In this blog we cover “How to Use Instagram Stories for Real Estate Agents”
Currently, Instagram claims that over 401 million people use their Stories daily. That’s a lot of users!
In fact, storytelling content as a marketing tool increased dramatically in 2018. Instagram pushed hard to promote their brand as a leader in storytelling marketing.
On top of that, Instagram introduced Stories Ads to increase its presence in the marketing industry.
The quick rise in usage and popularity bolted Instagram Stories is the key to Instagram itself.
How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Real Estate Brand
First of all, let’s explain how Instagram Stories works.
In a nutshell, Stories allows users to create feeds of sequential content which disappears in 24 hours after posting. The content for Stories includes video and static photos. Users use Boomerang to create videos or “boomerang” a saved pre-recorded video.
Also, besides Boomerang, use any of these Instagram apps to create your Stories:
- Adobe Spark to create graphics and videos;
- StoryMate offers a 3-step Stories video creation using templates;
- Over offers customized templates; and
- Hype Type a text and animation creator for videos.
Look at Instagram Stories as a secondary content feed to your dedicated followers. Add unique captions and overlays to make them stand out from traditional posts.
Instagram provides a boost to Stories by highlighting your profile photos with a purple circle to let your followers know you added a new Story. This prioritizes your content on Instagram.
The fact that every Story only lasts 24 hours creates a sense of urgency to view them. Especially since they appear as a “must see now” to your followers.
In addition, you can save your Stories on your homepage turning them into static content as a “Highlight”. Take a look at how Funko does it on their Instagram homepage. In fact, Funko promotes lots of highlighted former Stories in their bio.
How any Business Uses Instagram Stories
Business marketing campaigns use Instagram Stories in the following ways:
How-To and Tutorials
The sequential format of Stories allows you to create step-by-step, how-to content. From “How to Buy Foreclosed Properties” to “How to Qualify for a Mortgage” and much more. Instagram allows engaging with your followers in a way that traditional videos and blog posts can’t.
Samsung uses Instagram Stories for simultaneously engaging and educating its followers. Their tutorial Story explains step-by-step how to take beautiful photos with their Galaxy device. At the end of the video, Samsung created a Call To Action using the hashtag #withGalaxy to create opportunities for followers to become featured in their feed.
Sharing User Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) created by many brands sharing their Stories with followers.
Converse uses their hashtag “#FOREVERCHUCK” to showcase followers photos in a large Stories slideshow.
Publish your UGC’s in Stories so they don’t overshadow your main feed.
A fantastic new listing coming soon announcement with a teaser lets your followers know something big is coming.
For instance, Southwest airlines used Stories to promote their Shark Week with a teaser. Their first post showed a person in a shark costume with little content. It portrayed something special was coming involving sharks. It piqued the followers’ interest. Eventually, the Shark Week Story promoted their fleet of Shark Week planes following with a hashtag of #SharksTakeFlight.
These examples convey that any business using Stories opens the door for their imagination.
Creative ads with a specific message promoting your brand arouse interest.
Stories allow your creativity to create inspiring videos to promote your real estate brand.
Limited-Time Deals and Promos
Use Stories to promote time-sensitive offers. Also, highlight a listing’s lower price.
Whole Foods uses Stories with their “Delish Deals” showing off products on sale only for a limited time. They show the end date so followers know how much time remains to buy the product on sale.
Tips for Getting the Most out of Instagram Stories for Real Estate Agents
How do you get the most out of Instagram Stories? Take a look at these tips:
Nudge Followers to Your Stories
Instagram Stories with over 400 million users represents a little more than 40% of its 1 billion users.
Don’t be shy about asking your followers to view your Stories.
Here’s how Shake Shack reminds its followers about a new Story.
Create Readable Text
So many fonts to choose from, but which ones are easier to read?
If your text and captions on your Story photo are not legible your brand suffers. The sans-serif default fonts that Instagram offers is easy to read. But, many brands try to experiment by using different fonts and colors to attract attention.
It’s OK to experiment, but make sure their readable or not using clashing colors or look great on a PC, but not on a mobile device.
See how Starbucks takes the Instagram default font options and uses them on its own chalkboard to write crystal clear messages with short phrases
Creativity with colors and fonts makes your Stories stand out.
Make Your Visuals Stand Out
Create striking visual content in your Stories. After all, you only have a split second to catch a viewer’s attention. Try these techniques:
- Use bright contrasting colors in your overlays and fonts;
- Include a person or a face to stir quick emotional connections; and
- Capture interesting settings (like nature, landscapes, crowds, etc.).
Run a Stories Ad for Your Real Estate Brand
Many brands found success running Stories ads. Instagram offers a hyper-targeted ad platform for Stories. Allows you to use up to 10 videos or photos. A unique feature, the full-screen format, enables easier formatting and getting your targets’ attention.
Check out how Overstock runs a Stories ad.
View the Instagram Ad Specs to learn the best practices for Stories including:
- Using little or no overlaid text on your videos or images which give the ad maximum delivery;
- High resolution, full-screen sizes for your photos (recommends 1200 x 628 pixels; and
- Not relying on autoplay video or audio since most Story ads seen without sound.
Thus, Stories paid ads perfect for brands working with a budget to create bite-sized commercials.
However, don’t forget the importance of knowing your target audience before spending money on Stories ads.
Examples of Successful Instagram Stories
Food for thought by viewing these successful examples of Instagram Stories:
Tell a story. Motivational stories come from your happy clients and followers.
Look at Fitbit for a motivational campaign called #MyReasonls. This hashtag encourages followers to share their reasons for becoming fit to get a chance to appear in a future Story. This user-generated content campaign demonstrates the power of virtual storytelling.
Influencers and solo brands use Stories to let their followers’ journey with them.
For example, Marc Ritz, an influential travel blogger, showcases his world-wide travels with spectacular photos of his travels he shares with his followers.
The Instagram community loves these types of organic photos on the go.
Events, conferences, and conventions tailor-made for Stories. Attend interesting, educational events should interest many of your followers too.
Funko shows off cosplayer and conventions happenings in this Story that followers like.
Step-by-step tutorials teaching your followers something they want to learn.
Ipsy uses Stories to create beautiful tutorials and monthly “mood boards”. Their collage style posts filled with inspiration and tips in a single photo created a hit with their brand.
The authenticity of brands creates support. The best way to “get real” with your followers means taking them to your previews and your office or other typical daily routines.
MailChimp ran a successful day-in-the-life Story. It worked so well they ran more similar Stories.
Create Stories on a Low Budget
You don’t have to spend a lot of money producing your Stories. A smartphone and following the Instagram best practices is all you need with a little creativity.
Now that you learned how to use Instagram Stories for real estate agents, ask yourself this question.
What to Do with all the Commissions You Earn Using Instagram Stories
After launching successful Stories leads to increasing your followers and leads, what will you do with all the extra commissions you earn?
In a previous post here we explained the benefits of using Instagram to increase your business. Here.
Keep More Commissions for Yourself
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Keep more commissions with our low transparent fees such as:
$3,600 per year paid in three options – Annual, Monthly, or After First Transaction.
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Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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