Travel influencers have become an essential part of the tourism industry, and with good reason. According to a recent study by Influencer Marketing Hub, 80% of marketers found influencer marketing to be an effective strategy for their campaigns. This is especially true for travel brands looking to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. However, turning travel influencer campaigns into revenue-generating machines requires careful planning and execution. In this article, we will discuss the key strategies for success and provide examples of travel brands in the MENA region that have leveraged influencer campaigns for business growth.
Identify the Right Influencers
The first step to a successful influencer campaign is to identify the right influencers. This means finding influencers who align with your brand values and target audience. Travel brands should look for influencers who have a strong following in their target markets and whose content resonates with their target audience.
Use Case: The Saudi Arabian Tourism Authority (SATA) partnered with the popular Saudi influencer, Abdulaziz Al-Subaie, to promote tourism in the country. Al-Subaie’s Instagram account has over 1.7 million followers, and he regularly posts about his travels in Saudi Arabia and abroad. The partnership allowed SATA to reach a wider audience and showcase the beauty of Saudi Arabia to the world.
Define the Campaign Objectives
Once you have identified the right influencers, the next step is to define the campaign objectives. This means setting clear goals for the campaign, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or increasing bookings.
Use Case: Emirates Holidays, a division of Emirates Group, launched a campaign to promote its holiday packages in the Maldives. The campaign objective was to drive bookings and increase revenue. The company partnered with popular travel influencers in the region, such as Dubai-based blogger Naomi D’Souza, who has a following of over 220,000 on Instagram. The influencers shared their experiences of the Maldives and encouraged their followers to book Emirates Holidays packages to the destination. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in bookings and revenue for Emirates Holidays.
Create Engaging Content
The success of an influencer campaign depends largely on the quality of the content created. Travel brands should work closely with influencers to create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. This means providing influencers with the necessary resources, such as high-quality images and videos, to showcase the destination or product in the best possible light.
Use Case: Qatar Airways partnered with travel influencer Kiki Wong to promote its new business class product. Wong, who has over 200,000 followers on Instagram, shared a series of posts and stories showcasing the luxurious features of the new product. The content was visually stunning and highlighted the unique selling points of the product, such as the lie-flat seats and the onboard dining experience.
Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for travel brands looking to showcase the experiences of their customers. UGC allows brands to tap into the authentic voices of their customers and create a sense of community around their brand.
Use Case: Dubai Tourism launched a campaign called #MyDubaiStory, which encouraged visitors to share their experiences of Dubai on social media. The campaign was a huge success, with thousands of people sharing their photos and stories using the hashtag. Dubai Tourism used the UGC to create a series of videos showcasing the diverse experiences that Dubai has to offer, from adventure sports to cultural experiences. The campaign helped to increase brand awareness and promote Dubai as a top tourist destination.
Measure the Campaign ROI
Finally, it’s essential to measure the ROI of the influencer campaign to determine its effectiveness. This means tracking key metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, bookings, and revenue generated.
Use Case: AccorHotels, one of the largest hotel groups in the world, launched a campaign to promote its luxury hotels in the MENA region. The company partnered with a number of travel influencers, including Dubai-based travel blogger Sherif Fayed, who has over 170,000 followers on Instagram. Fayed created content showcasing the luxury amenities and experiences available at AccorHotels properties in the region, such as spa treatments and fine dining.
To measure the ROI of the campaign, AccorHotels tracked key metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, and bookings. The campaign generated over 1.5 million impressions and a 12% increase in website traffic to AccorHotels properties in the MENA region. Additionally, the campaign resulted in a 15% increase in bookings during the campaign period, resulting in a significant return on investment for the company.
Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for travel brands looking to increase their visibility and drive revenue. To turn influencer campaigns into revenue-generating machines, travel brands should focus on identifying the right influencers, defining clear campaign objectives, creating engaging content, leveraging user-generated content, and measuring the ROI of the campaign. In the MENA region, travel brands such as Emirates Holidays, Qatar Airways, SATA, Dubai Tourism, and AccorHotels have successfully leveraged influencer campaigns to achieve their business objectives. By following these best practices and learning from these successful campaigns, other travel brands can also harness the power of influencer marketing to drive revenue and growth.