Marketing for any kind of travel brand is a double-edged sword. On one hand, travel is a huge market with a massive demographic – basically, everyone likes to travel to some degree. But on the other hand, this can make it feel like the wild west, with a confusing variety of tactics and strategies at your disposal.
Not to worry – we can help! To take your travel marketing to the next level, we’ve put together five powerful ideas for you to promote your brand more effectively through influencer marketing.
1. Leverage Events
One of the highest ROI-producing marketing campaign ideas for travel is to leverage popular events to work for your brand. This past year, Airbnb partnered with Coachella, giving accommodations to influencers attending the festival. Because of this, social media was plastered with videos and photos of these influencers and their experiences at various Airbnb lodgings.
If you’ve got an event you’d like to leverage, check out Perlu to find Packs in the region the event is in, like our Australian Travel or Central Europe Travel Packs. Or find a Pack for the type of event you’re hoping to collaborate with – like our Music Festival Bloggers & Influencers Pack – to efficiently find the right influencers for you.
2. Partner with a Tourism Board
Contacting a tourism board is an excellent way to get influencers engaged and promote your brand, while also boosting the platform of the city and the influencer involved. It’s a win-win-win! The city of Philadelphia, for example, partners with influencers to increase the city’s tourism and social presence.
If there aren’t any influencer programs in your city, start one! If you’re a local brand – say, a local restaurant group – ask the tourism board to partner with you on an influencer marketing campaign. Get influencers to visit your restaurants to promote both you and your city as a whole. You’d be hard-pressed to find a city that doesn’t want free, positive marketing.
3. Work with Local Influencers and Brands
Whether you’re a car rental service expanding into a new city or a hotel chain showcasing your new location, you can work with influencers in that area to promote your brand. Find the local experts and have them play host!
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The Collective in Oklahoma City (a food hall featuring multiple restaurants and bars) held a “soft launch” in which they invited both micro- and nano-influencers across the city to come and dine. Guests were then invited to share their experience on social media to get the whole city excited for the upcoming launch.
If you’re a car rental service, you could provide transportation to local hot spots; if you’re a hotel chain, offer a complimentary stay nearby. Use the products and services your brand has to offer to entice local influencers who will, in turn, promote your brand. From London Lifestyle Bloggers to California Travel Influencers, Perlu has plenty of Packs focused on certain states and cities that you can explore to find influencers all over the world.
Then, why not take it one step further? Bring other local brands along for the ride to double your exposure. If you’re offering influencers complimentary stays at that new hotel you’re opening, you could also provide food by partnering with a local restaurant!
4. Seek Upstream Input from Your Influencers
“What I really love, when working with a destination board or organisation, is when they allow me to help shape the itinerary for a press trip, rather than enforcing a generic one that is designed to fit any niche of blogger or journalist,” says Perlu member and travel influencer, Kavita Favelle of Kavey Eats. “Working collaboratively with them on a tailored itinerary for my own niche allows me to ensure that we include the kinds of activities, experiences, accommodation and dining that I can give best coverage for, and know that my audience will appreciate.”
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Influencers know their audience better than anyone else. That means they know what kind of content will most resonate. For one influencer, it may be budget travel tips. For another, it may be a cross-country road trip. Every influencer’s audience is different!
Collaborating with your influencers early in the campaign creation process not only makes the campaign more fun for the influencers, but also allows them the creative freedom to help you create content that will strategically highlight your travel brand in the most effective way.
5. Celebrate Inclusivity and Accessibility
Traveling with disabilities can be difficult, especially solo travel. Busbud, a website and app that makes bus travel easy, has partnered with influencer Calvin Young multiple times now. Calvin Young of Seek the World is a deaf travel influencer who inspires people in the deaf community to travel despite accessibility difficulties.
Because their values align perfectly, Calvin is able to get their message out to those who may not otherwise come across it. Use Perlu to reach out to influencers with different abilities and let them get creative and show their followers how your service/product makes traveling easier and more accessible.
Just remember, as we’ve mentioned before, it’s important your brand genuinely, authentically cares about diversity and inclusivity. Audiences and influencers can easily tell if you don’t, and they both often place a high priority on sincerity.
You could also partner with an influencer internally to learn more about ways your brand might be falling short in the accessibility area to get their creative input on how to improve.
While these are five next-level ideas, there are plenty of other ways to get influencers involved in your travel marketing campaigns. The important thing is that you utilize influencers in the right way: by forging genuine relationships that help both of you thrive.