Promoting your destination on Instagram is not all about a beautifully curated feed. In fact, a large portion of your audience’s attention will be drawn to a feature that largely opposes curation.
Instagram Stories, the platform’s channel for posting content that lasts only 24 hours, boasts 400 million daily active users worldwide. Considering the rate at which the channel has been growing, this number will only get bigger in the future. Stories have shown a powerful ability to grab attention and boost user engagement, so it comes as no surprise that the feature has become an integral part of Instagram marketing. In fact, about 33% of the most viewed Stories were created by businesses.
To help you maximize the marketing potential of this feature and gain competitive advantage, we’ve prepared some useful tips for promoting your destination via Stories.
Use Hashtags and Geotags
You can add hashtags and geotags to Stories just the same as you’d do it with permanent posts. These are very useful for getting your content discovered and widening your reach, so make sure to include the same relevant hashtags you use in your regular posts. Geotags are especially important because they help you get found when users search for a specific location and directly promote your destination.
You can use both types of stickers against all types of backgrounds, whether you’re posting an image or video to your Story. Use about 5 hashtags per Story and make sure you shrink the size of the sticker to avoid cluttering. They don’t have to be readable; they just need to be there to help you get found.
Take Your Audience on a Tour
Users love the Stories feature because it’s such a casual and unpretentious medium. And by showing a “real” side, an honest, casual, hospitable face, you’ll be able to win over your audience far better than you ever could with a high-quality, professional ad. Of course, you’ll still need professional ads to showcase your destination. But you can utilize Stories to its full potential and promote your destination as if you were showing a friend the photos from your vacation.
Take your audience on a tour. Show them the features you’re proud of, the views, the staff who are all working hard to make guests feel at home in your facility. You can choose any format you like. Live video, images, video snippets or whatever works best to help you communicate openly with your followers and facilitate a conversation.
Create Travel Guides and Save Them to Highlights
As of this year, Instagram has made it possible to save Stories to Highlights, so you can categorize them thematically and make them available on your feed beyond their initial 24-hour lifespan. Highlights are placed at the top of your feed, which means that the stuff you save to these albums is actually going to be far more visible and better emphasized than your permanent posts. Grab this opportunity to place your most useful, engaging content front and center – creating travel guides in Story snippets is a great idea.
Your followers will be able to refer to these guides immediately when they land on your feed, and they’ll definitely appreciate it. This is like your evergreen content, so don’t hesitate to use the last slide to encourage your audience to contact you or to make a direct booking on your website.
The polls stickers are perfect for driving engagement and getting useful suggestions from your audience. Ask them what they would like to see more of in your Stories, what their favorite destinations are, or which features they prefer over others regarding your destination. For example, you can post photos of two different rooms and ask your audience to vote which one is their favorite. A lot of the time, using polls will be a way to stay on your audience’s radar and facilitate conversation, but you can use these polls to learn more about their tastes or even to make certain decisions.
As a highly visual platform, Instagram presents itself as the be-all and end-all marketing solution for the tourism industry. It’s where your target audience is, hopping from one carefully curated feed to another, eager to be pulled into an enticing new world, seeking to be inspired by the promises of your destination. And the Stories feature is an extremely important part of this experience, helping you grab attention and rise above the overwhelming noise of permanent posts.
There’s no need to worry about lighting, editing, crafting the perfect image or the ideal script – it’s about being direct, informal, and authentic. The ephemeral feature will help you craft a bond with your audience, ultimately adding an emotional quality to your destination and making it truly inviting.
Hannah is a travel blogger who is inspired by natural forces and technology. She believes in the power of social media in creating better and safer ways of traveling. Right now she is working for Carolin and her amazing blog Breathing Travel and enjoy spending time with her dog.
Image Resource: Unsplash