Influencer marketing and the hotel industry

In contemporary society, marketing has had the need to reinvent itself, discovering interesting opportunities in new figures that are useful for the dissemination and promotion of a brand or the influential personalities better known as influencers. For example, who has never heard of Chiara Ferragni? She is precisely an influencer, or a person with opinions that matter. Her rise to the elite of opinion leaders in fashion and luxury lifestyle begins with a website, The Blonde Salad, which increases its presence on the web day after day. Through her blog, Chiara proposes herself as style ambassador, collaborating with prestigious fashion brands, to whom she offers an alternative advertising strategy: influencer marketing.
In other words, an influencer sponsors the brands that sponsor him: the reciprocal sponsorship translates into a sound currency for both. The influencer builds their popularity and gains services and the brands gain in visibility, which is realised in the increase of customers interested in buying their products. In this vicious circle, the substance of influencer marketing is exhausted, which consists in enslaving one's image to a commercial strategy, to demonstrate how much and how a product can become an integral part of our lifestyle. Everything is based on the logic of word of mouth. The followers of the influencer in fact, share the point of view and assume that the influencer’s opinion has the same degree of reliability as the advice of a good friend. And, for this reason, they are a precious and irreplaceable resource for the brand.

The influencer "humanises" marketing

Although their contribution to the company revenue is not exactly quantifiable and despite being an elusive profession, closely linked to the free will and personality of the influencer, contemporary entrepreneurship seems to no longer be able to do without it: in the age of experiential consumption, marketing is forced to humanise and to assume alternative communication strategies. According to one of Nielsen's latest research, about 80% of consumers evaluate the purchase of a product in relation to its presence on the web, basing their choice on goods and services that have been reviewed and recommended by their network of social contacts: a network that includes friends, acquaintances and influencers. It follows that the opinion of unknown people counts at least as much as that of their loved ones.
In hotel industry The Private Suite, a reality that lies halfway between a tour operator and a leader of the VIP hospitality at Los Angeles Airport, is a privileged access corridor to the terminals to carry out boarding and stopover procedures in total confidentiality, without access queues and without the threat of paparazzi. "It takes at least 2200 steps from your car seat to the seat of the plane. For the partners of The Private Suite just 70", says the company's pay-off, which in the promotional video flows over the images of people crowded at check-in.
The Private Suite, in addition to emancipating its members from the boarding queues, has built, in a dedicated part of the terminal near the runways and outside the commercial airport, a "new town" of accommodation facilities that act as a waiting room. In accommodation modules of at least 40 square metres, the traveller enjoys the same comforts as a hotel mini suite with a bed, fully equipped kitchen, private bathroom, nursery, play area and view of the runway. On arrival, each guest has a team of at least 8 people at his disposal, who take care of the luggage, private controls and transfer to the aircraft. Some luxury hotels and resorts, such as the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and the Montage Beverly Hills, are already moving to obtain agreements and partnerships with The Private Suite, to provide their clients with an integrated stay experience with a view to "minimum effort, maximum performance".

Influencer marketing for the tourism industry

According to Google data, Instagram has more than 800 million active users on a monthly basis. And, apparently, at least 40% of tourists choose new travel destinations in relation to the photos and stories that their contacts share on social. According to an analysis by the InterContinental Hotel Group, a large proportion of online bookings arrive directly from there. Many users also use the community's internal chat and messaging services to get information about their stay and ask questions of the operators. It goes without saying that a reasoned internet presence is indispensable for any company that aspires to be competitive.
It is scientifically proven that the image triggers an emotional response far more effective than words; the human brain also processes visual content more quickly and, considering the extraordinary amount of information available, designing a good visual storytelling strategy is essential in any digital marketing plan. For this reason, the tourism industry delegates a large part of its advertising investment to the work of travel bloggers and hotel influencers, i.e. communication professionals who, thanks to the virtual popularity acquired, are considered points of reference in their sector.
Their job is mainly to travel from one end of the world to another taking captivating photos that hoteliers understand as postcards promoting the services offered in the structure. Each shot is accompanied by some significant hashtags, which allows you to collect in a sort of semantic cloud all the photos categorized under the same heading, and is often accompanied by a tag or link to the hotel website, to access directly to the booking system enjoying discounts and special offers reserved for followers.

Being able to count on this form of accessory advertising maximizes profit opportunities and reduces communication costs, as it is proven that sponsorship via social multiplies conversions. The Starwood Resort, the Marriot, the Hilton and the Ritz Carlton are the most active companies in the influencer marketing of hotels, a strategy that is proving particularly effective in attracting younger audiences: the Millennials smartphone-employees, those who, in short, will turn the economy of tomorrow.

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