Instagram as a Digital Marketing Tool of a Hotel Brand




social media, digital marketing, hotel brand, instagram


Social media marketing is increasingly seen as one of the main ways of communicating with consumers, platforms where visual content is the main form of communication, such as Instagram. The human brain is programmed to not only pay attention to individual resources, but also to the stories that these resources tell. Stories allow humans to relate, inspire, motivate, and often be persuaded, because they mix information with emotion. In marketing, this concept of storytelling focuses mainly on details of a brand's branding. Therefore, although content shared on social networks can reach a large audience, that same content can be abandoned in the same instant, and so marketers must consciously create content that is relevant and interesting to their target audience, that tells the story of the brand and that engage the target audience with the brand. The presence of hotel units on social media, particularly Instagram, is increasingly seen as one of the main tools in the hotel industry's digital strategy. This exploratory study evaluates the role of visual marketing by analyzing how it can impact the performance of Instagram posts from a five-star hotel group brand in the city of Porto, Portugal. 77 Instagram posts were analyzed according to the following categories: day of the week of publication, content creator, engagement dimensions (number of likes, number of comments and number of hashtags), presence of people, topic, visual content analysis method (objects identified and predominant tone), color (description of color and tone) and finally, storytelling (the presence of storytelling in the publication and the type of story). The Google Vision API platform was used to analyze the visual content and color of all the publications collected. This study reveals that hotels should analyze the colors, type of stories, photographic content and topics that have the most positive effect on consumers - making the most of the interaction with consumers, leading them to make a reservation at the hotel. In this sense, the main aspects of visual marketing that are most effective are suggested, in terms of color, topic and storytelling, as well as identifying good visual marketing practices.