When Influencers Took the Bandwagon
Social media influencers are one of the most remarkable content creators. They can enhance any brand’s social content, add credibility and attract potential audiences and there is no denying that these influencers have greatly altered the way brands approach marketing these days. Given the massive impact influencer marketing has on the way audiences view brands and consume content created by them, it is a proven ideal route for the travel and tourism industry.
Influencers have grown to be a trusted voices for their followers. With a single picture and the right hashtags, they manage to create an impact on the audiences in terms of attention and engagement for a brand. People these days have started to create a hybrid model that focuses both on the traditional marketing approaches and also depends on influencers. However, the decisions made by the audience seems to be included towards trusting the word of their favourite influencer. Approximately 60% of millennials prefer depending on YouTube influencers for their purchase decisions over traditional media personalities.
Let’s take a look at three travel brands, who have tried some out of the world influencer marketing strategies:
If you have scrolled through Airbnb’s social media handle, you’ll be amazed at how it aces its social media game attracting bookings to the various experiences listed on their site. Airbnb’s Instagram page is not just about mesmerising pictures of various destinations; it’s more than that. It boasts of the ambience and experiences that await the audience, giving them a virtual tour of what they can expect. While focusing on aesthetics, they have made sure that every single post evokes emotions such as happiness, adventure, excitement, comfort, among others.
But that’s not all! A majority of Airbnb’s posts are influencer-generated. As you take a quick scan, you’ll notice how most pictures are user-generated, from various parts of the globe, representing their experiences. These content creators get a shout-out from the brand giving them validation of being recognised, strengthening their image as an influencer as well. You’ll be hard-pressed to find pictures that don’t credit the respective photographer or traveller. With this simple approach, Airbnb eradicates the need to send employees or invest money to show the various places hosted on their platform; and instead relies solely on bloggers, influencers and other users to become their organic source for their content. Now that’s what we call genius!
MakeMyTrip’s #MyIndia campaign is considered to be one of the best influencer marketing campaigns done in 2021. For this campaign, they collaborated with 22 Indian travel social media influencers to encourage travel enthusiasts to take a trip and rediscover the unseen, pristine places of India.
Each influencer began a channel of content creation, sharing glimpses of their travel journeys through reels, videos, and images, showing us the places that are unknown to many of us and are waiting to be explored by us.
One of the first hospitality brands to embrace influencer marketing was Marriott. In one of its successful campaigns, the brand collaborated with top 5 YouTuber content creators to celebrate their milestone of one million check-ins on their Marriott app. The video featured a dance party surprising the millionth user who checked in on the Marriott mobile app.
The video went viral and Marriott garnered close to four million views (just within four months) and over 67 Million views to date with the help of this YouTuber marketing strategy. With this success, they have continued to venture into influencer marketing, where they have partnered with various different celebrities to shoot Masterclass lessons for their audience.
These campaigns have clearly seemed to indicate the fact that influencer marketing might be the future of marketing. According to a survey, A majority of 59% of brands have created a separate budget for content marketing, and about 75% of them are interested in creating a special budget for influencer marketing in 2021.
Furthermore, this marketing approach is known to improve brand visibility, credibility and create more impactful content for brands. Influencers promoting Travel & Hospitality brands leverage the appeal and first-hand experience factor to promote the brands on social media. When users see real reviews, images and experiences penned down, they prefer depending on these more than the other marketing approaches attempted by the same brands. So, as a travel brand, if you wish to not see your company left behind by your competitors, it’s time to explore influencer marketing.