What is influencer marketing?
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s strict definition, influencer marketing is a form of paid endorsement. The influencer is an individual who has influence over your target market. When she partners with a brand, the influencer uses her original content, social channels, and relationships to promote the brand in exchange for some agreed upon compensation.
For example, travel blogger Kate McCulley of the blog Adventurous Kate offers insights into top travel destinations and all of the amenities that are a must for solo female travels. With more than 135,000 unique monthly visitors, more than 5000 newsletter subscribers, and more than 102,000 Instagram followers, she’s a powerful influencer of women inspired by wanderlust. In an April 2014 survey, 88 of Kate’s readers said they had traveled to places because they read about them on her site. Clearly, Kate has clout when it comes to building excitement about travel destinations, and she’s the ideal candidate for an influencer marketing campaign.
What are the benefits of integrating influencer marketing into your tourism campaign?
Integrating influencer marketing into your tourism campaign gives a context for your more traditional promotional toolbox. Whereas consumers have grown more adept at tuning out advertising, they welcome the input of trusted friends, family, and influencers. When an influencer advocates on behalf of your destination, it doesn’t feel like she’s selling. It feels more like she’s giving up the goods on the best place to be.
An influencer works most effectively as a signpost pointing your target market towards your other, more concentrated promotional tools. By name-dropping, she directs your desired audience towards the platforms you control. From there, you use the tried and true methods of traditional promotional techniques to close the deal.
Steps to take before partnering with an influencer
Target your market
Before you can choose an influencer, you need to know who you’re attempting to influence. While Adventurous Kate might be an ideal influencer for women in their thirties who are planning to travel the world alone, she wouldn’t be a match for retirees planning to see the US via a bus tour. Make sure you know who your influencer will need to sway before you make your choice.
Identify your goals
You should take the same approach towards influencer marketing as you would towards any other business decision. Establish what you intend to accomplish by partnering with an influencer and how you will measure for the outcome.
Set your standards
Not all influence is good influence. Be sure that you have a clear picture of what an ideal influencer for your brand would look like before you start scouring the internet for your perfect promotional partner.
Shop the market
The most effective influencers don’t necessarily have the highest number of Instagram followers. In fact, sometimes bloggers or celebrities with lots of followers spend less time engaging with their followers, which means followers spend less time engaging with them. Look at your prospects’ blog and social accounts to see how often their followers comment on posts to get a feel for how engaged she is. This will give you an idea of how effective her advocacy will be.
You’ll also want to make sure that the influencer you partner with is already using the keywords and phrases that you want to improve your rank for. That will make it easier for her to link back to relevant content on your site and to naturally integrate your brand into her new content.
Start influencing your target market today
Much like travel, the best time to launch your comprehensive tourism marketing campaign is today. People are already planning their next vacation. Make sure your destination is showing up on their register. Schedule a consultation with the tourism marketing experts at Morgan & Co. today!