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July 1, 2020

A lot of our clients understand how important influencers are in today’s marketing climate for travel, beauty, fashion, and other upscale industries. Utilizing these partnerships can be a cost-effective way to bond with new audiences, generate content, and for hotels, even turn unused rooms into powerful opportunities.

Too many properties, however, think they can accomplish all of that by bringing an influencer in, then simply sitting back and waiting for the posts to work their magic.

That’s not how it works—at least if you want to get the most out of your investment. So how does it work? What do you need to do? Obviously, you need to make sure you’re working with the right influencers; you can see more on how to do that here. But even more important than that, you need to have the right strategy.

Let’s look at a real-world example.

Recently, a hotel client of ours hosted a fashion-focused influencer who has 5 million followers. They wanted to take full advantage of such a prime opportunity, so we provided several different recommendations to help create greater engagement and maximize the impact of the visit.

  • Several posts had already gone up, so we had the hotel review comments for mentions of the property, the city, or the region. If someone referenced any of those things, they would get a reply from the hotel encouraging a follow on Instagram.
  • We advised the hotel to comment directly on the influencer’s related posts, thanking them for the visit and offering a giveaway for followers that also began following the property on IG and using specific hashtags.
  • We helped the hotel create an ad targeting the influencer’s followers, in addition to reposting all of the influencer’s related posts—making sure to sound natural, instead of formal and business-heavy. Sometimes, the best way to sell is not to sell at all.
  • For a post where the influencer raved about the hotel’s avocado toast, we made sure to repost, add screen shots, and entice the influencer’s audience to follow the property so they could receive the recipe. We also used the opportunity to encourage those in the area to come check out the hotel for breakfast.
  • Expect (and encourage) honesty. Invite an influencer to your property with the expectation that they will post an honest review. These are people who have built trust with their audience; do not expect them to gloss over issues during their stay. Instead, make their experience a great one by scheduling events for them to attend, providing special perks, etc.
  • Have goals and deliverables in mind. What do you want to achieve with this visit? More user-generated content? An increase in followers? Think about what is realistic and reasonable, and what kind of agreement you can reach with the influencer. Then, spell things out in writing, so both sides know what they’re getting from the arrangement.
  • Always have next steps in mind, too. When you gain those new followers, when you discover you have more user-generated content, what’s next? Target those followers with ads and offers. Find ways to repurpose the new content you’ve got. Create a strategy that you can use not just for one influencer’s visit, but going forward.
  • Review your results. Is hosting an influencer worth it to your business? You’ll never truly know unless you track the returns from your partnerships—from increased follower counts to more website visitors, and even a jump in bookings from a particular market or segment.
  • If you’re in the luxury space (or if you want to be), partnering with influencers has become a vital way to boost engagement and increase your reach. Don’t get left behind—contact us today for expert support and proven strategies designed just for your business.