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The Remodeling Contractor’s Guide to Instagram Ads
Social media marketing isn’t a new concept, and I’d even say it’s now mainstream. But while the majority of it happens on Facebook, there’s another platform remodelers should be taking advantage of: Instagram.
A rule of thumb in marketing is that you want to put your brand where your audience is spending its time. For a remodeler’s target audience, that place is Instagram.
Here’s an example: The other day, I was at brunch with a friend of mine. We got on the subject of a home remodel she was planning, and when I asked if she’d found a contractor, she said, “I’ve seen a few on Instagram whose work I LOVE.”
And get this—she’s not the only friend of mine that’s shopping for a home remodel this way.
But, there’s a catch: while Instagram is great for remodelers, on average, users miss 70 percent of the posts in their feed. What that means for you is that in order to take advantage of Instagram, you need to use paid ads.
And when it comes paid Instagram advertising for remodelers, there are four key factors for success, which I’ll break down in the rest of this article:
- You need to provide enough visual inspiration for someone to make basic design decisions before even visiting your site.
- You need to choose the right advertising objective based on your business goals
- You need to target the right people
- You need to supplement your ads with organic activity
Inspiration Is The Foundation Of Instagram Advertising Success for Remodelers
Three key statistics aptly sum up why Instagram marketing is so effective for remodelers:
- People remember 80 percent of what they see, compared 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.
- Adults age 35 to 49 spend an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes a week on social media
- 35 percent of US adults age 30 – 49 are on Instagram, and 60 percent of those users visit the site daily
Open the app and you’ll see why Instagram is so popular—it’s all of the things people like on Facebook without the political rants and “what city should you live in?” quizzes. And when it comes to ads on Instagram—they just don’t have the same skipover effect as ads on other platforms. I’ll go as far as saying they’re downright enjoyable.
But, before you get started, there’s something you need to understand:
Historically, a big part of the architect or designer’s role was to mock up potential layouts, introduce material options, and essentially provide prospects with a virtual picture of what their project could look like. Today, that phase happens before they even visit your website. There are so many online tools out there that let you virtually paint walls, lay out a room, and even swap out potential countertops. That means your consumer is more educated than before. I know our remodeling clients never thought consumers would come to them so full of (realistic) ideas.
What this means is that your Instagram ads need to provide enough visual inspiration for a client to effectively make basic design decisions before even visiting your site.
This calls for a cohesive, effective strategy.
Creating a Cohesive Instagram Advertising Strategy for Remodelers
Your first—and most crucial—step in a cohesive Instagram advertising strategy is selecting the right objective.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so ads run through Facebook’s ads platform. You’ll see a lot of the same capabilities, like targeting. Currently, you’re able to use the following objectives with Instagram ads:
- Brand awareness – Shown to people most likely to engage with and remember your brand
- Reach – Shown to the most people in your target audience as possible
- Traffic – Shown to people most likely to click through to a website
- App installs – Shown to people most likely to install your app
- Engagement – Shown to people most likely to engage with your photo
- Video views – Shown to people with a history of engaging with and watching videos
- Lead generation – Shown to people most likely to fill out a lead form
- Conversions – Shown to people most likely to carry out a specific action on your website
Not all of them are best for remodeling companies. Based on our client results and our observations, these are the best Instagram ads for remodelers, and examples of how to use them:
Brand Awareness: This is a key aspect of building your brand on Instagram. These ads aren’t connected with a goal on your website—the goal is to get as many people in your target audience as possible to remember your brand. If you want to become a household name or if you are a small business fighting a few Goliaths in your area, this ad objective is key. Our social clients have had the best results with time-lapsed project videos and lifestyle ads, similar to the one below:
Traffic: Instagram is a great discovery tool, but you need to somehow get your audience off the platform and over to your website. Instagram traffic ads are great for that. When someone clicks the link under your photo they’ll be taken to a specific page on your website. For remodelers, these ads work best when you pair them with project photos and link to the photo gallery and project pages.
Lead generation: If you want leads off of Instagram, this is the way to do it. With a lead form ad, users fill in the answers to predetermined questions, right there on the Instagram app. It works because of how convenient it is. One strategy we like to use is gathering leads for an email marketing list, since email marketing traditionally has a higher lead-to-sale ratio than social media.
Conversions: People on social media aren’t very likely to make a big purchase decision while they’re scrolling through their feeds. They will, however, download an ebook on kitchen design, claim an offer, or request more information. I recommend using conversion ads on your absolute best content and work produced, because it has to go the extra mile and convince someone to contact you.
Targeting the Right People
Your second hurdle is targeting the right people. One of the most attractive features of Instagram advertising is the extremely specific targeting options you can choose from:
- Location — You can target by global regions, countries, states, cities, postal codes, or addresses
- Age — You can target a specific age range
- Gender — You can choose to show your ads to all genders, men, or women
- Languages — You can choose the primary language of people who see your ads
- Demographics — You can target or exclude people based on their household and lifestyle details
- Interests — You can include or exclude people based on their interests, their activities on Facebook, the Pages they liked, and related topics
- Behaviors — You can target people based on their purchase behavior, device usage, travel behavior, activities, and more
- Connections — You can target people who are connected to your Page, app, or event
- Customer information – You can target people whose information—like email and phone number—you have
- Website information – You can target people who have visited certain page on your website. This is called remarketing (or retargeting)
Only you know your target audience best, so only you can build your perfect audience.
Taking Your Instagram Strategy to the Next Level
You can’t just promote one Instagram post and expect the leads to come rolling in. No, you need a complete strategy that uses paid Instagram ads as well as ground-level organic promotion tactics. For example, you should be encouraging homeowners you’ve done projects for to share photos of your work. An easy way to do this is to ask at the moment of reveal. Volunteer to video a “first look” reaction. People LOVE sharing moments like these on social media, so encourage it! Offer to take a photo of the homeowners in their new space. Or, simply ask them to share your work.
Who are the influencers in your industry? By reaching out to them and forming a relationship, you can easily create traction on your posts. This extends to bloggers, Instagram stars (yes, they exist) and even your manufacturers.
Take the account @wellbornwright, from architectural surface manufacturer Wellborn + Write. They are actively—and continuously—tagged by home remodelers all over the area (see below). Even though they don’t do home remodels themselves, their photos are stunning, tell a story, and completely capture the art of what they do. And that’s the point.
The whole reason people are on social media is to discover and connect with others around them, and that goes doubly for brands. There is an art to what you do, or else you wouldn’t be a business owner. Your company has a story behind every project, every piece of cabinetry you choose, and every installation. Your clients have stories—very few people I know have hired a home remodeler because they felt like spending half a mil. I challenge you to find them. Find the stories and find those images that speak 1,000 words.
If you can identify the art in what you do and figure out how to represent it with imagery, you will succeed on Instagram. If not, contact us give us a call and we’d be happy to look over your strategy.
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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