Travel is a fiercely competitive industry in online marketing. With apps and websites being built everyday to aggregate the best deals for the consumer, how can you differentiate your brand? In an emerging trend, visual marketing–a more specific facet of content marketing–is becoming popular with travel and tourism brands because it shows consumers exactly what they’ll be doing when they book their trips. Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are leading the industry and give you great opportunities to engage with your consumers online and paint the perfect picture of the vacation they could be enjoying.
Few Words, Big Impact
It might be a cliche, but it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. On both Pinterest and Instagram, keep your words minimal and your visuals impactful. Quick tips: Let people visualize themselves in your photo by featuring scenery and not just people (or models!). Show people options of where they might be staying or what there is to do at the destination. Exhibit things to do for adults and kids if your destination is family friendly.
Utilize your Tags
Both Instagram and Pinterest allow for the search of hashtags and keywords. These are very important to use in your uploads for travel marketing purposes so that people can easily find the pictures you’re providing. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re a resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. You can use hashtags like #FTL #Florida #resort #vacation #familyfriendly #travel #beaches #FL and many more. Try searching for photos with these hashtags in advance to see how their engagement levels are and adjust your list as needed. Create your own branded hashtag (and promote it) to encourage people to come back to your page.
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Make your Website Pinnable
Pinterest won’t serve your brand well if users cannot pin images from your site. There are some restrictions on pins, so you’ll need to make sure the images on your site are pinnable. Pinterest is a huge driver of referring traffic, and it will be most beneficial if people are directed straight to your travel site when they click on the image. Quick tip: If you need a fast fix and your website isn’t pinnable, you can still post the URL for more information in the comment below the image.
Host Contests and Activities to Drive Engagement
Pinterest and Instagram are great places to involve your audience. Have them submit photos of their dream vacation spot or of a recent trip they took. If you’d like to keep it specific to your brand, you can have them submit photos of the people they’d like to take on vacation with them and tell why in their comment. You can offer discounts to the participants or go all out and give away a trip. Consumers love to share their opinions, ideas and goals on these visual platforms, so catering to this trend will drive up engagement.
Get Visual Even If You’re Not on a Beach
Let’s say you’re a budget airline. You might be thinking, what can your brand Pin and Instagram? And since visual content is so powerful, the possibilities are still endless. Maybe you make Pinterest boards of Places to See for all the cities you serve. Bonus: Making the board public allows your followers to submit their own ideas and favorite places to shop, dine and visit. Another idea: Instagram photos of “behind the scenes” at your airline. Feature smiling gate agents, pilots in the cockpit, new check-in machines or new reading materials that make traveling with you more pleasant.
With the mass appeal of visual content and the onslaught of new social platforms, these are just a few ideas to create content that is both share-worthy and fun to create.