Influencer Marketing for the Hospitality Industry

By Managing Director of Boost Social
Elisha Fiorentino

 

What do you do when a president or celebrity dines at your restaurant or sleeps in your hotel? You put up a plaque and publicize the event all over the internet, of course! That’s what the Ban Vilaylac Restaurant in Vientiane, Laos, did following a visit by from former United States President Barack Obama. Today, if you go to the restaurant’s Trip Advisor page, you will notice that the moto there is “President Obama Ate Here.”  All goes to highlight the power of influencer marketing in the hospitality industry!

The power of celebrity

Let’s assume here that you wish to visit some place in Melbourne, Australia and have the choice between a hotel in which a well know personality once stayed and one that has no such claim to fame. Which one would you choose? That’s the power of influencer marketing!

Does Influencer Marketing Work for those in the Hospitality Industry?

Wouldn't it be great for you to say an influential person once stayed at your resort or hotel?

Wouldn’t it be great for you to say an influential person once stayed at your resort or hotel?

This is something that I get asked a lot! And the answer to that is, YES, influencer marketing works wonders for those in the hospitality industry! Indeed, influencer marketing works particularly well for those in the hospitality industry! Who doesn’t want to eat or stay at a place where some well know personality once stayed?

But why does it work?

Most of the articles that are out will tell you how to carry out influencer marketing. Very few tell you why it works so well. Thing is; human beings are pretty much pack animals. Think some forest and a group of Zebra grazing in serenity.

Now, within each pack, there are leaders. These dictate everything that happens to the head and everybody else follows. The herd mentality is not always the best; zebras in the Serengeti have been known to fall to their deaths off cliffs while following pack leaders. But it’s something that exists nevertheless.

Humans are pack animals

humans share a herd mentality with wild animals

Now, human beings, on their part, like to tread where others have previously trodden. That is the major reason why online reviews and word of mouth have such an impact on business in today’s world.  Forget all about Zebras and other wild animals. Human beings are the biggest pack animals on the planet! They will go where leaders in society have gone, and this is something that you can exploit to increase sales for your hospitality business. But how does it work?

How to carry out influencer marketing for the hospitality industry

I have already shown how the Ban Vilaylac Restaurant in Vientiane has been able to capitalize on a visit by former President Barack Obama to gain greater visibility. That’s one way through which you can carry out influencer marketing. Influencer Marketing applies equally well on and off line, of course. You can, as an example, have prominent people in your country feature in your television ads. You can also do the same with your online ads. Online, social media tends to be the best platform for influencer marketing.  Here are a few examples for those in the hospitality industry;

  1. Instagram:

instagram is the foremost place for influencer marketing

Instagram, it is safe to say, really is the home of influencer marketing. Most of the influencers that you are gunning for probably have huge followings on the platform! In Australia, there are celebrities who have millions of Instagram followers. Doesn’t matter that all they may be talking about on there may be their poodles. The followings are real. And they can be used to give greater visibility to those in the hospitality industry. A simple mention on a celebrity’s page can work wonders for a hotel or a restaurant, as an example.

  1. Facebook:

Facebook is great for influencer marketing

Your hotel, restaurant or resort probably already has a Facebook Page. If not, get off your back and create one! That Facebook Page of yours can become even more appealing should it feature one prominent personality or the other.

You can also create Facebook Ads for your hotel or restaurant that features an influencer in your target community. Signing one up is going to cost you, of course, but it’s all going to be worth it at the end of the day!

Most influencers have huge followings on Facebook. Why not capitalize on this by having them mention you in one of their postings. Something as simple as “Staying at XYZ hotel…Am loving it!” can do wonders for your establishment when posted on a celebrity’s page.

How do I sign up an influencer?

There are many other notable social media platforms on which influencer marketing can work, of course. Use as many of them as you wish! However, before closing this article, I need to talk a bit about how you go about signing up influencers for use in your marketing campaigns. There are a number of ways through which you can do this;

  • Offer a free holiday package/meals to relevant influencers: This is an often used strategy as far as influencer marketing is concerned. In one of our articles, we feature Brooke Chamberlain whose life as an influencer has taken her all over the world. And the best part about it all? According to her, it’s being able to stay in top notch hotels and eat in five star restaurants absolutely free of charge! So, to get the most out of influencer marketing, you may need to give out free holidays, meals and other goodies to celebrities.
  • Sometimes, if you are good enough, celebrities will simply come your way, as was the case in the example that we gave at the top. The only thing that remains then is to take a few pictures and put up a plaque saying such an such was here!
  • You can also pay influencers for their time and endorsement. The amounts involved are going to vary wildly, of course. It’s all going to depend on a number of factors, including how influential the influencer is and the number of followers that they have. This article gives a scale stating that an you can expect to pay between $75 and $250 per post for someone that has between 2000 and 10000 Instagram followers.

That’s it! Now you know how influencer marketing works for the hospitality industry. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we will make it happen for your business!

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