Travel Influencers & Content Post-COVID19
A few words from Chris Donnelly, Founder, and CEO of VERB Brands. Words are originally written for Globetrender, the luxury travel online magazine, trend forecasting agency, and friend of VERB.
All dressed up, with nowhere to go. This is seemingly the status quo of travel influencers right now. That being said, whilst their plans are on pause now, we can confidently say travel influencers will continue to have a presence in marketing strategies in the future. The shift, however, will be on the content.
Travel on Instagram
#Travel has nearly 500 million posts on Instagram; it is one of the top content themes on the platform with the content seeing a high average of 6%, and 20% of influencers fall into the category of travel (Wearisma).
The advice for both influencers and brands alike is similar; create content that is authentic and sensitive. It’s challenging to achieve without being seen to “woke-wash” but we’re in a time where we’re all hyper-aware of this “new normal” which is really challenging for most; not just financially but mentally too. We are urging brands to speak from a place of purposefulness and use “influence” to spread positivity. Brands should be looking to go one step further and funneling this into meaningful action. We’ve seen this incredibly from many brands with the adaptation of factories to produce PPE. Brands and influencers alike need to be responsible for what they post and help enact meaningful positive change.
One thing for certain is that brands and influencers will have to adapt to a less commercial tone moving forwards and one of the clear outputs from this will be a heightened sense of sustainability within travel, both literally with more train and busses being used but also this will extend to food, materials, messaging and everything in between. Some have been successful in adapting their content focusing on different streams of content to maintain audience engagement. We have seen others significantly slow down their frequency of posting.
Advice for luxury travel and hospitality brands
As marketing budgets shrink, brands should be looking to:
- Establish long-standing partnerships to provide a lower cost but also establish more financial security for the influencer, and a more authentic content stream
- Don’t always think macro influencer – do your research and find the mid-tier and micro-influencers who will likely garner a deeper engagement with your target audience. There is a lot of leg work when it comes to sourcing the right influencers but spend the time to get the best results. Or use the support of an agency.
- Select by brand fit AND data; make sure that the audience and engagement data of the influencer, match up to the initial assumption: The influencer’s demographic doesn’t always mirror their audience demographic.
- Be descriptive as to what you are trying to achieve and create in the brief
- Ensure you’re covered by your influencer contracts