At a recent tourism conference, a majority of the marketing and PR agencies we spoke to said they did influencer marketing but it wasn’t their speciality. And it got us thinking, “Why would you trust a non-expert to handle something so valuable?” Why would you put all of your marketing eggs into one basket?
Let’s go back 10 years and think social media. When you look back at how you handled your social media strategy, what would you have done differently? Would you have focused more attention or budget on social and think long term? Ask yourself the same questions when it comes to your content strategy, PR or SEO and how you might have planned more thoroughly or hired more professionals or invested more heavily. Are you making the same mistakes with influencer marketing?
Think of your business as you face the daily challenges of growing revenue and reaching new markets. Now think about how much the market has changed in the past few years and how these new demo- and geo-markets present an opportunity like you haven’t seen in years. A new face that has the ability to reach your audience in unseen ways- and quickly.
Influencer Marketing is simply content creators with a highly engaged audience and their own publishing sites.
From inundations of influencer requests and too little time for properly vetting content to PR teams focusing on their own goals and outsourcing influencer marketing to agencies who are unable to provide consistency across all brand channels, brands are cutting themselves short by not dedicating the effort and expertise that their influencer marketing truly requires.
We are all influenced to buy new products, travel to new destinations and experience something new with our family or friends based off of recommendations from people we follow online. Whether on Instagram or through a link on a blog or website, the simple fact is that influencers are shaping the landscape and pushing companies to create better, more inspiring & interactive products and experiences. Impactful influencer marketing has the power to define your brand.
“90% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or celebrity endorsement.” – Forbes
“1 in 5 people have selected their trip destination based off social media.” – Destination Analysts
“For Tourism Boards, Influencer Marketing results in an average of $12.54 in earned media value for every $1 in investment.” – RhythmOne
There are agencies that help with SEO, agencies that assist with website building, agencies specifically for PR and agencies that handle all of your social media. They are experts in that specific field. They have the knowledge and years of experience to help you hit your goals and deliver specific results. They’ve taken years of website building and A/B testing to know exactly where to put the email sign-up to deliver you the most subscribers. They’ve tested Facebook ads to know which ones will get more clicks. You wouldn’t hire an SEO agency to work on your social media and you wouldn’t hire a PR firm to rebuild your website. Now is the time for an agency that handles all of your influencer marketing efforts.
Top 5 Reasons to have an influencer marketing agency of record:
1. BRAND CONTINUITY LEADS TO COST EFFECTIVENESS & REVENUE GROWTH:
- Save time, save money. A partnership with an influencer marketing agency allows brands and their PR/ad agencies to work more efficiently by eliminating the time internally that’s required to research, identify, vet and manage a group of bloggers/influencers. A survey found that 75 percent of professionals consider identifying the right influencers to be the biggest challenge of a sponsored content campaign. Influencer marketing agencies have the right institutional knowledge and infrastructure in place, offering a better and more efficient way to manage relationships with influencers.
- Instead of strictly focusing on individual campaigns and the messiness of having your PR agency reach out to an influencer and then your marketing agency reach out, an influencer marketing agency streamlines every communication and truly builds ambassadors and gets the right message to them.
- At its core and when done right, influencer marketing builds business and loyalty. Increasing sales, driving website traffic or swaying public opinion, influencer marketing is a business development function.
- An Agency of Record helps all your other marketing and PR efforts- working on an always-on strategy, and incorporating influencers from the very beginning of your strategy instead of randomly putting them in here and there.
- An influencer marketing AOR works 24/7, 365 in the influencer marketing world. There is no substitute for that level of experience and insight in the ever-changing world of social media and publishing. While some agencies and networks tout their large networks of influencers, it’s imperative to know that the agency you’re engaging has a unique understanding of each individual influencer’s preferences, strengths and specialities. The right agency is able to leverage it’s relationships for reduced rates and quick turnaround times.
- A change in algorithm or a new trend? With an influencer marketing agency on board, we’re able to pivot our upcoming campaigns quickly without your brand losing any time or money.
3. FULL STRATEGY & CREATIVE APPROACH:
- Agencies will have a talented and dedicated team of social & content experts, along with campaign leaders, who will be able to deliver ‘out of the box’ creative ideas specifically targeted for your products and that can build on one another month after month, year after year. You’ll be working with a diverse group of influencer-focused individuals that understand how to create a successful idea because, after all, it’s the idea that sells, not the product.
4. TURNKEY SERVICE:
- When you work with an agency, you gain access to a plethora of resources that you simply don’t have in-house. This includes managing all incoming influencer requests, reaching out to perspectives, paid and for-trade influencer programs – so no more having one agency do press trips and one handle paid media. We handle it all so we know the strategy behind each person and what they are bringing to the table.
- When you hire an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, you’re gaining a partner with a deep, fine-tuned understanding of how to run a successful sponsored content campaign. Brands can weigh in on the aspects of the campaign that are most relevant to their direct role: key messaging, coverage pacing and key performance indicators, for example. However, turning over the reins to an experienced influencer marketing agency means that someone else will handle minute but important details, such as blogger negotiations, product shipping, giveaway rules, managing bloggers’ adherence to the coverage deadline, disclosure compliance and hashtag use — just to name a few. When using an agency, these details are not the responsibility of the brand; rather, the agency is on-call for all related program management and implementation.
5. HIGH-QUALITY EVERGREEN CONTENT – THAT SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATES WITH YOUR CURRENT MARKETING AND PR EFFORTS:
- Influencers have a pulse on the creative direction of the times – and are able to pivot very quickly. Influencers and our internal agency creatives produce the most eye-catching graphics, compelling text, and attention-grabbing video content possible.
- Influencer agencies will already know the types of content that particular influencers produce. They will know which influencers need more agency creative input, and which influencers perform best when left to their own creations.
- Much of the high-quality brand content that influencer agencies and the influencers themselves create for your campaign will be able to be repurposed for marketing purposes in the future, making it true evergreen content.
AND 4 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TRAVEL MINDSET AS YOUR INFLUENCER MARKETING AGENCY OF RECORD:
Our roots as a travel publisher started in 1999, and from there we added a social and blogging team in 2012 and hired a content creator and social media thought leader as our Vice President — All that is to say we have been instrumental in shaping the industry and are the only influencer marketing agency focused exclusively in the travel industry. That experience allows us to have first-hand access to some of the most influential people in the space, along with the ability and know-how to determine influencers from socialites, what you should be paying for and what you can get for free, what will take your business to the next level and what will have you left behind.
2. WE STRETCH YOUR DOLLARS BY CONCEPTUALIZING CUSTOM CAMPAIGNS:
There is not a one size fits all approach to influencer marketing, but it all starts with a compelling idea. At Travel Mindset, we stay at the forefront of social media trends so that we can strategize campaigns which will capitalize on trends and buzz while seamlessly aligning with your current and future marketing efforts. Digital and social content is constantly evolving and brands are, too, so we keep clients tuned into the types of content that are going to soak up the likes and shares while leveraging the ideal audiences and strategies for them. From off-line meet-ups and events to IGTV and interactive blog posts, to us, influencer marketing isn’t a IG billboard/commercial. Let’s set up a yearlong strategy that allows your brand/business to capitalize on influencers throughout the year so your brand is always top of mind with the right consumers.
3. PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS & THE TRAVEL MINDSET INFLUENCER ACADEMY:
Finding the right influencer goes well beyond their follower count and engagement rates. There is an undeniable human component to influencer marketing that makes it all work. We’ve been partnering with influencers and content creators on travel and lifestyle brand campaigns since 2012, and we have developed deep/personal relationships with each and every one of them. We know their strengths & weaknesses. We know what resonates with their followers and what will fall flat. We also know their true rates, turn-around times and ability to exceed specific KPIs to help your business prosper. Finally, our Influencer Academy is a community of content creators leading impactful influencer marketing campaigns, creating content through a business-focused lens, and further amplifying Travel Mindset’s current and future initiatives—providing clients with a professionalized pool of creators that consistently deliver value and in-the-know expertise.
4. TECHNOLOGY & REPORTING:
We use the best in class 3rd party reporting so you have no doubt that you’re partnering with a true influencer, one that hits your exact target market and delivers on content needs. Our reporting is detailed and insightful, getting into the nitty gritty of why something worked or didn’t so we can A/B test and optimize content for the best results and ROI.