The consumer booking journey has changed drastically over the past decade, with more people than ever taking to social media platforms such as Instagram for inspiration for their next getaway. This makes influencer campaigns an essential part of the marketing strategy for any hotel or venue hoping to attract new customers.
If you are a content creator / influencer, about to embark on a social media campaign for a property or venue, you may know that you should use tracking links in your promotional content.
However, what exactly are they, and how do you use them?
What is a tracking link?
A tracking link is a unique shortened link created to track the destination URL, also known as the ‘landing page’.
In simple terms, it’s a link you put on your posts (social or blog), that will direct the viewer to a specific page of a website, e.g. the rooms page of the hotel’s website.
For influencers using Swayy, this tracking link will redirect the viewer of a blog post or Instagram story to the home page of a hotel’s website. Using a tracking link will allow venues to track the ‘Click Through Rate’ (‘CTR’), and thus number of new website visitors, of any post made.
In terms of the user journey, using a tracking link will not be discernibly different from directly using the destination URL, as it will redirect instantaneously, but it’s vitally important you use the trackable link rather than just the hotel’s website as this ties in with the reporting.
Why is the correct use of tracking links so important?
A tracking link will allow you to identify which placements within articles and posts work best, and which posts are generating traffic.
Simply put, have you actually generated any new website visitors for the property you’re promoting? It will therefore help you fine tune the content you generate and give the hotel something tangible to review aside from content.
With more time and data, you’ll be able to learn about how any given campaign has performed, and how engaged an influencer’s audience is with their content. More importantly, through the hotel’s tracking page, you will be able to see whether campaigns are converting.
If a tracking link is badly placed within a post, the CTR will be low, resulting in lower ROI. Additionally, if the post is hyperlinked incorrectly, or happens to be broken, there will be no clicks and consequently, no data. It’s important therefore that you’re sure how to insert them correctly before you attend the property. Always ask for clarification if in doubt.
Where exactly should you place the tracking link on a blog post?
As a call to action, a tracking link can (and should be) inserted in several places in a blog post. It can also be tied to specific key words relevant to a property e.g. “all inclusive in St Lucia”. Again this shows the property that you know what you’re doing.
Should we be using them just on the blog post or on all social posts?
It’s best to check with the property ultimately by sending them a message on Swayy chat.
As a general rule though, you should use the tracking link on all posts that you’re generating for the property including Instagram/Facebook posts and swipe ups on Instagram stories.
Here’s how it can be done well:
Kamelia Britton, also known as Hackerette, one of the many thousands of influencers on Swayy, shows how it’s done here for one of her hotel collaborations.
Her post reviewing the Fairmont Hotel is a good example of how to place tracking links well, and with enough frequency, to generate a high number of clicks.
As you can see, Britton has placed the first tracking link (in pink) right at the beginning of the blog post, to try to encourage click through as quickly as possible. This link will redirect you to the Fairmont Hotel home page.
In the second paragraph, aptly named ‘The Perfect Location’, we find our second tracking link.
It goes without saying that different types of post will require different placements. Instagram posts, for example, might not contain more than one tracking link in the description. However, because of the nature of the campaign, there may be a series of posts and stories which all contain your tracking link (or links), which will help to generate traffic. If your medium of choice is a blog post, however, you may not produce more than one or two per campaign, so you need to think about how many clicks you can generate by including your links with higher frequency.
In total, Britton includes six instances of the tracking link in her blog post. Each of these is an opportunity for the reader to be diverted to the hotel’s website assisting with their Google ranking.
How do I find the tracking link?
Tracking links should be sent automatically to influencers in advance of their arrival at a property on Swayy messenger. However, if you are an influencer, and you haven’t received your tracking link pre-arrival, you should ask the venue for the link.
They can find this on the Applications tab under Accepted applications, and they can both generate and copy the tracking link very easily. Each tracking link is personalised, so you must use that particular link for that particular collaboration since this will tie into the report that the property will download to show the delivered content and results at the end of the campaign.
It’s your responsibility as a professional content creator / influencer to ensure that you can show what value you’re delivering to the property in terms of new website visitors.
Adding a tracking link to your blog post:
We’re going to show you how to insert a track link on WordPress, a popular choice of platform for many bloggers and influencers. The process may be slightly different on other platforms, however the basic concepts will be mostly the same, whatever software you use.
Once you have your tracking link, highlight the word or phrase that you wish to add the tracking link to. This should be something directly relevant to the URL you are inserting, so the name of the venue, or a particular attribute might be a good place to start. Then all you need to do is click the hyperlink arrow pictured above.
There’s an opportunity to impress the property by asking them for specific keywords that they are trying to rank for on Google, to help generate traffic for those too. You can clarify this by messaging them on Swayy chat.
If you’re a fan of the keyboard shortcut, you can also use “Ctrl+K” to add your tracking link.
Your next move is simply to paste your link into the box and hit enter. Almost deceptively easy, right?
You’ll notice that the URL we’ve pasted into the box is a unique URL – this is because it’s one of our tracking links.
And that’s it: you’ve inserted your tracking link!
For maximum impact, consider changing the colour of your hyperlinked word or words to attract the eye of your audience and encourage them to click through. We would recommend colours that fit in with your overall branding and aesthetic – that’s why we use pink to make our hyperlinks stand out.
Now you can track the traffic generated by your social media campaigns, and learn more about what works well for you and your consumers.
If you want to learn more about influencer marketing with Swayy, check out our section of ‘How To‘ guides, on everything from checking an influencer’s content, to giving feedback.
Interested in working with full time, pre-vetted hotel influencers? Click here to find out how Swayy’s influencer booking tool can help you. If you are an influencer interested in marketing for hotels, read up on what we can do for you.
By Shannon Collins