Back in the day, before the internet took over, think about how you would hear about a wonderful hotel or a delicious meal. Word of mouth, right? Well, with influencer marketing, the concept stays the same but the game has changed!
Instead of looking to a friend for their recommendation, people are turning to influencers for guidance on where to eat, where to stay, what to wear and what to do.
If you’re looking to boost bookings for your hotel, start by winning their hearts and minds through you incorporate influencer marketing to your strategies stat!
What Are Influencers?
In short, influencers are the new celebrity endorsements. They are your best friend telling you about the great time they had in Morocco or how horrible the service was at that one hotel. Influencers are guiding the word of mouth within social media platforms.
First, let’s establish the difference in the types of influencers. You have the “micro influencer” and the “macro influencer” – both are great options but play very different roles.
Let’s look at the “micro influencer”. The name is pretty self explanatory where micro refers to the smaller scale of followers that the influencer may have. You will find that despite the reach being lower, engagement will be up to 60% higher when using micro-influencers.
(Source: Social Bakers)
The “macro influencer” is like Britney Spears on a Pepsi ad. You could look at macro influencers as the celebrities of social media. When working with macro-influencers, you can expect a reach up to millions of people and work with some really established people within their communities!
With this in mind, we would recommend working with micro-influencers offer macro influencers to start off with. Why? Well, we would like to think that engagement is more valuable than reach. Yes, it sounds great that you could potentially reach millions of people with macro influencers but how many of these users will actually make a booking? Users are looking at micro influences as they would their close friends in terms of recommendation, it is only apt that micro influencers bring in a 20% higher conversion rate when it comes to sales!
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
So, now that you know who you are dealing with, let’s chat about how you approach influencer marketing and how it works.
Like most good things in life, it all starts with a little research. Research your target audiences, their demographics, who they are interacting with and how you want your message to be received.
Once this has been established, look at putting together a proposal or package together for your chosen influencer. These can be in the form of a sponsored post where you pay for the content to be posted or it can be on a trade exchange basis where you offer up a night’s stay at your hotel in exchange for coverage.
Either way, the influencer will produce content that is line with their brand identity and they will promote your services. The greatness in this is that the content will seem genuine and trusted. Social media users will engage with the content asking questions about your hotel, explore your site and book a getaway at your hotel!
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Over 80% of people are using social media to share their travel and leisure interests! That’s a huge market to tap into and boost your brand.
With the help of influencers, you have access to the following benefits:
- Attractive imagery of your hotel and services
Most influencers pride themselves as content creators. This means that they are producing content of a high standard that is attracting their followers. Look to reposting these on your own platforms to extend the reach!
- User engagement
One of the best things about using influencers is that their voice is trusted and authentic. Many influencers will not use a product or service if they don’t believe in – or at least this is what they portray.
Potential customers will trust what they have to say about your hotel! If they have questions, the influencer will answer about their experience and highlight all the wonderful things that you have to offer.
- Access to new potential customers
This one is pretty obvious, but important nonetheless! Utilizing influencers and their followers means that you are getting exposure to people who might have not even heard of your hotel.
Chances are, people are following these travel influencers for inspiration and guidance. If they see a beautiful post promoting your services, it is bound to peak their interests and drive traffic to your website. Your lead generation is then increased while your potential for sales and bookings soar!
- Increase your sales
Not much more has to be said about this. However, we will leave you with this statistic from Rhythm.
“For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, $2.26 in earned media value was returned”.
Those are some statistics that we like to see!
(Source: Digital Grads)
Using Instagram for Your Influencer Marketing
There are a number of platforms that one could look at for influencer marketing like Facebook or personal blogs. Our best bet would be to use Instagram!
Instagram has 800 million active users with 100 million new users signing up every 6 months and is the fastest growing platform out there! 60% of these users are adults who have the buying power to book into your hotel and this just keeps on growing! That’s a huge opportunity for reach and engagement.
Instagram is also live and instant. Attractive imagery aside, Instagram boosted their benefits by including video features. Influencers can take a quick 5 second Instagram Story and immediately create engagement with their followers or do a tour of your hotel through Instagram Live.
As mentioned, influencers have an authentic voice. Authenticity is key with Instagram – posts by influencers are less intrusive than sponsored ads and people will be more receptive to these messages as they have chosen to follow the content.
Whichever way you look at Instagram, the benefits are limitless!
We all know how important word of mouth can be to a business and especially for the hotel industry. Make sure yours goes viral for the right reasons with influencer marketing!
Download our free hotel marketing guide below!