The travel, tourism & hospitality industry has been one of the biggest players in the influencer marketing industry. Unfortunately, it has been hit by many unpleasant, potentially fraudulent influencers leading to a rising wave of distaste towards influencers in this industry. However, one cannot deny the effectiveness of key opinion leader / influencer marketing if done right. So, how do you reach out to your target audiences effectively and become the viral trend-setters in this industry? Some may say despite its effectiveness, a failed campaign is extremely costly and accurate selection of key opinion leaders or influencers is difficult due to difficulty in predicting results. But, what if there's an alternate way to run your campaigns addressing these issues?
December 2020 Update:
So, why Influencer Marketing?
Trust. A positive post about your brand instantly creates a level of trust with prospective consumers. It reflects high quality deliverance of service which consumers in this industry are searching for and that is the exact type of key message you'd like to communicate across. Communicating trust is a unique trait of influencer marketing which is difficult to achieve through traditional means. Think of it as a positive third-party review of your brand, with widespread outreach.
Success in the travel, tourism & hospitality industry is also highly reliant on word-of-mouth and consumer trends. KOL / influencer marketing provides the capability to spread the word using your consumers' role models, and at the same time, have the chance to set new viral trends. By having a role model share about your products & services, it inadvertently increases the value of your product in the potential consumers' eyes. In comparison to traditional ads, this perceived increase in value will significantly boost the probability of a potential customer visiting you. Hence, it is the reason why KOL / influencer marketing is able to achieve significantly higher conversions as well as boost your brand reputation. Putting yourself in a customers' shoes, were you to choose between a hotel / destination experienced by your favourite Instagrammer, and an ad on a hotel / destination you just saw, which would you choose?
How to run successful KOL & Influencer marketing campaigns in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality industry
1. Inject curiosity about your brand
You are in the business of providing fun, happiness and experiences. There is a natural advantage for businesses in the travel, tourism & hospitality industry as it is easy to stir up the desires of your audiences through picturesque images, posts, reviews. By engaging an influencer, you can directly show the experiences offered from the perspective of an end consumer. As a result, you harness the positive emotions of your influencer's audience to generate awareness and curiosity about your business - naturally boosting your direct sales.
2. Planning is key
In this industry, planning the campaign is significantly more important as its visual content is the main attraction for potential consumers. As a guide, these are the key steps to take:
- Establish your campaign objectives clearly: what you wish to achieve and the KPIs you pay for
- Selection of influencers: understand the demographics of your influencers' web traffic/social media following before making a commitment
- Align the content with your influencer: ensure it achieves the key message you would like to communicate, and that the content is synonymous with your influencer's style (to avoid your campaign looking 'fake')
- Maintain relations with travel influencers: provide them opportunities to share great content and forge a 2-way relationship
- Execute and measure results: Track the results regularly, and fine-tune campaign if necessary
3. Value-based KOL / Influencer Marketing Campaigns
It is worth noting that compared to traditional ads, costs of a failed campaign is significantly higher. Take for example, a facebook ad, it can be stopped at any time, should you decide the ad is not doing well. Unfortunately, for an influencer marketing campaign, you drop money upfront, which cannot be stopped/paused even if campaign results aren't going well. Fortunately, modern technologies have enabled Marzze to create a free-to-use platform that allows you to find KOL / influencers and run hybrid performance based KOL / influencer marketing campaigns. It is the world's first of its kind world's 1st automated campaign management application enabling a multi-tier fee structure that can be customised according to your business needs:
Total Fees = Token Fee + [pay-per-sale (booking) / pay-per-lead / pay-per-action / pay-per-engagement]
With this model, it makes more financial sense for you to engage a KOL / influencer. On top of avoiding high upfront costs, you will instead pay based on actual value delivered to you (i.e. % of sales value or no. of likes/shares generated). You are more assured that your marketing budget is being spent on delivering actual results.
Making a decision
Key opinion leader & influencer marketing is arguably one of the most powerful modern marketing channels right now. There are already many companies who have grown from a small business to a $100 million dollar company within a few years, simply by capitalising on KOL / influencer marketing. It is the perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the proven strengths of KOL / influencer marketing and there are many out there for you to tap on. If you're new to KOL / influencer marketing or would like to improve your KOL / influencer marketing strategy, we're specialists who can help you adopt KOL / influencer marketing successfully, together with lifetime access to our platform you can use as a SaaS tool managing and automating all your future value-based KOL / influencer campaigns.