Timely Thought Leadership and Influencer Insight for Hotels

The first things Hotels need to do today is to start learning what Thought Leadership and Influencer marketing really is.

Thought Leadership

Thought leaders write blogs, contribute to forums and have columns on news sites. This is their habitat and where they are most comfortable and effective.

Conversely, influencers are more visual and attention-seeking. You’ll see them on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Thought leaders spread their message outward, whereas influencers invite you in so that you can bear witness to their lives. This is why influencers are prime resources for brand sponsorships and endorsements.

Thought Leadership describes a futurist; a person who was widely known for his unique thoughts and ideas that were considered unusual at the time. Such ideas also had to have an impact on society and could arrive in different forms such as a new product or a new method of teaching.

Several brands currently in operation strive to be thought leaders; however, only a select few will ever truly live up to their aspirations. This is due to the fact that thought leadership entails having a unique perspective and point of view that ventures away from the norm.

Similar to online influence, it also requires the ability to provide current, relevant, and valuable information while utilizing a layered approach in disseminating the information.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties.

Influencers that are considered to be leaders demonstrate contextually pertinent opinions that are not only expressed in an assortment of offline and online media outlets, as well as content sharing Social Networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

In the context of influencer marketing, influence is less about argument and coercion to a particular point of view and more about loose interactions between various parties in a community. Influence is often equated to advocacy, but may also be negative, and is thus related to concepts of promoters and detractors.

Working with an influencer has a negligible cost in relation to the possible benefits it can receive. For example, if an influencer has 200,000 followers on Instagram and a company gives them a product on the condition that he exposes it to his audience, the Hotel would be making an investment of the cost of a product in exchange for reaching at least the large most followers of the public figure.

Is It Really Worth It?

Influencer Marketing has for the Hotel Industry lately gone in the wrong directions for all parts involved.

Obviously, a good influencer has the attention and drive the action with your Hotels ideal and targeted customers.

And partnering with influencers to create content and campaigns can be a faster way to increase awareness, earn trust and build authority in your Hotels targeted markets.

The best influencers work to integrate their branded campaigns into their unique stories without skipping a beat. They know their audiences are fickle and can quickly leave, so they treat each and every post with care.

A valuable influencer will help your Hotel with:

  • Raise Brand Awareness
  • Increase Sales
  • Boost traffic to Hotel website
  • Improve your Hotels SEO
  • Increase Social Actions (shares, comments, likes, retweets, tweets, regrams)

Today as much as 30% of consumers are likely to take actions recommended by an influencer. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to influencers to learn how a product performs and decide whether it’s something worth investing in.

Research the Influencer

One of the Key Components in the Hotel Social Media Mastery Framework relates to influencer research.

Signature Solution

Influencer Research is based on a strategy that opens the doors to Social Communities based on insightful research and data. This means that the importance of influencer research is that it is an integral part of creating a strategic communications plan.

The average traveler engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a booking. As such, a clear opportunity for influencer marketing exists, to make an impact throughout the traveler’s journey.

Influencer marketing can be instrumental in the inspiration phase of that journey when influencers expose audiences to new products or services. Influencers can also sway audiences during the consideration phase, through educational content like tutorials or guides.

One of the major ways that influencer marketing campaigns will evolve in 2018 is the relationship between Hotels and influencers. Genuine reciprocal relationships, where there are mutual respect and trust between the Hotel and influencer, are becoming increasingly important.

How Influencer can help your Hotel

There are several ways influencers can help your Hotel with online visibility. Have a clear strategy of how your Hotel wants to take advantage of the collaboration.

  • Guest writing: influencers can write something for an influential publication to reach their large readership or you can invite the influencer to post on your blog to attract their readers to your Hotels website.
  • Interviews and Q&As: interview an influencer about something both of your audiences have in common and publish as written, audio, or visual content.
  • Livestreaming: for a real-time and personalized campaign, host an online event together to be streamed live.
  • Video series: a series of videos involving different influencers that people can tune in to can build a deeper connection with their audiences.
  • Reviews: to promote a specific product or service, inviting influential target customers to create a review gives their audience an in-depth recommendation.
  • Expert opinions: add more authority to the content you create yourself by adding in insights from influencers.
  • Content sharing: find influencers interested in your content topics and show them why your Hotels content are share-worthy and important to their audience.
  • Social Media takeovers: handing your Social Media profile over to an influencer for the day brings their audience into your community and offers a boost in engagement.
  • Branded hashtags: if your Hotel have a campaign with a branded hashtag, recruiting influencers to use it will encourage their audiences too, as well.
  • Giveaways: hosting a Social Media giveaway or contest alongside an influential partner expands the possible entries and increases the chance of going viral.

Tools to research Influencers

Today there is an abundance of tools available to properly research potential influencers your Hotel want to work with.

Buzzsumo has a very powerful influencer search. You can search for influencers in any topic area or location.

BuzzStream has a clean and easy-to-use interface, it makes the business of finding influencers and reaching out to them, as simple as pointing and clicking.

Ninja Outreach is a great tool for finding influencers. This practical multi-functional tool helps bloggers discover highly-shared content and influencers with a large internet reach. It also displays the Alexa rank, the number of social shares, and SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Page Authority.

Followerwonk if your Hotel wants to start searching for the right influencers with a free tool, then Moz’s Followerwonk is a good start for Twitter. Although it focuses only on one platform, it can still be a very useful tool to start discovering relevant influencers for your brand or a particular campaign.

Conclusion

NOTE: At times influencer will reach out to your Hotel. This is not uncommon. It is your job then to determine if the influencers are a match and will add relevant value for your Hotel. If not, then be polite and provide a valid reason for why you turn them down. Even if you might not agree or influencer just is not your Hotels thing, still be polite and turn them down in a respectful way.

By now, you should be equipped with the knowledge your Hotel need to go forth and start working with influencers the right way, including:

  • Why your Hotel should leverage thought leadership and influencer marketing
  • How to research the Influencers
  • The tools you need to get started with influencer marketing

Today’s Social Media Management tools provide advanced influencers options that will help Hotels with these tasks. If you need a quality team the help your Hotel pulls this off, then get in touch with my friends at Founders Media.

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About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Blogger & Social Media Consultant. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram