According to information published by the advertising industry, 48% of people on Instagram use this social media platform to choose new travel destinations, 35% use Instagram to find clothes to buy, and almost 94% of people on Instagram have made purchases of products and services based off of posts that they have seen on the social media network.
Basically, you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to take advantage of everything that Instagram has to offer – especially when it comes to advertising your travel services or your travel destinations!
Why Instagram is the perfect Network for Travel Marketing
Travel marketing and Instagram are intertwined with one another today, and it’s easy to see why. This social media network provides users with the opportunity to “visit” faraway lands, red-hot travel destinations, and unique getaway experiences right from their mobile device – and when travel marketing and Instagram are used intelligently with one another, it’s going to really drive up the demand to visit those locales and resorts.
Here’s why travel marketers MUST use Instagram
As the most visual of all the social media networks (and with close to 1 billion users logging into Instagram on a regular basis), the amount of traffic that you are going to be able to push to your travel destination will blow you away – but only if you market on Instagram intelligently.
You’ll want to really utilize social media influencers smartly so that you can get your destination out in front of the most amount of people, but you’ll also want to really laser target your ideal guest – and laser target the social media influencers that you partner with – to take advantage of all the leverage that Instagram has to offer.
Marketing and advertising have changed dramatically in just the last few years (thanks in large part to the growth of social media), but travel marketing and Instagram have become very likely bedfellows that can prove to increase your bottom line significantly. We’ll use Paris’ Instagram to illustrate some of the best practices for travel on Instagram.
Give your account a catchy name
The Paris Tourism Office has one of our favorite travel Instagram accounts. Instead of going with a boring old name like “Paris Tourism”, they went with the famous phrase “ParisJetaime“. This denotes the tie with romance the city has.
Consistency is the name of the game on Instagram. While you can post multiple times a day, most accounts do quite well with just one daily Instagram post. Using the example above, you will see that the Paris account has 127K followers and gets between 4-10,000 likes per photo. That’s a healthy engagement rate. Good news is you can schedule your posts using Socialdraft. Check out the video above to learn how our Instagram scheduler works.
You need to entice your audience…and although it seems common sense, we see tons of blurry, badly composed images on Instagram. If you’re not a good photographer, hire one. If you can’t hire one, buy stock…if you don’t want to do either….
Use the Right Hashtags
You will see plenty of people and travel companies using hashtags like “travel”. Big mistake. This hashtag is way too big and your content will most likely just be gobbled up in the feed. Instead of this, utilize targeted hashtags to get to the right audience. Not people who are interested in traveling, but people who are interested in traveling to your destination. Click here to learn how to find the perfect hashtags for your Instagram travel photos.
…Run a repost campaign
That’s right. Tons of people are probably already visiting your location. They love nothing better than a little love and recognition from a place they love enough to visit. So begin thinking about running a repost campaign. The Parisjetaime account does this quite elegantly. Click here and see if you recognize one of the images above. Yup. Parisjetaime reposted @bribounette’s image. It’s an incredibly easy way to make friends and get content. Click here to learn how to start your own Instagram repost campaign.
Collaborate with Influencers
You are now able to “sponsor” individuals and Instagram accounts that have captured the attention of millions and millions of people around the world. Some travel companies and resorts are even paying people to fly out and stay at their resorts if only so that these individuals will take photos of their stay and share them with the world. This is all done to improve the visibility of their destination, and by all accounts, it is working very, very well!
Instagram advertising is still fairly new and getting great CPA rates. Take advantage of this now. They also recently announced 60-second videos…that tells me that 60-second video ads will be coming soon. This is the time to take advantage of this chance.
Target Your Competitor’s Fans
If I was another French city, I’d check out Paris’ fans and begin to engage them. Chances are if they are interested in Paris, they could be interested in another French city. So don’t be shy about reaching out to these people, they just need to be made aware that you exist.
This is the best thing you can do. Instagram is not where people come to you, it’s where you go to them. So search for your ideal traveler using hashtags and engage them. We’ve found that for every 100 meaningful engagements (not one of those crummy “Great pic” type of comments) you get 10 targeted followers. Those are some great numbers.
You just have to be smart and savvy about how you utilize this platform!