By Courtney Moser
“I want to go there!”
How many times have we gawked over awe-inspiring Instagram photos or Pinterest-perfect destinations? How often does it lead to Googling new cities or airfare prices?
Travel bloggers are influential for a reason: They make consumers wish they were somewhere else, they stir up the wanderlust in even the most content homebodies. In fact, 73 percent of people acquire vacation ideas from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Influencer marketing is effective because these travel bloggers are promoting their high-quality content across social media, with brands as sponsors or partners. And, 92 percent of consumers trust these type of word-of-mouth recommendations over traditional advertising.
The Northern Colorado Front Range Tourism Initiative recently ran an influencer marketing campaign around the idea of FOMO – the fear of missing out, which is exactly what travel bloggers often stir up in others. In conjunction with their #WishYouWereBeer campaign, the organization worked with Find Your Influence to invite several high-reach travel and lifestyle bloggers on an all-expenses paid trip to Colorado. Their goals were to increase buzz, drive website traffic and improve awareness for their region.
Along with posting real-time social media updates during the trip, the travel bloggers also posted three separate blog posts afterward: a recap of their adventures with photos and video, a post highlighting fall events in Colorado and a post highlighting winter activities in the state. After just the first round of posts went up, this successful campaign had already achieved a total reach of 30 million.
Creative, high-quality photos and videos are key to increased engagement and reach on travel blogs and social media. And, of course, authentic content is at the core: that’s why consumers identify with them and place their trust in their recommendations.
“Most travel bloggers would never recommend things they don’t believe in, haven’t tested or places they haven’t traveled to themselves,” Matthias, the blogger behind TravelTelling, said.
Even if you’re not a tourism office, hotel brand or airline company, travel bloggers can still be relevant for your campaigns. A restaurant can enlist bloggers to include them in a “must-visit” list for their city, while an online retail company can sponsor a “must-have” packing list. Clothing and beauty products are simple to incorporate into an influencer’s blog photos, and even less obvious organizations like banks can sponsor content about travel funds or budgeting.
When it comes to working with any influencers – including travel bloggers – creativity is paramount. How can you work with them to best connect with and captivate your audience? How will your campaign impact your goals? Whether you’re focused on increasing awareness, page views, social engagement, product sales or something else entirely, influencer marketing can help get you there.