“Influencer marketing” is a term that may not be familiar to everyone. It basically means that your hotel works with a person who has a strong social media following in order to promote your own business.
Raise your hand if you pay money to list your business in a newspaper, magazine, or on a website!
Influencer marketing is similar to traditional media marketing, but much more powerful. You’d be working with someone who has a large audience of people who trust what they say. For example, an influencer might say, “Go and stay at [your hotel] next time you're in [your town].” If they have 10,000 people following them, then you're going to get calls!
Influencers are the modern-day versions of that person from the local paper who used to turn up at a cafe or pub, eat or drink there, and then write about it. But influencer posts on Instagram or Tumblr go to a worldwide following that specifically reads their work because they trust what they say. It works much better than the paper ever did.
Want proof? Have a look at this: Social influencers lift hospitality brands. It’s an Australian article, but the influencer effect is proving massive everywhere.
How does it work?
Start off by finding social media influencers that you would like to work with. Go to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or just read blogs from people who travel the UK and write about their experiences.
Reach out to the influencer. Ask if they would be willing to come and stay with you, free of charge. All you ask in exchange is a blog post about your property and social media postings during their stay.
It is very important that you DON'T ask for money in this situation. This is the same as paid advertising, except you are paying with your accommodation. You wouldn't ask the Yellow Pages to pay you to advertise your property, would you?
Personally, I recommend hosting a blogger a month, mainly because of the reach you can get from these people. Their blogs rank highly in Google, and the more people you get talking about your website on Google, the better.
Influencer marketing is CHEAP at the moment. In a year's time, or as soon as they figure this game out, influencers are going to start charging businesses for free stays!
The places that are capitalising on this are the ones that are winning, if you're still stuck in the “old school” ways of marketing your business, YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.
If you want a list of my favourite influencers to work with in the Yorkshire area, send me a message or email me at [email protected].
To check out my training material on hospitality marketing, click here.