banner type: None
thistemplate: template_content_hubs.php
An introduction to hotel influencer marketing
An introduction to hotel influencer marketing

An introduction to
hotel influencer marketing

Anne-Julie Karcher

By Anne-Julie Karcher | Co-founder Anorak Travel

Building a strong social media presence in the hospitality industry has been at the heart of marketing strategies for several years. One of the most significant transformations in the social media world has been the rise of influencer marketing. 

This trend has not only revolutionized the way brands engage with their audience but has also become a game-changer for hoteliers. If you are looking to raise your brand visibility and engage with your target audience in an authentic way, understanding and harnessing the power of influencers is paramount.

Nevertheless, building an effective influencer campaign requires meticulous planning, strategic implementation, and a thorough understanding of the dynamics involved.

In this article, we delve into the world of social media influencer marketing for hoteliers. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just dipping your toes into the world of digital marketing, here we explore the fundamentals, benefits, and essential steps to help you leverage influencers as part of your marketing strategy to amplify your hotel’s online presence and drive bookings. 

But first, listen to a clip from The Turndown to hear Anne-Julie Karcher and Sebastien Leitner discuss what exactly an influencer is. 

 

 

Full episode: Unlocking the potential of social media influencers for hotels.

 

The rise of influencers

Influencer marketing involves collaborating with individuals who have a significant following on social media platforms. The benefits of influencer marketing are vast. Influencers have authentic voices and engaged audiences and can help hoteliers yield remarkable results in terms of marketing their properties and attracting guests.

As we know, modern travelers, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are increasingly relying on social media platforms for travel inspiration and recommendations. According to an American study by Arrivia, one in three travelers turn to social media for travel inspiration. They trust the opinions and experiences shared by influencers they follow more than traditional advertisements. By partnering with influencers, hoteliers can effectively reach these audiences in a more authentic and engaging way.

 

Influencer marketing also offers a unique opportunity for hotels to showcase their properties in a visually compelling way. Influencers often create high-quality content, including stunning photographs and captivating videos, showcasing their travel experiences. When influencers stay at a hotel and share their experience with their followers, they provide a glimpse into the property’s amenities, ambiance, and overall guest experience. This content serves as valuable social proof and can significantly influence potential guests’ booking decisions.

 

See how you can increase visibility at your property this year.

 

Responsible influencer marketing

Influencer marketing emerged as people started using social media, but there were no defined rules to regulate the practice. Since influencer marketing has such an impact on young audiences, it must be framed by both influencers and brands to ensure proper responsibility.

In 2024, the Clark Influence Agency launched the Influence Code of Ethics, which provides a framework for influencer work. Influencers who sign this charter undertake to respect certain rules in order to remain ethical. 

The main principles of this code are : 

  • Transparency and authenticity
  • Ethics 
  • Eco-responsibility

 

4-step guide to creating an influencer marketing campaign

1. Define your objectives and target demographics

Before embarking on a project, you need to proceed in the same way as a conventional communications campaign. You have to analyze your hotel brand and specific needs. It is crucial to identify what objectives you want to achieve so you know what travel influencer to work with. Objectives include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive website traffic
  • Boost conversions (aka bookings)
  • Increase followers on social accounts 
  • Promote specific rooms or amenities

Then, you have to define your target audience. Depending on what you observe, you can then build your influencer strategy aligned with the preferences and interests of your target audience. 

2. Influencer research and selection

Hotels are often approached by influencers, so they offer a stay in their hotel in exchange for content. However, this isn’t always the right move since the influencer’s followers may not align with the hotel’s target audience. The influencer’s content may also not meet the hotel’s defined needs (for example, do you want a Blogger to link to your booking engine to drive conversions or an Instagram influencer to drive up your follower count?)

That’s why you have to analyze the influencer’s profile before making a decision. Who are they? What type of content do they usually share? Who is their audience? Ensure this matches your own property’s objectives and target audience.

To find the right influencer, you must analyze the influencer and their audience. A few considerations include:

  • Authenticity rate
  • Follower count
  • Location 
  • Ages
  • Interests
  • Engagement rate

To help you during this stage, consider reaching out to a professional agency. The agency will ask about your objectives and your target audience. With these elements, the strategists will give you a plan to achieve your goals and identify the right influencers for your influencer marketing strategy.

 

3. Develop a creative brief

After selecting influencers, the next step is crafting a comprehensive campaign brief for your social media marketing strategy. This document should detail the campaign’s goals, key messages, deliverables, and any particular guidelines or preferences. Ensure the brief is concise, clear, and customized for each influencer. By articulating your expectations clearly, you can guarantee that influencers effectively communicate your brand’s message to their audience.

Consider what type of content you want your influencer to share. Popular hotel marketing tactics include social media videos, giveaways, articles, and more.

 

4. Track and assess campaign performance

To evaluate the impact of your influencer partnership, it’s crucial to monitor and measure its performance. Employ analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) like impressions, reach, engagement, click-through rates, and conversions. Analyzing these metrics allows you to pinpoint successful strategies and make informed decisions to enhance future campaigns.

 

Successful hotel influencer campaigns

Here’s an example of an influencer campaign for a hotel in Quebec, which shows that influencer selection is one of the most important levers of activation. 

During the pandemic, a well-known hotel chain in Quebec, used to having an international clientele, found itself with a drop in occupancy as borders were closed. The hotel contacted Anorak, an influencer marketing agency specializing in travel, to help solve its problem: boost bookings with a Quebec target.

The 5-star hotel chain provided the following elements that defined its target audience:

  • Women
  • 40 to 55 years old 
  • High income 
  • Having grown children 

Anorak suggested collaborating with only one influencer. She is an actress, so she holds influence. At that time, she had 25K followers on Instagram, which is not a very large community, but her audience was very specific and highly engaged. She has a very authentic profile followed by people from Quebec. However, she is not a content creator, meaning she does not create her content alone. Therefore, the agency sent a production team with her to take photos and videos of the stay.

The campaign lasted for 2 days, during which she shared photo and video stories on her Instagram account. She also provided her followers with a promotional code on an Instagram story with a redirection link to the hotel’s booking site. Within 24 hours, the story generated over $15,000 CAD in sales

This example illustrates that it is not necessary to have a large number of influencers, but it is important to choose those whose audience aligns with your potential customers. This is usually referred to as a micro-influencer, something very prevalent in the hotel industry. Micro-influencers are more cost-effective and have more targeted followers.

 

What is the cost of influencer marketing

There are many forms of influencer campaigns for all budgets. Costs vary based on the influencer’s type, audience size, and campaign expectations.

Hospitality brands can reach out to influencers on their own via social media or through marketplaces like TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.  Alternatively, you can collaborate with a professional agency. Agencies can help with influencer selection, providing a list of influencers aligned with your objectives and target audience, along with guidance for selecting the right ones, along with campaign creation and management.

Inspiring future generations

If you want to continue to inspire future generations to travel the way they want to, you have to continue to inspire them through beautiful experiences and attractive content shared on social networks. It’s through practices like influence that you can succeed in seducing this audience.

By placing your hotel in the hands of the most relevant influencers you will create impactful concepts to make you stand out! The main objective is to create a campaign that reflects your values and the messages you want to convey. As the landscape of digital marketing continues to evolve, embracing influencer marketing will be the key if you want to stay ahead of the competition and thrive in the ever-changing hospitality industry.

 

A post from Anorak

Anorak agency is fully dedicated to the travel and tourism industry. Anorak’s team develop and execute influence marketing campaigns to promote destinations, airlines, hotels, tourism boards & government agencies worldwide. Anorak is powered by Clark Influence, the leading influence agency in Canada. 

At Cloudbeds, we’re proud to partner with leading marketing agencies like Anorak to help lodging operators increase visibility and drive more bookings.

loading background.

About Anne-Julie Karcher

Anne-Julie Karcher

Anne-Julie began her career in the tourism industry in Canada. She spent four years working in a Canadian DMC, welcoming incentive groups from Europe and Mexico. After the pandemic hit, she seized the opportunity to establish an influence marketing agency dedicated to the tourism sector. Currently, she collaborates with tourism offices, airlines, airports, and other businesses in the industry to create impactful influence campaigns. On a personal note, Anne-Julie enjoys traveling, gardening, and cooking!

FREE DOWNLOAD

An exhaustive guide to boosting your property’s online presence & driving more reservations

Uncover key marketing tactics to turn lookers into bookers
Cloudbeds
Web Beacon
“Hi there, I’m the Cloudbeds assistant. I can help with any questions or schedule a demo. Ready to chat?“
CONTACT US
CONTACT US
Chat with Sales
Chat live with one of our expert hospitality consultants to discuss your specific needs.
Live Chat
Questions, Support?
Get Support or use our automated system to easily search for answers to your questions.
Ask a question
Schedule a Demo
Schedule a live demo and see for yourself how Cloudbeds can grow revenue, streamline operations, and enable memorable guest experiences.
Request a Demo
Cloudbeds
3033 5th Ave. Ste 100
San Diego, CA 92103
info@cloudbeds.com
Contact Us
CLOSE