When it comes to choosing their next travel destination, consumers have begun to turn to their online contemporaries rather than trust traditional travel advertising. As such, brands can connect with these potential travelers by collaborating with social influencers; leveraging their audiences to increase brand visibility and awareness.
Authenticity is the name of the game when it comes to influencer marketing; however, in the luxury travel market, there is more freedom to go a little wild. Luxury travel marketing should induce a sense of wanderlust, a need to explore and experience. It’s acceptable to be more over the top to highlight the luxurious resorts, excellent views, and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences. To be truly effective, images and content that is created to illuminate luxury travel should be able to walk the line of authentic and ‘too good to be true’.
There are steps that every brand or property should take to ensure they get the best possible results from their influencer relationships.
1. Choose the Right Influencer: It is important to choose the right influencer to partner with your brand or property. Quantity is not necessarily always better than quality. Beyond just the numbers of followers someone has, it is crucial they have the right market at their disposal and that they align with your brand. For example, if you are a family-friendly resort, it would be best to align with a family oriented/’mommy’ influencer to highlight the family aspect of your property. Beyond the audience, their reputation as someone who their followers can trust to recommend travel destinations is also crucial..
2. Be Specific: Be able to state your expectations and what you’re hoping to achieve by facilitating an influencer visit or collaboration. As a brand, it is important to sit down and determine what it is you are looking to accomplish and what story you want to tell. It’s not enough to invite an influencer to come to your hotel and ask them to create 3 – 4 Instagram posts and think that your work is done. You’ll need to express exactly what kind of content you are looking for. Are there certain aspects of the travel experience you want to convey? What is the brand story you are hoping to tell?
3. Set The Stage: While specificity in your influencer brief and deliverables request is hyper-critical, so is creating the space where the best results can be achieved. When coordinating an influencer’s visit, making certain they are in a room with exceptional lighting or at the best table in the restaurant can help ensure they photograph your space in the best way possible. Do you have events happening in amazing locations? Are there gorgeous backdrops on your property that you can direct them to? Instead of just sending them to a spa treatment in a dark room, try sending them to a spa treatment that is “instagrammable.”
4. Go Above & Beyond: This piece goes hand-in-hand with setting the stage for beautiful imagery, but creating moments and including small personal touches to make the influencer feel welcome can undoubtedly increase the coverage a brand receives during an influencer’s visit. Intimate details like handwritten notes in the room upon arrival, personalized slippers or a monogrammed robe can demonstrate your appreciation and inspire more content creation.
5. Exclusivity: Included in the contract terms for any partnership should be a degree of exclusivity during the campaign/visit. This should certify that an influencer has no existing contracts with the listed competitors and that they will not enter into an influencer agreement with a competitor during the contract term. One of the primary purposes of an influencer campaign is that the audience if you’ve set the stage correctly, will remember your brand when it comes time for them to book. You wouldn’t want your messaging confused with other competitors running at the same time or close to your campaign.
In order to maximize campaign efforts, an influencer must feel prepared and confident in the brand they are collaborating with. At Lumi Luxe, we work diligently with our clients to determine their brand travel story and identify the right kind of person to tell it. Once this is established, setting the expectation and the scene for a successful visit are the cornerstones of what can be a collaborative, inspired and mutually beneficial influencer-partnership.