Top Travel & Tourism Instagram Campaigns for Summer of 2018

Summer is the big travel and tourism season. So now that summer is over, let’s take a look at some of the top campaigns on Instagram for the summer of 2018.

There were a lot of interesting campaigns during this summer season, and it wasn’t easy isolating this down to 3 campaigns. But we tried to select campaign themes that were unique, interesting, and had a significant posting volume. So in this report we’re featuring campaigns from the state tourism departments of Colorado, Michigan and New York.

Colorado’s #BraveTheCDT Campaign

When you’re a state tourism department, you have to sell what you got. And Colorado’s big attraction is the Rocky Mountains (yes, pun intended). The CDT here is the Continental Divide Trail. And they formed a ‘coalition’ to take on an 800-mile section of the CDT.

Let’s first look at how the campaign was scheduled and delivered in the Campaign Analyzer report, below.








Let’s start by reviewing the post and engagement types. Not surprising, it’s primarily photos. No videos. But there are a few Album posts, which seem to perform well on Instagram.

The posts engagement consists almost entirely of Likes, with a small portion of Comments.

The Top Related Themes chart (lower left chart, above) fills in the picture of what else they were posting about in their #BraveTheCDT posts: The interesting things to do and see along the trail. That certainly makes sense.

The Daily Posts chart in the lower right, above, shows an unusual approach to a summer-long tourism campaign. This was a highly-condensed effort taking place over a couple of weeks in mid-July.

What I like about this campaign is the story they created around the Trail. The campaign length parallels what someone might do for a vacation along the CDT, so that’s a nice tie-in.

Now let’s look at the top 5 posts in this tourism campaign.


Focusing on the key stops and things to do and see along the trail makes a lot of sense. And creates a nice storyline for the campaign.

This is a nice campaign that feels both genuine and distinct to Colorado. Makes me want to go.

Michigan’s #VisitDetroit Campaign

When I think of Detroit, it’s not the first place I’d consider going for vacation. So I have to hand it to the state of Michigan for taking this head-on.

Of course, the city is something of the crown jewel for the state, regardless of current economic circumstances. So I agree with their pursuit in showcasing the city.

Detroit’s the motor city, so let’s take a look under the hood of this campaign.

Posting volume is moderate but consistent throughout the summer. I think that’s a good strategy, because while Detroit’s going through a tough period, the surrounding state is full of great attractions. So whether it’s visitors from a nearby state or those coming from elsewhere, once they’ve decided to visit Michigan, it’s a worthwhile pursuit to encourage them to spend a day or two in the largest city in the state. After all, once they’re coming to visit somewhere in the state, they’re a good candidate for following the brand on Instagram. So a great opportunity to cross-promote.








From the Top Related Terms chart, we can see they’re using the platform to feature current events happening in the Detroit area.

And in the upper right of the chart above, you can see how this campaign generated a nice amount of engagement.

Now let’s look at the top 5 posts for the #VisitDetroit campaign.


Here again, illustrating all the activities to do in the area makes sense, of course. As the top 5 posts above demonstrate, whatever the current situation in Detroit, good photography always puts a shine on a destination.

The #DYK campaign from Michigan and New York

As we’ve seen before, campaign themes can be shared by different brands. With tourism, that certainly makes sense, as there are a lot of places to go, and the basic appeals of beauty, adventure, escape, or whatever, are someone consistent.

The #DYK campaign has a nice handle to it. Did You Know? A fun quiz-like feel that draws you in to answer the question.

Looking at the high level data view below, we see the majority of the posting in this campaign is from New York state (iloveny). It’s a pretty consistent campaign spaced fairly evenly throughout the summer. All images. No videos or carousels. And in general the #DYK setup seems likely to reference a single point. You wouldn’t want what you’re supposed to know to be too complex, after all.








Now let’s look at the top 5 posts on this theme from these two states.


What I like about the treatment of the trivia is that they aren’t picking the most obvious features in their state. New York could have dug into a lot of interesting stats around New York City, but they’ve used the opportunity to expand awareness of some of the other parts of the state. In an almost inverse of what Michigan did with #VisitDetroit, above.

Another aspect of this campaign I like, in particular from New York, is the sparse copy treatment for each piece of trivia. They aren’t overselling this, but simply picking up one place and finding a single point of interest, and leaving it at that. Nicely done.

If you’d like to view more reports like this, please visit the Zuum blog, where we’ve compiled both content and higher-level trending reports on Facebook, Instagram, and social media at large.

And if you’re looking for the type of competitive data that will give you new and deeper insights into what your competitors are doing, be sure to sign up for a free trial to see what Zuum can do for your brand.

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