Proven Tips to help Travel Agencies master Instagram marketing
Whether it’s a family holiday, romantic getaway, solo trip, business travel or just a random unplanned trip with friends, travelers are more than happy to share the highlights of their holiday on social media. And Instagram is hands down the most popular social media tool to share vacation pictures. This photo-sharing app, which has revolutionized travel marketing, has more than 300 million active users. On an average, users post 70 million photos per day.
From small scale travel agents to the massive players in travel and tourism market, Instagram is the most effective tool in the social media arsenal of every travel agency. According to Miss Travel (a dating site) and Social Media Today, 48% of users turn to Instagram to choose their travel destinations and 35% use this platform to discover new destinations.
While a lot of savvy travel agents are building their presence on Instagram, some of them really need to up their game when it comes to Instagram marketing. Here’s a brief guide on how travel agents can use Instagram to market themselves and attract customers.
Inspire people to Travel
“A picture paints a thousand words” turns out to be absolutely true when you share stunning images of beautiful locations with your followers. Sharing visually rich and high-quality travel content pertaining to the destinations you are keen to sell or the most popular Instagrammed locations is the least every travel agent could do on a regular basis. This is sure to strike a chord with people and reminds them that a vacation is never a far-fetched desire.
Show an offbeat angle
Inspiration can come from anything attractive related to your travel niche. You can inspire travelers by showing them a totally different perspective of travel, which also helps create brand awareness. American Airline shares inspiring experiences of their enthusiastic employees on social media with attractive images.
Geo-tag your Instagram images
Adding location while uploading an image is a simple yet effective way to stand out and widen your reach. Since a lot of people rely on Instagram to find their travel inspirations and destinations, placing your company on the map by adding location to every image makes a lot of sense for travel agents.
Easy to target popular destinations
The best thing about Instagram is hashtags. Find destinations that people around the world are talking about, and then you can perhaps curate your picture content. This will also help you discover destinations people are NOT talking about and suggest the offbeat destinations that you wish to sell. This works both ways.
Run picture contests
Well, we all know how crazy people are when it comes to sharing pictures, especially vacation. Just think of a creative yet simple hashtag for your picture contest campaign and ask your followers to submit their entries attractive images of their holiday along with that hashtag. This will help you assess the engagement and participation.
Build digital brochures
Gone are the days of paper brochures. Instagram gives you a chance to build a complete digital brochure, consisting of a picturesque image of a destination along with a detailed caption. You can’t add links to your Instagram images, but if you could team up your creative travel content with a striking image, the chances of driving people to your website through the link on your Instagram home page are quite high.
Create brand awareness through hashtags
Create hashtags for your sellable destinations or any destination you specifically want to promote. Ask your clients to use those hashtags when sharing their special moments of vacations they have booked through you. The brand awareness is sure to increase as your hashtags keeping getting popular.
Reach out to the young travel-hungry generation
Instagram is the perfect social media tool to target young travel enthusiasts. To strike a chord with millennials you have to be quirky with your pictures and content, and play your Instagram game in near real time. According to a research conducted by Pew Research Centre, more than 53 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 have an Instagram account. It would be wise for travel agents to appeal to this travel hungry generation by honing their own Instagram skills.
Tap travel influencers for native pictures and content
A lot of travel agents nowadays collaborate with travel influencers to tap audience outside their own social media pages. Knowing that people invest more time and trust in content that comes from travel enthusiasts and relatable personalities, tapping travel influencers to get those perfect shots makes for a wise move.
These travel influencers usually have a genuine fan following, and for travel marketers, it is the best way to reach out to such genuine followers. Also, travel agents can save big bucks which they usually splash out on sending freelancers or employees on expensive foreign trips.
The locally sourced content that you get through these influencers is more likely to gain trust from your audiences, as accurate information from reliable sources always appeals to them. And hence the reason a lot of travel marketers these days give their audience local perspective of a particular destination through freelancers who live and work in destinations around the world.
This picture uploaded by Travel Triangle was originally posted by an Australian native:
Embrace user-generated content
In case you don’t have the budget to collaborate with influencers or freelancers, it is always great to follow your customers on social media. And as soon as your customers share their vacation images, you can appreciate their gesture by reposting their pictures on your account.
Advanced targeting options
Instagram gives its users advanced targeting options to zero in on audiences on the basis of their behaviors, interests and connections. Since Facebook is the parent company, you can also copy your Facebook custom audiences for your Instagram campaigns.
About the Author
Ratna is a communication and content marketing expert with seven years of experience in catering B2B and B2C markets. She has a penchant for cutting edge technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and has extensive experience in SaaS marketing. When she is off her desk, she is either traveling or exploring great places to eat. She truly believes in the power of reading and aspires to be a life coach by helping people build confidence through the power of communication.