Influencer Outreach Tips for Travel BrandsRecently, I was invited to speak to an audience of travel industry executives to share some influencer outreach tips for travel brands .

The challenge, of course, is that influencer outreach doesn’t always have a great reputation in the travel sector. In fact, it is often seen as little more than, “a bunch of people asking for free holidays because they’ve got an Instagram account.” 

Personally, I think this view of influencer outreach misses the point.

A great influencer outreach programme treats the relationship between brand and influencer as a collaboration.

Social media influencers can be gifted photographers, writers and story-tellers. And a great partnership allows the brand to benefit from that. So why not look beyond the “blogger reviews our new hotel” type content and explore some more creative options?

Influencer Outreach Tips for Travel Brands

In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my very favourite travel influencer outreach projects. All of them showcase a creative approach to working with influencers. More importantly, they’ve all delivered far more substantial ROI than a basic blogger/review campaign.

Visit Dubai

In 2016, Visit Dubai worked with our parent blogging community, Tots100, on an influencer outreach programme.

The campaign kicked off with a competition, inviting parent bloggers to share their dream Dubai itinerary. Entries could use blog posts, video and photo – but had to include a minimum of three attractions featured on the Visit Dubai website.

Two influencers would each win a week’s holiday in Dubai – and a chance to live out their dream itinerary.

Tots100 helped promote the competition across parent bloggers, and also hosted a Twitter party about family travel to Dubai. This helped build excitement around the campaign, with the hashtag seen by over 2m Twitter users, and trending UK-wide.

Through the campaign, more than 150 pieces of content were published, reaching 4.1m unique users – vastly more than might have been reached with a simple review programme.

Influencer Outreach Tips for Travel Brands
Happy family playing in blue water of swimming pool on a tropical resort at the sea. Focus on children`s hand and splash, shot was taken with waterproof box

Al Fresco

During the Spring of 2017, Al Fresco wanted to generate awareness around its new resorts in Europe. Tots100 helped the brand to recruit 20 high-profile family travel influencers, who created sponsored content featuring the company’s new destinations.

These blog posts helped Al Fresco to reach family travel enthusiasts, with high quality writing and images of the new parks.

We helped Al Fresco to analyse the content to identify the most engaging influencers. These influencers were then invited to experience a week’s holiday at one of the new resorts – along with another family. Each family enjoyed a week’s holiday, sharing social media updates and blog posts about their experience.

What really makes this campaign different is that Al Fresco also sent a film crew to accompany the influencers. For three days of the week, each family was filmed making the most of the facilities. From the swimming pool to high ropes and horse riding, they tried it all!

The resulting footage was used to make short commercials that were used over the following 12 months on Al Fresco’s social channels, generating hundreds of thousands of views on Instagram and Facebook.

MSC

In 2017, the cruise company MSC wanted to raise awareness of its new ship, Preziosa, among younger travellers. We worked with MCS via our travel influencer community, Trips100, to host a very special one-day event.

BlogCamp on Board was a one-day blogging conference that brought together 150 UK influencers from our family, travel and lifestyle communities. We worked closely with MSC to create a conference schedule that would showcase the fabulous location and the key features of the ship.

Our lifestyle bloggers enjoyed trips to the spa between workshops, while our food bloggers got a peek in the kitchens, and parent bloggers visited the kids’ clubs. The day finished up with a lively Q&A with influencers and the senior executives from the MCS team.

In the week of the event, BlogCamp on Board generated over 200 Instagram posts, 1,500 Tweets and 50+ blog posts – reaching over 400,00 unique users.

Top Tips for Working with Travel Influencers

  • Think outside the box. Sure, you can give away a trip and get a review. But think bigger. Can you collaborate on social video? Could the influencer write for your website? Create an e-book? What stories can you create together?
  • Understand your niche: The biggest influencer may not be the best influencer for your travel brand. Look for an influencer who attracts your target customer to their channels, and has great engagement with them. Sponsored or gifted content needs to work harder to get engagement – and it’s even harder if the influencer isn’t quite on brand.
  • Ask Questions: Because of the value of travel experiences, it’s tempting for some influencers to cut corners. Make sure you check out someone’s following to ensure it’s on-brand and engaged with their content. If in doubt, move on.

If you’d like to chat with The Flea Network about working with UK travel influencers on creative campaigns, then please do get in touch at hello@fleamail.com to find out more! 

 

[Photos: Depositphotos]

 

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