For the uninitiated, influencer marketing can be confusing.
For starters, the success (or otherwise) of influencer marketing can be difficult to track. The same can be said of other promotional and PR initiatives, but at least there are some agreed ways of measuring traditional campaigns. Influencer marketing has yet to establish an industry-wide set of standards.
And yet, many of the foremost brands in the fashion, travel and retail industries – and to a certain extent the hospitality industry – recognise influencer marketing as an essential part of their overall strategy.
The value of influencer marketing
For these brands the rationale is clear, and it’s based on trust. More specifically, the understanding that consumers are more likely to engage with and purchase goods and services promoted by the voices and people they trust.
And that’s the inherent value influencers hold; the absolute trust of the following they’ve spent time and money building up over several years.
But don’t take our word for it.
The 2014 ‘Google Travel Study’ found that the internet is quite clearly the most influential when it comes to inspiring leisure travel decisions, followed rather distantly by television.
The same study found that over 80% of people use social networks and content sharing sites for leisure and travel inspiration, demonstrating how popular the main distribution channels used by influencers are.
Completing the puzzle, Nielsen’s 2015 ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ study found that ‘recommendations from people I know’ (78%) and ‘consumer opinions posted online’ (63%) were the top two ad formats acted upon by European consumers.
It’s no coincidence that both of these choices fit perfectly with influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing: three approaches for hotels
How you work with influencers will depend on your industry. Hotels and other accommodation providers, however, are an in envious position, as they naturally possess resources influencers find genuinely interesting and alluring.