The Rising Value of the Travel Influencer

By Sherry Heyl Founder & Consultant, Amplified Concepts | February 25, 2018

Millions of dollars have been spent by hotels trying to share the experience of what it is like to stay at their property. Stories are crafted, photos are enhanced, and smiling actors emulate the activities that take place at the hotel.

Once the stories are nicely packaged, millions more dollars are spent disrupting an audience from their select entertainment to engage them with an advertisement that they may or may not care about. This seems inefficient, but for many, many years it was the best that brands could do to reach a mass audience to affect perceptions and behavior. Today, there is a better way.

We have always trusted the people in our close circle for advice of where to go, what to do, and where to stay, usually before we even begin researching what is available. The past decade, our circles have expanded from family, friends, and neighbors to people we have developed relationships with online and oftentimes have never actually met in person.

The Internet has provided almost every man, woman, child, and pet a media platform to publish their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and reviews. Those with a talent for storytelling and engagement have developed a following, oftentimes far larger than a traditional magazine. Do these people affect purchasing decisions? Yes, according to ODM group, 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions. Why? Because people are following and paying attention to people they trust and whose opinion they value.

When your hotel works with an Influencer who can tell a compelling story about your brand, you will reach a captured audience with a trusted connection to the story teller.

For the past 10 years my team and I have been helping brands connect with Influencers as media partners, designed Influencer Marketing campaigns, and have worked directly with Influencers to help them increase their value and appeal to brands. Here are just a few things we have learned along the way.

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Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.