Impact Your Tourism Marketing With Instagram Stories

July 5th, 2018 by Brennan Schexnaydre

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, then you already know how to market your travel and tourism business during the off-season, and how to engage with vacationers using mobile search. But, do you know how to leverage Instagram Stories for impactful tourism marketing? Stories are temporary videos or photos strung together to form a slideshow gallery that, well, tells a story. Since Instagram rolled them out in 2016, over 25 million active business profiles and 300 million active daily users have flocked to this feature, according to This means that Stories could be a huge area of opportunity for your business—if you use them the right way. If you’re unfamiliar with Stories, offers in-depth instructions on how to use this feature. But once you have the basics down, dive into our pro tips for how to make Instagram Stories most effective for your company.

A graphic of someone using Instagram - Search Influence

Promote Yourself Creatively

Here’s the great thing about Stories—you no longer have to worry about over-posting. You are free to share as much content as you want throughout the day without taking over anyone’s feed. Plus, since the rollout of Instagram’s latest algorithm update, your traditional posts may have even less chance to be seen by followers in their feed, but Stories will appear right in front of your users at the top of their screens. This gives you more potential screen time and more creative ways to showcase your brand. But remember, it’s not about just posting links and asking users to click them. It’s about creating an experience where following your links is a natural and enticing option. Maybe you’ll be inspired by The North Face, who designed their Story to look like a dating app and asked users to swipe up to match with the perfect sleeping bag. Or, maybe you’ll start a little smaller by moving your weekly newsletter onto Instagram Stories. Whether you’re promoting events, products, newsletters, or just trying to drive extra traffic to your website, keep it creative and enticing and you can’t go wrong.

A graphic of a stories page for Cheerios Instagram - Search Influence

Actively Engage Followers

Promoting your company is important, but the strongest marketing campaigns are customer-focused, not you-focused. Instagram Stories allow you to engage with your customers on a more personal level, while still reflecting your brand’s identity creatively. One great idea for customer engagement comes from Cheerios, who posted a Story that compliments their followers. When followers are tagged in a personalized compliment, they feel valued by the brand, which deepens their sense of connection with Cheerios and builds brand trust and loyalty.

A more common approach is to leverage user-generated content—using your story to promote posts created by your followers. User-generated content is popular because it not only saves your company the time and energy of designing your own Story, but it also makes your customers feel like a valued part of your brand story, again building trust and loyalty.

As a final engagement strategy, consider using an Instagram Story poll. Polls tend to be fun and entertaining, and most importantly they ask followers to take an action on your Story that feels far less pushy than clicking a link. They also provide the opportunity to get genuine customer feedback or opinions, which can inform your future marketing strategies. For example, you could post a poll asking followers to choose between an island cabana or a cozy ski lodge, and then use their results to determine whether your next campaign should be focused on the tropics or the mountains. Whether you opt for compliments, user-generated content, polls, or something even more creative, always keep your audience at the forefront of your mind and your engagement will likely be successful.

A screenshot of Instagram highlights for Search Influence

Customize Your Highlights

Unlike regular Stories, which appear across the top of Instagram users’ home feeds, Stories Highlights are located on your company’s profile, between your bio and your photos. Highlights are kept for as long as you want—they will not automatically disappear after 24 hours like a regular Story. Because of this, Stories Highlights are a great way to share important brand information right on your profile, in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way. For an in-depth guide on how to customize your Stories Highlights, walks you through the process of creating your own icons and covers in Canva. And, for an in-depth look at how to use Canva, our blog offers some friendly tips on what Canva can do for your business.

An example of a sponsored Instagram ad from Search Influence

Don’t Forget Advertising

While authentically engaging with your followers is the ideal situation, sometimes it’s necessary to establish your brand or grow your network with paid advertising. On Instagram Stories, photo ads last 10 seconds, while video ads last for 15 seconds. It’s a very short window of time, but with the right approach, it can still be effective. Design your ads to catch your audience’s eyes quickly. Interest users with strong visuals, engage them with clear messaging, and then urge them into action. With this combination of tactics, you’ll have a good chance of achieving the goal of your ad campaign, whether it’s recruiting more followers, increasing sales, or gaining website traffic.

Ask the Professionals

If right now you feel confident and inspired to dive head first into creating exciting Instagram Stories, that’s awesome! But if you want more advice about managing your company’s social media, advertising online, or learning how to use additional Stories features like geotagging, the experts at Search Influence are here to help. Call 504-595-1623 with questions, or request a proposal online today.


Stories Demonstration