15th February 2019
7 Steps for Successful Influencer Marketing in the Leisure and Destination Industry.
The leisure and destination industry requires marketing to people often in a different location, such as tourists and people looking for a treat or special occasion. An excellent way of reaching this target audience is through influencers.
The leisure and destination industry is all about experiences, where the best ones are spread through word of mouth and recommendations between friends. So, what better way to promote experiences than through partnering with influencers who share blogs, videos and photos of them enjoying themselves? As influencers build connections with their audiences, these audiences come to respect and trust their recommendations, just as they would a friend’s.
Influencer marketing sounds ideal but it’s important to get it right to work for your own specific brand. This is why we’ve gathered together seven steps to make influencer marketing work for the leisure and destination industry.
Find the right influencers for your brand
The most important point to bear in mind when using influencer marketing is to ensure your company remains believable and trustworthy. This is why it’s incredibly important to choose the right influencers for your brand; it’s no good just choosing a random influencer based on how many followers they have. There are three important questions to consider when choosing an influencer for your brand: does the influencer already post about leisure and destination? Is the influencer particularly active on the social media channel favoured by your audience? Does the demographic of the influencer’s followers match the demographic of your audience? Answering these three questions correctly will help you connect with your target audience.
Build a relationship with your chosen influencer/s
Once you’ve found the perfect influencer for your brand, it’s vital that you build a relationship with them in order to ensure authentic, genuine social posts that align with your brand and messaging. Influencers have spent time building their own brand and follower base so aren’t just going to partner with each and every company that approaches them, as they have their own reputation to uphold. To build a relationship with an influencer, it’s important to engage with them across their social accounts by commenting on interesting posts and demonstrating industry knowledge, as this will make you familiar to them when you approach them for a partnership. Plus, through this you’re already engaging with the influencer’s followers and joining them in the conversation, demonstrating that you’re a genuine member of the leisure and destination industry.
Have a strategic focus
Once you’ve chosen the right influencer for your brand and have defined your target audience, it’s important to set objectives for your influencer marketing strategy, both so that you’re aware of what to aim for, and ultimately so that you can measure whether your campaign has been successful or not. Once your objectives are clear, you should create a content plan that engages your target audience and matches your influencer’s existing feed and interests. It’s also important to keep up-to-date with trends in the leisure and destination industry so that your content remains relevant and engaging for your target audience.
Don’t forget about micro-influencers
Macro-influencers have between 100,000 and 1 million followers, while micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Whilst macro-influencers have the most reach because of their large number of followers, it’s difficult for most brands to work with them because there’s so much competition. On the other hand, whilst micro-influencers’ following is comparatively smaller, their content tends to be more personal, which makes them more authentic and likely to receive higher engagement than macro-influencers.
Get creative and use storytelling to your advantage
With the recent increase in the number of influencers, it’s now more important than ever to engage your audience and cut through the crowded influencer space. Research has suggested that emotions rather than facts play a more important role in the decision-making process, and the best way to appeal to emotions is through storytelling and using the influencer’s personality to your advantage. Sharing a story or experience that is relevant to both the influencer and the target audience, which of course links to the leisure and destination industry or your brand in some way, is a great way to engage your audience. Instagram Stories is the perfect platform for creative innovation.
Make the most of Instagram Stories
Influencers are now sharing more personal content in their Instagram Stories rather than on their normal Instagram feeds, and are able to engage their followers in conversation and discussion through polls, questions, swipe-up links and emoji sliders. This opportunity for high engagement levels has meant that, according to Socialbakers, ad spend on Instagram increased in 2018 while it decreased on Facebook. As mentioned in the previous step, emotions play a huge role in consumers’ decisions, and influencers can certainly tap into this via the informal and conversational platform of Instagram Stories, whilst seeming to build an authentic relationship with the consumer.
Build consumer trust
As mentioned in the first step, the most important point to bear in mind when using influencer marketing is to ensure your company remains believable and trustworthy. This can be achieved through delivering an authentic strategy; only collaborating with influencers in the leisure and destination industry and those that have a connection with your brand or product. Consumer-brand relationships are becoming more personal with the use of social media, especially Instagram Stories, so it is important to personally engage your audience rather than simply push blatantly-promoted posts, as this has the ability to alienate followers. In this competitive, digital age, consumers tend to only invest in services and products that they trust and believe in.