If you want to collaborate with an Instagram influencer in order to market your hotel, it is important to understand the factors which motivate them to share your content in the first place. Whilst this is not a comprehensive list, and every individual influencer will have a multitude of personal reasons for sharing branded content (or indeed, any content at all!), we believe these to be some of the key things that act as motivation for an influencer.
We cannot deny that not every influencer is looking to promote a cause or worthwhile message, however there are many that are. These people may produce content relating to environmental sustainability, the rights of minority groups, or veganism, to name but a few examples.
The relevance of a brand to an influencer’s area of expertise or concern has proven to be a critical motivation when partnering with brands and marketers. In a survey by TapInfluence, 42% of influencers felt that alignment with a brand’s core values was the primary factor in deciding whether or not to go ahead with a brand collaboration opportunity.
This is because an influencer’s audience has come to expect high quality content which largely fits into the themes that already exist on their feed. Whilst there is nothing to say that an influencer can never deviate from their pre-existing content, radically disparate posts may miss their mark with the intended audience.
Entertainment and Emotional Response
Because of the more personal nature of the relationship between influencers and their audiences, they aim to create a situation of mutual satisfaction when sharing branded content. The content an influencer generates has to connect with their followers on an emotional level, as this gives the audience a reason to continue to engage, and creates a situation in which influencers are able to entertain consumers in a specific niche with their creativity, and, in turn, receive affirmation from the public.
This ties into the brand itself – if a brand is seen as being innovative or creative in some way, it will act as a novelty for both the influencer and the consumer. It thus becomes more fun to promote, and more interesting to engage with from the consumer end. Having said that, there are obviously instances in which this novelty may tip into the realm of the absurd, and in many ways this is as detrimental to an influencer’s image as promoting something mundane or over-marketed. Balance, therefore, is the key to success.
It is unavoidable that, for a group of people making a living out of influencer marketing, money has to be part of the equation. Most influencers have grown their audiences in order to monetise them in some way, and have spent countless hours creating for and engaging with their audience. Partnering with brands is a good way to recoup some of that investment.
The hospitality industry has thus far been reluctant to pay in hard cash though, at least at individual property level. A few global hotel brands have adopted this approach purely at brand level e.g. Marriott and Fairmont, however that is more from a branding point of view, rather than enhancing the guest experience at individual properties.
Paying an influencer a fair rate, that reflects the time and money they are investing into marketing your product is essential for keeping your partners happy and motivation high. Whilst money has overwhelmingly proven not to be the key factor in facilitating influencer marketing relationships, it cannot be argued that money still talks.
On the other side of the coin, it should be noted that influencers may not always be looking for a flat fee: some influencers, particularly those just starting out in the influencer marketing industry, may be incentivised by invitations to exclusive events, or by free products.
It should be kept in mind that giving influencers an incentive to work with your brand may not necessarily lead to a partnership. Micro-influencers walk a fine line when it comes to brand partnering. If they are seen as promoting products and brands too often, they will alienate their audience, however if they do not promote enough, they may feel that they are wasting the marketing potential of their followers.
Why should hotels and properties care?
Hotels looking to embark on or expand an influencer marketing strategy should be paying close attention to the factors which provide motivation for influencers. By understanding what it is that influencers value, and what it is that they hope to get out of a partnership, brands can be better prepared in their approaches to collaborations. The positive knock on effect of this is that the relationships are inherently more trusting, which in turn means that they are more fruitful, and more sustainable as a long term business alliance – everyone’s a winner!
Interested in working with full time, pre-vetted hotel influencers? Click here to find out how Swayy can help you. If you are an influencer interested in a collaboration, read up on what we can do for you.
By Shannon Collins