How to Use the New Instagram Guides Feature In Your Real Estate Business
In this episode Jennifer shares tips and ideas around how to create cornerstone content that helps you get found online and then re-purpose that content using the new Instagram Guides feature.
Well hello there, you’re listening to the women rocking real estate podcast, I’m so happy to back on the air. You may have noticed that I’m publishing less episodes these days and I so appreciate everyone that has reached out and all of you that have left me amazing reviews. Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere, but this year I am going to be launching a youtube channel. Hey I preach about you guys doing it, so I have literally spent the last 6 months learning everything there is to know about youtube and the formulas and the algorithm and the do’s and the don’t’s.
Alright you know me, I don’t like wasting time, so let’s get to it. Before we do though…..
If you are one of my coaching clients you are not allowed to listen to this episode, because it is a shiny object that will only get you distracted from implementing your Big 10 in your business. So turn this podcast off, stay in your lane with your blinders on and focus on what we agreed you’ll be working on.
As for the rest of you, today we are going to be chatting about yet another new feature that Instagram has released called Guides. I will be posting a youtube video on how to actually create one step by step, so you can check out my channel to watch that.
What is Instagram Guides?
Been around since May of last year but only recently rolled out to everyone Kinda like a collection of posts that all relate to the same topic.
You can create three types of guides: Places, Products and Posts. For us realtors, we’ll be mostly using the places and posts types.
In order to create a guide You need to use existing posts, reels or IGTV videos to create them so you can only create a guide from posts you’ve already created. No you can include posts from other peoples pages as well, but ideally you want a lot of the content inside the guide to be your original content.
Why is it a great new feature for Realtors?
It allows you to resurrect old content and get it working for you again.
It allows you to create value with your content. Instead of just throwing content together for the sake of posting, if you are thinking you want to create a guide, you’ll have to be much more intentional about the types of posts you’re uploading. It will force you to have a bigger purpose for your content and I love that. I think so many of us do it backwards. We feel like we should be posting something, so we try to think of something to post. Whereas if you start at the end and think about what you want to ultimately create and then figure out what posts you’d have to make to put it together, that’s much more efficient and purposeful
Alright before we get into the nitty gritty of how we can actually use this new feature in our real estate business, I really feel the need to back up the bus and put some parameters in place.
You should not spend time and energy implementing this new feature if you do not already have a solid core content strategy in place. You will hear this from me over and over again and it’s that real estate agents are infamous for spending an inordinate amount of time on social media creating posts and stories thinking it’s going to help them grow their business and attract leads. In the vast majority of cases it won’t. Why?
Social Media Platforms are not search engines.
People do not go onto Instagram and do a search to try and find a real estate agent.
Where do they go? To google. If someone wants to educate themselves on the process of buying or selling a home, they don’t search on Instagram for that information. They search it up on google which is the biggest search engine in the world and often they will also look for information on YouTube which is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and it’s owned by Google.
So the very first thing that you need to be focus on in your business if you want to start attracting leads without door knocking, cold calling or bugging your friends and family for business is to figure out how to GET FOUND. The fastest way to grow online leads is to go after what I call the low hanging fruit first, and create real estate specific content that people are actually searching for. To do this, you research what people are searching for and then you create that content, so that they find you when they’re searching. They are the low hanging fruit. They are warm leads who are already in the market and they are actively searching for someone just like you. Make it easy for them to find you. Where’s that? Your website.
You’ve got to have your core content optimized on your website first. What is that content? It’s your about page, it’s your services pages, it’s your neighbourhood and community pages and it’s any pages you have dedicated to the type of properties you want to specialize in and farm. If you want to specialize in new development, you need to have pages on your website dedicated to every new development project in your area. If you want to be the main listing agent in some condo buildings, well you need to have dedicated landing pages on your website that go into great detail about those buildings. I have one page on my website that I created about 8 years ago and it generates about 50% of the online leads I receive. One page that I haven’t touched in years and it still ranks number one in the search engines when someone googles it. When you’ve got the right content on your website and you have figured out how to get it to rank high in the search results, it is a money train that will work for you on autopilot for years. Would you rather generate leads on autopilot in the background or would you rather get on the marketing hamster wheel where you’re constantly having to work to generate leads?
Once you have your cornerstone content done, the next content you need to prioritize is blog content. If you’re not creating blog content or you’re not being strategic about the type of content you’re creating, you’re missing another opportunity of attracting that low hanging fruit. One mistake a lot of realtors make when creating content like blogs, is when they write about things that interest them. Once again, you need to create content that people are searching for. Now there is a whole strategy around how to figure out what type of content you should create and I do cover it in detail in my ATTRACT Coaching program, but I will completely hijack this episode if I go into more detail.
My point here, is that I don’t want you to do any of this stuff I’m going to be talking about in this episode until you have your core content basics down pat. Focus on getting found first. If you don’t have a solid foundation of core content on your website, that will help you get found, you shouldn’t be focusing on your social media strategy. Yes of course social media content is important but only AFTER you’ve got your core content strategy nailed down and it’s starting to generate business for you.
Alright the other thing I want to emphasize when it comes to creating any type of content is that I want you to start thinking about creating content that is going to work for you in multiple ways, not just one. The key is to try as much as possible to create one piece of content and then to repurpose that content across multiple platforms and use it in different ways to kind of squeeze everything you can get out of it.
I promise there is a method to my madness and I am going to get to how all this works with Instagram guides, but we have to back up before we get there.
Let’s use a real live example to see how those would all work.
Let’s say one of the things you wanted to specialize in your business was lakefront properties in a particular area. You want to be known as the go-to agent for anyone looking to buy or sell a waterfront property on the lakes in a region.
The first thing you would need to do is create a landing page on your website for each and every lake that you want to focus on. This is called cornerstone content. So if there’s 10 lakes in that area, you’d create 10 pages on your site and then you’d provide everything anyone could ever need to know about the lake, the community, the types of properties, the fishing, the water depth, the boat traffic. Everything.
Once you’ve got the content set on the page, Next you would create a YouTube video about that lake and the community. You would turn all of the written content into a video for people to learn visually. Well now when anyone searches anything about that lake, if you’ve done it right, chances are high that your website will rank pretty high in the search results.
But we don’t just want to use that content once on your website. We want to repurpose that content across other platforms. So we post that video on Facebook and on LinkedIn and on IGTV on Instagram.
The next thing you might do is write a blog about your Favourite 5 places to visit on the lake. In that blog you would reference the lake numerous times and link back to your cornerstone content page. Say one of your favourite places was an ice cream shop and another was a home design and decor shop. Well you would feature both those business in your blog with links to their site. From this piece of content, you would create a graphic about the blog and you would post it on your Instagram feed with a link to your blog article. You might also create an Instagram reel highlighting the five favourite spots and again referencing the blog.
So now you’ve got two pieces of permanent, evergreen searchable content on your website that is going to get you found. And from those 2 pieces of content you have created posts for facebook, linked in and a post, an IGTV video and a reels on instagram. And now you are finally able and ready to create your first guide.
I told you I would eventually get here.
On Instagram you would now be able to create a guide on Lakefront Living in Happyville. And in that guide you would collect all of the content you created about Happyville in your posts, in your reels and in your IGTV videos and you would put them in order and with captions and more details about the posts. When you’re creating the guide, you could also include posts from the profiles of some of the businesses or places you visited in original blog as well. So you could for example include pictures from the ice cream store’s Instagram profile.
The purpose of these guides, is to create unique, authority-building, valuable content that is going to resonate with your ideal client.
But you’ve got to do it in a way that you are maximizing your efforts. You’ve got to create this content on your website first and then repurpose it from there. That way it’s going to be working for you on your website to get found AND on social media to build authority and those know like and trust feelings. Doesn’t that make so much more sense? You’ll get twice the results with half the effort.
Ok so the example I just gave was how you can create an Instagram guide around a location. But you can use the same concept to pretty much create any type of guide.
I want to pause for a second though and shift how you think about this. Here’s what I don’t want you to do. I don’t want you to finish this podcast and go brainstorm a bunch of guides that you could create. I want you to brainstorm what type of content you need to create to get found on your website first. And then I want you to think about how you could repurpose that content and turn it into a variety of posts, reels and IGTV videos. Once you’ve got that content on Instagram then think about how you could collect them all together and create an Instagram guide. Your first priority is to create content to get found. 2nd priority is to maximize your effort and repurpose that content on social media.
So I gave you an example of how to turn a location niche that you want to specialize in into a guide, but what about your ideal client. What type of content should we be creating to attract our ideal client?
Let’s use another example. Say you wanted to focus on working with first-time home buyers. In order to create content that really resonates with them, you have to understand their pain points and how you can solve them. Content that doesn’t answer a question, address a worry or concern or provide a solution to a problem, falls flat. It’s content for the sake of content and it won’t resonate with or therefore attract your ideal client.
However when you create a piece of content that addresses one of your their worries or fears, it feels as though you are speaking directly to them, the content resonates deeply for them and they grow those know, like and trust feelings.
So when you’re thinking about attracting a first-time home buyer, you brainstorm all of the things they should know about the process of buying a home and you create blog content answering those questions, addressing those concerns and educating them. Ideally you create videos for each of those blogs and then once again you repurpose that content across your social media platforms and on Instagram through carousel posts, IGTV videos and reels. Once you’ve got a bunch of content for First time home buyers, you create an Instagram guide and collect all of the content under one guide. Voila. Now you have an educational guide to attract, provide value and build authority with your ideal client.
Now one thing I will point out. At the time of this recording you can only use posts and IGTV videos or reels that you have either shared to your feed or that you have saved. So as you’re scrolling through Instagram, if you see something from someone else that you’d like to add to a future guide, make sure you save it and you’ll be able to add it later.