A 5-Step Guide to Choosing the Right Hotel Influencer

The influencer market is growing at tremendous speeds. Today, Instagram’s influencer market alone is valued at about $1 billion.

Not only does the growth of this market provide a great way for your vacation destination — whether it be a hotel, resort, timeshare or even a bed and breakfast — to promote itself but it’s also impactful. Forty-eight percent of Instagram users mentioned they used the app to help them decide a hotel destination.

With all the benefits an influencer marketing strategy can provide for your destination stay, it won’t be as effective if you don’t choose the right influencer for your brand. From hotels to Airbnb’s to timeshares, here are five tips in choosing the right influencer for your destination stay:

1. Define your objectives of partnering with an influencer. 

Influencers represent an investment into your brand, so be sure to choose the right one. Go into the process having asked questions like:

  • Why do you want to partner with an influencer?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals? How does this specific influencer align with these?
  • What does the influencer want to gain in return?
  • How will we measure success for this influencer campaign?
  • How long do we want to extend this partnership?
  • Does this influencer embody our brand?

Whatever your goals are, this will be the first step to guide you along the right path in choosing your influencer. You may be looking to gain more brand awareness, reposition your brand, generate more sales or gain more followers on your social platforms. If you want to gain more brand awareness, you may want to choose an influencer with a greater reach.  If you’re looking for increased engagement with your booking teams, you might want an influencer with high engagement rates and a smaller audience.

2. It’s time to research! Ensure their personal brand and values align with your brand. 

Now that you’ve considered what your goals are in partnering with your influencer, you’ll want to research influencers whose personal brand and values align with your hotel destinations.

You will want to look at their social platform’s history to understand what brands they currently represent, their likes and dislikes, lifestyle and writing style. If your biggest customer segment is family-oriented, lean toward mommy bloggers or family channels. If you’re a luxury resort, partner with someone whose feed exudes opulence.

You also have the option to either choose one expensive influencer or several cheaper influencers. While the most expensive influencers with 100K+ followers can charge around $1,000 for one post, micro-influencers with 10K- 100K followers on average, only charge around $500 per post.

3. Understand how relevant their audience is to your brand. 

The more relevant the influencers’ audience is to your specific destination stay and niche, the more likely you will draw qualified visitors from them.

Finding influencers who like to vacation does not necessarily mean they will match your brand’s audience. Travel influencers can be split into different niches and demographics. For example, if your resort is positioned and perceived as a luxury brand that charges premium rates, you will want to find a travel influencer who posts content relating to once-in-a-lifetime destinations for their audience.

Other demographics you will want to consider besides income levels include age, gender, marital status, number of children and more.

4. Consider how responsive their followers are. 

Engagement is critical, so when searching for your influencers make sure they have a proven record of high engagement rates. These can typically be found in micro-influencers who have strong relationships with their audience.

If the influencer’s audience is engaged with their content, the marketing campaign will be more effective. You will want to take into account metrics such as the number of likes and comments they receive on their post relative to the number of followers they have.

To calculate engagement rate, you can use this simple formula: Engagement rate by posts = (total engagements on a post/total followers) * 100.

Also consider the opposite, how engaged is your influencer with their followers? Do they respond to their messages and comments?

5. Evaluate the quality of their content. 

As mentioned earlier, the influencer will reflect on your brand image. Thus, it’s important to ensure they have quality content. A carefully crafted feed with professional photographs and articulate messages will improve the success of the influencer in promoting your content.

Another significant factor that relates to the quality of their content is how often they post. At a bare minimum, they should be posting at least three times a week. You want the audience to have a reason to follow the influencer and stay more engaged with them.

Overall, the value of influencers to your hotel’s marketing strategy is significant. In fact, 74% of people trust social platforms to lead purchase decisions. A professional marketing agency can assist you with choosing the right influencer. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service public relations agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to engage, inform and persuade target audiences of all types and sizes. Through strategic planning, media advisories, press releases, events and reputation management, Appleton can publicize and manage your company’s products, events and achievements. Your PR goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.

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