(by Emma Collins)

Influencer marketing is all the rage in the hospitality industry — and for a good reason. People with massive followers on social media can create a buzz among potential clients. This can also increase lead generation and visits to your establishment. 

From small boutique hotels to luxury hotels, more and more businesses partner with influencers to reach their target audiences with a more authentic voice. However, finding the best influencers for your hotel can be a tad challenging.

Hashtag Lilac offers a convenient solution for every step of your digital marketing. As proud enforcers of manual work over automated work, we believe that each establishment has unique needs that require a tailored approach. 

We still test out every automated system that we can find to ensure that we’re working smart, not hard. However, these systems all fall short from a commercial standpoint for some reason or another.

Here’s our process on how to find influencers for hotel marketing:

Step 0: Determine your budget.

How to Find Influencers for Hotel MarketingBefore you begin the journey to influencer marketing, you must first establish the basics of what you want and what you need. Start by determining the budget that you’re willing to allocate for hotel marketing. If you don’t set up a limit on how much you have to spend, you’ll quickly find yourself out of your depth.

Luxury influencers might charge a hefty price, especially if they have tons of followers. While it is undeniably worth the investment, exhausting all your budget may not help you garner a positive or substantial return on investment. Additionally, not allocating enough money will make your influencer impact fall short.

Step 1: Start simple.

Now the real work starts here. One of the simplest ways to look for the best travel influencers is by searching hashtags related to travel. 

How to Find Influencers for Hotel MarketingHashtags use the symbol (#) before the keyword or phrases spelled without spaces. They make any post or content easily searchable and accessible on the internet. Think of it as a way to categorize or group topics, photos, or any posts on the internet.

If you need a quick guide on how to search for the hashtags you want, click here. Try searching for hashtags relevant to your business, such as #hotel, #travel, #travelblogger, or #travelinfluencer, and check out the results. If something grabs your attention, visit the creator’s Instagram account.

Step 2: Determine the influencers that would be a good fit.

As you examine each potential influencer’s profile, you need to focus on finding someone who aligns with your brand. You should also determine the best travel influencers you feel would be a good fit based on your budget.

How to Find Influencers for Hotel MarketingHere are some key factors that you must consider while finding influencers for hotel marketing:

  • Followers. Have a good look at their number of followers. If they have less than 20k, they shouldn’t charge for more than $200 per post + story. A one-time deal or one post is not enough to create a powerful online presence. If you have a limited budget, you need to build a relationship with smaller influencers. Meanwhile, the rates start going up pretty quickly for influencers with more than 20k followers. However, you may find that some of them would rather have a free product or hotel stays. Influencers who prefer these are of superior value since they can honestly talk about their experience.

How to Find Influencers for Hotel Marketing

  • Value. Another thing you must do is gauge the value they offer to their audience. Does the influencer teach something, provide valuable advice about traveling, or offer luxury hotel discounts? If not, then it’s best not to collaborate with them. It means their influence over their audience is superficial, at best, and they don’t inspire them to purchase.
  • Style. Check out their style. While not everyone will fit your style, the influencer must match the standard of your establishment. You will want someone who has the same values and voice as you do, so the partnership feels natural and authentic.
  • Engagement. Engagement is also another vital aspect that you should analyze. If the influencer has less than a .5% engagement rate, there’s a high chance that a large portion of their followers is bought, making them valueless. You should also avoid partnering with luxury influencers that have a huge following but very few posts. Another red flag to watch out for is a high disparity between the number of likes and comments.

Step 3: Outreach.

How to Find Influencers for Hotel MarketingIt’s time to curate a long list of influencers that you like. You can list as many potential influencers as you want since they have a notoriously low response rate. 

Find their contact info, prepare a compelling message that is straight to the point, and email all of them. Make sure that you’re authentic and genuine when you contact these influencers.

Step 4: Let the negotiations begin!

How to Find Influencers for Hotel MarketingOnce an influencer responds to your proposal, it’s time to negotiate. Influencers expect to be compensated for their services, so your offer should sound lucrative enough to compel them to partner up. After all, it’s one thing to find the best influencers and another to get them to collaborate. 

Influencer marketing is an influence-driven marketing technique that’s recently showing amazing results. Due to the person’s fame and dependability as travel consultants, collaborating with a travel influencer is an excellent way to create a buzz for your business. 

However, this may be easier said than done. To succeed in this task, you need to set up a plan to evaluate influencers before you start collaborating. With Hashtag Lilac at your disposal, you can effortlessly look for influencers that match the vision of your brand.

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