Travel influencer marketing is a modern and effective strategy used in the travel industry. It centers around leveraging the reach and engagement of travel content creators to promote a brand’s product or service. These influencers create content based on their travel experience, providing their followers with valuable insights and firsthand knowledge of travel products and services. This method of marketing has greatly influenced the travel and tourism landscape, effectively advertising to a target audience that trusts and values the opinions of these influencers.
It’s essential to understand the importance of this marketing strategy in the travel industry. Travel influencers are not just individuals who travel and share their experiences; they’re trusted figures whose reviews and recommendations can significantly impact their followers’ travel choices. By sharing their experiences in real-time, these influencers can spread the word about your products or services, providing a unique and personal touch that traditional advertising often lacks.
Social media influencers when they work with brands can be a dynamic and powerful combination. The need for genuine content from amateur reviewers helps customers or would-be targets connect with the brand in a way that is real. That matters more to many consumers than highly produced and expertly constructed marketing pieces.
Why Collaborate with Travel Influencers?
The benefits of working with travel influencers are numerous. They have a broad reach, their content is honest, and their authentic personalities resonate with their audience. This authenticity plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of an influencer campaign. For instance, a travel and lifestyle influencer sharing their experience about sustainable travel can influence their followers to make more environmentally conscious travel decisions, aiding brands in the travel industry that focus on sustainable practices.
There are numerous examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns in the travel industry. One such example involves travel agents collaborating with influencers to market their services. Travel influencers can effectively advertise travel agents’ services to their targeted audience, resulting in a wider reach and more bookings. Furthermore, user-generated content plays a significant role in travel influencer marketing. When influencers share their real-time travel experiences, it helps brands spread the word effectively about their products or services, creating a more engaging and immersive advertising experience for their target audience.
Working with Travel Influencers
Finding the right travel influencers for your brand is a crucial step in establishing a successful influencer marketing campaign. This can be accomplished through various methods, such as searching social media hashtags related to travel, browsing travel aggregator websites, attending travel events, and tracking industry awards. These methods will help you identify potential influencers who align with your brand’s values and can effectively communicate your message to their followers.
Once potential influencers are identified, it’s essential to approach them professionally. This involves offering compensation for their work, clearly outlining the terms of the agreement in writing, and ensuring that both parties understand what’s expected. A travel influencer agreement should establish the scope of work, compensation, ethical considerations, legal and intellectual property issues, and other relevant aspects. This helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page and can work together harmoniously to achieve the campaign goals.
Collaborating with College Athletes through NIL Deals
The Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules have opened up new avenues for influencer marketing. They have allowed college athletes to monetize their influencer NIL, becoming influencers in their own right. This change has given brands the opportunity to work with influencers who already have a built-in audience, providing a highly engaged audience, authenticity, cost-effectiveness, and compliance with NCAA regulations.
Brands can partner with these student athletes in various ways, such as through sponsored social media posts, brand ambassadorships, affiliate marketing, giveaways and contests, collaborative content creation, and event appearances. However, it’s important to note that working with college athletes comes with its own unique set of challenges. Their busy schedules can make scheduling difficult, and traditional influencer marketing strategies may not be as effective in this space. To overcome these challenges, brands should be flexible and engaged, establish clear communication channels like texts or DMs, and aim to partner with students before the season starts to alleviate scheduling conflicts.
Despite these challenges, the benefits of working with college athletes as influencers are immense. Their authenticity and the realness they bring to their content can be incredibly appealing to their followers. By being mindful of these considerations and remaining flexible and engaged, brands can find great success in influencer marketing with college athletes.
Why Travel Influencers Work So Well For Marketing
Travel is inspirational, it’s beautiful, and everyone can relate. The category spans all budgets, lifestyles, and ages. Much like the way a vacation is relaxing, and can send travelers back to those fond memories even in the case of a photo or video, so too is the experience when customers come across travel posts on social media.
In addition to being visually appealing, there’s also an added perk with travel posts: escapism. Even for travelers who may never have a first class budget, looking at what’s possible is more than enough to hook a viewer on a channel. Why? Customers want to see what it’s like from a different perspective, they want to daydream some that if they won the lottery, got a promotion at work, or saved enough they too could be dining on caviar and drinking champagne.
Fortunately, it’s not only luxury brands that get attention on social media. Many travelers are looking for something that connects with their interests. Whether it’s their culture, or the food they eat, or the way they dress – customers are looking at how others like them explore the world as well. In fact, some luxury brands are ignored by consumers because they perceive the product to be too expensive, even if that’s not factually the case.
Travel content also have another distinct advantage built-in to the formula, it tells a story. Unlike other explainer videos or social media product reviews, travel is often about the narrative and experience the traveler shares. Other marketing pieces have moved to a similar model, with credit card companies discussing how “Mary” or “Joe” had x desire but while challenge. They used their bank credit card to to overcome the challenge and achieve their goal. Travel content is a natural for this important manner of conveying the message to the audience.
There’s one more reason why travel influencer marketing is particularly effective. Most consumers don’t make travel decisions often. They are often some of the largest individual purchases a person will make, they are infrequent, and can be complex. Those who travel less regularly than others want to protect themselves against a bad experience just as much as they want to strive for the best possible experience. They know they don’t know enough about the topic and so they seek out experts and pundits to educate themselves and make better choices.
Why We Are Different
At Iris, we are different especially when it comes to the travel space. It’s in our blood. Our co-owners also share a travel agency. They have both lived abroad, speak multiple languages, and travel often.
But that’s not really enough.
One of our owners is a writer for a travel blog that receives three million views monthly. He’s appeared in Time, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Today, the Washington Post, and more outlets. He knows the marketplace.
Our customers include an airline in the Star Alliance, a luggage manufacturer, and several luxury cruise lines. Part of what makes us different is our experience and first hand knowledge of the market.
The second thing that makes us different is our focus on metrics. We don’t really care about follower count because engagement is how our customers measure success. If a million people see an ad but none of them act on it, was it effective? We’d argue it’s not. We’d rather find an influencer with an engaged following that takes action rather than a broadcast that gets ignored.
Lastly, we measure our own success by conversions. If the campaign is for a product or service and not simply for awareness purposes, we want to track the numbers and understand where customers performed and where they didn’t. What was the ROI for our client’s campaign? How can we make it better every time they go to the market with a message?
Focusing on the right metrics, ensuring our client is getting the most for their budget, and working with influencers that understand the marketplace and their audience are just some of the reason we excel at travel infleuncer marketing.