It’s no secret that the way decisions are made by people for daily life has a lot to do with their internet browsing habits and what they stumble upon. It is no less different when consumers choose hotels.
In fact, shut your eyes now and just think about how nice it would be to transport yourself from your day-to-day reality to paradise on holiday even just for a few seconds. Well, that psychological process is in fact exactly what happens when you’re in the lift in between meetings, waiting for the bus or stuck in a queue at the supermarket and you flick through your Instagram feed, constantly coming across numerous lifestyle influencer’s posts. (We will, in fact, cover the science/psychological processes in another blog post, but for the moment just try it for yourself to see what we mean). Without even realising it, we are being exposed to beautiful destinations and hotels that enchant us. That’s where Influencer marketing comes in, the best hotels are beating their competitors simply by embracing this consumer thirst for wanderlust.
Let’s analyse a few…
Case Study – Romantic/Resort Hotel: Conrad Maldives Rangali Islands
The Maldives, a group of islands surrounded by the Indian Ocean, is one of the most popular romantic holiday getaways. The Conrad Maldives is a luxurious island resort. The resort is isolated from the mainland and the only means of transport is by seaplane. This already sounds pretty awesome! A combination of waterfront and beach villas, various restaurants and bars, a spa, water sports, including scuba diving, are all part of the appeal. A relaxing, fun break in the sun, isolated from civilisation and romance in the air is the message that hits home.
However, what the Conrad does differently to many of the other equally luxurious resorts in the Maldives is disseminate this message to millions of travel-obsessed people (including high net worth individuals who are potential customers) through Influencers on Instagram.
@conrad_maldives Instagram images collage
Social presence on Instagram: 870 posts 37.1K followers
Social Interaction based on 10 random pics: 692 (average) likes 11 (average) comments
Popular Influencer characteristics: Foreign-based on different target markets, lifestyle/travel/fashion bloggers, fashionistas, travellers, travel photographers/journalists, etc
Case Study – Destination Hotel: Cavo Tagoo Mykonos
Cavo Tagoo is a glamorous resort that is making rounds on the jet set circuit for its jaw dropping landscapes and futuristic interiors. The hotel is etched onto a cliff in Mykonos surrounded by the Aegean Sea, providing truly spectacular views. Every view during the day feels like paradise and by night it transforms itself into a vibrant cosmopolitan hub.
Again, what Cavo Tagoo does differently to many of the other beautiful hotels in beautiful spots in Mykonos, is disseminate this message to millions of glamour hungry people (including high net worth individuals who are potential customers) through Influencers on Instagram.
@cavotagoomykonos Instagram images collage
Social presence on Instagram: 464 posts 71K followers
Social Interaction based on 10 random pics: 1130 (average) likes 11 (average) comments
Popular Influencer characteristics: International lifestyle influencers from European markets, travel/fashion bloggers, fashionistas, travellers, travel photographers/journalists, etc.
Case Study – Destination Hotel II: Kirini Suite & Spa
Another luxury destination hotel located in Greece Santorini. Santorini is amongst the largest Cycladic Islands, formed from the remnants of volcanic craters. The hotel is carved onto the craters and provides a serene and slightly different ambience in comparison to the Cavo Tagoo resort. The Kirini Suite & Spa is not quite as well known as the other resorts but has sought a position as a first-class hotel destination in its own right. As the name suggests, its unique value proposition is centred more towards its spa and other relaxing amenities. Kirini is trying to appeal to high network travellers like Cavo Tagoo does but they have to work even harder at their Influencer Marketing since Mykonos is more of a honeypot than Santorini. So, what does Kirini do to combat this?
That’s right, you guessed it… they launched an aggressive Influencer Marketing campaign to disseminate the “Hello, we’re the ultimate destination hotel in Europe…don’t believe us…just see the shots on our Instagram of these impossibly glamorous people that holiday here”. Kirini has partnered with some of the largest lifestyle/travel bloggers around and they did this strategically in the peak of summer when the hotel was looking its very best, with beautiful sunsets to entice the highly mobile and spontaneous crowds of their wealthier followers to catch some last minute summer sun.
@kirinisuiteandspa Instagram images collage
Social presence on Instagram: 165 posts 13.1K followers
Social Interaction based on 10 random pics: 400 (average) likes 13 (average) comments
Popular Influencer characteristics: Foreign based, lifestyle/travel/fashion photographers, fashionistas, travellers, journalists, etc
Instagram Marketing Strategy Analysis
Let’s start on a more obvious note. A quick overview of the current social media trends illustrates travel is arguably the most popular thing to update on Instagram. Countless number of times our friends and family have posted their holiday shots, giving us travel goals. Moreover, a huge impact is made by social Influencers who give inside recommendations on the best spots to stay, eat, drink or visit. They are apt at telling a visual story through their snapshots and in turn, we start to build up a rapport with them, trusting their thoughts and views (even if deep down we know they’re being sponsored). The reality is that the content speaks for itself. There’s only so much they can do to make the photo look appealing. The incredible views, amenities or services are what they are. They just look a tad more appealing when there is a beautiful person in the shots.
Instagram as a social image sharing platform, has gained a lot of popularity with its aesthetically pleasing tools and is currently the fastest growing social network, hence its attraction for venues like yours.
Analysing the digital landscape, the aforementioned hotels are currently riding the Influencer Marketing wave and gaining huge momentum. In comparison to local Leisure Businesses such as your local Italian restaurant, hotels need to do the heavy lifting to attract prospective customers as they are competing on a global scale. These prospective customers are deciding where the next holiday is going to be, what kind of experience they want, where they should stay, whether it should be a relaxing or adventurous holiday, the list never ends….
The key is to capture their attention early before they even know they want to make a trip to the Maldives, Mykonos or Santorini. This is exactly what the Conrad, Cavo Tago and Kirini Suites are doing. In hotel revenue manager speak, they capture the customer before they even reach the sales funnel. Meanwhile, their competitors don’t even know that they’ve lost a prospective customer because they are oblivious to this.
In an increasingly competitive market, hotels have got to be extremely innovative to market themselves and have a truly amazing value proposition to attract tourists/ travellers. Unlike restaurants, hotels usually have more resource capability to provide wider offerings and experiences to their customers and their target audience is on an international level. The hotels that are keeping up with the technology curve are effectively using Influencer Marketing to outsmart their competitors, boost brand awareness and ultimately revenue over the long term. It’s intuitive. In the simplest terms, all they’re really doing is going to where their prospective customers are and they’re using personal recommendations accompanied with beautiful images to sell their venues to these prospective customers.
The luxurious hotels discussed in this blog are clearly in a competitive space for demanding customers who are spoilt for choice in a small geographical area. To better distinguish themselves, they have equipped themselves with relevant Influencers to boost their brand profile by casting their magic and promoting that content to their followers. The Influencers that are most ideal are the ones that really understand what message the venue is looking to portray to potential customers about their value offering and they do so in a creative way with original aesthetically pleasing content.
How to do Influencer Marketing effectively through Swayy
Swayy’s innovative platform has been created to empower hotel businesses around the world to become tourist hotspots. We are aware of prospective customers’ social connectivity and decision making journey online. We are also aware that word of mouth marketing is the most authentic way to reach out to potential customers, increase revenues and keep existing customers engaged with your venue/brand. It’s simple, people tend to trust other people, not aggressive ads shouting at customers.
Swayy in practice will help your venue find, analyse, book, pay and evaluate Influencers in one simple transparent process. All hotel managers/marketing managers need to do is sign up and post an Ad that can be viewed by our pre-vetted lifestyle/travel Influencers (SwayyStars). Those interested shall apply to work with you. You can then select which Influencers work for you and book them according to your availability. Our SwayyStars then attend your venue and take carefully curated media content to spread around the world via Instagram. For more details on ‘How to work with Influencers on Swayy’, click here.
Through Swayy, any hotel anywhere in the world can collaborate with our network of Influencers. To add icing on the cake, our most custom and service-oriented Agency package (details here) can provide customisable key offerings that will be most relevant to your campaign, these are listed below.
- Most hyper-relevant Influencers will be approached on a venue’s behalf
- Assistance is offered on Instagram content strategy
- Instagram scheduling and analytics support is also available
- Most significantly, Swayy has the ability to provide Unique Tracking Links, so venues can track the number of bookings as a direct result of an Influencer campaign. This can provide venues with metrics to get great insight and maximum returns on their investment.