Instagram’s Ad Power
How the app’s new ad feature can help to grow reach and engage owners and guests.
A favorite among millennials and Gen X’ers, Instagram allows brands to connect with travelers through stunning photography or video—and it recently became an even more effective marketing tool. As of March 1, businesses can publish ads in Instagram Stories. The feature, which displays photos and videos that expire within 24 hours, now allows companies to run a full-screen photo or video (up to 15 seconds) that plays automatically between the stories in a user’s feed.
“Instagram is the perfect place to highlight [accommodations and amenities] due to the visual nature of the platform,” says Dave Thomas, social media manager at RCI. “Stories will become increasingly important for brands in terms of visibility because the feature has been added to the Search & Explore tab. This creates another opportunity for users to discover your brand.” Instagram’s Search & Explore page shows users images and videos from accounts they may be interested in following.
Businesses can use Facebook’s Power Editor and Ads Manager tools to create a Stories ad that targets their desired audiences (Facebook is Instagram’s parent company). The ads appear wherever stories live, both on the user’s home feed and the Search & Explore page. Once a Stories ad has been published, a resort can track its performance through the Insights page on its Instagram profile. This data includes reach, impressions, replies and exits for each ad. “The new metrics will allow you to understand how your content is resonating with the community and how you can tailor it to be as impactful as possible,” Thomas says.
These analytic tools, coupled with the potential to reach new travelers, make for a valuable addition to a brand’s overall marketing strategy, especially for resorts looking to expand their reach among younger travelers. “When planning and creating content, Instagram should be considered up front as much as other channels,” Thomas says. “It can be a more fun and relaxed space to communicate with followers and guests.”
Image credit: iStockphoto