Working with Influencers

Influencer marketing is a highly effective way of getting in front of new guests on social media. Select influencers that resonate with your brand, or who occupy a niche that you want to target. It works because consumers are more likely to trust an individual than a brand. Social media has enormous buying power over today’s consumers, with some think tanks reporting that 75% of users have made purchase decisions based on something they saw on Instagram.

Creating goals

Have clear goals in mind when approaching an influencer about a campaign. Are you trying to raise brand awareness, increase direct bookings, generate low-season bookings, last minute bookings, or boost your Instagram following? You probably will hope for a little bit of all of these things, but without one or two defined goals, it will be tricky to measure the success of the campaign.  The campaign might also look different depending on the goal. Want to boost Instagram following? Consider running a competition in collaboration with your chosen influencer, with following your account as a rule of entry. Email us for ideas tailored to your marketing needs.

Working collaboratively

Decide what you want to spend, as there are different types of partnership. A travel blogger may accept a fully hosted comp stay in return for a review. Prepare for it to be honest – they don’t owe you anything, akin to a traditional press stay. Consider what this will cost out of your marketing budget compared to the value the influencer will bring. If it results in just one direct booking, it’s most likely worth it.

If you work with a larger scale influencer or want more control over the content, then a fee will be negotiated. This is similar to a traditional advertorial. A contract should be drawn up that covers the number of posts, use of trackable links, reuse of imagery and marketing messages to be shared. Larger accounts have vast advertising potential, and they know it. Offer a respectful fee in line with the reach, as you would a traditional print ad against readership, and the amount of content you expect in return. While many influencers will place value on a comp stay as payment, others count time creating content (i.e. photography, videography, captions – it all takes time) as billable hours. If you need guidance, we can help.

Once your comp stay has been arranged, make sure the relevant marketing or management personnel are available to welcome your VIP guests and offer a detailed tour. Get to know your influencers and nurture a working relationship. They will hopefully be incredibly valuable assets for your business with the potential to bring a lot of new customers. Large accounts run incredibly successful businesses working with brands: treat them with generosity and respect and you’re more likely to work together on a long term basis.

Painting a picture

What else will your influencer do during their stay? You have an opportunity to promote your location, be it an urban or rural setting. Organise an itinerary that shows off your neighbourhood. You might decide to partner with a local tourism body, restaurant, landmark or museum to create a wider itinerary around the stay. This will show their followers what it might like to stay and explore for a few days.

Playing fair

Posts featuring your hotel during a complimentary stay, whether the influencer is paid or not, must be marked with #AD as per the ASA regulations. This includes all grid posts and stories. You should include this in your contract, along with requirements such as inclusion of your social tags, any promotional hashtags or offers and use of trackable links. If you want to sign-off content before it’s posted, this should also be agreed and included in the contract.

Tracking success

How will you know it’s worked? An easy way to do this is to provide a trackable link for influencers to include in posts. Record the click-throughs and pathways to booking – remember to update your cookies policy whenever you introduce any additional tracking code.

You should also be recording the number of new followers, profile visits and site-taps via social media during the duration of the campaign – i.e. from the influencer’s first post or story that tags your hotel, to the expiration of their last story. Compare it to the same day and time on previous weeks and keep records to compare with future campaigns.

If you need help creating your first influencer campaign or launching a wider strategy, get in touch.

Contact Hannah

If you are looking to develop an existing or brand new hotel concept,
guest experience or creative strategy, I’d love to help.



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