Introducing “Connections: Travel Influencers and Destination Marketing”
Influencer marketing is getting all grown up — especially as a powerful tool for destination marketers.
But despite the field’s rapid maturation, travel influencers aren’t getting the serious respect that they warrant. Too often, destinations that develop their traditional media campaigns with data-driven seriousness end up winging it when it comes to their influencer campaigns.
And hardly anyone is talking to social-media influencers, gathering their perspective on how destinations can work most effectively with them.
That’s why all of us at The Abbi Agency are so proud of the new eBook, “Connections: Travel Influencers and Destination Marketing,” that we just published. (It’s available for free download through TheAbbiAgency.com.)
What You Can Expect To Read In Connections
For more than six months, a team of eight of us at The Abbi Agency has been digging deep into the best practices in the use of travel influencers in destination marketing.
One of the most important parts of our work was a survey of more than 50 leading influencers in the travel sector. We followed up with several dozen interviews and many hours of analysis and discussion to distill all this information into useful packages.
We came away with a great appreciation for the skill with which successful influencers are building small, niche-focused content agencies that earn the trust of consumers.
Influencers large and small are enthusiastic about building relationships with travel brands, but we learned from them that three common stumbling blocks get in the way:
- Travel brands aren’t clear about their expectations from an influencer marketing campaign. The expectations need to be concrete: How many posts does the brand expect? What are the most -important metrics for this campaign? Who will own photos and other content?
- Destinations sometimes have unrealistic expectations about the cost. They don’t blink when a traditional ad agency brings a multi-person crew to a photo shoot, but they expect a solo social media influencer will shoot professional-quality photos on a smartphone.
- Travel influencers need space to allow their creativity to flourish, but some destinations and brands don’t allow enough time for good planning and execution.
How We’re Using What We’ve Learned To Change The Destination Marketing Game
Even though The Abbi Agency long has been among the leaders in the creation of successful influencer marketing for travel brands, we found those insights from travel influencers to be really useful.
They helped us for example, as we fine-tune the ways we match our travel clients with the macro-, micro- or nano-influencers that are most likely to deliver the sorts of ROI that clients (and their boards of directors) are eager to see.
We’re also combining the insights from our research with our own deep knowledge of social media data to build stronger relationships with influencers and strengthen the influencer campaigns that we’ve developed for our travel industry clients.
We’ve shared some of our recent successes in “Connections: Travel Influencers and Destination Marketing.”
The marketing tools provided by influencers to the travel industry will be powerful only if they’re used effectively.
We don’t think we’re bragging (at least, not much) when we say that “Connections: Travel Influencers and Destination Marketing” will make a difference to every destination that’s stepping into influencer marketing.