THE UNDENIABLE IMPORTANCE OF INSTAGRAM IN TOURISM MARKETING In the year 2013, it was Instagram - the quirky social network sharing photos and videos - that hit the charts big time. A report presented by Simply Measured showed why Instagram matters, and since it came out, the number of marketers taking interest in Instagram has been on the rise dramatically. The fact of the matter is that, in 2013 alone, nearly 71 percent of the biggest brands used Instagram to market their products, services, or brands. At present, the fastest growing social media site is giving tough competition to Pinterest, as well as Google+. Instagram is a very important platform for nearly every kind of marketer, especially for those involved in tourism marketing. As the platform allows marketers to collect content created by consumers and use the same for the purpose of promotion, using it the right way can bring good news to almost any travel company. Authenticity matters Visual content has traditionally formed the base of online tourism marketing. But, presenting to consumers the same old polished tourism images to promote a particular destination or hotel is not the best way to do things anymore. These days, a marketer needs to be able to sell that which is authentic, by using attractive visual content. A number of popular destination marketers, including VisitBrazil, VisitNorway, and VisitDenmark, have already recognized the importance of this trend. They can be found to integrate Instagram photo streams into their sites in prominent ways. The power of videos The Traveler Study of 2014, conducted by Google, showed the world that online videos play a critical role when it comes to inspiring seasoned travelers with the help of tourism online marketing, by fueling their decision making process in a positive way. Lexus, the famous car manufacturer, put into practice some of the teachings of the study, by creating stop motion video with the help of user submitted Instagram images. Opportunities for marketers Above, only two examples concerning how Instagram’s potential and image can be leveraged for the purpose of creating brand awareness and enhancing profit in tourism industry have been provided.
There are other ways of doing the same, too. For example: Creating ads from consumers Submitting photos that inspire curiosity Recruiting the right employees Spreading awareness regarding fresh offerings Instagram is certainly not a tourism online marketing site in its core. It is a social media network first and foremost and everything else later. Yet, it can assure the scope for using innovative strategies to help tourism brands make themselves more appealing to potential customers.