Luxury Tourism: How Influencer Marketing Has Completely Changed the Game
Luxury tourism used to be a private indulgence reserved for the uber-wealthy. You’d call up your agent, tell them that you wanted to spend a wad of cash, and then get them to book you a no-expenses-spared cruise somewhere in the Bahamas.
In a world full of digital influencers, that’s all changed. More than 40 percent of millennials say that the “Instagrammability” of a holiday is a crucial factor in swaying their decision for where to travel next. Going on holiday is no longer just about the experience itself, but how good it’ll look to others once the intrepid vacationer uploads their pics on social media. The social media age is well and truly upon us.
The role of influencers in this shift is significant. What those who manage successful tourism blogs say about a particular destination, resort, hotel, experience, or restaurant can have an enormous impact on demand. An off-handed comment by a blogger can alter the travel plans of thousands of people.
Digital Influencers Have Changed the Way Luxury Hotels and Destinations Market Their Services
Those who love to travel love influencers. Bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers give them the low-down on places they should visit and places they shouldn’t. Your customers see influencers as people who have an intimate understanding of luxury experiences and where to get them.
Whether there’s any truth in what they say is of limited importance to you. What matters is finding ways that you can jump on the bandwagon and plug your luxury locale.
According to Jade Broadus, creative director at Travel Mindset, tourism influencer marketing is only getting bigger. There’s an enormous opportunity, she says, for those in the industry to work with influencers. Influencers are uniquely positioned to expound the virtues of destinations in the luxury tourism sector.
As a luxury hotel or destination, you need a marketing agency by your side with experienced staff who understands this changing landscape. It’s no longer enough to take some photos of your resort and cut and paste them into a brochure – you need a refined brand image, a strategic marketing plan, high-quality images and a well-written copy in place before you reach out to those online influencers holding sway over your audience.
Many traditional marketing agencies don’t appreciate these trends. It’s either outside of their skill set, or they are oblivious to the impact that it can have on luxury tourism businesses. At Crawford and O’Brien, it’s the reverse: we’re well aware of the need for tourism industry professionals to take advantage of influencers and other digital marketing strategies to reach potential travelers.
Luxury hotel brands are already using influencer marketing to push their services. Take the Ritz Carlton, for instance. The company gave up posting stock images of its facilities a long time ago. Instead, it invites select influencers to come and experience its facilities for themselves, providing money for airfare and a week’s stay in its resort. In return, the resort asks influencers to post updates about their visit, giving their fanbase a taste of what to expect if they become full-paying customers.
Opportunity for Success in the Luxury Tourism Space
Luxury tourism is no longer about going away, putting your feet up, and ignoring the rest of the world for a couple of weeks. For many millennials who measure the value of their lives against what they post on social media, travel has become a kind of social and spiritual affirmation. The more polished their experiences look, the higher their status in the digital pecking order.
As a luxury hotel or destination, you can take advantage of this. Your job should be to make your hotel not only something which provides luxury, but also something which holds emotional and spiritual significance to travel-savvy internet users. Remember, people want to go to locations that influencers recommend.
You don’t have to shell out big bucks wining and dining influencers to get their attention either: just doing something new and unusual on social media is often enough to get them to talk about you. The more alluring they can make your Insta photos, the more likely you are to curry the favor of key influencers on social media. Drone footage, stunning photography, and videos can all go a long way to grabbing their attention.
Influencer marketing has completely changed the game for marketing luxury travel. It’s time to toss those glossy printed brochures to the side and think outside the box. With the right branding and digital marketing agency by your side, you can get the right people on board and supercharge your business.
Contact Us! If you’re ready to have one of the top digital marketing agencies in the United States market your business, contact Crawford & O’Brien. As one of the best internet advertising agencies in the Denver area, we can take care of all of your digital marketing needs from branding to website creation, to SEO and PPC advertising to social media management and advertising. Call us today at 720-594-6968 or send us a message online to get started!