work with.
Therefore, always aim to get higher numbers and never go below them.
As long as you stay within those percentages and achieve a 2:1 return on your ad spend, then you should be profitable.
Instagram is one of those platforms that people still haven't “ cracked the code” yet.
That's why you don't see many real estate agents advertising on it.
Unlike other social media platforms, it focuses on engaging users with visual content.
The demographics are composed of millennials and late baby boomers.
They're a smart crowd that doesn't like being marketed to.
However, they do like it when brands engage with them in a creative way.
That's why we recommend you create story ads.
and when creating them, remember:
- Hook the reader's attention in the first few seconds
- Identify their problems and solve them
- And get them to sign up for your lead magnet
If you stick to the fundamentals - you will get results from this platform.
And since you'll be one of the first to advertise on there - you'll have a distinct competitive advantage.
The people who get their first are the ones who reap the most benefits.