Travel Advisors and Influencers: 5 Tips for Partnering TogetherApril 21, 2022
Travel advisors and influencers aren’t the Sonny and Cher of the travel industry.
Not yet, at least. But influencers can be powerful allies in promoting travel advisors’ products. While influencers are already adept at sharing content about destinations, there is nothing stopping them from shifting slightly to share the specific itineraries that travel advisors want travelers to book.
And the best part is that it’s content they want to create and that your future prospects will want to see. All the while, it will increase the amount of eyeballs on your business, which is never a bad thing.
It’s not as simple as calling up – or rather DMing – someone on Instagram and asking them to work with you. Selecting the right influencer and setting clear objectives will make the difference between a successful collaboration and a waste of resources. Travel advisors, listen up and read on to absorb a few key ideas on how to work with influencers.
1. Right Influencer for Right Audience
First and foremost, not all influencers are the same. It should seem obvious, but as an agent who knows your clientele, you need to step back and think about who you want to reach via an influencer. Is it a specific niche of travelers? Perhaps it’s single women, or LGBTQ+ travelers or wealthy millennials. Whatever the group that you think will be interested by your offer, that’s the influencer to target.
General travel influencers, for example, may not be the best option if you’re selling exclusive glamping or island hopping adventures. When seeking high value travelers, it’s not about casting a wide net. It’s about casting in the right spot.
2. Provide the Itinerary
Once your target influencer is on board to work with you, you’ll need to provide a sample of your work. Again, for luxury and more exclusive experiences, influencers likely won’t be able to pay out of pocket. Hotels offer rooms. Restaurants serve meals. And as a travel advisor, you’ll need to give a bit of your advice to the influencer. The goal is simple. They will showcase the type of experience that your clients will want to pay you to organize, so a bit of investment is required.
Essentially, you are providing a familiarization trip for the influencer in question. They’ll follow in the footsteps of hypothetical clients, share their experience, and you’ll be pleased with the investment once new clients from your target audiences start booking trips.
3. Secure the Trip
Travel advisors and influencers share a passion for travel, but it’s the advisors who know the destination inside and out. Influencers will be looking to you for help even if that means connecting them to hotels or airlines that may not be part of the itinerary you offer.
Use your connections, contact your partners, and reach out to local businesses in the destination that you work with to help make the influencer’s trip as seamless as possible. Remember that they are humans, too, and not advertising firms with huge teams behind them. Most are one-woman or one-man shows, so securing any elements or sponsorships will mean a healthier working relationship for both travel advisors and influencers.
4. Coordinate Your Efforts
Part of being generous with an influencer is so that you can work with them more effectively and make sure you get what you want. If you’re providing them with free travel experiences or even simply paying them a fee to promote your trips, it’s still important to ensure that they are representing travel advisors’ companies as accurately as possible. Work together to make sure that what the influencer puts out is what aligns with your goals.
Concretely, this means setting out expectations and developing a contract of sorts so that there are no surprises. Imagine, for example, if the influencer veers wildly off your itinerary and clients call asking to do that thing that the influencer did, but that’s simply not possible to book that for most clients. It can create problems in the long run.
5. Partner With a Destination
While all of this may sound exciting and engaging, it may also sound expensive. Travel advisors , however, can consider partnering with specific destinations to share the expense and promote both the advisor’s itineraries and the destination’s offerings at the same time.
Travel advisors and destinations share a common goal of getting people to the destination in question, so it’s not out of the question to share the cost of achieving that goal as well.
Now you’re thinking how an influencer could boost your agency, but it seems like a big task, right? DCI has more than 60 years of working with destinations, including successful collaborations between travel advisors and influencers. Get in touch with Daniella Middleton at [email protected] to learn more about the ins and outs of generating attention with the help of a digital influencer.