Instagram has become an effective marketing tool for vacation rentals. People use Instagram for travel inspiration and even make decisions on where to stay while on vacation.
To capture new travellers or engage with your followers, it’s critical to leverage Instagram as it’s cheaper than traditional forms of advertising
Create Lust with Highly Visual Content
Engaging, highly visual content gives travellers the chance to fantasize about their ideal vacation. To attract an audience, it’s essential you deliver valuable content which encourages them to engage with your business.
Promote your property with professional photos
Post well-staged, professional pictures of your property that capture the essence of your property and help guests imagine themselves living there. Each post on your Instagram profile needs to be of high quality and visually appealing.
While photos have been the common format on Instagram, videos tend to get more engagement. A video tour of your property would make your guest feel like they’re actually there.
Add value with your content
There are only a certain number of times you can post pictures of your property. You need to add value to the community rather than using Instagram for advertisements. For instance, you can post content about your destination and must-do experiences around your property. The idea is to create a sense of wanderlust among your followers.
Use hashtags to get discovered organically
Instagram hashtags can help grow your reach, get more engagement and attract more followers. According to Later, a post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag.
Instagram hashtags essentially categorize your post. By adding a hashtag, your post becomes visible on the respective hashtag page. You can use up to 30 hashtags in one post.
Instead of using popular hashtags, it’s better to use specific hashtags relevant to your industry.
For example, a beach house in Goa would want to use hashtags like #beachhouse (property type), #goa (location), #staycation or #vacations (target market).
Engage With Your Audience
Effective marketing on Instagram includes engaging with your followers. Engagement is a measure of the interaction your audience makes with your content and this is evidence that your content is making an impact on your followers.
Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content(UGC) is any content created by your followers or customers. Users create and share posts featuring your property with their followers. Consumers view UGC twice as authentic as compared to content created by the business.
Airbnb does a fantastic job of engaging with its audience. By reposting content created by their audience, the company gains rich content and builds social proof. Airbnb’s UGC makes up approximately 75% of their feed and drives 80% of their engagement on the platform.
Instagram is the first place travellers post their pictures while on holiday. So make sure your guests have your Instagram handle so they can start tagging you in their content. And when you do repost their content, provide proper credit to the creator.
Jumpstart your engagement with a giveaway
Running a contest or giveaway on Instagram is an easy way to gain exposure to new audiences and engage with existing ones. An Instagram giveaway is a type of promotion where you promise to give away a free stay at your property in exchange for a social action like a comment or a share.
Here’s a quick breakdown of an Instagram giveaway:
- Decide on a goal from the giveaway: more followers, impressions, mentions.
- Define the entry criteria for participants: follow @youraccount or tag a friend in the comments
- Choose the prize: one-night stay for two people
- Create a unique hashtag to track performance
- Consider partnering with a local business or influencer
- Run the giveaway for a limited amount of time.
Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing is an effective way to increase brand exposure, drive website traffic, build your audience, and ultimately generate bookings. By leveraging influencers who have already built a following, you can reach a relevant audience who may be interested in booking your property.
To effectively partner with influencers, build a relationship with them first. Research them thoroughly to ensure they are the right fit for your property. A relevant influencer shares travel-based content and their audience aligns with your target market.
A huge number of followers doesn’t always make a good partnership. Instead, consider influencers whose audience aligns with your brand. That way your campaign will be more authentic and have better results.
Implement an Ad Campaign
Instagram Ads are a super-effective way to find new audiences or engage with existing ones. These enable you to expand your reach to users and include targeting options based on location, demographics, interests, etc. For example, your campaign could target users in your property location but who do not reside there.
To execute a successful ad campaign, it’s better to narrow down your target audience. The more targeted your ads are, the better chance they have to reach the right audience for your property.
Boost your Instagram post to reach new audiences
Boosting allows you to showcase your posts or stories to people who aren’t your followers. With a built-in targeting option, you can be sure you’re reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in your ad. Boost posts that are already seeing engagement as it servers as a form of social proof and are likely to perform better.
Retarget your website visitors
Instagram allows you to re-engage website visitors who left your site without booking your property. However, you need to implement Facebook Pixel – a data-gathering tool that builds targeted audiences from your website. With pixel, you can choose to show your ads to everyone who recently visited your website or people who visited the booking engine which makes them prospective guests. You can also choose to exclude guests who have stayed with you recently.
Make it easy for your followers to make a reservation
By now you have built a following and getting great engagement on your content. However, these vanity metrics don’t mean anything until they translate into bookings.
The single place on Instagram where you can share a clickable link. Rather than linking it to the homepage of your website, send them to a specific landing page or your booking engine.
Let’s recap a few key points:
- Your content on Instagram is more about creating value rather than promotional.
- Instead of paying Instagram, pay an influencer to promote your property.
- While creating remarketing ads, target qualified website visitors – people who started creating a reservation on your website – rather than everyone who visited your site.