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Instagram’s content-first approach makes the photo- and video-sharing platform the ideal place for brands with photogenic products to reach millions of engaged consumers. In January 2015, the Hawaiian Islands—arguably the most Instagrammable “product” in the world—launched their #LetHawaiiHappen Instagram marketing campaign aimed at attracting first-time visitors and giving those familiar with Hawaii’s beauty and culture a “behind-the-scenes” look at the state’s hidden gems.
In this Instagram marketing case study, we examine how the Hawaii tourism department collaborated with top travel Instagrammers and capitalized on thousands of user-generated vacation photos to create one of the platform’s most successful marketing campaigns.
While nearly all of the #LetHawaiiHappen campaign’s content was produced by everyday Instagram users, the photos generated by a handful of high-reach social media influencers and brand ambassadors was crucial in increasing campaign visibility and inspiring others to follow in the Instagrammer’s footsteps.
In an interview with Hawaii Business, Vince Soliven, executive creative director at the agency that spearheaded the #LetHawaiiHappen campaign, explained what made the tourism department’s influencer marketing efforts so successful:
“When you have a social media star who is ‘a regular person,’ it bridges the gap for the consumer. If this person is having this experience, it’s not fabricated, it’s not the result of some crazy $5,000 photo shoot. They got that with a GoPro. Maybe I could have that experience, too.”
Related Post: Travel Marketing With Top Social Media Influencers
For brands/destinations with visually-appealing products/locales, Instagram offers one of the best social media platforms for raising awareness about and garnering audience attention/participation for the brand. While encouraging ordinary users to post their own content can drive campaign engagement (see our Instagram marketing case study about Sonic’s square shakes), collaborating with Instagrammers, YouTubers, Snapchatters, Viners, and/or bloggers to increase campaign awareness is an effective, high-ROI way to ensure the success of your next Instagram influencer marketing campaign.