Tackling your first influencer marketing campaign can be a daunting task. While YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other blogging platforms have given rise to a flood of personalities, artists, and bloggers that harbor lucrative sets of followers, how can your tourism brand work with these travel influencers to effectively promote your offerings?
If you’re not familiar, influencer marketing campaigns are designed to help you tap into the audiences of social media “stars” (or, influencers) through endorsements or recommendations of your travel brand. Essentially, influencers will give shout-outs and create content to advertise and support your brand. This isn’t new. Celebrities have long appeared in commercials and magazines endorsing the highest bidding brand, but with the digital age, social media celebs have taken over as the platform of choice—and with amazing results.
Take DJ Khaled, who boasts an immense 6 million followers on Snapchat alone. When the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority hired him to do a “Snapchat takeover”, it resulted in 350,000 views in their first two days alone.
So why get involved with influencer marketing? Do people really take action and make purchases as a result of these so-called influencers?
The answer is a resounding yes—if you know how to work with influencers for maximum impact and results.
Twitter did some research into the power of influencers. They found that nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer. (You read that right: influencers carry that much influence!)
We’re particularly fond of influencer marketing as Dan and Casey, founders of Untethered Media, are also award-winning travel bloggers and have great experience on both sides of influencer travel marketing. They have not only functioned as influencers themselves, but have also organized high-turnover campaigns for their clients.
So what are some of the key aspects travel brands should keep in mind before launching an influencer campaign? Here are the crucial components that we use in our travel and tourism influencer marketing campaigns to get you started:
Influencer Marketing: Everything Your Travel Brand Needs To Know For Success
Know Your Influencer
The number one mistake we see most businesses make when embarking on an influencer marketing campaign is focusing on numbers alone. It’s great if someone has a million Facebook fans, but it doesn’t mean anything if those fans are not active and engaged followers. Instead of focusing on numbers alone, we want to look at engagement and audience demographics (we touch on the latter below.)
A company is much better off working with a small-scale blogger with an audience that trusts their recommendations than with a large-scale personality with thousands of followers but very little trust or engagement with their posts. (Remember: quality over quantity!) These influencers are called “micro-influencers,” and have anywhere between 500 and 10,000 very in-tune followers.
Begin to look at some of the features of the influencer’s content. Take notice of how many likes, comments, and overall engagement people have with their posts. Is their audience receptive and do they trust in the influencer? Does their audience take an active role with the influencer’s posts?
We also recommend asking the influencer for a media kit. Media kits offer info about the blogger’s audience analytics and their brand/online presence.
Know Your Audience
Before reaching out to an influencer, become familiar with their work and make sure that you want them to represent your brand (and that they will want to represent yours). Would a recommendation of your brand make sense coming from them?
Take the time to do some research into an influencer’s audience. Does their audience align with your target audience?
Say your travel brand wants to target college-aged Millennials on Spring Break: a Snapchat takeover or Instagram shoutout from an influencer with a Millennial fan-base could be in your best interest. But if you’re a luxury travel brand, then collaborating with a budget-backpacker wouldn’t make much sense.
Respect Their Brand
One thing to keep in mind is that an influencer’s brand is often their job and their livelihood, so understanding where your brand fits into their business is vital. Respect their brand as much as you respect yours.
Make sure your topic is relevant and fits well within the image and brand they’ve cultivated. Recommendations from an influencer should feel organic. This goes hand-in-hand with knowing both the influencer and their audience, and how they align with your target audience.
Make sure to respect the brand and name they have made for themselves. This will ensure a positive and valuable partnership with your influencer.
Be Prepared to Pay
Influencers don’t work for free. After all, they’re running a business just like you are! Be prepared with a budget that is mutually beneficial for both you and the influencer. If you offer to send them a free neck pillow, know that you’ll be lucky to receive a Twitter shout-out in exchange. Neck pillows don’t pay rent!
Be open and willing to discuss and negotiate a budget with your influencer to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership. If you’re unsure what a fair rate is, reach out to us at Untethered Media.
Make Expectations Clear
Outline with your influencer all of what you will require from them (and be as specific as possible). Before agreeing fully to work with one another, you both want to be clear on all details of the campaign.
Plan out the number of posts, which platforms, how many articles/blog posts, the topic of article, whether you want a quick shout-out or an entire post about your travel brand, etc. Even make sure to specify deadlines and dates of posts to ensure no confusion.
Also be up front about labeling blog posts and social media shout-outs as sponsored. You are legally required to disclose relationships. For all our influencer marketing campaigns, disclosure is not an option as it could put your brand and the blogger at risk.
Keep Track of Everything
Set up ways to keep track of your campaign as it progresses, including custom bit.ly links and Google Analytics, so you can keep track of click-throughs.
Pro Tip: Bit.ly links are an important tool which allow you to shorten URL’s into links that measure foot traffic. Google Analytics is great, but bit.ly links give you more metrics to better analyize the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
Set Concise Goals
Make sure you know exactly what you want out of your campaign. We recommend setting specific goals. Different objectives will require different approaches. Some possible goals could include:
-Travel and tourism brand awareness
Las Vegas’ work with DJ Khaled is a prime example. This would broadly include a higher familiarity with your brand and your services, as well as “getting your name out there”.
- Sales of a specific product/service
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Increasing traffic to key offerings or products
Follow these tips above and you’ll be well on your way to an influencer marketing campaign that provides tangible results!
Still not sure where or how to start?
Schedule a complimentary call with us today to learn how we can streamline your next travel influencer marketing campaign!
Meet The Author
Armed with a dedication to writing, education, and learning, David brings to Untethered Media a unique, informative, and fun voice to our written content. He strives to serve writings that provide travel and tourism businesses with useful tips and marketing information with a fun and entertaining twist. David’s originally from North Carolina, but his passion for travel will soon bring him on a long-term venture to Canterbury, England!