Instagram: A Growing Opportunity


Back on August 4, 2015, Facebook-owned Instagram turned on its advertising API (application programming interface). Businesses of all sizes can now buy advertising on Instagram, similar to the way you purchase digital ads on Google, Twitter, or Facebook. Since this is a relatively new opportunity, it’s just starting to catch on.

Why is this important?

With this feature, you will be able to launch Instagram ad campaigns and track the results, all in an automated fashion. Instagram seamlessly integrates with Facebook’s marketing tools, letting you easily target your desired audiences.

You may already advertise across a number of digital platforms. Why bloat your advertising spending even more on Instagram? Marketing forecasters have one word for you: growth.

The social media platform currently has over 300 million active monthly users worldwide, who share over 70 million photos and videos daily. In the U.S, EMarket estimated that Instagram’s monthly user base increased by 60 percent in 2014 to 64 million people. By 2019, that figure will swell to encompass a third of the population.

Instagram is especially popular with young adults and teenagers, with 90 percent of its user base coming in under the age of 35. But even if you target an older customer base, you should still undoubtedly maintain an effective Instagram account.

Just look at the way Facebook’s age demographics have changed over the years. Since 2011, Facebook usage by those ages 35-54 has grown by 41 percent, and use by the 55-plus set has grown by more than 80 percent. After starting out exclusively used by a younger demo, Mark Zuckerberg’s invention is now utilized by all ages.

I bet that Instagram will follow suit. With its fast growth, the platform offers the perfect medium to promote your brand. In a recent e-commerce survey, 93 percent of people said that visuals are the top influential factor affecting a purchase decision. Behavior that universal certainly deserves a portion of your advertising budget, at least for a quick experiment or two.

But here’s the problem: not many parks or tours have Instagram accounts at all. Instagram offers great potential to expand your exposure. Just as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other review sites help you stand out from the crowd, Instagram allows you to showcase the activities you offer even more with photographs and videos.

So for the remainder of this article, we’re going to switch gears away from Instagram advertising in particular, and simply cover tour operator dos and don’ts of this still obscure social media platform.

Instagram 101: The Basics on Posting

When trying to gain followers and plan marketing campaigns, remember the true value of social media. Platforms like Instagram strive to connect individuals through shared experiences and values.

As you decide on your content strategy, make sure you use the platform to promote your company’s central philosophy, one that is rooted in the values you stand for. On Instagram, you should post photographs and short videos that validate your brand’s experience and unique value. Through authenticity, users will identify with your values and, in turn, your product.

Using Instagram is simple and intuitive, but there are some elements of the app that you should keep in mind with each of your posts.

1 2 3

About Author

Julia Barrero is a contributing columnist for Adventure Park Insider and the head of marketing at Xola, the booking and marketing software that zip lines, adventure parks, and other tour operators. Julia is also the lead writer behind Xola University, a business and marketing blog for tour industry professionals. She claims to have a writer's heart and a scientist's brain, which makes her a natural marketer. She specializes in data analysis for tour and activity companies. Through her blog posts, she hopes to turn tour operators everywhere into Jedi Marketing Masters.

Leave A Reply