Instagram has come a long way since its original hipster roots, seen only as a place for trendy millennials to upload an image of their vegan food, using one of the many filters available at their fingertips. Now, it is a powerful platform for social media marketing. One which, if used correctly is perfect for helping businesses within the travel sector to reach and form relationships with a much wider audience.
If you’re unsure about embarking on Instagram marketing methods, here are a few initial figures to show you exactly what you’re missing out on by ignoring this tool. (All figures gathered from Instagram.)
- There are 600 million active Instagram user accounts
- Over 400 million people worldwide use Instagram every day.
- 60% of those learn about products and services on Instagram.
- 75% of users take action after being inspired by an Instagram post.
This type of consumer behaviour is unlike any other social media platform. Using Instagram marketing techniques, it is possible not only to put your hotel in front of a global audience, but one that is active and uses the app to inform purchase decisions including travel plans.
Why is it so useful for the travel industry?
Many marketers may have been wary of using Instagram as a social media marketing platform due to its image-heavy format. Other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook enable companies to craft carefully worded, convincing posts, yet with Instagram you are largely limited to one, breath-taking image. For a tech company or a construction business this may not be appropriate, but for travel, there is nothing better suited.
The power of visual influence
In today’s digital world, attention spans are shortening dramatically. It is increasingly difficult to convince a reader to spend a matter of minutes on a written blog post. However, on Instagram it is possible to make an impact and inspire a reaction in a matter of scrollable seconds – if the right image is used.
More and more marketing strategies are becoming visually focussed. In fact, 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).
While the benefits are clear for a number of sectors, travel businesses should take note. A survey by MissTravel, a dating website, found that 48% of Instagram users said the platform helped them to choose their next travel destination. As a business, it is important to ensure your awe-inspiring images are there ready to be discovered, double tapped and to inform these all important decisions.
The UAE effect
For any travel destination or experience across the world, there a plethora of opportunities to create rich, powerful and influential images. Yet here in the UAE we are subject to a multitude of unique, exotic, aspirational and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities that make Instagram marketing even more integral to any local tourism brand’s marketing efforts.
We’re not the only ones to have recognised this – Instagram even covered the topic in its recent blog post, outlining the unique position that Dubai-based businesses have when using the platform.
In the piece, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism commented, “Dubai is so dynamic and ever-changing and so visual as well, and you have a tool like Instagram that is instant and always changing – it makes it quite a perfect match. Whenever we’re creating any campaigns, Instagram plays a significant role in that.”
Have we caught your attention yet?
Ultimately, Instagram is a playground for travel marketers. By taking the time and effort to plan, shoot and edit sensational photographs (or convincing influencers to do so for you), you can instantly connect with global, active audiences who are looking for their next holiday destination. If Instagram is a place for wandering minds, ensuring you are using it as part of your social media marketing strategy ensures that they wander straight towards your business.