Developing Influencer Relationships for Marketing Success
With the ever growing number of social media influencers in the world, the landscape of the travel and tourism industry has changed massively.
These days, you can spread the word and branding of your business far and wide simply by collaborating with engaging individuals online. However, knowing how to work with influencers to get the most out of your dynamic is vital.
We’ve written this article to give you the tools you need to build a fruitful professional relationship that truly benefits you both.
Defining Goals and Target Audience
It’s important to start by carefully considering your goals and target audience before working with an influencer. In terms of goals, you need to know what content will increase your online presence, drive bookings, and everything in between.
When it comes to the target audience, it’s worth collaborating with influencers who work in comparable or parallel industries while also considering the core demographic that they produce content for. For example, if you’re offering a food-based experience, then it makes sense to work with a food-based TikTok personality.
Researching and Identifying the Right Influencers
Understanding how to get influencers to work with you starts with meticulous research, both of individual accounts and the influencer industry as a whole. You need to identify the kind of influencers who you really want to work with, giving careful consideration to how well they align with your existing brand values and target audience.
It’s also important to consider what your budget and capabilities are as a business. Realistically, working with someone like Taylor Swift isn’t going to be possible (we wish!). Take note of follower counts and the degree of engagement that accounts receive, then plan your budget/marketing plan accordingly.
Building Authentic Relationships
The secret to successful influencer relationship management lies in the authenticity of your bond. Much like any collaboration, friendship, or business arrangement, you need to show genuine interest in the influencer as both a creative and a human being.
Be sure to show them how working with you will benefit them, then proceed to nurture the relationship based on genuine trust, transparency, and open communication.
Establishing Clear Expectations and Guidelines
Remember, while many influencers are professional content creators, plenty have simply fallen into the limelight without much of a plan or agenda. They’re not necessarily going to be working to the same schedule or standard as a typical advertising professional, so you need to make your expectations clear.
Make sure to transparently define deliverables, timelines, compensation, brand messaging requirements, and any legal or ethical considerations that might be associated with their content. Give them everything they need to do a good job from the start of the process.
Crafting Engaging and Shareable Experiences
One thing that will improve your relationship with the influencers you work with is creating truly engaging content with them (these influencer campaign ideas might point you in the right direction!).
As a tour or activity operator, you have a lot to offer them in the way of experiences, so make sure to show them a good time. This will encourage them to create content that they can truly be proud of, which will always result in a better end product.
Measuring Success and ROI
It’s important to properly establish key performance indicators to truly track the success of your influencer marketing campaign. A friendly relationship is all well and good, but it’s still a business dynamic, and it needs to pay off in literal terms. Make sure to monitor metrics such as engagement, reach, website traffic, bookings, and customer feedback.
Keeping track of these data points will give you the insight you need to refine your strategies with existing or new collaborators.
Maintaining Long-Term Relationships
If an influencer has done a good job for you, it’s always worth maintaining a strong long-term relationship with them. Make sure to give dedicated influencers a reason to want to keep working with you, incentivizing them with exclusive opportunities, benefits, and good compensation for their efforts.
Keep your lines of communication open and active, ensuring the creative partnership is maintained, even when a project isn’t active.
Brands that work with influencers multiple times can become more associated with the influencer as a shared entity, which means capturing the attention of a wider audience for longer.
Learning how to work with influencers is clearly an important part of staying competitive in the landscape of modern marketing, so make sure you take the time to consider your approach before jumping into a collaboration.
For more guidance on navigating marketing in tourism and activities, check out our marketing guides.