In the case comparison for Influencer Marketing, the two hotels discussed are different in terms of type as well as location, service offering, markets, target customers and value offerings. This is all reflected in their Influencer marketing strategies. We aim to provide an insight into how these venues convey their value propositions through the use of Influencer Marketing.
Luxury City Hotel – Sofitel NYC
Sofitel is a global 5 star hotel chain, belonging to the Accor Group of hotels. It’s styling and inspiration is a mix of French and local Influence with the ease of modern comfort and amenities. A popular hotel destination in the midst of Manhattan, it is a convenient spot due to its proximity to Times Square, Broadway theatres, Rockefeller Centre and other tourist attractions.
@sofitelnyc Instagram images collage
Social presence on Instagram: 332 posts 2155 followers
Social Interaction based on 10 random pics: 72 (average) likes 3 (average) comments
Popular Influencer characteristics: Local & International based, lifestyle/travel/fashion bloggers, fashionistas, travellers, travel photographers/journalists, etc.
New York Fashion Week Campaign
Randomly selected Influencer images showcasing some of the hotels highlights
A combined total of all Influencers images in relation to likes (10k+) and comments (100+) provides an insight into the social engagement generated.
Instagram Marketing Strategy Analysis: Whilst the Sofitel adopts a more subtle Influencer Marketing strategy than most of their competitors, they use Influencers for key events such as New York Fashion Week (NYFW). As part of their branding strategy Sofitel wants to be seen by the world press and fashion community as the go-to destination for NYFW (and in fact for fashionistas passing through NYC at any time of year), so they ran a major Influencer campaign to spread the word amongst the fashion community, and they did it in style! Last year they brought in some of the biggest fashion/lifestyle influencers around. These included @tatjanamariposa, @zorannah, @majamalnar and @bridgethelen amongst others. By bringing in these Influencers who were preselected and whose brand image is aligned with the Sofitel’s, they managed to disseminate their key message of “Hey, look at us, we are the hottest place to stay/visit in NYC for NYFW”.
As a result of the Influencers’ eye watering images, their loyal followers were prompted to check out Sofitel NYC and even if the $500+ USD/night is too expensive for most of their followers, they can still pop into the Sofitel for a drink when next in NYC.
Family/Budget 3* Hotel – The Melita London
The Melita, one of the finest family owned mid-market hotels in London, is known to provide a friendly, unique homely experience. A true home away from home. It is situated close to Victoria station, a bustling station, providing a convenient route to many tourist attractions. Due to it’s down to earth ethos, wonderful non-profit art gallery filled with Melita related art from over 35 countries and their beautiful buildings, The Melita has managed to set itself apart from many of the bland chains in a highly competitive area. However, what The Melita do especially well is they communicate this unique approach to a huge number of Instagram users interested in travel. Since they are a small family owned venue they do not have the huge marketing budgets of the big chains, but through Influencer marketing at Swayy they have managed to gain exposure to millions of people which has had dramatic results.
@themelitalondon Instagram images collage
Social presence on Instagram: 408 posts 17.4k followers
Social Interaction based on 10 random pics: 346 (average) likes 7 (average) comments
Popular Influencer characteristics: Local & International based, lifestyle/travel/fashion/mummy bloggers, fashionistas, travellers, travel photographers/journalists, etc.
Instagram Marketing Strategy Analysis: The Melita’s Instagram presence draws insight on its value proposition, a combination of different attributes such as art, history, super central location and traditional British style providing virtual visitors of their Instagram page a snapshot experience of what it’s like to stay at the hotel. In order to drive traffic to their Instagram page they use Influencers through Swayy, a popular niche Influencer choice are mummy bloggers such as @die.kim, who look for hotels that are family oriented as well as within their budget. Its use of Instagram scores a lot of brownie points for the various demographics it caters to.
What The Melita does differently in comparison to other city hotels, is they disseminate this message to millions of travellers who want to stay somewhere that’s family friendly, can accommodate young children, and be near to family attractions. The Melita have successfully done this through Swayy. Since they are also a mid market 3* hotel, the use of Influencers has been even more effective because their nightly rates are very reasonable for central London. Accordingly their product offering appeals to a larger number of the Influencers’ followers.
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 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 fasted 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 should they stay, should it be a relaxing or adventure holiday, the list never ends….
The key point is that capturing their attention early before they even know they want to make a trip to London or NYC is key. This is exactly what The Sofitel and Melita 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 the target audience is on an international level. The hotels that are keeping up with the technology curve are effectively using Influencer Marketing to out smart 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 downtown city hotels discussed in this blog are clearly in a competitive space for demanding customers spoilt for choice in a small area. To better distinguish themselves, they have therefore 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 though 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 for and evaluate Influencers in one simple transparent process. All hotel managers/marketing managers need to do is sign up, 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, shall attend your venue and take carefully curated media content to spread the word. 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. We have two suitable package options based on what features you would like to opt for. For more information on our packages, click here.