The age of social media is alive and well. With so many companies choosing to spend their marketing budget on digital rather than traditional marketing, you should be aware of some increasingly popular forms of advertising on social media. These new methods of reaching potential leads can even become part of your social media strategy for hotels.
Influencer marketing is gaining popularity as channels like Instagram keep increasing the number of users. An influencer is someone with a substantial social media following of 1,000 or more and an active and loyal fan base. These users are the key evangelist who can help you grow brand awareness and may lead to conversions. A significant attraction of teaming up with the right influencers is that although their following is on the smaller end when compared to celebrities, they have access to qualified leads for your business. Usually, if an influencer is in a niche market, this will yield a high rate of return since these users are difficult to pinpoint without the help of an influencer. Many of these accounts put out quality content that is extremely valuable for their audience, and because of this, their followers trust them. They may even trust them more than a celebrity because they are aware of celebrity endorsement, so they might not honestly believe that their favorite star buys into the service or product they are advertising.
So now that you know what influencers can do for you, let's talk about how you can team up with one. First, you'll want to find someone who speaks to your audience. Any person who does not immediately bring your brand to mind when scrolling through their past post should automatically be disqualified from the running. With a campaign like this, you are looking for quality over quantity, so make sure you have the right spokesperson for your brand. After you've pinpointed your modern-day brand ambassador, make sure their engagement is authentic. Many people buy followers, but when you scroll to their posts, the likes and comments on each post are very low. If that is the case, walk away. No matter how impressive that number of followers or subscribers is, remember that a robot will never buy your product or service. Since you want someone to represent your brand, you should look at your followers to see if anyone who already buys into your service or product would be a good fit as an influencer. Another way of finding a good fit is to scroll through relevant hashtags to find the right person. If you cannot decide who is a good fit for your brand, you can hire an agency to match you with several influencers to run your campaign. They typically charge a percentage of the influencer's fee for their service, but you can be sure that you will be matched with a quality influencer using a service like Klear.
If you decide to go at this without an agency, make sure you reach out to influencers appropriately. Engage with your potential influencer before reaching out to them. Read their content, like their post, or even share their content. They are often bombarded with requests from companies offering a freebie that range from merch to vacations in exchange for a promoted post. Be aware that few people will be willing to post about your company without a proper form of monetary payment. When you reach out to someone, make sure you know what you want to get out of the deal (i.e., three photos over one week) and know exactly what you are willing to offer them. You can expect to pay different rates depending on what platform your influencer uses. Although industry standards are not defined because each influencer charges a different price, it is reasonable for someone with 25-100k to cost anywhere from $50-250 per post. Again, this rate should be significantly determined by the numbers of their engagement based on comments, likes, and views rather than their numbers of followers. It is reasonable to spend anywhere from $50-150 for someone who usually produces 20-100 comments per post. On YouTube, the pay rage is about .04 -.15 cents per view, depending on the industry.
Remember to give your influencer room for creativity. They know their audience best. Be aware that the FCC requires all paid endorsements to be disclosed, however, how it's done is up to you. Many people use the hashtags #ad or #sponsored while others choose scripts along the lines of "I've partnered up with X to..." or "In my recent collaboration with X.." Whatever you decide to go with is fine as long as it is clear that it is sponsored content.
On an endnote, although it might seem counterproductive to endorse someone who has a small following, it's all about the quality of the people they reach. It might be an investment worth looking into that may boost your sales.