How travel brands can get started with influencer marketing

Has your travel brand connected with any influencers on social media yet? If not, it might be about time you did so.

As far as we're concerned, building relationships with those individuals who have a sway over the things other people buy – those 'other people' being your target audience – should be a key part of every consumer-facing travel business.

Regardless of the size of your business, there is value in finding a well-matched influencer whose interests align with yours. Of course, if you're a relatively modest-sized company, you probably won't have much luck trying to sign up the Zoe Suggs of the social media world; however, the good news is you don't have to partner with one of the big hitters for influencer marketing to pay off.

The main benefits of cultivating relationships with individuals with an impressive number of social media followers are fairly obvious:

• Expand your reach

• Increased brand awareness

• Gain credibility

• Increased online influence

• Authenticity

However, actually getting noticed by influencers – the first step in building a relationship with them – can prove pretty tricky. Influencer marketing is a big trend for 2016, so influencers are being inundated with requests from brands.

But, a bit of flattery can go a long way – especially on Twitter. Here's the sort of thing that we're talking about:

1. Mention influencers in a blog post

How often do you see your name favourably mentioned by a third party in a blog post online? Not very often, I'm guessing? Influencers are probably a bit more used to being namechecked, but outside of social media itself, it might not be that common for them to see their name in lights. It's a simple technique – referencing an influencer in a blog post then sharing that blog post with them and everybody else on Twitter – but it sure works.

2. Send influencers a direct video

Have you ever thought about replying to somebody's tweet with a video? It might sound daft, but that's half the reason it works. Influencers, like all of us, can't help but hit play when a video comes into their timeline, especially when it is sent to them directly. Suddenly, you're on their radar.

3. Constantly engage with target influencers

If you want to get to a point where influencers recognise your name and profile picture, you've got to consistently engage with their content – we're talking every day. As you can imagine, though, this is pretty time consuming, so your best bet is to create a Twitter list comprising those influencers you wish to build long-lasting relationships with and go from there.

4. Share influencers' content – but don't just retweet

When you want to share a piece of content posted by an influencer, don't just hit the retweet button. Chances are, they get loads of retweets and yours will just become 'one of the many'. Instead, share it with your own comment, remembering to tag them into the post. It's a subtle difference, but it means you stand a greater chance of being acknowledged for having shared their content.

So there you have it, travel brands. You're on your way with influencer marketing. The first thing you need to do, however, is spend some time sussing out which influencers are well-aligned with your business.

Our advanced digital solutions and high spec technology can help make your business the number one choice for travel buyers. Contact us for further details today!