Instagram users log on to the platform so frequently because they want to escape. It’s not surprising, therefore, that “travel” was one of this year’s most popular hashtags on Instagram. Content that sparks a sense of adventure is perfectly aligned with what Instagram users love about the platform.
For those interested in using Instagram as a medium through which to share globetrotting adventures, this article is designed to help you. Readers will learn 10 Instagram strategies used by some of the most successful travel accounts on Instagram. From Murad Osmann to Chris Burkard, learn what the best travel bloggers and photographers do on Instagram that have helped them to amass tens of millions of followers.
1. Find an underserved niche of travel enthusiasts using Instagram.
Roughly 800 million users log on to Instagram at least once a month. With so many users, many of whom specialize in travel-related content, it can be difficult for upstart Instagram travel accounts to gain traction.
To cut through the noise, travel bloggers should consider finding an underserved Instagram audience that is enthusiastic about a particular type of travel. Content directed toward this audience will have better visibility and engagement than if it were more general.
2. Learn how to write a compelling caption.
Instagram is based on the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” While the phrase certainly rings true on Instagram, captions can add tremendous value to Instagram content if used correctly.
The Instagram post above does a great job of using a caption to enrich the content. The author explains the meaning behind the photo to his followers. As a result of a great photo and a well-paired caption, the post received nearly 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
Travel bloggers have an advantage when it comes to writing captions. They can even reuse written material from blog posts as Instagram captions.
3. Outsource photo editing if you aren’t an expert.
Instagram engagement is measured in seconds, not minutes. Let this serve as an indicator that your content needs to be truly arresting in order for users to engage with it in a meaningful way.
Travel bloggers who are unfamiliar with photo or video editing should turn to reasonably priced freelancers to edit content before it is posted on Instagram. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr make it easy to find talented, relatively inexpensive editors.
Let the photo above serve as a great example of the importance of well-edited Instagram content. At the time the photo was uploaded, this travel blogger was able engage roughly 10 percent of his total followers thanks to a well-composed and -edited photograph.
4. Build a large and dedicated following to monetize your work.
Marketers recognize that influencer marketing works. One study found that over 95 percent of marketers who use some sort of influencer marketing strategy believe it is effective.
As a result, brands of all kinds are getting in on the Instagram influencer bandwagon. Travel bloggers who are able to build a large or highly engaged following can monetize Instagram in a meaningful way.
5. Use Instagram Stories to better engage followers
Stories provides travel bloggers with a great way to give followers behind-the-scenes glimpses at exciting adventures. It also provides account owners with an easy way to drive followers to another website. Followers need only to swipe up to visit a related blog post, for example.
6. Invest in an analytics tool to optimize content.
Readers who are interested in building a significant presence on Instagram simply must invest in an analytics tool in order to learn the likes and dislikes of the target audience.
Many reasonably priced Instagram analytics tools can determine when is the best time to post on Instagram for maximum exposure. Analytics tools can also be used to determine what types of content tend to resonate best with followers. Additionally, platforms like Owlmetrics offer customers the ability to monitor Instagram for specific hashtags or keyword phrases, making it easier to engage members of a specific target audience.
7. Engage in co-marketing to acquire new followers quickly.
Co-marketing is when two organizations form an agreement to promote a particular product or service to a shared audience. The hope is that the joint promotion will provide both brands with exposure to audience members that might otherwise be inaccessible.
Cco-marketing is often employed in television commercials, such as a partnership between Nissan and Star Wars to co-promote a new car and a new Star Wars movie that share the same name.
But co-marketing is also being used on Instagram, often in the form of an “account takeover,” to connect with new prospective followers. Travel bloggers can reach out to other travel-themed Instagram accounts to orchestrate a co-marketing initiative that benefits both account owners.
8. Choose high-quality camera equipment
In a recent interview with some of the world’s most revered Instagram celebrities, Vogue reported that most celebrities interviewed don’t use a smartphone to take Instagram pictures or video. Instead, they rely on a variety of digital cameras that are well made while also being compact.
Readers who are interested in creating arresting Instagram content should consider investing in a reasonably priced digital camera in order to capture high-quality stills and videos.
9. Plan content to complement current events
Viral content often reflects people’s psyches during a particular moment in time. When planning your Instagram content strategy, try to develop a plan that involves posting content that will complement current events as much as possible.
Take the example above of a nontraditional Thanksgiving Day post from mountaineer and traveler Jimmy Chin. The post received great engagement because the content was highly topical.
10. Take time to promote your account to press outlets.
Instagram accounts that are able to attract press attention often grow much more quickly than those that are unable to attract media coverage. For example, the account created by Murad Osmann has been listed by a number of publications as a “must-follow” travel Instagram account. This is one reason the account now has well over 4 million followers.