As influencer marketing continues to dominate major social media marketing, we are seeing an increasing number of customer-facing sectors use this strategy in unique ways.
The hospitality and tourism industries are no exception, and many hotels today are seeking to boost their brand and drive sales by collaborating with social media “stars”. In this guide, we examine why and how hotels can use influencer marketing to enhance their online presence in 2020.
5 Stats to Guide Your 2020 Influencer Marketing Strategy
- 63% of brands intend to raise their influencer marketing budget over the next 12 months. (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
- 17% of companies spend over 50% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing. (Source: MediaKix)
- 82% of consumers are very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow. (source: Marketing Dive)
- In the next five years, influencer marketing will become a $5-10 billion industry. (Source: MediaKix)
- Influencer marketing content delivers 11 times more ROI than traditional forms of marketing. (Source: Single Grain)
How Social Media Fuels #Wanderlust
Social media can have a significant bearing over how consumers make travel decisions in 2020. A survey from Schofields Insurance revealed that 40% of consumers under 30 prioritized how “Instagrammable” a potential destination is.
Through scrolling through their social media feeds, users can uncover many new destinations around the world. In fact, 52% of consumers say they’ve made plans to visit a specific destination based on an image or video they saw on social media. Social media marketing offers multiple touchpoints — from inspiration to booking – through which hotels can reach potential guests.
The Role of Travel Influencers
The most shared #travelinspo content is usually created by travel influencers. Travel influencers focus on making and sharing content about travelling, tourism and culture. They can persuade their followers to take an action, be it visiting a website, engaging with another brand on social media, or booking a trip.
There are many specific niches within this category such as sustainable travel, city breaks or food tourism. Followers view these influencers as experts in the field of travel and are perceived to be reputable sources of practical travel advice, endorsements and inspiration.
In fact, figures from Marketing Dive show that 82% of consumers are very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow.
How Do Hotels Stand to Benefit from Influencer Marketing?
“Influencer Marketing is here to stay and it should play a central role in your strategy to win the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers.”
– David Beebe, Marriott Vice President of Global Creative and Content Marketing
Consumers today are less trusting of brand content and paid advertising than ever before. They prefer to get information from a trusted, non-biased third-party such as an influencer. Consumers perceive influencers to be an authentic, credible and trustworthy source of information and advice.
Influencer marketing allows brands to sidestep this issue of “credibility” by instead leveraging the relationship that influencers have over the followers. Content created by an influencer humanises the brand and is therefore far more likely to connect with potential guests on an emotional level than conventional marketing material.
How to Find the Right Influencer for Your Hotel Brand?
Research from Businesswire shows 67.6% of marketers consider finding relevant influencers to be the most challenging aspect of influencer marketing.
Research some influencers whose messaging, image and niche aligns with that of your hotel and its guests.
Some influencers are guilty of beefing up their fanbase by “buying” followers. You can use a tool to reveal how many real followers they have. Don’t forget to investigate their posts to see if there is a good level of genuine engagement with real people.
Get in touch with your shortlisted candidates and ask about compensation. You may only be able to reach them through an agency.
Agree on a contract with your chosen influencer. Again, negotiations may have to be conducted with their agency.
In many cases, influencers will create content for you in exchange for a free or discounted stay at your hotel. During their stay, don’t forget to treat the influencer as well as you would a regular guest. Ensure that you make their stay as pleasant as possible and that will translate towards their followers.
Measuring Your Return on Investment
Before launching your campaign, it’s important to invest some time into goal-setting. Think about what aims you wish to achieve with your campaign. Then you need to consider which metrics would provide the most appropriate means of measuring the campaign performance.
If your campaign is focused on building in brand engagement, then the most important metrics to measure would be the number of likes, new followers, comments and replies generated. However, if your main goal is driving sales then you may wish to track conversions, occupancy rates and Average Daily Rate (ADR).
A well-executed influencer marketing campaign can have an excellent return on investment. Figures from Rhythm One indicate that for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, $2.26 in earned media value is returned. You’ll want to see a positive relationship between the success of your influencer marketing and the long-term trends in your hotel’s performance.
Want to Find More?
If you are curious to learn more about influencer marketing for hotels, then you should take a look at the infographic below which comes courtesy of the Killarney Hotel Group.
This interesting guide features a comprehensive overview of the subject, including key stats, a list of benefits associated with influencer marketing, a primer on strategy, advice on measuring ROI and insightful quotes industry-leading experts.
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