Using influencer marketing to promote your property
In 2020, social media play an important role for hoteliers wishing to promote their properties online. Indeed, with a generation of hyperconnected people, represented by a total of 3,8 billion active users, a distinguished presence on social media would increase your property’s notoriety. Furthermore, influencer marketing has become a real marketing strategy for the hospitality industry’s players. They do not hesitate to bet on high quality partnerships and transforming influencers into a brand ambassadors. By definition, influencer marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves using influencers to promote brands.
Therefore, their role is to promote your property but also to influence the travelers’ purchasing decision while remaining transparent as much as possible. However, always keep in mind the main goal of using this new promotion method : increasing your property’s reputation and the number of bookings. To do so, be sure to calculate the return on investment you could get before starting this process.
Why including influencers in your digital marketing strategy?
To start with, there are different types of influencers: nano-influencers (less than 10K followers), micro-influencers (more than 10K followers), macro-influencers (more than 100K followers) and celebrities (over 500K followers). They are considered as true experts specialized in a particular niche and also opinion leaders. Also, they use communication channels such as blogs and social media like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and especially Instagram which has proven to be a very effective tool. Indeed, Instagram is the ideal social platform to highlight a concept of visual storytelling. In 2017, there were over 13 million of sponsored posts on Instagram.
Moreover, it is proven that 85% of consumers will trust influencers and follow their recommendation rather than those directly given by a brand. Same for Millennials, 8 out of 10 confirm the important role of influencers in their buying process. To do so, the influencers’ role is to enhance your property and to reassure individuals in their purchasing process. A good influencer is a spontaneous and authentic person who likes to share experiences whether good or bad. Seen as a real expert, influencers’ content such as blog posts, Youtube videos, Facebook and Instagram posts on several properties help travelers in their decision-making process. So remember to highlight your property’s overall experience with all services offered but also the experience lived by travelers either with the use of new technologies such as check-in kiosks, room service robot or even with personalized atmospheres using automation.
As a result, influencer marketing is a real advantage because it allows you to strengthen the e-reputation and visibility of your property, to increase your credibility, to engage your community on your social media, to generate traffic on your website and therefore to increase your sales via your online booking engine. Don’t forget that the best influencers are those who will succeed in having full confidence of their followers and those who will persuade them to change their purchasing behavior, therefore book a stay within your property. Finally, when an influencer stays at your property, it will be very important to identify him well, for example by using the VIP function of your property management system (PMS).
How to make sure you collaborate with the right influencers?
In general, partnering with an influencer isn’t free. Before offering a stay, free services or a financial compensation, you must plan your influence marketing campaign. Start by defining the campaign objectives and also the budget allocated. Furthermore, define the selection of criteria that will help you choose your brand ambassador. It is very important to favor partnerships with influencers who match your values and your target customers so people can identify to them. For example, you can ask yourself the following questions: Why would I choose this influencer? Does he share the same values as us? Does its audience match with our targeted clientele? Does the influencer’s content is suitable for our property? It is true that we don’t become influencers overnight, so make sure that the person chosen has an excellent reputation, a large audience on several social media platforms, a high engagement rate as well as excellent technical knowledge and technologies of social media. Also, choose an influencer who fits your property’s concept because it’s very important that his personality is in line with your concept if you want to get the most of your partnership and investment.
Thereafter, you need to define indicators that will help you make your decision such as the number of followers, the average engagement rate, the composition of influencer’s audience and the number and the type of partnerships previously made. Keep in mind that the number of followers is significant since it confirms the popularity of a person but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the influencer has the full trust of all his followers. After making a first selection of potential influencers, define the type of partnership that could be beneficial for both sides. As example, you can propose him a short stay at your property in exchange for publications, videos or Instagram stories. You could also offer him a program with your best activities so that the influencer can promote your property and encourage his followers to book a stay. Thus, depending on your budget, you could offer commission based on your sales or propose him a fixed amount before the beginning of the campaign.
However it is recommended to avoid financial compensation in order to minimize the cost of your influencer marketing campaigns. In addition, you must define the type of collaboration you want to set up with this influencer, whether it is a product or service placement that will allow you to improve your property’s brand image, a promotion code that will help you to sell additional service or a contest to give possibility to a follower to win one night at your property and to help you gain followers. Furthermore, it is essential to determine the collaboration’s conditions, choose the elements that you want your brand ambassador to highlight, the content format he or she must create as well as the strategy and the content delivery period. In order to produce quality content, avoid offering stays during your peak season and busy periods.
8 out of 10 consumers trust an influencer rather than brand advertising campaigns. Thus, 59% of companies plan to increase their marketing budget dedicated to influence marketing campaigns.
And you? Are you ready to use influencer marketing to promote your property?