Real Estate Ads: 5 Tips to Make Yours Stand Out on Instagram

Architectural visualization on a mobile phone. The image show a street view with lots of like icons over the screen.

Great images are the mojo of digital marketing. But how do you create thumb-stopping real estate ads that stand out, grab the attention of your audience and make them lean in? Believe it or not, there’s actually statistically proven methods that do the trick and significantly increase the chances of your visualizations to be seen.

Is social media a part of your marketing strategy? Doubtlessly, yes — after all, that’s where your audience is. With roughly one billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. But it’s a crowded landscape, so if you want to cut through the noise and make the most of your marketing budget, read on. 

The past years have shown us just how important digital marketing skills are to your business, and this certainly applies to the real estate industry as well. So what are the secrets to finding success on Instagram and crafting campaigns that convert? That’s a question that Facebook has the answer to and we’ve put together their most effective discoveries. Here are 5 actionable tips for you to start creating compelling social media content — ads that people click:

1. Stop the scroll

The basis of all successful communication is understanding your audience. In this case: acknowledging that the majority of your audience is scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram feeds with a smartphone in their hands. Your task as a marketer is therefore to make that thumb stop. Which, these days, is a lot harder than it sounds.

One of the best ways to keep people from swiping past your ad and missing your message, is to check that your ad looks good on mobile. Maximize your chance of getting noticed by using images that are either quadratic or vertical in format — these formats take up more space in the your audience’s feeds, which simply means that it takes a longer time to scroll through. Ultra-practical but nevertheless often overlooked: make sure that the visuals in your advertisements are crafted with the right screen in mind.  

Architectural visualization on a mobile phone of 400 Lake Shore Drive for SOM, an office building during day light in semi areal view.
Which screen catches your attention? Just like in real estate: you want to utilize it all — whether it’s an Instagram story or a post in your feed. 

2. Capture with motion

A powerful way to captivate your audience is through motion. If you don’t have the assets to run a video campaign, you can always incorporate motion by animating text or creating a slideshow. While big, flashy effects and video can be impressive, the most important part is that there’s some element of movement in your ad. And just as for the still images, go for the vertical or quadratic format. 

“The battle for hearts, minds, dollars and likes is won (or lost) in a split second.”

3. Make every second matter

The way we consume media has changed forever. As mobile has become an integral part of our daily lives, the battle for hearts, minds, dollars and likes is won (or lost) in a split second. This is why you need to be quick on social media. Three second-quick.

If you want to make sure that your message is seen by your audience, it should be displayed within the first three seconds of your ad. This is a somewhat reversed strategy if you think of traditional TV-spots, where you often have the key message in the end. 

4. Invite your audience to engage

Today there are formats on both Instagram and Facebook that let you add polls directly to your ads. This is a staggeringly effective feature to engage your audience, but also a way to actually get to know them. Why not ask which color on a building they prefer or what interior design style is their favorite?

Facebook’s data speaks for itself: the companies that succeed in engaging their audience, they are the winners in the advertising race in the long run.

Architectural visualization on a mobile phone, in splitscreen, of Region City for Jernhusen, an masterplan during dusk and evning light in areal view.

5. Quality is worth the cost

The last but perhaps the most important tip of them all: great quality and creativity pays off. Facebook has run tests showing that pictures play a crucial role in whether people remember the ad or not. In other words, stellar images can be the difference between making a sale, or your ad not converting at all.

So simply increasing your media budget is thus not always the answer — diving into creative ideas and ensuring the quality of your images might give you a bigger bang for your buck. 

“If your ad is not read, it won’t stimulate any sale. If it’s not seen, it cannot be read. And if it does not command or grab the attention of the reader, it will not be seen!”

— Larry Allen on “Creating Ads That Sell”

The biggest takeaway

We are inundated with beautiful and powerful images throughout the day. Strong visuals have also long been a communicative linchpin for the real estate industry: they’re effective drivers of your audience’s behavior, but also what the they’ve come to expect. So the stage has already been set for brilliant and captivating image-driven content — both to grab attention, and drive engagement.

However, it’s important to think carefully about how and where your images will be used already at an early stage — for example when you plan a photoshoot or before visualizing a project. Do you have both portrait and landscape images? Can you convert your animations to a square format? And how do you create that wow-factor in your ads? Covering these types of questions early on ensures that you maximize the value of your visualizations. 

Moreover, the ideal formats and image sizes for each network change as new technologies and features are rolled out, so make sure to keep up-to-date with both the platform and how the changes can potentially have an effect on your campaigns.

As a final note: If you’d like to dive deeper and learn more about how to get the most out of Facebook marketing platforms, have a look at Facebook Blueprint where you’ll find numerous online courses. Did you miss this year’s F8 conference? No problem, you can still check out the F8 Refresh keynote and sessions on demand. 

Now, are you ready to up your Instagram ad-game? Make it count!

Explore our visualization library