Since forever I’ve advised my clients to make the best use of images and video, of media that will capture the imagination of potential clients. It’s 2017 and many have still not grasped the simplest concept, that a captive audience travels on the visual. As a wordsmith and someone who enjoys telling a story, using Instagram as a story place marker helps me convey the reality of a place and experience. Let me show you how to use Instagram mixed with a contextual storyline.
Not many people reading this post will have heard of Vorontsov Palace (Alupka). This magical gem is situated at the foot of the Crimean Mountains near the town of Alupka in Crimea, is one of the oldest and largest palaces in the region, and one of the peninsula’s most popular tourist attractions. The palace was used by some of the Russian Empire’s richest and most powerful elites in its time. In the Soviet years, the place was first a museum, at one point occupied by Adolf Hitler’s general staff When Germany occupied Crimea in the Second World War, and later served to house Sir Winston Churchill during the Yalta conference. Today the palace is once again a tourist attraction as famous for its lavish grounds as it is for its magnificent architecture. This Instagram share by phinlaure projects the surreal majesty of this place in Russia.
What if I told you my friend Sergey Rasshivaev is most famous for his adventures surfing in Kamchatka? Would this fact intrigue you after seeing his Instagram share from La Preciosa Beach in the Dominican Republic? Suffice it to say Sergey is what we Baby Boomers would call the “Ultimate Surfer Dude”. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Sergey runs Surf Holidays, which is famous for ultimate surfing adventures from the arctic to, well, to the DR I guess. As for
La Preciosa Beach, by car it’s only a few minutes from Playa Grande, a surfer and rock climber destination noted for the reef break and the sandy bottom. Noted for its rip currents, this is not a spot for beginners. In fact, the paddle out to the breaks is a chore, which is why Sergey and other surfers opt to climb the rock cliffs with their boards in tow. And what is Sergey doing this far from the far frozen North? Well, the first Russian surf school was founded in 2002 and managed to raise a number of generations of surfers and surf instructors. The same school created the Russian Surf Federation, which Sergey is president of.
Who can say how the jigsaw puzzle of who we are is punched out in the great cosmic wonder that is life. The Instagram share below reminded me of a thousand moments, a hundred people, and all the moments and people tied to those because of one place – Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. I’ve walked this exact path you see hundreds of times, and how I recollect the mysterious way this place affected my life. But these memories are fit for a book, not for sharing a great barrier island with you.
The place I grew up in, Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s most picturesque and beloved cites. The outlying barrier islands of the surrounding area has been traditional family vacation choice for generations, it was Sullivan’s Island where my parents spent many Summers. The island is a bit of a diverse vacation haunt that combines wonderful beaches, great watersports, a good dose of history, and even some local folklore. Back when, the Sullivan’s was a good bit less crowded, but today the beaches are jammed during the season. Local restaurants here have now become famous, but the island is best noted for being a quite “neighborly” destination in between the madness of Isle of Psalms and the cobblestone streets of Charleston. “Inviting” is the best word to describe Sullivan’s Island. Be sure and visit historic Fort Moultrie, where the Civil War began.
Later this Summer we’re headed to incredible Crete. What can I say, we fell in love with the land of the ancient Minoans back in 2014 and never lost the itch to live there. Of remote beaches and secret hideaways, Crete is legendary for these. And the wonderful resorts there are beyond compare, as well. The share below is from TripTemptations founder Alina Lasina who spent some days at the all inclusive Creta Star, right on the beach just outside Rethymno.
Finally, the whole point of a contextual promotion is not to give every possible detail for the prospective traveller or guest. The deeper context is better suites to the native website, literature about the destination, or via direct contact with the entity. The idea in digital marketing is to provide the best possible preview within the most efficient space. I’ll share some more tips on the use of images later on, for now it’s just a good idea to consider all those millions of instagram users, and millions on millions of images that show your value for you.
Feature image courtesy the superb action photographer Tania Elisarieva