The good news about posting an ad on Instagram is that it is NOT rocket science. However, in order for a post to stand out, your venue must have an advertisement strategy in place. On Instagram, unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, an ad needs to be visually compelling.
For hoteliers, a visual ad has many benefits in showcasing a property. After all, people are more likely to book a room in a hotel that they have seen prior to their arrival. Thus, good quality pictures of the venue are essential for a successful Instagram ad and these images can also be re-purposed for the website.
When setting up an ad on Instagram, make sure you know who you want to target. Posts on Instagram are most likely to reach a young audience: of 1 billion active users on Instagram today, 59% of them are in the 19-29 age bracket. With millennials expected to spend over $ 1.4 trillion on leisure activities, they are the next generation of travelers to attract.
A millenial’s inspiration for travelling is vastly different from that of previous generations. Instead of comparing hotels for hours and hours on booking sites, they are attracted to places that they have previously seen on social media, particularly if the source happens to be people they trust, such as friends or influencers.
Influencer marketing as a gateway to sponsored ads on Instagram
So how does a hotel post an ad with visually pleasing pictures?
One way is, of course, hiring a photographer to take pictures, though this is usually an expansive endeavour. Alternatively, you might consider obtaining high-quality pictures through allying your social media marketing strategy with influencer marketing. We’ve written a post about what to include in your hotel marketing strategy here if you’re curious and would like to find out more.
Influencers are people that have an active & large following on social media, which they can leverage to influence the purchasing decisions of the everyday consumer. Importantly, 93% of all influencer marketing campaigns happen on Instagram.
You can invite influencers to your property for a complimentary stay, in exchange for creative content. Hiring an influencer gives you the benefit of reaching an influencer’s audience more organically than traditional methods of advertising your property. These content creators know how to curate a picture and you will be able to use it for your own social media marketing strategies and sponsored ads.
After you have collected an influencer’s content, you can post an ad with the photographs on Instagram. These photos will fit in naturally into the target audience’s feed, as they will already have come to expect similar content. The ad will inspire consumers, rather than aggressively advertise a venue.
However, influencer marketing is not just about booking in an influencer with a large following. Most hotels we speak to actually find a higher ROI working with micro-influencers. One of the principles of influencer marketing is that only pre-vetted influencers should be invited to stay, which guarantees their authenticity and expertise in travelling. These content creators have followers with the same passion, who are, therefore, more likely to engage with your property. Their followers are looking for new destinations to travel to. Micro-influencers, occasionally known as long-tail influencers (influencers with a follower count under 100k) are proven to be much more successful in promoting places to visit. Their audience tends to be more loyal and have a closer relationship with the influencer, which builds trust and generates a higher engagement with what they promote.
How to set out an ad:
To find a vetted influencer, influencer booking tools such as swayy.me provide a service in streamlining campaigns with carefully evaluated influencers.
When a collaboration with an influencer has finished, the delivered content can be used by the property. It is crucial to pick the best visuals, promoting the most beautiful or unique aspects of your venue. These may include the pool, restaurant, beach or the gym.
When creating an ad, it is important to write a catchy caption that isn’t too wordy. The caption should promote all relevant information relating to your visuals and property.
When you have decided on a caption, you will need to think about the hashtags you want to use. These hashtags should be consistent across your feed, and not only be used in the ad. A way to promote your hashtags is to specify to the influencer that they your hashtags, as well as by encouraging guests in your property to use your hashtags. Getting guests on board is easy: you could try setting up a photo-booth or giving them the opportunity to win a drink at the bar when they post your venue on social media. This way you ensure that the hashtag is only used at your property, and allows you to promote naturally on Instagram.
Possible hashtags might include #propertyname #nameretreat #namedreamvacation.
The process of posting an listing on Swayy is straightforward, and will force you to ask yourself a few questions about your strategy. That’s why it is essential you have one in place before posting. It starts with the travel influencer booking using an influencer software designed especially for the hospitality industry. If you are not sure about what kind of content can be produced to be utilised for your Digital Marketing, check what our influencers have generated as an example on Swayy’s Instagram.
On swayy.me the strategy becomes reality. The entire influencer marketing process is streamlined. The campaign is set out to satisfy the needs of the property. Hashtags to be used on social media and parameters about what to photograph and share with followers can be set out. Messaging with an influencer as well as ROI tracking is provided and links supplied to the influencer’s content which then can be used for a sponsored ad on Instagram.