In the era of digital storytelling, one platform rises above the rest: Instagram. Its combination of visuals, short-form content, and interactive elements makes it a powerful tool for raising awareness about expeditions. As a new member of the Explorer’s Club, I’ve become even more interested in helping fellow explorer’s how to more strategically utilize social media to grow their reach, influence, and impact. Here are some tips for using Instagram Reels to amplify the impact of your next expedition.
Reeling Them In
According to Semrush, based on total website traffic, Instagram is one of the world’s top 10 most-visited websites globally, with 4.25 billion monthly total visits. According to Meta’s research, people reshare Reels 1 billion times daily through DMs! So, let’s dive into Instagram’s most popular feature, Reels, which has gained considerable popularity. By creating short, engaging video content, explorers can use Reels to narratively structure their expeditions, provide exciting snapshots of their journey, and engage with followers in an entertaining and informative way.
Your bio is among the first things visitors see on your Instagram profile. Ensuring it accurately represents your expedition and what followers can expect from your content is crucial.
Expedition Mission: Clearly outline the purpose or mission of your expedition. What are you setting out to achieve? What makes your journey unique?
Personal or Team Introduction: If space permits, include brief information about who you are or your team members. This helps to humanize your expedition and allows followers to connect with you on a personal level.
Website Link: Include a link to your expedition’s website or blog for those who want to dive deeper. Instagram also allows linking other content in your bio through tools like Linktree or their recent announcement of allowing multiple links in your bio!
Before the Expedition:
This is the perfect time to generate interest and excitement about your upcoming expedition.
Preparation Snapshots/Reels: Showcase your expedition’s intense planning and preparation, which could involve everything from packing your gear (as seen here in a recent Reel from the Arctic Cowboys), and fitness training, to organizing maps and routes. Highlighting these aspects gives your followers an understanding of the effort and dedication behind the scenes.
Team Introduction: A personal introduction to each team member can add a human touch to your adventure. You could create individual Reels focusing on each person’s role and thoughts or feelings about the upcoming expedition.
Itinerary Insights: Share an overview of your expedition itinerary, showcasing significant milestones or challenges you expect to encounter. You could include maps, images, or animations to visualize the journey you’re about to embark on. Be sure and tag anyone involved in your planning, visits, or especially sponsors.
2. During the Expedition:
While you’re in the heart of your expedition, using Reels can help make the experience more immersive for your followers.
Significant Moments: Use Reels to share key moments from your expedition. These could be reaching a landmark, overcoming a particularly challenging part of the journey, or witnessing breathtaking views. If you don’t have access to the internet because you’re about to Summit Everest, you may still be able to capture short clips that you can later edit into Reels. Remember, more video is better, and dozens of video editors can help you turn your clips into excellent social media footage. One such expert that I highly recommend is Bhushan Boudhankar at Video Marvels. I partner with him on several projects for my clients and have found him to be timely, affordable, and a person of integrity.
Day-in-the-Life: A montage of a typical day during your expedition can help followers understand your experiences. From waking up in the morning, setting up camp, and preparing meals to wind down at night, such a reel can give a complete picture of your daily routine.
Interactive Updates: Engage with your audience by asking them to predict outcomes or guess your next location. Such interactive content can increase engagement and make followers feel like they’re a part of your journey. Using Instagram Stickers can enhance engagement and offer your followers a way to know that you want them to engage with you.
3. After the Expedition:
Once your journey concludes, Reels can help encapsulate your experience and reflections.
Journey Highlights: Compile the most unforgettable moments from your expedition into a single Reel, which can serve as a condensed record of your entire journey, providing a quick yet comprehensive look at your adventure.
Reflections and Learnings: Share your thoughts about the expedition. Discuss any challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and what you learned from the experience. Such personal insights can humanize your journey and inspire others.
Unseen Footage: Often, there are many exciting or amusing moments during expeditions that don’t make it into the main feed. Sharing unseen or blooper footage can entertain your audience and offer a fuller, more authentic depiction of your experience.
Remember, creativity is vital when creating Reels. Keep your content engaging, authentic, and unique to your journey to hold your audience’s interest and help them connect with your expedition on a deeper level.
It is vital to understand that just because you share some of these lessons once in one way doesn’t mean you cannot share them again later in a different way. Your followers want to know about your expedition, and the more high-quality, engaging, and entertaining content you release, the more they will come back to consume more from you. Be bold in re-using content if you’ve found a way to form that content freshly.
Stories and More
Instagram Stories provide a platform for more spontaneous, real-time content that lets your followers experience your expedition as it unfolds. If you have access to cellular data or wifi during your travel, this can be a great option offering your followers:
Immediate Engagement: Stories can include polls or question stickers, allowing followers to interact directly with your content. For instance, ask for their predictions on your next destination or invite them to share what they’d like to see more of.
Behind-The-Scenes Access: Stories also offer a space for less polished, behind-the-scenes content that can fit outside your main feed’s aesthetic or theme, which can provide a more rounded view of your expedition, capturing the ups, downs, and unexpected moments.
Live Streaming: Live Stories allow you to share real-time videos with your followers. This feature is especially effective for sharing immediate reactions to reaching milestones or dealing with challenges. It can create a sense of shared adventure and helps followers feel like they’re right there with you.
Collaboration is Key
Partnering with like-minded explorers, brands, or sponsors can significantly broaden your reach and add a variety of perspectives to your content.
Tagging and Mentioning: When you collaborate with others, tag or mention them in your posts and Stories. This not only gives them credit but also exposes your expedition to their followers potentially.
Shared Content: Collaborate on creating content that can be shared across multiple profiles. This could be interviews with other explorers, joint Q&As, or shared experiences from the expedition.
Sponsor Highlights: If you have sponsors, create dedicated posts or Reels that showcase their products or services in action during your expedition. This can demonstrate the value of their support and foster stronger relationships.
Regularly updating your followers about your expedition progress is crucial, especially as your follower count grows.
Recap Posts: Regular recap posts or videos can help reorient old and new followers to your journey. These can summarize what you’ve achieved so far and what lies ahead.
Highlight Achievements: As you reach significant milestones in your expedition, highlighting these achievements demonstrates progress and provides perfect opportunities to reiterate the purpose and goals of your journey.
Be bold and remind people of your accomplishments in creative ways like the Biodiversity Group does in their post on Instagram here, where they talk about their groundbreaking work involving drones to rediscover a lizard not seen in over 40 years.
Engage with Your Community: Make a point of responding to comments and messages and fostering a community among your followers. This encourages your followers to stay engaged and invested in your journey. As new followers join, they will see a vibrant, interactive community they will be more likely to want to be part of.
Leveraging Instagram for expedition awareness can be game-changing. It’s not just about posting pictures; it’s about crafting a narrative that allows followers to join you on your journey.
Whether at the planning stage or knee-deep in the adventure, Instagram offers the tools to bring your expedition to life in the digital world.
If you’d like help planning your social media strategy for your upcoming expedition, you can book a consultation with me by clicking my calendar here: Book a Social Media Strategy Call with David Pride.