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You Are Ignoring the Sleeping Giant of Travel Marketing

Your social media efforts are missing out on a critical tool

Travelers have become more driven by visual experiences than ever before. While Instagram has been the reigning champion of visual storytelling, there is a quiet giant making a big impact. Pinterest.

For travel, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all about what you’ve done. Pinterest is about planning what you’re going to do. Your community must leverage travelers in the dreaming and planning stages more than ever. — Hannah McClung, Signalfire Social Media Specialist

travel marketing relies on pinterest to generate interest
Source: Pinterest

Why Should Destinations Embrace Pinterest Marketing?

Lockdowns, restrictions, and stay-at-home orders meant those who normally traveled are stuck as web-based spectators to their favorite destinations. Trends are shifting as lockdowns are lifted, restrictions are eased, and travelers begin leaving their homes. Trends also show travelers are doing it differently.

With COVID-19 still a concern, car-centered vacations are gaining ground. Searches for “cross country road trip” are up 89% while those for “road trips routes” have zoomed ahead 248%. (Source: Pinterest)

Pinterest users are planners. Destinations that frequently reside on “bucket lists” need to show what their experience will be like when travelers do make it there. Enthrall dreaming travelers with visual delights like stunning vistas and cuisine. Reassure them, it will all be waiting.

Think about ways you can bring what’s unique about your brand—your food, your culture, your experience—into people’s homes so they’ll want to plan a trip with your brand when the time is right. (Source: Pinterest)

Your community’s captivating experiences can be very specific things. If your region is known for river kayaking, make sure your images reflect it. Capture and share the activities or amenities your visitors and travelers are passionate about. Focusing on specifics will make your destination more authentic.

Travelers want to see your destination as it is. Interest has drifted away from deals to experiences. Pinterest provides a platform to show the traveler your community is welcoming them. Use Pinterest to help the travel planner create a captivating community experience.

We recommend reading these articles, too:

pinterest appeals to travelers in the dreaming and planning stage
Source: Pinterest

Here are some Pinterest marketing tips for promoting your community

Do some research first

Search on Pinterest for “getaway in Door County” or “scenic road trip ideas in Michigan” and scroll through the results. This will also help plan the timing of your pins and posts. The trend lines will show you what time of year your search is most active. If you’re looking to test how popular your search idea (or destination) is, you can use some free tools from Pinterest and Google.

pinterest trends shows when your topic is popular
Maybe you should be sneaking in talk about fall colors a little earlier? Source: Pinterest Trends.

Coordinate with local photographers and embrace Pinterest user-generated content

Instagram and Facebook stories are perfect for those quick cell phone pictures, but your Pinterest pins should be your very best shots. Because your traveler is looking for the ideal, using those “magazine-quality” pictures will be important. Teaming up with your local photographers is key to having a steady supply of fabulous visuals.

Sometimes the most incredible images may come from your travelers. Be sure to get permission, share, and give credit.

Mix up your content

Your community is made up of vibrant businesses and neighbors. Sharing their pins is an excellent practice. “Taking a 60%-40% approach is a good idea,” says Signalfire’s McClung. “60% shared or curated content and 40% your original images.”

From delicious meal presentations to unforgettable scenery, sharing your community partners’ content will keep unique and engaging visuals flowing on your boards.

Create and organize your boards

Pinterest allows you to organize your posts, or pins, into collections called boards. As a destination community, creating boards for dining, activities, or specific activities gives your images better context.

Give some thought into naming your boards. In addition to keeping your pins topically organized, it also allows travel planners to easily find your boards. For example, someone interested in Galena, Illinois farm to table restaurants may not search the DMO’s Pinterest account, but they will likely find a board named “Galena Restaurants”.

Pinterest ads are inexpensive and crazy effective

If you’re considering where to place your 2021 digital marketing spend, we recommend putting Pinterest pretty high on the list. Beyond getting a solid bang for your buck, Pinterest ads also include:

  • Targeting for your ideal traveler demographics or keyword search topic
  • Link back to your website (bonus points for a dedicated landing page)
  • Single image, image carousel, or video
  • Ability to tag specific topics

Pinterest ads give you the ability to your display advertisement directly to your website. Targeted travel planners will be brought directly to your website and taking their vacation planning to the next stage. Once on your website, they can make the jump from daydreaming to booking.

Need to Call in Experts?

Signalfire will show you how great storytelling will engage your returning guests and excite future travelers.

Many tourism websites sit dormant when they could be delivering real economic impact. Signalfire helps leverage your website using proven digital marketing practices to deliver increased traveler awareness, local member connections, and tourism revenue.

To connect with Signalfire, click here and we can begin putting your community’s story to work.


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