One of the largest upcoming trends for 2019 are Instagram trips. Businesses are sparing no expense to get the perfect ‘gram as Instagram influencers continue to dominate on social media.
Instagram is one of the most important and most powerful marketing channels of our time. It is great for content marketing and paid advertising and, at the same time, for communication and customer service. It has the capacity to drive great engagement and better-than-average return on investment for a marketer, brand or agency.
Instagram has been growing since it was first launched eight years ago. As we can see from the following graph shared with us by Statista , the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network reached a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June.
This is an impressive number and, when it comes to marketing, impressive numbers are great. It means that you have access to a huge audience worldwide and, at the same time, due to this channel’s nature, you have access to a dedicated and engaged audience.
As with anything these days, Instagram evolved and standing out in 2019 is a lot more than posting high-quality pictures and videos! Habit changed and so should we – so, let’s talk more about Instagram trends.
If you want to make it on Instagram in 2019, it definitely starts with being visually pleasing enough to actually inspire someone to press that ‘follow’ button… and that is one hard task to accomplish.
But that’s just the start of it. To really achieve success on Instagram in 2019, you have to go beyond that. We’re talking Instagram stories strategy, IGTV, and offline events made for Instagram (major trend right here).
It comes as no surprise that the biggest demographic for Instagram Stories are Millennials. Millennials are visual inspiration shoppers, they’re less likely than those older than them to have a clear idea of what they want at the outset of their search, and this especially pertains to travel. They’re also more likely to use social media for research – planning as much for activities as well as where to stay. Not sure how to market to Millennials, check out (UPDATED)Why Is Mobile Video Marketing Important For Millenials and Brands?
Think about how to create “Instagrammable” moments
Instagram’s a platform where authenticity rules – and as such, regular people’s photos have a lot more credibility than professionally-staged branded content. So while travel brands should certainly be posting their own photos and dedicating resources to their efforts, getting visitors to post pictures of relevant destinations and experiences is considerably more effective due to word-of-mouth amplification.
Easier said than done, of course, but it’s important to review your assets with an Instagram design eye. If you’re a hotel brand, you could think about redecorating your lobby or common areas to make them more visually appealing for the camera. Or if you’re a hiking operator, you could consider recommending a few places for your guests to take photos.
Make sure your guests know that you’re paying attention
Show visitors you’re listening by liking and commenting on the photos of guests who post pictures of their experience with you. These small actions will go a long way toward fostering loyalty toward your brand. You can also take it a step further and offer coupons or credit to guests who tag your brand in their posts.
Of course, not all Instagram users are created equal in terms of value to marketers – a photo by an influencer with massive reach is inherently more valuable than a picture from a person with 50 followers.
Especially valuable are those influencers who seem to make a living from globe-trotting and posting beautiful pictures along the way. Marketers often underwrite those adventures, and it may be worth it for your brand to work to sponsor an influencer’s trip, paying for some of their travel costs – especially if you identify an influencer whose style and interests perfectly align with your brand values.
Check out Influencer Marketing for Small Business
Feature content around activities
Millennials are using social media to research travel activities, not just hotels and accommodation. So if you’re a brand like a cruise line, you should think about how to feature events and adventures, like shore excursions or dipping a perfectly pedicured foot into the pool, on Instagram as much as possible.
This is another instance where you should let data be your guide: the bulk of your brand’s Instagram photos should be of areas that are proven to be of greatest interest to guests, even if they’re not as aesthetically stunning as other potential shots (back to your cool bathroom, for example, rather than your beautifully up kept garden).
So, as you’re planning your holiday travel campaigns, keep Millennials and their increasing financial power in mind. Remember that they’re influenced by visual content, especially if it originates from “regular, everyday” people. It’s not only less expensive than a TV spot, but it’s also bound to be a lot more authentic, which goes a long way with the “kids” these days.
Why Should Brands Care?
Stories Highlights and Archives are two valuable tools that Instagram rolled out to the social sphere late last year. In just four months, brands quickly learned how to integrate these exciting features into their digital marketing strategies. By curating, archiving, and highlighting Instagram Stories, brands have found that they’re able to optimize their customer experiences on the platform and create new opportunities for meaningful connections with their audiences. If you need any more convincing, here’s why every brand should take full advantage of Instagram Stories Highlights and Archives.
Put timely content front and center
Location is key. Because Highlights are featured right below a brand’s bio and above its feed, followers see this content first. This makes it a powerful tool that allows brands to place timely and relevant content front and center. And once a Story loses its timeliness, it can be removed from the Highlights or be edited.
As a recent example, Dig Inn, a locally farm-sourced chain restaurant, highlighted a mock March Madness challenge in the heat of the real tournament, prompting viewers to vote for their favorite dishes.
Hold onto your valuable content for longer than 24 hours.
Before the introduction of Highlights and Archives, Instagram Stories had a 24-hour lifespan. Now, brands can produce and publish Story content without the worry of losing it forever the next day. With Highlights, Stories can remain on a brand’s page for an unlimited amount of time, while Archives allows brands to turn on an auto-save, a feature that stores this content in the page’s backend. Old Stories can even be curated and Highlighted later, making the content available to the public again.
Easily categorize your content for a better user experience.
Brands that are notorious for posting about the same handful of topics can use Highlights to categorize their content. For example, Zazzle, an online marketplace for custom products, has created Wedding, DIY, and Foil Cards Highlights categories for its Instagram Stories. Organizing content this way can make it easier for users to navigate a brand’s page and only view content that’s most relevant to them.
Showcase what goes on behind the scenes.
Highlights are an excellent way to humanize a brand. Whether its highlighting office culture, content creation, or product production, brands can share their unique stories—inviting followers into their world. Our Instagram, for instance, features a Highlight that lets followers get to know our team members. By peeling back the curtain a bit, brands can better connect with their followers on a personal level.
Get creative with your recruitment efforts.
Say goodbye to Indeed and Glassdoor. Now, brands can use Highlights to creatively post regular job openings. By posting openings directly to their Instagram page, brands are targeting their loyal followers and seeking a better candidate pool. For example, FridaBaby, a Miami-based baby brand, features a jobs Highlight with all of its job openings and a description of an ideal teammate. This innovative means of recruitment is more intimate than a job posting on a third-party employment search website.