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. Instagram marketing 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 formidable marketing platform. 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 pay huge dividends.
Here are some ways you can leverage Instagram marketing for your next travel-related campaign.
Use Gorgeous Visuals
Remember that Instagram is a visually dense medium where users go to be inspired and wowed by excellent 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 large 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 factors in buyer decision-making.
Engage travel influencers on Instagram to create content that resonates 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 put yourself on the map to show where your photo was taken.
When people see gorgeous scenery photos, they will click on the location tag to see where exactly they are. And, that click may even result in kicking off the planning of their next 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. Hashtagging 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. 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. Use something a little more specific – but not too niche so that you won’t lose out on targeting opportunities.
If you key in the hashtag you’d like to use; Instagram will also show you related hashtags. This can be a great starting point for developing your hashtag strategy.
You should also consider running exclusive contests. Engage your followers and harness the power of user-generated content as part of your Instagram marketing. This is when you can come up with a unique campaign hashtag that can be used to identify contest entries and expand your brand voice.
Inspire Instead of Hard Sell
The strongest travel brands doing Instagram marketing focus on inspiring people. They use incredible photos while letting the ‘sell’ take a backseat. Engage users by making 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 excites them. Instead of focusing on sharing photos of your product, engage your followers with enticing pictures of remarkable experiences that await.
Last but not least, it’s good practice to test and refine your creative approach. Determine the best mix of images, captions, and hashtags that work best for your target audiences. Tracking their engagement and the actions they take lets you know which strategies you should invest in for future Instagram marketing campaigns.