Instagram is an amazing platform to see what people are up to. You can look at IG stories or start stalking someone for hours without even realizing it. In fact, the average Instagram user spends 53 minutes per day on the platform [Source]. For real estate companies, it means visibility with real estate Instagram ads & promotions.
In real estate, Instagram is quite awesome. Why? It allows companies to share beautiful pictures and videos of their properties. Let’s be honest though, the competition can be quite fierce for Instagram ads. It’s why we recommend all our clients to double down on quality content and to use a strong Instagram ads agency.
If you are looking for one of the strongest real estate Instagram ads playbook, take a look at ours!
Why advertising on Instagram?
With over 1 billion active users on IG, it’s no wonder your company should run real estate Instagram ads. The more eyeballs you have the more chances you have of finding a buyer.
While Instagram does have a lot of eyeballs, it’s also quite untapped when it comes to real estate. It’s nothing new that real estate buyers want to see as many quality pictures of the property they want to buy online, yet only 14% of realtors are active on Instagram. In fact, it’s also fair to say that images play a big role in the decision process of buyers.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the world of real estate Instagram ads by giving you tips based on our experience at SH1FT. We’ve ran Instagram ads, promotions and done a lot of content for clients including 3D models for apartments.
If you are looking for some solid Instagram promotions, I would recommend that you take a look at our best Instagram ads example.
1. Set realistic goals
Although most companies advertise on Instagram to generate leads, some might want to focus more on visibility or social engagement. You might also want to have a specific sub category of people which would affect the goal you are going after.
Generally speaking, brands have the goal of generating leads, awareness or engagement. It’s really important that you find this before getting started because it’ll be hard to know if you are on the right track without it.
Instagram has many different objectives, here’s a list of them:
By choosing the right Instagram ads goal before getting started, you’ll be able to truly create a strong real estate Instagram ads strategy. For example, you’ll be able to choose your ad format (carousel, story, feed), creative (video, image) & copy. All these elements are crucial to running a successful campaign.
It’ll also help you analyze your results and improve them based on your goal. You might see that an Instagram ad is giving you way more visibility per dollar spent or a higher amount of leads per dollar spent. By having your goal, you’ll be able to keep the right ads.
2. Focus locally
When setting up your real estate Instagram ads, you’ll realize that the amount of possible audiences is almost infinite. Through the cluster, real estate owners should focus on location targeting above all else. Why? Someone in California will most likely not be interested in your property in Boston.
The even cooler factor when it comes to Instagram ads is the ability to be super precise with your targeting. You can target people by using a zip code or by clicking on the map and then setting a radius around. This way, only the people in this area would see your advertising which should greatly improve your real estate lead quality.
In our experience, it’s okay to broaden your Instagram location targeting. If people buying your properties often come from another city then don’t hesitate to target those people too. For instance, people selling cottages might target the closest cities since their buyers come from there.
If you want to learn more about location targeting, take a look at our article on the subject. We have a sweet little method to be ultra-precise with our targeting. You’ll love it!
3. Target wisely
Although location targeting is quite awesome, it’s just the beginning of great Instagram & Facebook ads targeting. You should also cater to your past customers to find their average age range, income and so on.
Depending on the property you are selling, you might be looking at people making a certain amount of yearly income to qualify. For instance, a luxurious $10M home might not be relevant to someone making $50,000 per year.
It’s actually pretty easy to set up some strong targeting on Instagram. You could try to target men 55+ who travel frequently for example. There are tons of options to choose for your targeting: education, job role, relationship status as well as a long list of interests such as golf, etc.
We also recommend that you take a look at your Instagram audience size. In our experience, we try to aim for a broad audience rather than specific or broad. An audience too small will limit your ability to scale which is the last thing we want.
4. Solid real estate Instagram ads hashtag
Hashtags are quite important for your real estate Instagram ads strategy. It feels like everybody is doing it but paired with paid advertising it can bring way more engagement. You have seen to this Instagram strategy has to have a ripple effect on your results.
Some of the best Instagram marketing campaigns have hashtags inside of them. They can really add fuel to your results like fuel to fire. I hope you are convinced by now, so let me dive into how you can leverage hashtags for your real estate Instagram ads campaign.
To choose strong hashtags, we recommend using hashtag research tools such as Hashtagify. Those tools utilize tons of data to see which ones are the most popular for your brand to use. At SH1FT, we also have our manual research strategies to do things well:
- Test hashtags you find from just finding ideas
- Go find your top competitors post and steal some of their hashtags
- Have hashtags of all size: 10 small, 10 medium and 10 large (30 hashtags per post limit)
With these tricks in your Instagram bag, you are bound to find a few hashtags that bring results to your real estate Instagram campaign. Although you can use 30 hashtags, we recommend not overusing it. You can add between 10-15 hashtags per post and that should be enough!
5. Carousel real estate Instagram ads
When it comes to real estate Instagram ads, you want to show as many different angles as possible of the property you are trying to sell. When choosing amongst all the different Instagram ad formats, the carousel is always a good choice for real estate.
With carousel ads, you can showcase multiple images as if your property was presented as a catalogue. For instance, you can show the outside of the property as well as the different rooms. You can also showcase multiple properties in the same area as their best picture.
Here’s an amazing example from Mansion Media showing one amazing mansion for potential buyers. The pictures are quite amazing and they’ve used the 10 pictures available for catalogue. They have a picture of the outside and the best rooms inside the mansion.
So don’t limit your advertisements to one plain image! Rather, get creative with angles to show your audience the full picture so they can see themselves living at that property.
6. Leverage Instagram video ads
We can’t talk about Instagram ad formats without mentioning real estate video ads. Those ads are quite powerful because you can show more with a video than you can with images. You also have the ability to create a certain feeling around the property you are trying to sell. Apart from that, video’s are quite powerful to draw people in.
In fact, a real estate group has seen 4 times better results with video ads than image Instagram ads. It means that they were paying 4 times less for their leads. If you have already created videos for your brand, then you can use it again to run some ads. Just make sure your video is compelling enough to entice your prospects to contact you!
7. Throw some lifestyle images
Instagram is full of beautiful images, and some of the most beautiful ones are often what we call “lifestyle” images. Those are images that make the viewers dream a little. Now, you don’t need to have a mansion to have amazing pictures.
In fact, if you get a good photographer, you can find the angle of the property that makes it charming. The goal here is also to understand what makes your buyers tick. Maybe they love beautifully renovated bathrooms or the style of the porch? Anyhow, there’s a way to add this to your Instagram real estate ads.
You can even tell a story around your property in your Instagram ad. Going beyond writing the metrics (although important) can go a long way. Remember, people buy on emotions and it’s about your ability to convey emotions that can make a true difference. By having lifestyle photography on your Instagram ads, you’ll compel your users to want to learn more.
As you can see, these images portray an angle of these properties that are quite amazing. Yes, these properties are great but not from all angles.
8. Leverage past customer’s testimonials
It’s nothing new that people trust what other people are saying. Just think about how word of mouth works, people love looking at what other’s have purchased. It’s why we always recommend our clients to gather testimonials from their past buyers. In real estate, trust is of the utmost importance since people don’t buy a home every week. It’s often a very important decision for most.
For instance, you could have a carousel of all the top properties you sold with a rounded picture of your client with short words from them next to it. You could also a video of your clients saying how happy they are about working with you as a retargeting ad.
By setting up testimonials as an Instagram ad creative, you’ll be able to take the people that are already interested in the property to want to actually contact you.
9. Simple & efficient ad copy
Although most of the article was focused on having strong images for your advertising, it’s important to also have great ad copy. When it comes to real estate Instagram ads, you’ll need to be precise yet tell a story. You should give just enough information to get people curious but also draw their emotions in with a story.
It can be confusing because a part of your ad copy needs to be simple & direct yet another needs to elicit emotions. We recommend telling the customers the square foot, location, bedrooms and other key information. On the flip side, we recommend keeping certain information like the price to push them to enter their email address on your landing page after.
As you can see, this property was given a fairly straightforward description that is easy to consume. They didn’t add an element of the story but their clear ad copy makes up for it. Remember that people on Instagram scroll pretty rapidly and the information given needs to be easily readable.
10. Seasonal Instagram ads spending
If you have running your real estate business for a quite some time, you might know that some seasons are better to sell homes. It’s always better to spend your money at the best seasons to get the most of your spend. When leads are scarce, it’s not the time to spend as you’ll get a lower return on ad-spend.
Most real estate owners would actually do the opposite to get more leads on their lowest month but they shouldn’t. They should spend when things go well to add fuel to the fire. To run a successful Instagram ad campaign, you need to plan it in advance to reach the right audience at the right time.
If you don’t have past experience to know the best times to run ads, then you should focus on weather conditions. People prefer buying homes when the weather is great. When it’s fairly hot and the sun is out, people tend to want to visit more homes and buy.
What’s amazing is that you can schedule all your Instagram campaigns in advance inside the Facebook ads manager. This way you can prepare everything and then let the ads run without having to touch anything while it’s running.
You can even schedule your Instagram posts inside the Instagram creator studio in advance in order to match the best moment to run ads.