In today’s world more and more brands are starting to realise the need to include influencer marketing in their digital campaigns, as a direct result of the changing landscape of the Internet-informed society. Contemporary consumers are no longer looking to passively experience ads that are forcefully imposed on them. Instead, they are choosing online social media platforms that allow for greater engagement with both brands and alike users.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 89% of British adults were recent internet users by the end of 2018. On top of this, the younger generation has an even higher daily Internet penetration. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that, in recent times, around 85% of marketers have decided to include influencer marketing in their advertising strategies for the hospitality industry.
So what is the future of influencer marketing?
Focusing on micro-influencers
Over 60% of Instagram users log into the platform every day, according to recent data by GlobalWebIndex, with many of them spending their time across multiple online social media platforms. Importantly, however, around 80 million photos are posted on Instagram every day. As a result, the engagement becomes of great importance when promoting content on Instagram. Engagement determines how many potential customers will engage with your content.
Focusing on micro-influencers will ensure that you target the correct audience for your venue. Micro-influencers’ power to affect the niche markets and engage directly with their followers can lead to greater traffic on a brand’s social media account and website. This is why choosing the right influencer is extremely important. (See our recent post on choosing the right for your influencer).
Looking for longer partnerships in influencer marketing strategies
Social media networks have a 42% penetration globally. In the UK alone, Instagram users number between 16.7 and 17.2 million people, according to 2017 data by eMarketer and Napoleancat. Over 61% of those users are part of a younger, increasingly affluent, generation of 18-34 year olds. This generation has grown up in the realm of the Internet. As a result, they use social media platforms as their primary source of inspiration for travel and restaurant choices alike. The future of digital marketing lies, therefore, in influencer marketing.
Looking for the right content-creator, whose values align with your brand, can be both time consuming and costly. In an interview with Swayy’s CEO, Jérémie Lannoy, we discovered the underlying issues plaguing the market. As Director of Marketing and Communications for W Hotels in Bali, he highlights the problem of being bombarded with multiple requests for a collaboration every day. The challenge, he argues is to filter those requests effectively and without the waste of valuable resources.
The right influencer can generate higher engagement for your brand and mean a more significant number of direct bookings. Therefore, building long-lasting relationships with the right creator is an essential part of digital marketing strategy for brands in the luxury hotel industry, with the importance of influencers only set to increase in 2019.
Jennifer Zajac, ex-Digital Marketing Manager Hyatt EMEA, in her interview, proposes three clear tips for choosing a right influencer, and maintaining a working relationship with them:
1. Clarity of objectives
2. Setting deadlines and schedules for everyone involved
3. Clarity of Standard Operating Procedure.
More collaborative collaborations with influencers
According to the recent data by GlobalWebIndex (2017), more than 50% of Internet users follow influencers on their social media accounts. Why is this the case? Influencers are seen as peers with similar tastes, offering sources of inspiration for the different users. They are perceived as being more authentic and honest than traditional forms of digital marketing, because they are less aggressive and forceful than pop-up ads and promotions by brands favouring mainstream marketing techniques. Additionally, influencer marketing offers a better understanding of guests’ preferences and tastes. As Annalisa Maestri, Global Communications Manager at Dorchester Collection recalls, ‘the content on social media helps customers remember their experiences and want to come or come back’. (See the whole interview with Annalisa Maestri here).
Influencer marketing encourages reciprocal communication, facilitating conversations between numerous stakeholders in the digital landscape of the 21st century – from the average social media user to influencers and brand marketers. User-generated content becomes a means to convey a powerful message that creates engagement from all of those stakeholders. It is important to note that marketing through Instagram content-creators proves to be especially fruitful for targeting millennials. As we have shown, these young people spend a considerable part of their day interacting on social media platforms, so they are the future that marketers should be investing in now.
The utilisation of ephemeral content
Visual content is the form of content with the highest engagement online, and this is where the future of influencer marketing lies. From pictures posted on Instagram, to the successful incorporation of video marketing in Instagram stories and highlights, the social network offers nearly infinite possibilities for the hospitality industry in 2019.
Mobile apps are the most often used device to access online social media platforms. In fact, according to GlobalWebIndex,around 70% of all time spent on mobile phones is dedicated to interacting through social media, resulting in quick and high engagement with visual content on those platforms. Among these, Instagram ranks in the top five platforms used, with brand engagement with brands on Instagram sitting 10 times higher than on Facebook or other apps.
Ephemeral (in other words: short lasting, disappearing) visual content is of great importance for the hospitality industry. It is both authentic and exciting. It can offer a behind the scenes perspective from brands and venues. And it excites the everyday social media user predominantly because of the fear of missing out on information or an exclusive offer. In a sense, because of lasting an only a short time, it is also exclusive and makes the audience feel unique as a result.
Worried about too many consumers missing out? Don’t fret: Instagram also preserves videos on the highlights section of an influencers profile, meaning a brand can reap all of the benefits of ephemeral content, without the fear that they are excluding any of their audience.
Swayy and the influencer marketing for the hospitality industry
All in all, the future of successful influencer marketing for the hospitality industry lies in building prosperous and rewarding relationships with online social media influencers. Hospitality industry marketing teams have to look into incorporating micro-influencers that align with their brand into their marketing strategies. In that way, they can build long-lasting creative collaborations.
Swayy can help with meeting the challenges of the influencer marketing, by connecting, in a timely manner, the right influencers with venues. We also provide a platform for effective communication between the site and the content creator so that clear goals are identified and met for both parties involved. To find out more, read more on our post on how to improve your marketing strategy with Swayy.