Digital Marketing

The New Hotel Inspectors: Uncovering Digital’s New Wave of Influencers Part 1

However hot your own content assets may be, however powerful your digital messaging is and however sweet your room deals are, it’s no longer enough. In 2017, the importance and relevance of influencer marketing is almost non-negotiable, especially for those in the travel and hospitality industry.

So, before you dive right in to an influencer marketing campaign, how important are influencers on the modern consumer journey? We’ve crunched the numbers to help you make the business case for budget and resources to use influencer marketing as part of your customer acquisition strategy. If you aren’t yet convinced, here’s how powerful influencers are in the modern day online landscape:

Influencers marketing

The Rise of Ad Blockers

22% of British adults use ad blockers (source: IAB). In the USA, 86.6 million people, or 32% of all Internet users will use an ad blocking service (source: eConsultancy). The use of ad blockers grew 30% globally in 2016 (source: Business Insider).

The ad blocking phenomenon is going nowhere and means that traditional advertising methods are not as effective as they once were. To reach consumers, you need to provide information through people they trust. Enter the influencer.

The Power of Recommendations

Influencer marketing taps into that old adage that word of mouth is the best possible sales technique. When a recommendation comes from a peer or a person in a position of trust, the message appears validated.

Research by The Word Pro has found:
•92% of consumers trust recommendations from individuals, even those they don’t know, over brand messaging

•81% ofconsumers acknowledge being influenced by content social media connections share.

• Positive reviews on social media improve brand perception for 71% of consumers.

Jon Wexler, VP, Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing at sports brand adidas encapsulated this power perfectly at the 2016 Advertising Week conference in NYC saying, “If a brand is telling you how cool they are, they’re not that cool. If your peers are, it sticks.” This is what influencer marketing is all about in a nut shell – real people with real credibility publicly endorsing and recommending your products or services. Having a celebrity or person of authority respected by your audience sharing their enjoyment of your hotel packs more of a punch than a traditional advertising message because it seems more real and relatable.

Proven ROI

A study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions and White Wave Foods has proven the link between influencer marketing and ROI.
•Businesses carrying out influencer marketing generate $285 in incremental sales per 1000 views. That’s an 11 x better ROI than traditional advertising.

•Influencer content lives on after the campaign ends and can continue to drive sales. The Nielsen study reported ROI had doubled after three months with twice the impressions after the influencer marketing campaign had concluded.

The Power of Content Amplification

No matter how many channels you own as part of your owned media mix, posting your content only on your website and social media channels limits its reach. Influencers such as bloggers have their own audiences and own fan bases including huge numbers of social media followers.

Using influencers means you can tap into the power of content amplification and place your hotel and its USPs in front of a ready built audience. This is the power of content amplification.

Ready to get started? Look out for our next post which will give you a step-by-step guide to finding and working with influencers.