According to IBM Marketing Cloud’s report from 2016, 90% of digital data has been produced solely during the last few years, with the society creating around 2.5 quintillion bytes per day (yes, that is 2.5 and 18 zeros). No doubt these figures have increased with more data being created than ever before in 2019. In a prevailingly digital world, people are now being bombarded with information, more accessible, more instantaneous and constantly competing for one’s attention. In that endless sea of online data, one of the biggest challenges for hotel businesses is to get the word out about their brand. And in today’s digital era, influencer marketing is increasingly becoming a popular answer to the problem of breaking through all the noise.
With traditional advertising becoming outdated and display ads becoming less effective, influencer marketing emerged on the scene with people relying on social media recommendations and making decisions based on trust in influencers. When done right, this form of marketing campaigns can bring desired results – your brand is being given a stamp of approval by an influencer whose endorsements are considered trustworthy by their audience.
However – and entirely depending on your execution – crucial mistakes in your influencer marketing efforts can make them ineffectual, also leading to a great waste of valuable time and monetary resources. While we have covered some of the essential aspects and factors to consider when choosing influencers that align with your brand, your job is not done once the pretty looking post that has been agreed can be seen on their Instagram feed. There is still plenty that you can and should do as a brand, in order to get the most out of your collaborations. As you certainly wish to maximise the outcomes of your marketing efforts, it is critical for you to recognise and avoid some common tactics that can negatively impact your campaigns.
Not amplifying influencer’s content
One of the greatest mistakes brands tend to make when collaborating with influencers is not utilising and repurposing influencer’s content on their own media channels. So, you have arranged a collaboration deal, the influencer just posted a lovely photo of your new poolside experience and the comments show how much their Instagram followers are impressed with your hotel. Time to move on like the content never existed? Not quite.
A major part of influencer marketing is reaching influencer’s audience, but you are missing out on the potential benefits of re-posting and reusing influencer content across your digital media platforms. Consider how this content can be embedded on your website or social media channels, for your own audience to enjoy it – the fact is, you should have started amplifying influencer content yesterday. Not only does it emphasise the amazing guest experience, but it can also help you keep the funds you would have invested in photography. Take W Hotel in Bali for example; their marketing team managed to save $25,000 on professional hotel photography by repurposing their influencer content.
Ask yourself: if a travel influencer just posted a vlog featuring your resort, how can your website benefit from displaying it on the home page? As for your Instagram story highlights, you could include influencer content as a separate icon, featuring photos from events they were attending. Remember, you approached these content creators because of their high-quality content and artistic skills. And each one of them has the potential to deliver a unique creative perspective of their stay, all of which should be available for your potential guests to enjoy across your channels. If you are interested in finding out more about how to repurpose influencer’s content, click here.
Not engaging in the engagement
While social media is becoming increasingly common in the marketing and advertising spheres, you must consider the core characteristics of these networks. They have emerged on digital platforms as virtual communities, created for like-minded people to engage in conversations, share ideas and experiences. Social networks have now evolved to multi-functional channels but have managed to preserve their essence, mirrored in interactivity and engagement.
While your website must contain informative and useful details of your business, such as the ability to check available dates and room descriptions, your social media accounts can be used to portray other aspects of your hotel and your team. High-quality photographs are amazing, sure, but let your audience see your values through your actions across social media channels. When an influencer posts a photo of your hotel, make sure you keep track of their audience’s engagement with the post; are there any questions regarding your hotel? Answer them! Are they complimenting your interiors? Thank them for their kind words! You can sometimes respond to such comments by inviting them to check out your account for more beautiful photos of your property. Or simply thank the influencer for staying at your hotel, letting them know you are hoping to see them again in the near future.
These examples demonstrate your appreciation of both your guests and your audience, and also show that you are delighted to interact and engage in their conversations. Finally, try and keep track of posted influencer generated content, coming back to look for new comments on older posts from time to time – don’t just forget about a post in a week and move on to the next one!
Not building long-lasting relationships with influencers
After a successful influencer marketing campaign, you may be tempted to thank the influencer, and start arranging collaborations with someone else that fits your brand. Don’t get us wrong – it is perfectly fine for you to wish to work with multiple creative individuals to promote your hotel. But remember: in these marketing campaigns, influencers are your partners. Developing long-lasting relationships can foster trust in your partnerships and confidence that you will always receive desired high-quality content in the future. And if the initial outcomes are a successful collaboration and valuable results, why wouldn’t you want to do it again?
Cultivating a long-term relationship with influencers takes time and effort, but the benefits of such partnerships are numerous. The power of influencers lies in influencing their audience’s opinion on products/services endorsed on their social media channels. They rely on influencer’s recommendations. Such content attracts the audiences because it is or appears to be organic, authentic and genuine. Of course, you always have to do your best to ensure influencers truly have a wonderful time at your hotel! If the influencer enjoys their stay at your hotel, especially if it’s as a result of an efficient, respectful cooperation and smooth communication – their content will reflect it. So, the more nurtured and positive your relationship is, the more authentic the created content will be.
Multiple campaigns with an influencer also provide an opportunity to attain more detailed behavioural data and a greater understanding of their audience. Ultimately, collaborating with a particular influencer several times means that the audience will see their favourite influencer choosing to come back and stay with you. This can highlight a positive guest experience, with influencer showing they trust your services and can count on your hospitality.
Not communicating with influencers
If you choose to establish long-term business relationships with influencers, not communicating with them on a regular basis can also have some negative consequences. Arranging face-to-face meetings and in-depth discussions with each of them would require an enormous amount of time that you may not be able to afford. However, occasional conversations are certainly necessary. The digital world is in a state of flux, with advancing technologies and innovative marketing methods being introduced to the market constantly. Make sure to schedule regular conversations with influencers, in order to discuss your aims and search for creative methods of promoting your hotel to their audiences.
Influencers are your partners and it is important to know and understand each other’s goals and expectations. If an influencer is collaborating with other brands on a more frequent basis, make sure they can still commit to your brand enough to deliver desired results. Also, just because your campaign was successful a year ago, this does not necessarily mean their audience remained unchanged, reacting to their content in the same manner. Discuss their audience pool, and be up-to-date with their interests – are they overwhelmed with sponsored content? Do they find it generic? What changes can be implemented to alter their feedbacks?
Moreover, it is essential to maintain a level of understanding between you and your influencer, regarding your business routines. If it has been some time since your last collaboration, always go over the specific requirements once again – do not just assume they are familiar with the processes. This can easily cause misunderstandings and inconveniences, leading to mistakes in the content creations and unsatisfactory results. Avoiding such disappointments is a critical ingredient to the success of your collaboration and effective outcomes of your influencer marketing campaigns.