The Ultimate Guide to Working with Travel Influencers

Sarah Hofmann

Guest experience expert at Wishbox
It isn’t surprising that 71% of marketer say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources. Influencers typically have a highly engaged audience following them, serving as a powerful way to guide the desired audience to your property.

Influencer marketing uses top content creators including travel bloggers and Instagrammers, to help you raise awareness for your accommodation/ brand, increase traffic to your website, and drive your message to your targeted travelers.

The travel sector is one of the more popular industries for influencers and many accommodation providers receive emails and collaborations requests from influencers on a regular basis. While measuring ROI is cited as the #1 challenge when working with influencers, the issue of trust is an additional issue that often deters hosts from seeking out collaborations. Many hosts are concerned that followers are purchased and the engagement is not genuine. In this article, we will discuss tips and best practices for working with travel influencers and that will help promote your property and brand:

Make Sure the Influencer is a Good Fit to your brand

What should you consider?

There are many travel influencers out there with different types of audiences & platform. Make sure you are working with someone who is a good fit for you. For example, if your offer accommodation for budget travelers and they normally post about high-end travel experiences, (or Vice Versa) it won’t matter if they have a large number of followers, inviting them to stay with you & share content about your accommodation will most likely not prove beneficial. Similarly, make sure they offer the type of content that is beneficial to your property. Blogs or Vlogs usually offer a more in-depth description and travelers often reach them when planning for a trip or searching a destination. Additional types of content influencers produce include Instagram posts/stories, Youtube videos, Facebook posts, Snapchat videos/photos, Emails, Magazine/newspaper articles and more.

How to find the right influencers?

There are many ways to find the right influencer for your brand, including talent agencies that can coordinate collaborations for you. Performing your own research and contacting them directly is another great and easy way to go. This may include searching for good influencer content on google and youtube and sending them a message. There are many free online tools out there to help you track down the ones that are right for you.

It’s not just about the audience size

When deciding whether or not you want to work with a specific influencer there are many things to consider. Audience size is important yet it is also important to consider other factors. Micro-influencers who have a relatively modest number of followers, thousands or tens of thousands of people, usually enjoy higher engagement rates. In a survey, 82% of consumers said they were highly likely to follow a micro-influencer recommendation on a product or service. Taking a look at the audience demographics is just as important. Many influencers who communicating in their native language rather than English have a smaller audience, yet are highly influential with their demographic.

Manage Expectations

Make sure to talk over your collaboration points and manage your expectations. Common sections include: When is the influencer expected to post, how many posts are included, platforms for posting, hashtags & tags to use, exclusivity and of course compensation. Be aware that the matter of compensation dramatically varies and is determined by the number and quality of followers as well as the extent of the collaboration. While early-stage travel blogger will be happy with you simply covering the cost of accommodation and activities, a more experienced and well-founded blogger will request anywhere between 400$-5000$ per blog post.

Keep in mind that quality influencers often have a close connection with their followers and aim to keep their recommendations honest. Take the time to share information about the experience you offer. Make sure to chat with them and get influencers excited about your hotel/ vacation rental/ hostel and help them feel a connection. It will reflect in the way they share their content.

Make sure to vet your influencers

Take a close look at social media accounts:

Track the follower pattern and keep an eye out for a sudden rise that may indicate purchased followers. A mismatch in the ratio between followers and likes is a red flag for purchased followers. On Instagram, an engagement rate between 1% and 3% is generally good, so if someone has thousands of followers yet receives a small number of likes, that’s a red flag for purchased followers. Another way to make sure the audience is genuine is by taking a look at followers and comments. Unnatural or suspiciously robotic comments or usernames are other red flags.

Ask for a media kit & references

A media kit is a document that outlines the key facts and statistics about a travel blogger or influencer. A media kit should include important stats on their online assist and include testimonials and previous work. Stats should typically include: monthly page views, monthly unique visitors and information about demographics about readers or followers, such as country and age range.

Take a close look at the website/ blog

While a media kit should include important information about an influencer, taking a closer look at their blog, if they have one, is just as important. Take a look at previously published articles and go through the comment sections. There are lots of online tools that might help you examine website traffic, keywords, and traffic source.

Don’t forget about the content!

It’s not just about planning ahead and deciding what content you need an influencer to share. Its also about engaging with the content yourself. Many businesses simply don’t share, tweet or re-post the content influencers create about them and miss out on the full impact it can create.

Share your experience with travel influencers in the comments below!

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