Why Chromo-Influencers™ are Perfect for Travel Companies
Are you a founder, director or manager at a travel brand? Well, you’ve already got a headstart in the influencer marketing game. The travel industry provides many opportunities to produce and share eye-catching visual content. At PMYB, we have the pleasure of running influencer campaigns for the likes of Hilton Hotel and Groupon. The creative opportunities for such influencer campaigns are endless. Influencer marketing was almost made for travel companies! You can find 7 amazing influencer campaigns that increased the sales of travel brands here!
It is also the sector with more user-generated content than any other. Most people who go on vacation take photographs at some point during their travels. And there are many social media influencers in the niche, making it ideal for travel companies to engage in influencer marketing.
Influencers are able to provide glowing reviews of your travel company’s offerings, while making the reviews come across authentically, genuine, and enticing to their followers. Their endorsements spark conversations, encourage high levels of enthusiastic engagement and drive consumers to purchase. When influencer marketing is conducted well, it provides potential customers with the social proof required for them to trust your service.
But Travel Companies Must Be Careful
But as with any other industry, travel companies can get it wrong.
A 2017 Influencer Marketing Hub survey found that businesses see a return of $7.65 on average for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing (and 15% return more than $20 per dollar spent). But 25% either lose money or barely break even.
So what can you do to ensure that your travel company doesn’t fall into that bottom 25 percent? The short answer is that you do your research, and go into any influencer marketing with your eyes open wide. You should avoid making these seven of the most fundamental mistakes brands are making.
1.) Don’t Select Influencers with Irrelevant Audiences
This first point is probably the worst mistake that any business can make, whether you work for a travel brand or in any other industry. For an influencer to be of any use to you, he or she needs to influence your potential target audience.
The vast majority of firms who fail with influencer marketing, do so because they don’t research their influencers and lack understanding of how influencer marketing works.
Just because somebody is called an influencer, does not mean that they will influence people interested in your business.
Many well-known influencers will be the first to admit they will be of little value to travel companies. They may influence people interested in fashion, food, motor racing, parenting or a myriad of other topics. Just because they say that they are an “influencer” and their Instagram feed looks aligned with your brand does not mean you should work with them.
The travel influencer niche itself is a broad niche. Influencers who regularly document themselves camping or mountain-climbing probably won’t have an audience interested in staying at your five-star resort. Also, if your company focuses on domestic travel, there is little point working with somebody who writes about his or her travels across Asia.
It is also crucial that you select influencers who’s ethos and attitudes align with your brand’s ethos. It’s important to research and vet any potential influencers to ensure that they will represent you well. You need to ensure that any of your influencers share the same values as you and your brand. At PMYB (influencer marketing agency), our campaign management teams really put a lot of effort into the vetting of influencers. It’s so important and can be the difference between a successful influencer campaign and a flop.
2.) Don’t Focus Only on “Travel Influencers”
While you may think that travel influencers would be the best for travel companies that is not necessarily the case. It can come down to the type of person you intend to target.
Most people love to travel. A portion of these people will be the types of travellers you want to target, some won’t. Whether it’s young backpackers in their twenties, or wealthier “empty nesters” whose children have left home, giving them time to think about travelling, you have to pick the influencers that are likely to impact your specific target market.
However, why just limit yourselves to travel influencers? You should consider widening the net when working with influencers. Think about the other types of social media personalities that are influencing your target market. Food, lifestyle, fashion or even technology influencers could be appropriate picks.
We recently discussed why we believe travel companies should use influencers in varied industries. The three main benefits of working across a broader sector we discovered were:
- Your brand will stand out more
- Your content will still remain organic to the influencer (almost everybody travels)
- It’s easy to tailor campaigns to their audience
3.) Don’t Pick Weak Goals for Your Influencer Campaign
There is little point in undertaking an influencer campaign if you don’t have a strong goal in place. All influencer campaigns need a realistic but aspirational objective.
Whether it’s to drive more people to your website, to increase your Instagram following, to raise high levels of brand awareness, to increase eBook downloads, or even to increase the number of people who buy your holiday packages online.
As you with your regular marketing campaigns, ensure that your influencer marketing goals are SMART, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
4.) Don’t Prioritise Influencer Reach Over their ability to Influence
By definition, an influencer is somebody who has demonstrated an ability to influence the opinions or behaviour of others. It takes more to be an influencer than just having large follower numbers. In many cases, so-called ‘influencers’ buy followers.
This is why a strong vetting process is so essential when working with influencers. And that’s why we’ve adopted a scientific and data-driven approach to analysing our influencers (The 46 Chromo-Factors).
5.) Don’t Expect All Influencers to Promote You for a Free Holiday
When influencers endorse or recommend your travel services, they are staking their reputations on their statements. They are telling their followers that they believe in and trust your services.
Remember the disaster of 2017’s Fyre Festival. Celebrity influencers received a backlash for supporting a chaotic and poorly-organised event. Therefore influencer marketing can be risky to influencers if there is any danger they can lose their credibility. It’s a mutual risk for both parties.
An influencer’s followers are interested in what the influencer has to say. That is why they follow the influencer.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that influencers expect you to pay them compensation for their time, effort and risk.
You should not always expect an influencer to want free travel as compensation. Travel influencers, in particular, receive many offers of free travel.
If you work with established Chromo-Influencers you should expect to pay the going rate for their work. Some may be happy with a free travel offer, but require monetary gain.
6.) Don’t keep a Tight Leash on Your Influencers and Stifle Their Creativity
A significant benefit of influencer marketing is that it appears natural and authentic. It is not merely a new platform to display your video display ads. You would not, for instance, tell your YouTube influencers to upload your television ads on their YouTube channels.
You are unlikely to meet your influencer marketing goals if you micromanage your influencers. The copy, images, and videos they share on your behalf need to look and sound like the everyday content they share with their fans.
Avoid formal copy and staged images. These will make your influencer marketing appear inauthentic and almost dishonest.
It may take a change in mindset for travel companies and their marketers, but you need to loosen the reins. Give your influencers breathing room so they can show their personality.
7.) Don’t Forget to Measure the Success of Your Campaigns
An often overlooked step in influencer marketing is the measuring of the success of your campaigns. And there is no standard measurement for success.
At PMYB, we ensure we provide our clients with the metrics they require to meet their goals. A lot of the time these metrics can be found in the social media reports of the influencers.
Enjoy your Influencer Marketing Journey
When PMYB’s co-founder, Chris Wilson began experimenting with influencer marketing in 2014, he also came across similar issues to the points raised in this article. However, now we’re in 2019 and there are clear ways in which companies can avoid the pitfalls to build effective influencer campaigns.
And if you can avoid making these seven mistakes, you will be well on the way to being one of the 75 percent of firms who are happy with their influencer marketing efforts. Many travel companies have benefited from influencer marketing, and if you do your homework you’ll do so as well.
To learn more about the influencer marketing campaigns we run at PMYB, see hereSee PMYB Case Studies