Influencer Marketing Tactics In The Travel Industry

By Daniel Troesch

The Travel Industry is one of the most exciting industries as it sells experiences. Therefore Travel is as well a more complex product to sell. Clients are looking to find the right offering to match their imaginations and plans. From the moment a client is being inspired to the point a client buys, multiple sources and information influence the final buying decision. Social Media has changed the way clients consume information and how they decide to buy. Travel companies are facing hence the challenge to provide the right information and be part of conversations, which influence the buying decisions of the potential clients.

This article will focus on how applying influencer marketing tactics can help travel companies to gain back control in their marketing and communication activities, attract new customers, increase repeat purchases, drive customer loyalty and maximize lifetime value.

 What is influencer marketing and why is it growing?

The majority of potential clients of travel companies rely on peer-to peer recommendations for their travel inspirations. Most of those recommendations are consumed on Social Media Platforms. Influencer Marketing offers a great way to combine both – content and trustworthy recommendations and can therefore play a key role in the digital advertising mix of travel companies.

Influencer marketing involves taking help from the industry’s influential people to “influence” the choices of the potential and existing customers. For the travel industry, this could be the celebrities who love to travel, travel bloggers with their own blogs and hefty followers or even travelers who review travel-based products and services.. An influencer has a loud voice, substantial reach, and a significant network, including followers, readers, or viewers. He or she has the ability to sway opinions of a specific audience by association.

Influencers can change the behavior and buying habit of people, by changing their opinion or providing them with new and true information. Social media and online reviews are the digital version word of mouth recommendations. It’s one of the most rewarding tactics that you could use to flourish your travel business by honing into different social media platforms simultaneously.

Influencers in the travel industry

The most valuable influencers for the travel industry are those who have a globetrotting life. These influencers make it particularly very easy for the travel brands to connect with their ideal customer base.

Influencers in the travel industry are often so called Travel bloggers. Travel bloggers are often full-time travelers who talk about their trips, document their experiences, share photographs, and support their audience with tips and reviews. Although working with companies, they are not representing a specific company. Their opinion is therefore perceived both authentic and a great resource. Consumers lean heavily on peer recommendations and reviews. They want to read an honest opinion- whether it is bad or good – so they know they’re getting an accurate evaluation rather from a travel blogger, than from a brand.

Example of inspirational twitter posts of travel bloggers:

While travel bloggers are a great resource for reviews and recommendation what to do in a specific region or country, another source of inspirations can be sports athletes. One wouldn’t traditionally associate sports athletes with traveling. Nevertheless, they are constantly traveling to different locations for their competitions, which makes them authentic travel ambassadors. On the other side athletes have a great engaged young following, helping brands to attract the attention of new customer groups.

View this post on Instagram

Nice

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Instagram accounts of people with a plethora of images of breathtaking views, cascading waterfalls and impressive monuments and a huge fan following is another great source which travel brands should consider partnering with.

How travel companies can apply influencer marketing tactics to reach new target groups 

It’s easy to target travelers on social media as compared to the users of many other products and services. Travel companies with an acumen for social media are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even live-streaming platforms to engage with their potential and existing customers.

Some travels brands conduct their giveaway contests and the rules of the participating in them could be as simple as commenting and sharing a particular post. These kinds of activities help the travel companies to resonate their brand name through increased engagement.

Other promotions, sometimes, even include requesting a special hashtag to be added with the content that users are asked to share for participating in a contest. There are many success stories of airline companies making the best out of their social media strategy. For instance, Jet Blue has introduced their “Go Places” app that rewards customers for checking into their terminals. This is undoubtedly an ingenious strategy to create better brand awareness but also to pull off a loyal consumer base and even for attracting new ones.

But not all social media strategies are created equal, nor are the tastes and preferences of the users. Some social media channels are able to bring in a lot of engagement and conversion through massive outreach, but no matter which outlet is used to connect with the customers, it’s the “influencers” who will bring in conversions for your travel company. But how can travel companies apply

But how can travel companies apply influencer marketing tactics to reach target groups such as the millennials?

  1. Mention the influencer(s): A good way to communicate with influencers in the travel industry is to mention them in your social media channels. If you want a positive relationship with an influencer, you have to start a conversation with them and then see how their influence can benefit your business.
  1. Sponsor an influencer: Cooperate with an influencer by sponsoring them. With the financial help of your company an influencer is not only compensated for the great work but although it might help to realize exciting projects, which without your brand support would not have been possible. Both the brand and the influencer benefit from that.
  1. Give them a platform: You have to study the influencer you are trying to use.
  2. Is the influencer on his way to becoming a big name in the industry?
  3. Do you have an established company that can offer the relevant exposure? The purpose of this is to give the influencer the platform to reach out to your audience.
  4. Include them in your commentaries: To become the leader in the travel world, you have to write regular commentaries about what is going on in your travel sector and mention the influencers that you admire in the pieces you write.

There are multiple ways, but one key thing to remember is that the most successful campaigns are those once, which create benefit for the brand and the influencer (= and therefore for the audience you want to reach).

How Fourstarzz Media, an influencer marketing company, helps travel companies to master influencer marketing

Fourstarzz Media, is an influencer marketing company that helps travel companies to master influencer marketing. Fourstarzz Media has worked with different major players in the industry e.g. Expedia’s Hotels and we have successfully launched influencer marketing campaigns about travel topics with these companies. We help to create awareness about products and services and this in return drives up sales.

Fourstarzz Media is in close cooperation with the client’s marketing departments or agency and help define the campaign strategy. We help to select the fitting influencers, and work closely with the influencers to get the content right, keeping the natural voice of the influencer. This is very important because one of the benefits of influencer marketing is that an influencer communicates naturally to a trusted audience. Fourstarzz measures the campaign results. ROI is a crucial success metric.

We have a three-step campaign design that has proven successful for this industry:

  1. Travel bloggers that have a reputation in the field blog about a travel related topic
  2. Bloggers promote their new blog content through their personal social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  3. They amplify their content through Facebook and Twitter ads.

 

Please schedule your free consultation in case you want to learn more.

Schedule Your Free Consultation