“Influencer marketing allows hotels to tell their stories through the eyes of a third party, enabling consumers to envision their own experience through the authentic and relatable voice of someone they admire.”
– Sarah Murov, Director of Marketing and Communications, The Beverly Hilton
Introduction on Hotel/Resort Influencer Marketing
In the digital age, hotels and resorts can employ influencer marketing to reach their target audience and increase revenue. Social media influencers and content creators with significant followings promote your hotel or resort through influencer marketing. Hotels and resorts may construct a powerful marketing strategy that boosts brand visibility, bookings, and income by harnessing influencers’ followers’ trust and honesty.
This chapter covers hotel and resort influencer marketing. We’ll also highlight successful hotel and resort businesses that have used influencer marketing and provide a comprehensive checklist of action steps to help hotel and resort owners and managers execute a successful campaign.
Case Study: Ace Hotel
One hotel brand that has successfully implemented influencer marketing is Ace Hotel. Ace Hotel partnered with fashion and lifestyle influencers to promote their hotels and their unique experiences to a wider audience. They did this by offering influencers a complimentary stay at their hotels, allowing them to experience the brand’s unique offerings firsthand. The influencers then posted about their experiences on social media, boosting brand awareness.
Here are five ways Ace Hotel implemented their influencer marketing strategy:
- Offering complimentary stays to influencers to experience the brand’s unique offerings.
- Partnering with influencers having a strong following in their target audience.
- Creating a unique and unforgettable experience for influencers to share with their fans.
- Creating a hashtag specific to the influencer campaign to track engagement and reach.
- Measuring the success of the campaign through metrics such as engagement rates, reach, and bookings.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing entails partnering with social media influencers and content creators with significant followings to promote your brand, product, or service to their audience. Influencers in a niche or industry can be bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, or other social media personalities.
Influencer marketing works by leveraging the trust and authenticity that influencers have built with their followers. Influencers are seen as relatable and trustworthy by their followers, who view them as peers rather than salespeople. Influencer marketing can increase engagement and conversions by reaching a bigger audience.
In the context of hotels and resorts, influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for reaching potential guests and showcasing the unique experiences and offerings of your property. By partnering with influencers who have a following in your target audience, hotels and resorts can create a marketing campaign that generates buzz, increases brand awareness, and ultimately drives bookings and revenue.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Hotels and Resorts
Influencer marketing platform Influencer.co found that 92% of people trust it more than traditional advertising. This is because influencers are trusted and real by their followers, who consider them as peers rather than salespeople. Influencer marketing can also raise brand exposure, boost website traffic, and boost bookings and income.
Here are some influencer marketing statistics:
- Influencer marketing, according to Mediakix, can generate 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising.
- HubSpot reports that 71% of people buy after seeing a social media mention.
- According to Twitter’s survey, 49% of consumers use influencer recommendations to buy.
Types of Influencer Marketing
Hotels and resorts can use numerous types of influencer marketing:
- Sponsored content: Hotels and resorts pay influencers to promote them. Content can be video, blog, or social media.
- Affiliate marketing: Invite an influencer to share their experience and promote your hotel or resort on social media for a day or a week.
- Social media takeovers: Partnering with an influencer to host an event at your hotel or resort allows them to share their experience with their audience and promote your destination.
- Event partnerships: Host an influencer’s event in your hotel or resort to promote it and share their experience.
- Brand ambassadorship: An influencer promotes your hotel or resort to their audience as a brand ambassador.
Hotels and resorts should carefully determine which style of influencer marketing is ideal for their goals and target audience.
In the next section, we will dig deep on each of the Influencer Marketing Types.
1. Sponsored content
Sponsored content is a popular form of influencer marketing for hotels and resorts. It involves partnering with an influencer to create content that promotes your hotel or resort to their audience. Content can be blog posts, social media posts, or videos.
When running a sponsored content campaign, identify influencers with a strong brand connection and a following in your target demographic. The content should be authentic and reflect the influencer’s personal experience with your hotel or resort. It’s also important to clearly disclose that the content is sponsored to maintain transparency and compliance with advertising regulations.
Sponsored content can generate buzz and brand awareness. By partnering with influencers who have a large following, hotels and resorts can reach a wider audience and promote their unique features and offerings. Sponsored content can also be an effective way to drive bookings and revenue, as influencers can include special offers or promotions in their content to encourage their followers to book a stay at your hotel or resort.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is another popular form of influencer marketing that can be effective for hotels and resorts. This type of marketing involves partnering with an influencer to promote your hotel or resort to their audience and offering them a commission for each booking or sale made through their unique affiliate link.
To execute an affiliate marketing campaign, hotels and resorts should identify influencers who have a following in their target audience and who are likely to drive bookings and revenue. The commission offered to the influencer should be competitive and reflect the value they provide to the campaign. It’s also important to provide influencers with marketing materials and information about your hotel or resort to help them promote your brand effectively.
Affiliate marketing can be an effective way to drive bookings and revenue, as influencers have a direct financial incentive to promote your hotel or resort. This type of influencer marketing is also highly measurable, as hotels and resorts can track the number of bookings or sales generated through each influencer’s affiliate link. To maintain profitability and marketing strategy alignment, the affiliate program must be continuously monitored and managed.
3. Social media takeovers
Social media takeovers are another popular form of influencer marketing that hotels and resorts can use to increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience. This method of marketing entails partnering with an influencer to take over your hotel or resort’s social media accounts for a day or a week to share their experience and promote your business.
When executing a social media takeover campaign, hotels and resorts should identify influencers who have a large following in their target audience and who are likely to generate engagement and interest. Your influencer should understand your brand and audience. To ensure the influencer’s material matches your brand and marketing goals, provide guidance and support.
Brand exposure and buzz can be generated through social media takeovers. By partnering with influencers who have a large following, hotels and resorts can reach a wider audience and showcase their unique features and offerings. This type of influencer marketing can help develop credibility and trust with your target audience by providing an authentic opinion on your hotel or resort.
4. Event partnerships
Event partnerships are another form of influencer marketing that hotels and resorts can use to promote their brand and generate buzz. Partnering with an influencer to hold an event at your hotel or resort lets them share their experience and promote your business.
When executing an event partnership campaign, hotels and resorts should identify influencers who have a following in their target audience and who are likely to generate interest and engagement. The event should align with your brand and be designed to provide a unique and memorable experience for attendees. It’s also important to provide the influencer with support and guidance to ensure that the event meets your marketing objectives.
Event partnerships can be an effective way to promote special events, such as weddings or conferences, and generate valuable exposure and publicity for your property. By partnering with influencers who have a following in your target audience, hotels and resorts can reach a wider audience and generate interest in their brand. This type of influencer marketing can help develop credibility and trust with your target audience by having influencers recommend your hotel or resort.
5. Brand ambassadorship
Brand ambassadorship involves promoting your hotel or resort with an influencer over time. This sort of marketing entails building a solid relationship with the influencer and working on many campaigns.
Hotels and resorts should choose brand ambassadors that have a strong connection to their brand and will provide long-term value. Your brand’s influencer should have a following among your target demographic and share your beliefs. To reach your marketing goals, the influencer must be supported and guided.
Brand ambassadorship helps build trust and credibility with your target demographic. Long-term influencers can boost brand awareness and loyalty for hotels and resorts. Influencers can increase bookings and revenue by recommending products to their audiences. However, brand ambassadorship efforts must be carefully managed and monitored to ensure they connect with your marketing strategy and yield demonstrable results.
Things to Consider Before Staging Any Influencer Marketing Campaign for Your Resort or Hotel
Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for promoting your hotel or resort to a wider audience and generating buzz around your brand. Before commencing, consider these factors for marketing success.
- Set clear goals: Determine your goals before starting your influencer marketing strategy. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive more bookings, or promote a specific event or package? By setting clear goals, you can choose the right influencers and track the success of the campaign.
- Budget wisely: It’s important to figure out how much you can spend on the campaign, including compensation for influencers and any other expenses. A well-planned budget will help you maximize ROI and prevent overpaying.
- Identify your target audience: To ensure campaign success, identify influencers with a following in your target demographic. For instance, if you’re promoting a luxury resort, target influencers with affluent audiences.
- Offer complimentary stays or other incentives to influencers: Influencers are more likely to promote your hotel or resort if they have a positive experience themselves. By offering them complimentary stays or other incentives, you can encourage them to showcase your property to their followers.
- Develop a unique experience: Create a special experience or activity that influencers can share with their followers. For example, you could organize a private tour of the hotel or resort’s unique amenities, or arrange for a special event or activity that aligns with your brand messaging.
- Offer incentives: In addition to complimentary stays or other perks, consider offering influencers a commission or bonus based on their performance. This can motivate them to promote your property more effectively.
- Create a campaign-specific hashtag: Develop a specific hashtag for the campaign to track engagement and reach. This can help you monitor the success of the campaign and encourage user-generated content (UGC) from the influencers and their followers.
Influencer marketing is vital for hotel and resort marketing. Working with social media influencers and content producers can boost hotel bookings and revenue. Influencer marketing may increase hotels’ social media presence and brand image. With the right influencer marketing campaign, hotels and resorts can give customers a memorable and authentic experience and improve sales.
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