More and more people are turning to sites like Instagram to get inspiration and information for their next big trip. With visually stunning images from around the globe, it’s the perfect platform to bring people closer to the destinations they’d most like to visit. It can even introduce people to beautiful locations they had never considered!
According to travel dating website MissTravel, almost half of Instagrammers use the platform to help choose vacation destinations while 35% use it to discover new places.
With over 500 million users logging into Instagram every month to view and post photos, Instagram has become a marketing platform that can’t be ignored. For travel brands, this presents an enormous opportunity. The sheer number of consumers flocking to the site for travel-related photos means that marketing travel companies on Instagram pays huge dividends.
Here are some ways you can leverage Instagram for your next travel marketing campaign.
Use Gorgeous Visuals
This may seem obvious but it’s a good reminder that Instagram is a visually heavy medium where users go to be inspired and wowed by awesome photography. Keep the amount of text in your posts to a minimum, or none at all, and focus on telling a compelling story through the power of photography. Any text that you feel should accompany your image should be added as captions instead.
Partner with Influencers
Social influencers are beginning to build online followings so strong that they dwarf those of big brands. A study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions shows that influencer marketing can deliver as much as 11x ROI over other forms of digital marketing channels.
Influencer marketing’s strong potency boils down to the long relationships influencers have with their audiences. At the core of it, people tend to listen to the opinions of people they trust and this is one of the most compelling factor in buyer decision-making.
Engage travel influencers on Instagram to create content that resonate with a large group of people and amplify the reach of your content and brand through their strong networks.
Check out some of the top travel influencers on Instagram:
Add Locations to Your Photos
With a simple tag, you can tell the world and literally put yourself on the map to show where your photo was taken.
When people see gorgeous photos of interesting locations, they will be clicking the location tag to see where exactly they came from. And, that click may even result in kicking off planning of an epic trip.
Also, posts with a location receive 79% more engagement so that’s a nice little bonus right there.
Develop a Hashtag Strategy
On Instagram, hashtags are like magnets that highlight your content for users interested in specific topics, people, or places. Hash tagging certain words or phrases makes it easy for users interested in those things to find your content – even if they’re not following you.
Hashtags should be relevant to the message you’re trying to convey and the audiences you’re attempting to reach out to. It’s important to think carefully about which hashtags you use – using #travel may be too broad, and your content might get lost among the hundreds of brands that are also using that hashtag. It’s smart to use something a little more specific – but not so niche that you lose out on targeting opportunities.
If you search for the hashtags you’d like to use, Instagram will also show you related hashtags, which can be a great starting point for developing your hashtag strategy.
You should also consider running special contests to engage your followers and harness the power of user generated content on Instagram. This is when you can come up with your own unique hashtag for the campaign that can be used to identify contest entries as well as expand your brand voice through the power of social networking.
Inspire Instead of Hard Sell
The strongest travel brands on Instagram use it to draw users in, focusing on inspiring people with unbelievable photos and letting the ‘sell’ take a backseat. If you can engage users and make them curious and excited, chances are they will take the next step to find out more about your brand and product.
Be creative with your content and develop an intimate understanding of your target audiences. Know what inspires and gets them excited. Instead of focusing on sharing photos of your product, engage your followers with enticing pictures of awesome experiences that await.
Last but not least, it’s good practice to test and refine your creative approach to determine the type of images, captions and hashtags that work best for the people you’re trying to reach. Tracking their engagement and the actions they take will let you know which strategies you should invest in for the future.