It’s been an important year for influencer marketing. We’re seeing more budget being allocated to it, there are proper regulations in place and there is now access to improved reporting.

Done well, influencer marketing can boost your visitor numbers and increase your reach with new audiences. Many visitor attractions are recognising its benefits: greater authenticity, niche targeting, and wider audience reach – all without being too costly.

It’s a tactic which combines both the art and the science of marketing. While the majority of marketers I speak to understand the art part, there’s still a lot of confusion around the science of it all. So how do you create an influencer marketing campaign that brings in results?

Partnering up

Finding the right influencer may be a challenge, but it’s worth investing the time and effort. Start by looking through the content they produce – is it aligned with your brand values? Does their writing and visual style compliment your brand tone and personality?

Once you’ve found the right content and personality fit, take a deep dive into their stats. Look at things like their reach, traffic to their blog and the demographics of their audience. A large following can mean good reach, but also consider the engagement they get. Bigger influencers might have high follower numbers but they can lack the engagement levels achieved by micro influencers.

A word of warning – with the rising popularity of influencer marketing has come an increase of fake audiences and engagement, especially on Instagram. Luckily there are plenty of tools out there which help to spot the bots.

Influencer blog content to promote the Bristol Zoo Twilight Events, Summer 2017

 

Know how to brief

A great brief should allow for the influencer to have the freedom and flexibility to be creative. Too prescriptive and the influencer either won’t want to work with you or their audience won’t engage because the content doesn’t feel authentic.

Focus on the important (but boring) bits – when to post, which hashtags to use, who to tag, trackable links and the channels to focus on. The rest should just be a gentle creative steer.

If it’s your first time working with an influencer, consider signing off on content before it goes live.

Get an agreement in place

An agreement should set out clear expectations for both parties, and be unambiguous about what deliverables are expected when. It ensures that the collaboration between your attraction and influencer is implemented effectively and can reduce any potential risks.

The agreement should cover the content deliverables, content usage and rights, posting schedules and incentives or remuneration. It should also include your deliverables – will you be providing transport or food? Are you covering the cost of their entry ticket?

There are some basic contracts available online which can be tweaked to work for your next campaign. We would also suggest using an NDA in the outreach stage. This ensures that anything discussed in the negotiation stage is kept confidential, including potential fees and any sensitive campaign information.

How to measure success

Measuring the ROI of an influencer campaign needs to start before the campaign has even begun. What does success look like for your attraction? Decide on which metrics align with your campaign goals and make sure you are able to track from the beginning of the campaign.

Work out how far your message has travelled by looking at metrics like impressions, reach and web traffic. Determining engagement gives you an indication of how interested people are in the message; metrics such as likes, clicks, shares and comments give these insights. Comments can also give you a look into how people are reacting to your attraction or event.

There is no reason why there can’t be commercial conversions or audience data off the back of an influencer campaign. For example, you can track how many visitors coming via the influencer link go on to purchase tickets. This might not happen on an initial visit, but may do on a second or third visit – this is where retargeting comes in.

Consider influencer campaigns as partnerships. Provide fair compensation and try to build long term relationships. This will ensure that they are invested in your success. #influencermarketing Click To Tweet

Think long term

Finally, consider these campaigns as partnerships. Provide fair compensation and try to build long term relationships with influencers. This will ensure that they are invested in your success.

If you’d like to find out how to amplify your visitor attraction message through influencer marketing, get in touch. Just email me on simon@digitalvisitor.com or give me a call on 0117 440 0500.

Simon is one of the founders of Digital Visitor and has over 20 years marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.