In the 21st century, digital disruption (the transformation caused by emerging digital technologies) redefines modern consumer habits and creates a perfect space for the use of influencer marketing in the marketing of hotels and restaurants.
According to the Global Consumer Insights Survey, social media networks rank as the leading and dominant source of inspiration for future purchases. Similar patterns can be observed regarding making travel arrangements. Influencer marketing responds to the changing habits of consumers and creates the ‘bandwagon’ effect for potential clients. While influencer marketing can work across numerous social medial platforms, with its 800 million active monthly users, Instagram is by far the most influential one.
Influencer marketing responds to the shifting consumer habits
42% of Internet users around the globe participate in social media platforms. According to the most recent data from the GlobalWebIndex, we spend an average of six hours daily on Internet-connected devices, scrolling through websites and social media platforms.
According to Rick Kauffeld, a PwC US principal, ‘today’s consumers trust the wisdom of the crowd’. Influencer marketing is, therefore, a direct response to changing consumer behavioural habits in the digital age. Potential customers are far more likely to check social media when making a purchase choice or deciding on travel arrangements than to check an individual company’s website. Promotional emails from brands and companies are not as successful anymore. Instead, consumers are relying on their peers and on social media influencers as their main source of inspiration, so Instagram influencer content acts as a well-informed recommendation for modern audiences.
Influencer marketing increases consumer trust
In today’s world brands and venues face the challenge of being perceived as authentic, trustworthy and reliable as a result of the changing modern social media relations and consumer behaviours. Traditional advertising and pop-up ads are not nearly as effective as influencer marketing. In fact, trust was selected by over 30% of consumers as the most important factor in choosing a particular retailer in a study done by PwC in 2018. The same applies to hotels and restaurants.
Moreover, most of those customers chose the opinions of fellow consumers and positive reviews of venues and hotels. In many ways, influencer marketing reinforces the trust between brands and their consumers by bringing the product closer to the desired consumer. It is, therefore, important to choose the right influencer for your company, as not every social media star will be aligned with the values and goals of your brand or venue. To find out more, check out our post on how to effectively choose an influencer right for you.
It is honest and transparent
Today’s world watches environmental practices and other global issues very closely. Transparency regarding the practices and choices of suppliers are becoming an important factor in determining a brand’s authenticity. These global issues are especially important for the millennials, who comprise the vast majority of Instagram users. And influencers, in bringing a company or brand’s message to their niche markets, are reinforcing trust in those values represented by hotels and venues. Part of the appeal of influencer marketing is the fact that in many ways it is based on user-generated content. As a result, it feels more genuine than other forms of digital marketing, and when an influencer testifies to a brand’s sustainability, consumers really believe it.
Moreover, influencer marketing is honest about the (often paid) association with the venue. There exist legal guidelines for influencer marketing. The disclosure of such information by social media influencers increases consumer trust. They are not lying to the consumers. Instead, users of social media are presented with the promoted content by well-informed and credible people who share their interests.
Influencer marketing and Instagram
Influencer marketing works through a combination of practices. Firstly, it relies on maintaining good relations with your chosen influencers, who are entrusted in providing great quality content that promotes your hotel or venue. Essentially, an influencer becomes a trustworthy brand ambassador, and users are invited to interact with their content and with the venues’ own Instagram ccount.
52% of Internet users connect with the world through their mobile phone devices, comparing to 43% of Internet traffic dominated by laptops and desktop computers according to a digital report by ‘We Are Social’. This means that social media platforms, such as Instagram, designed to use on smartphones devices, are growing in power.
In the case of Instagram, 18-34 year-olds account for the highest number of users. Influencer marketing, therefore, works best when aimed at young adults on Instagram. Influencing through Instagram becomes amazingly powerful for the hospitality sector and leisure businesses. It pushes a strong interactive message forward through high-quality engaging content, which can, in turn, can generate traffic needed for the increase in bookings.
The used image is a re-gram by @swayy.me of a photo by our influencer @travel_inhershoes. The credits go to them accordingly
The ‘bandwagon’ effect of influencer marketing
The ‘bandwagon’ effect is a situation in which you are doing something as a result of someone else’s opinion, and its effect is very prevalent in the consumer market. As a term, we can use it, therefore, to sum up the power of the influencer marketing. Digital social media platforms in the 21st century, influence nearly 75% of consumers’ choices. See more in our post on how to influence hotel guests with influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is engaging, trustworthy and fun. Most young people follow on Instagram a mixture of their close friends, acquaintances, celebrities, brands and social media influencers. And those influencers provide a bridge between the brand and average Instagram users. They post promoted content with their unique approach or aesthetics tagging locations and venues. In that way, they refer other users to leisure businesses or destinations. They are bridging the gap that traditional digital marketing cannot do. Influencer marketing content is therefore relatable for the average Instagram user, and that’s where its power lies.
The credibility of social media influencers creates a situation in which an Instagram sees a picture of a venue or destination and thinks, “this looks amazing, I should book my next holiday there!”.
And that, in effect, can lead to increased sales for the hospitality industry. So if you are looking to expand your digital marketing strategies, read how to work with influencers on Swayy and sign up with us today.
If you are hotel looking for a successful influencer collaboration, sign up with Swayy today or read more about influencer marketing on our website.