There is a shift in the way people travel as they look to social media for travel planning. From getting inspired to visit a destination by an Instagram post or asking for recommendations for their upcoming trip, influencers are involved in every step of the process.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media strategy that leverages the reach of an existing influencer – individuals who have a huge, dedicated following on social media who endorse your brand with the intent to create brand awareness and boost sales. This type of marketing works because of the trust and authority the influencer has built with their followers.
When an influencer recommends a product or service on their channels, it can come across as a trusted recommendation from a friend. This is obviously advantageous to brands as it gives them direct access to target markets.
Here’s how you can create a successful influencer marketing campaign:
Define your goals
Before you reach out to influencers, you need to set a goal for the campaign.
- Increase brand awareness
To increase the awareness of your brand, it’s important to reach people who don’t already know you. Collaborating with influencers allows you to expose your brand to a large audience.
Key metrics to track – impressions, engagements (likes, shares, mentions)
- Drive traffic to your website
Influencers are a great way to drive website traffic because they have an established community that trusts them. Instead of sending traffic to your homepage, send them to your booking engine or a custom landing page for the best results.
Key metrics – website visitors, email signups, conversions
- Get Bookings
Every promotion leads to this: more bookings. To successfully drive bookings, you need to define a clear call to action through which you can achieve it- do they call you? Book through your website?
The way to get the best result is by choosing a single goal.
Choose the type of campaign
Once you know your goals, it’s time to start thinking about the type of campaign that will help you accomplish your mission.
- Sponsored Content
A sponsored post is content that’s created and published by an influencer on their own social media channel in exchange for some sort of compensation.
A sponsored post on Instagram is tagged with a ‘paid partnership with @propertyhandle’ tag. This also grants you access to insights into the post’s performance.
One of the most common ways to collaborate with influencers is to host them at your property in exchange for reviews and content. Influencers get to stay at your property and share their experience with their followers.
This type of collaboration seems very authentic as it showcases your property in the influencer’s perspective. Plus, this generates a ton of content for your own feed.
- Contest or Giveaway
People love free stuff.
Organizing a giveaway is a great way to partner with influencers.
An Instagram giveaway is a type of promotion where you offer a free stay for the influencer to give away to their followers in exchange for them to engage with your brand. Giveaways are highly effective if the influencer shares a similar audience.
Here are some reasons why this contest worked – first, we partnered with a brand whose audience was likely to participate. Second, we asked viewers to tag the people who they wanted to take with them. This increased the number of people who participated and attracted more people to the giveaway.
When done correctly, giveaways can draw new audiences to your brand and inspire users to share content on behalf of your brand.
- Affiliate partnership
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based partnership where an influencer earns a commission on every booking made at the property. This type of partnership is more effective as the influencer is most vested in the performance of the campaign.
You need to provide a unique link to each influencer to track their referrals. Google URL Builder is a great tool to capture data on Google Analytics.
When a booking is made from the affiliate link, the influencer earns a commission which is usually a percentage of the booking value. This rate may vary depending on the nightly rate by typically ranges in between 10-25%.
Find the Right Influencers
The right influencer is vital to the success of your campaign – one who’s in tune with your business needs and whom your potential customers will look to when they are making travel plans. It’s not always about working with people with a large audience, it’s about working with people who have the right audience for your business.
Keeping the goals in mind, you need to find the influencers who share your audience – who are likely to travel and book your property. Here are some of the
- Number of followers
- Engagement rate
- Content they post
While scouting for influencers, make sure their brand resonates with your property.
Reaching out to influencers
After you’ve created a list of influencers that are a good fit for your brand, you’ll need to reach out to them. For top influencers to work with you, they need to have a positive image when you first reach out to them, that’s when you make that crucial first impression. Therefore, it’s important to approach influencers in the right way and make a great first impression.
Here are few tips to keep in mind:
- Know the influencer before reaching out to them
- Clearly highlight what you’re offering them in return.
- Build a relationship with them.
Measure your results
Once your goals are set and you have found the right influencer, shift your attention to measuring to track the performance of your campaign – traffic, engagement, bookings, or any other metrics established before the campaign launch. Initially, you might have to partner with a couple of influencers to test what works for your property and how to repeat them.
- Influencer marketing is an endorsement deal that leverages other people’s audience.
- There is massive ROI in influencer marketing.
- It’s not always about working with people with a large audience, it’s about working with people who have the right audience for your business.
- The right influencer will bring in long-term followers that actually lead to sales.