The growing interest in influencer marketing is a direct response to recognising that the customer market is changing. In modern times, there are new and more effective ways to reach prospective audiences with the use of online social media platforms.
Recent statistics suggest that over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from individuals, even if they don’t know them personally, when making purchasing decisions. Influencer marketing is, therefore, pivotal for the thriving of businesses in the future. However, investing in influencer marketing may seem problematic for many marketing managers, as influencer marketing brings a unique set of challenges.
While around 84% of marketers in brands and companies have started, to varying degrees, to use influencer marketing in their advertising strategies, some are highlighting the issues it may cause. With the average person spending nearly 2 hours on social media platforms daily, it is critical to find a way to solve the challenges posed by influencer marketing and successfully incorporate these techniques into practice. According to Mark Evans, “In many respects, influencers are key to making billions of pieces of content that are published throughout social media. They are the ones we follow, trust and ultimately help decide what will succeed/fail”. So, how do we meet the challenges of influencer marketing successfully?
One of the biggest challenges of influencer marketing: managing collaboration requests
51% of marketers believe that they acquire better and more loyal customers through the use of influencers in their marketing campaigns. The successful leverage of influencer marketing strategies relies on high-quality content and consistent engagement and, according to Evy Wilkins, requires “engagement and creativity”. Finding the right influencer for the job is, therefore, essential.
However, this can be difficult to do given the sheer volume of collaboration requests that some brands receive, and trying to come up with a list of pros and cons of every potential influencer is a slow and tedious task. Dolores Semeraro, former Director of Marketing & PR at Lux Resorts Maldives, in a recent interview with Swayy’s CEO, David Gabriele, claimed that the time it takes to assess the credibility of influencer’s requests carefully is seen by many as a major setback. As a result, many hoteliers will give up on influencer marketing strategies entirely after a very short time.
Our experts’ opinions on the bombardment with collaboration requests
In our recent interview with Dr Jens Niedzielski, former Group Director of Marketing and Brand Management at Minor Hotels, we discussed the importance of ensuring that an influencer’s message aligns with your brand values, which requires research into the ideals that a content creator’s audience are engaging with. However, the lengthy process of examining every influencer that sends a collaboration request is very time consuming and can generate high costs: not every business can allow the resources for such an undertaking.
In another interview, Thibaut Asso, the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for the Americas at COMO Hotels and Resorts, talks about the most significant challenges to influencer marketing, including finding the right fit for the venue and ensuring the quality of content posted by the influencers.
Our experts have crucially underlined the problematic nature of dealing with a bombardment of collaboration requests, so how can we go about resolving the issue?
Finding the right influencer when facing too many collaboration requests
According to Chris Pilbeam, “Influencer marketing works by speaking to an individual, group of individuals or a type of individual that have sway in a niche or market, instead of trying to directly appeal to the whole”.
Your chosen influencers must, therefore, have reach, reputation and be relevant in your specific target market. Disappointingly, however, many collaboration requests consist of generic emails from influencers who haven’t bothered to research the business. When a high number of inbound collaboration requests are people looking for nothing more than a free stay in the hotel, finding the right fit for your brand becomes an even more difficult task.
Focusing on micro-influencers may be one of the solutions. Indeed, according to Danny Brown, “we need to move beyond public personalities and into micro-influencers”
This type of influence can be far more influential and effective for a specifically targeted audience. Micro-influencers, as a general rule, have a more highly engaged audience than celebrities, so are particular about sticking to their values and beliefs. As a marketer or business owner, you need to have a clear idea on your venue’s values and beliefs so that you work the influencers that can promote these values to the best effect. Once a collaboration is in progress, using tracking links may be a useful tool to track engagement. If you want to read more on how to calculate engagement rate, check out our recent article on the subject.
How can Swayy help with managing collaboration requests?
Done right, influencer marketing provides, on average, a better ROI (return-on-investment) than any other online marketing channel aiming to reach the largest group of consumers for hotels nowadays: millennials. However, as pointed out by numerous experts in the marketing industry, building successful and rewarding relationships with social media influencers can be time and money consuming. Swayy, our online-booking platform, allows you to make managing the bombardment of collaboration requests easier. With Swayy you can overcome the challenges posed by influencer marketing and incorporate influencers into your advertising strategies, hassle-free.
We offer pre-vetted influencers in our platform that respond to ads that you create, listing all your expectations for the project. Moreover, using Swayy allows you to check the content created by an influencer promoting your venue, and if necessary, you can ask them to revise the content. Our online booking tool allows for clear communication between both parties involved, venues and influencers. If you want to know more how we work in Swayy and how we can help you, check our recent post on how to improve hotel marketing with Swayy.