Why Travel and Hotel Marketers need to be active with Instagram

Posted by Murray Sye

on Sun, Jul 19, 2015 @ 08:20 PM


Have you integrated Instagram into your overall visual-content strategy?

What, you don't have a visual-content strategy?

Images are the social media currency of today, and marketers – especially in the travel and hotel industry – should be leveraging visual-based communities like Instagram. Luxury hotels and travel industries are blessed with having huge amounts of rich and visual content and this should always be expressed on social sites – especially Instagram.

A picture is worth 1,000 conversions.

You bet. New data from the Pew Research Center shows that among social media networks, Instagram has surpassed even Twitter in popularity among U.S. adults. Pew's report states that 26 percent of online adults in the U.S. used Instagram in 2014. That's up from 17 percent. Instagram executives think the network eventually will hit 1 billion monthly active users. 

Yes, content is still king, but visuals reign.

Influential Instagram accounts such as Beautiful Destinations have skyrocketed over the past few years as visual expression is pushed to new heights. With @beatifuldestinations' 3.7 million followers and a combined following of 5.9 million followers thanks to three other verticles – Beautiful Hotels, Beautiful Cuises, and Beautiful Matters – its massive and engaged following puts in a unique position where it acts as a publisher, distribution channel, influencer agency, and advertising agency for travel and lifestyle brands. 


Beautiful Destinations

Hotel brands have jumped on the Instagram bandwagon because they see the impact the visual app has created. For hotels, Instagram is a natural for spreading brand awareness, increases their audience by connecting with users, creates engagement and promotes the dream stage of travel. 


Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills

But, a word of caution. Hotels need to provide excellent visual content because consumers want (and are expecting) the best. High quality, up to date visuals will get the best engagement so hotels need to invest in their visual content. The engagement from the visual and rich media content hotels share to Instagram will lead to more bookings.


Four Seasons Costa Rica

To better understand the impact visual-based marketing can have on your brand, I'll refer to a few excerpts from a recent interview Skift conducted with Beautiful Destinations founder Jeremy Jauncey.

Jeremy believes that the right brands will move away from the traditonal way they created content and will be partnering with people who are experts in social context creation.


Marquee at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

With 25% of travel bookings taking place on mobile, he stresses that mobile and optimizing mobile content will be where brands go and where they should go. Social networks is where people go to discover this kind of content first, so it only makes sense that brands optimize images for mobile.

And that's not all. 

Brands are finding other ways to leverage Instagram. Brands such as British Airways or the Bermuda Tourism Authority mimic old methods of inviting a handful of Instagram influencers to an event or destination to snap pics, hashtag, and upload them to hopefully be liked and shared. Dubai's iconic Burj al Arab invited Instagrammers for a weekend of high-end events and pampering in return for sharing it all with followers.

Has your brand started to experiment with Instagram? Do you have a visual-content strategy?

Instagram Fish Where The Fish Are

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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