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How Do I Promote My Short Term Rental Properties on Instagram?

Do you have Instagram in your radar? Have you ever thought of this trending social media channel to promote your short term rental business to generate reservations and traffic to your web? Well we will give you some interesting data first and advice on how you can use it to do so. 

Did you know that about 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day? 

The reason why this visual based social media network works so well, is because the human brain works much faster with images than text. In fact we process images 60,000 times much faster. 

But do you know how to take advantage of this social media giant with 1 billion monthly users to target the right audience and promote your short term rental properties? 

Well, let us show you some interesting stats, so you can get a better picture of how it can help you and your short term rental business. 

Some interesting figures

Below you will find some interesting facts and figures about instagram from the portal Statista.com :  

Countries where Instagram is most popular: 

As you will see in this chart, 110 million users are found in the US, followed by Brazil with 66 million and India with 64 million. 

Statista-Instagram-Users

Did you ever think of targeting these markets? Well you can do so through Instagram.

If you are located in Europe, there are some interesting statistics about the outbound travel behaviour that make these countries an interesting target and which you can take advantage to promote your destination and properties. 

The biggest market which is USA, had in 2017 10.54 million outbound trips to Western Europe. Followed by 8.17 to Northern Europe and 8.15 to Southern Europe. 

As for Brazilians, they preferred to go to Southern and Western Europe with 1.79 million and 1.54 outbound trips respectively. 

Regarding India, they opted for Western Europe with 902 thousand outbound trips and Central/Eastern Europe with 899 thousand. 

If you are located in the US, these markets are also quite interesting to target. In 2016 there were approximately 1.69 incoming visitors from Brazil with a forecast to increase to 1.84 million in 2022. 

As for India, there were approximately 1.17 incoming visitors to the US in 2016 with a forecast to increase to more than 1.41 million in 2022.

Plus you can reach a big audience and promote your properties within the US and target the national travelers. 

Besides these top three markets, you will also see the in graph above other countries you can reach which use this social media platform. 

Type of Audience that you will find 

Up until April of this year, the main audience found on instagram were Generation-Z and Millenials. Two-thirds of Instagram users are aged 34 and below. 

Statista-GenZ-Instagram

Looking at the type of audience, you might discard the idea of using Instagram to promote your vacation rental accommodations, but take into account that the Gen-Z generation are future consumers, with strong acquisition power and influence over their peers and family. According to a Forbes article, they will become the largest consumers and by 2020 should account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending. 

Some other interesting facts…

Other interesting numbers for you to consider are that 60% found new products vía instagram and 80% more spent time watching videos on instagram. 

Now that you have some interesting data regarding Instagram, you might ask how can I market my vacation rental through this social media. 

How to start with Instagram Business 

Here are some important steps you should consider when creating your instagram business profile: 

  1. Use your logo on your picture profile so that users can identify your brand. 
  2. Your account name has to be the same as your business name. 
  3. Your username should also be the same as your business name but with no spaces. 
  4. Place your website URL or promotional landing page. This will be the only URL that followers can click on. 
  5. Your BIO is very important, here is where you can describe the unique selling point of your short term rental agency, the type of accommodations that you offer and describe your main destinations. 

5 tips when building your Instagram Strategy 

As with any other social media platform, you have to plan carefully your Instagram strategy, afterall it is not only about just posting pretty pictures. 

So here are some tips of what you need to consider when doing your strategy to promote your properties: 

1. Try to reflect the brand’s personality and be consistent with it. 

Tell a visual story with your posts and videos and create an atmosphere that engages with your audience. 

Here is a good example of how Booking has used instagram to showcase their destinations and more importantly through their specific style of photography sell experiences: 

Booking-Instagram
Booking-Instagram

2. Use Hashtags to engage with your audience, and find niche markets or a specific audience. 

Hashtags are important, because they help you categorize your posts, reach the correct audience and make it easier for users to find you. But you have to remember that they have to be specific, targeted, creative and short. 

You can use hashtags to create specific campaigns, for example if you wish to promote a specific destination.

Or you can also add to your campaign posts popular hashtags to reach a specific audience. 

Example, if you wish to promote your short term rental in London, do not use the generic hashtag because you will find the following number of posts: 

Instagram-hashtag-london

There are so many posts, it will be difficult to stand out with your own. While if you narrow it down to for example #londonjazzfestival 

Instagram-hashtag-londonjazzfestival

he number of posts is narrower and you can target an interesting audience that might need accomodation when they go to this event. Plus you can grow your audience by reaching a niche audience. 

3. Promote your instagram posts on your other social media channels 

You can use your other social media channels to build your followers on instagram and since Instagram is part of Facebook, they tend to perform quite well. But you can also use your Twitter or even LinkedIn social channel. 

4. Use Instagram Stories to catch your audience’s attention 

Instagram stories are a great way in which you can interact with your audience, they last 24 hours on your profile. Though if you wish to keep them you can use Stories Highlights. You can see below how Vacasa used it to highlight certain destinations: 

Instagram-Vacasa

You are able to add a video or photo with a hashtag (you are only able to create up to 30),  and to catch the attention of your story post you can even insert a sticker. 

Plus you can also add a location, which is a great feature for short term rental businesses to get more reach and visibility.

And if you want to get data from your audience you can create fun quizzes. You can click here to see a clever example from KLM, the international dutch airline. 

Do you want more technical details on how to use these features? Here´s a post from Hootsuite which shows you how to set them up. 

5. You can promote your destinations and properties using various ad formats

There are different types of ads that Instagram offers, which are the following: 

Stories Ads

These ads appear in the stories and feeds section of the users in a full screen vertical format on mobiles. They are non-disruptive because they only last 24 hours, which make them ideal to offer special seasonal promotions you might have. 

Within the ad you can include various calls to action such as Book now or Contact Us etc. which will take the user directly to your website, plus you are able to segment your ads by reach, video reproductions, traffic generated to your page, downloads or brand recognition. 

You also have the option of adding face filters, video effects and text so that you can personalize the ad with your brand personality. 

Regarding image recommendations, make sure that the one that you use has a maximum resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels and a minimum of 600 X 1067. 

The formats should either be JPG or PNG with a maximum size of 30MB. 

Photo Ads

If you have a good media library, then you can use the photo ads option to push a specific property that you want to promote, that is not bringing you that much revenue. 

Besides the call to actions mentioned above (Book now and Contact Us) you can also include Call Now and Get Directions. 

There are 3 different type of image ad formats: 

Landscape Image Ad

  • The size image that we recommend is 1200 x 628 with a minimum of 600 X 315 pixels. 
  • The formats should be JPG and PNG with a maximum file size of 30MB. 
  • The maximum length of caption that you can place is 2,200 characters though that is too much, a much shorter caption is recommended. 

Square Image Ad 

With the square option the maximum size should be 1080 x 1080 and minimum size is 600 x 600.

Vertical Image Ad

As for the vertical image ad size you should insert one with a maximum of 1080 x 1350 pixels and a minimum of 600 x 450 pixels. 

Video Ads 

Now you can get quite creative, plus videos are the favorite format for instagram users. According to Instagram, the percentage of video consumption grows every year more than 80%. You can inspire your audience, with either fantastic vídeos telling a story of a destination or finding an original way of showcasing your properties. 

You can also add the following call to action buttons: apply now, book now, contact us, call now, download. 

As for the technical recommendations, here they are: 

  • The minimum resolution is 600 x 315 pixels
  • The video formats should be either MP4 and MOV.
  • The maximum size should be 4GB. 
  • Video length should be 120 seconds. 

Carousel Ads 

These ads can come quite handy, because you are able to show up to 10 images or 3 videos that swipe through one after the other. 

You can showcase many of your properties or destinations you want to promote with this option. Or you can create original stories, for example by creating short videos with locals talking about interesting stories about the destination. The options are endless, you just need your imagination. 

  • The resolution that is recommended for the image ads is 1080 x 1080. 
  • The format should be JPG or PNG. 
  • Maximum size should be 30MB. 
  • It allows 2 to 10 images per ad. 

Instagram should become part of your content strategy, it is a social media channel where you can promote your properties and furthermore generate traffic to your site to get more reservations, plus it is a part of your branding strategy to create loyal customers, as we had mentioned in our previous blog 3 Steps to Creating Brand Loyalty Through Your Web. 

Did you know that we can help you build your own vacation rental website that has Instagram integrated within the site? For more information contact our Web Team here

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