Every day we are bombarded with proposals from digital influencers presenting their work and offering themselves to try out our client’s hotels or restaurants, or even the destinations we work with.
The deal they offer is simple and is described in just a few lines: several hotel nights, preferably with spa treatments and some meals included, in exchange for one or two Facebook posts, a blog entry and three photos on Instagram.
Now, when it comes to a destination its a whole other kettle of fish, which implies a bigger investment, since it includes flights, transfers, experiences and meals.
The problem is that influencers are multiplying at breakneck speed, and anyone who uses social networks, takes good photos, and has more than three or four thousand followers is considered to be an “Influencer.”
It is often a challenge to distinguish amateurs from professionals: those who want a paid holiday, from those who do a professional job of promoting brands; those who write about everything and anything, from those who are only focused on Tourism & Lifestyle; those who try to aim at all social classes and those who focus on a carefully chosen segment.
Hotel managers, marketers, and destination product managers are completely overwhelmed as they try to deal with all these requests.
Many of our clients simply choose not to work with digital influencers, they have a more radical stance and cut the evil at the root. Others, wrongly, are totally focused on bloggers with a large number of followers, forgetting or unaware that many of them buy bots.
Our way of doing it
We at Message in a Bottle advise our clients to focus on other factors that are far more important:
- Target – The influencer’s target must be adjusted with the product’s target;
- Interaction – More important than the number of followers they have, is the engagement that their posts generate, which brings us to the next point;
- Relevance – The contents must be pertinent and not a set of banalities consumed in just a few seconds;
- Community – Some influencers with two or three tens of thousands of followers have been able to build a strong community linked to a common hobby or way of life;
- Aesthetics – It is certainly a vague concept, but the aesthetics of shared contents (image or text) and the way it is shared must tie in with the product;
- The partnership to be established must be very clear in regards to the return it will bring:
- What do we expect from the Influencer?
- What do not we admit?
- What behaviours do we not want to be associated with?
The tendency is for us to become more and more selective as the number of influencer proposals skyrockets.
As with everything else, the best will survive. It is up to us to make the most of the advent of digital influencers and start off on the offensive by proposing innovative partnerships. For example, supplying videos and photographs to be shared by the destination or hotel. Or, alternatively, “entrusting” social media management to an influencer who really identifies with the brand values for a day.