We’ve all heard the buzzword – Influencer Marketing – and most of us know what it means. But for those who don’t, simply put, it’s leveraging influencers’ influence to market your service, product or experience instead of marketing it through traditional marketing channels.
Travel is a fairly easy sell through influencer marketing. Influencers create the content on behalf of brands and publish that content on their influential social media channels.
Influencers are usually are either equipped with the latest camera technology and gadgets or highly creative and experimental with post-production editing tools. When you check out their Instagram feed, they usually have the most amazing colour schemes and when you look at their videos, you’ll find they’ve used either drone or GoPro footage.
Social influencers tag or mention the brand they are working with, followers trust the influencers’ recommendation and visit the destination the influencer went to, fly with the same airline the influencer used and check into the same hotel the influencer stayed at. Influencers inspire their followers to get out there and explore the world.
This all sounds pretty easy, but here comes the tricky part. How do brands and influencers find each other? Who is responsible for coming up with the concept and implementation of the actual influencer marketing campaign? How much creativity is up to the influencers and where do brand guidelines set in?
That’s where a social media influencer agency can make a real difference. They have the network of both, brands and influencers and fulfil the role of matchmaker – placing the correct influencer with the correct travel brand. An influencer agency also has the resources and knowledge to put together a brand’s influencer strategy and implement it accordingly. Influencers are briefed, hashtags and handles provided, timelines set up and results monitored.
An influencer marketing agency will also keep brands and influencers in the loop of new developments in the market. How can influencers use their content better?
What else is available? Facebook, for example, has just started trialling a subscription service that will give followers exclusive content from their favourite influencer for a monthly set fee. What is fascinating about this, is that Facebook puts the onus on their own user base to fund content creation from influencers. This is a pragmatic shift, coming from a content platform that has so far focussed its revenue stream on advertisers.
It also raises the question: How viable is the future of influencers’ income stream if it comes from their following instead of the brands they are marketing? A bit like the balance between subscriptions and advertising in traditional media.
If you are an influencer and looking to be connected with travel brands engaging in influencer marketing sign up here to be part of our community.