From Uber Eats to Twitter Fleets, Spotify to TikTok, and of course, Instagram Stories and Reels, the story format has captivated the minds of consumers, travelers, and marketers.
Half a billion people use Instagram Stories every day. TikTok has an estimated 1 billion monthly active users. How can you take advantage of this popular visual format to get in front of travelers, increase engagement, and drive traffic to your destination?
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how destinations are using the story format in their marketing right now.
1 | Run an Instagram Stories series
Oneida County Tourism in New York is running a virtual food tour using the letters of the alphabet, with the goal of inspiring future travel and promoting less-known local businesses.
They ran a public vote to gather submissions from the community and used CrowdRiff to help pull in content from local businesses and restaurants. They’re posting the photos on Instagram Stories and saving them in a highlight on their page. They’re also running paid advertising for certain letters within a 200-mile radius.
The campaign has been running for eight weeks. They’re estimating they will be finished by early June. So far they’ve seen a substantive growth in their followers, coverage from local media outlets, and a positive response from the community.
2 | Embed Instagram Stories on your website
A great way to extend the life of your Instagram Stories is by embedding them on your website, just like Tourism Kamloops is doing to drive bookings. They sourced content from their partner Golf Kamloops and added the content in CrowdRiff Galleries on their website. They even added calls to action and a link out to each golf course.
If you’re not a CrowdRiff user, talk to your web development team to get help embedding Instagram Stories on your site.
3 | Work with ambassadors to create TikTok content
Around 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34, with 26% between the ages of 18 and 24. As Simpleview points out, “For destinations, it’s important to note the impact that young adults can have on planning for family trips, as well as their potential to plan trips of their own in the coming years.”
Visit Switzerland recently hired four TikTokers to create content for their growing 60K follower base. “We want to tell stories that can come across as fresh, authentic and sometimes a bit wild. We want to learn what makes the future target group tick and how we can pick them up emotionally,” says Dominic Stöcklin, Head of Social Media at Switzerland Tourism.
4 | Repurpose content on Instagram Reels
Last year Instagram released Reels, its own form of vertical story content. Brands like Visit Florida, Tempe Tourism, and Experience Kissimmee have been tapping to Reels to promote 30-second snippets of video content to their audiences.
Your strategy for creating content will differ based on the resources and size of your team. Some, like Experience Kissimmee, have a dedicated team creating Stories for both Instagram and TikTok. Others, like Tempe Tourism, rely more on influencers and local ambassadors to fuel their content channels.
Taking advantage of the story format in your content
As a social media manager, it can be hard to keep up with all the new channels. The story format, particularly video stories, is here to stay. A SocialInsider study found that 51% of brands are using video in Stories. And video stories generate better tap-forward rates, helping influence how many people your story is shown to.
If you want to streamline your storytelling, here’s a hot tip: Earlier this year, Instagram made changes to videos it recommends in the dedicated Reels tab on the home screen. This includes not serving up videos with watermarks or logos from other platforms as often, because people have a less satisfying experience when they see content that is recycled from other apps or is blurry and low resolution.
You can still repurpose video content across channels, just be sure to recreate the content in the native platform rather than just reposting between Instagram and TikTok!