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Tourism Best Practices

How To Use Instagram Stories For Travel Marketing


What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories allow users to capture and share everyday moments with their friends and followers. Whether it’s a photo or a 15 second long video, Stories provide a fun and easy way to interact with your audience. 

Why Should You Be Using Instagram Stories for Travel Marketing?

For starters, Instagram Stories are a fantastic option for creating and sharing content without committing to uploading a post to your main Instagram feed. Unlike a regular post, which will live on your feed forever unless you decide to delete it, an Instagram Story will disappear after 24 hours. This gives you the freedom to have fun and get creative with your Stories without necessarily having to worry about whether they’ll mesh with the vibe and tone of the rest of your content.

For similar reasons, Instagram Stories can feel more casual and personal at the same time. Stories are often used to give followers a glimpse into what’s happening throughout your day or what’s going on behind the scenes. This sort of content typically feels more rugged and less polished than a regular Instagram post, which helps humanize your content and connect with followers. 

An example of an Instagram Story idea for a tourism business is to shoot in POV (point-of-view) to give your audience the sense that they’re right there with you and along for the ride. As a travel, tour, or activity company, you might want to create Stories that take your followers on a mini adventure, giving them a sneak-peek of the places they’ll visit and the sights that they’ll see. Use your Instagram Stories to inspire your customers and excite them with the experiences you have to offer.

Instagram Story Ideas for Tourism

Let’s take a look at some Instagram Story ideas for tourism to help you connect with your audience and grow your business.

Take Your Followers Behind The Scenes

Create an Instagram Story showing your team preparing for another day of tours. Show off your staff and equipment and reveal some of your daily business practices. Giving your audience this behind-the-scenes look at your tour company is helpful in multiple ways. It humanizes your content by showing your clients that your tourism business is run by real people who care about what they do. It also helps your followers build confidence and trust in your company knowing they are in safe, experienced hands.

Post Beautiful Scenic Photography

Instagram is a visually stimulating social media platform and its users are accustomed to aesthetically-pleasing posts. Your content will inevitably have to compete with posts from professional photographers, creative directors, nomadic influencers, etc. In order to appeal to your followers, particularly those who love to travel and enjoy the outdoors, be sure to include scenic photography in your Stories. With the right scenery, you won’t have to do much, but it’s worth the time and effort to frame your photos in the most captivating way possible.

Create Action Photos or Videos

Strengthen your Stories with exciting action photos or videos. Instead of always having your team or your clients pose for photos, try capturing candid moments of them participating in physical activity or interacting with the environment and each other. For example, posts of people cycling, surfing, bungee-jumping, or hiking are sure to spice up your content and inspire the travelers and thrill seekers amongst your followers to plan their next adventure.

Encourage Audience Engagement

One of the most effective Instagram Story ideas for tourism is to engage and interact with your clients and have them help with promotion. Encourage audience engagement by asking your clients to share their experiences with the tour through videos or photos on Instagram. Make sure that they tag or mention you in their post so that you can repost it to your own Story to show your audience how much fun your clients have on tour.

Stickers on Instagram Stories and How to Use Them

You’re probably already familiar with how Stickers work, but let’s explore a few ways that you can use them on your Instagram Story specifically for travel marketing.

  • Location – Particularly helpful for Instagram Stories about travel and tourism, the location sticker allows you to tag the location at which your post was taken. Any user who views your Story can then tap the location sticker to be taken to its corresponding page.
  • Mention – If you want to promote, shout-out, or notify another user that is related to the Story you’re posting, the mention sticker lets you do that. An alternative is to simply mention the account by typing out their Instagram handle and placing it on your Story. If you allow it in your settings, any user that is tagged or mentioned in your Story can repost your Story to theirs. This is a fantastic way to potentially reach a wider audience. Inversely, if you’re tagged in the Story of another user, reposting their Story to yours helps build interactions with your audience and if appropriate, encourages others to tag you in their Stories as well.
  • Hashtag – Hashtags are an effective way to categorize and discover similar content. The hashtag sticker functions similarly to the location and mention stickers, allowing anyone who taps on the hashtag to be redirected to its corresponding page.
  • Questions, Polls, Quizzes – You can also use Questions, Polls, and Quizzes to encourage audience engagement. Test them out and see which ones work for you!
  • Countdown – Have a new product or service launching soon? Do you have some awesome news to share? Are you just really looking forward to the travel season? Get people curious and excited by creating a countdown on your Story.
  • Music – The right soundtrack paired with an amazing travel video might just be what it takes to get your followers to pack their bags.

Instagram Highlights

We mentioned earlier that Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours. This is only partly true. If you’d like to make your Story available for longer, you have the option of adding it to a Highlight that shows up pinned on your profile. Creating Highlights of certain Stories allows your viewers to rewatch your Story for as long as you keep it up. You’re able to create multiple Highlights for different Stories which is great for categorizing your posts. Perhaps you want a Highlight for each destination or attraction. Maybe a Highlight dedicated to FAQs or a Q&A session you conducted with the question sticker would be helpful.

Instagram Reels

Reels are similar to Stories in that they are typically vertical videos with a story-like structure. The same rules apply when creating Reels – keep content exciting, engaging, and inspiring. The duration of a Reel maxes out at 30 seconds, double the 15-second runtime of a single Story. This gives you some more flexibility with the type of content you can create. You can cut multiple clips together to give viewers rapid snapshots of beautiful travel and tourist destinations. Reels work magnificently for videos that take followers on a journey, making it an effective way to inspire your audience to travel, explore, and go on an adventure.

Reels exist on their own tab on your profile, but you can choose to include them on your regular feed if you want. Unlike Stories, Instagram Reels do not expire after a day and can show up on other users’ Explore and Reel feeds. In order to take advantage of this, it’s important to know how to use appropriate and relevant hashtags. Instagram hashtags categorize your content and help users discover your post. Take a look at popular Reels or posts from other accounts in the travel or tourism industry to see which hashtags they’re using and include them on your own if they’re relevant. 

Hopefully these tips have inspired you with some Instagram Story ideas for tourism. We encourage you to experiment and have fun when creating your content and you’ll find that Instagram Stories can be a wonderful tool for travel marketing.

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