Written by

Lauren Flitcroft

Date

"Using keywords related to your brand and location, search for local bloggers and then dig a little deeper."

Influencer marketing – a game changer for the hotel and restaurant industry

Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular and successful ways to increase awareness about a business or brand, and this trend won’t be slowing down any time soon…

20 years ago, it was all word of mouth. You eat at a fantastic restaurant or stay at a wonderful hotel, you simply tell your family and friends about your experience. Today, it’s the norm to share your experiences with the digital world, ‘instagramming’ your food and the cute boutique hotel you’re staying in, reaching thousands of potential customers around the world directly with a few simple hashtags. The digital world of mouth has taken over, and the hospitality sector is all over it.

Whether we like it or not, it seems that business/brand popularity is becoming all about how many likes and followers are on their social media channels. Customers are only a click away, with influencers attracting them whether you ask them to or not. With Google now showing third party hotel reviews, restaurants and hoteliers need to keep pace with digital marketing trends to remain competitive, including utilising the art of influencer marketing.

So what are the benefits of influencers? Not only does the practice of using influencers increase loyalty and retention, it is comparatively cheaper than traditional marketing methods, and gives a better ROI which is a huge plus for hotels and restaurants. You don’t need to break the bank for influencer marketing to work, it’s all about building authentic connections.

Sounds easy, right? Be careful though. Influencers don’t always have to possess celebrity status. Getting the right kind of influencer into the game is a key factor. You want to be creating real, honest content, not salesy ads. Sometimes, your best influencers are your very own customers. A local food blogger, with a decent number of local followers, visiting a local independent restaurant? Now that’s a relationship worth keeping.

Tips to get you started

‘Google it’
Using keywords related to your brand and location, search for local bloggers and then dig a little deeper. When you find potential influencers, look into their platforms, content, past brand collaborations etc and decide whether they fit in with your brand.

Social Media
Search through relevant and specific hashtags and locations on Twitter and Instagram. If your brand is a vegan restaurant in London you may search #veganlondon or #londonvegans and filter through the results.

Influencers may even be staring at you right in the face. Check old notifications and tagged posts to see if any influencers are already following you. If someone is already a fan of your brand, posting their own unique content on their platforms, chances are they would love to get involved in your next campaign.

Once you have established some potential influencers, reach out to them. Perhaps suggest an exchange of product/service/ in return for some social media coverage or a review. From here, you may want to plan longer-term campaigns.

Although these methods may seem a little time-consuming, when used effectively, influencer marketing can provide authentic, honest and affordable brand advocates who will help attract and connect your brand to the right people.

Need a little more advice on influencer marketing? Get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.