In today's digital age, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy for promoting businesses, and the hospitality industry is no exception.
Leveraging the reach and influence of social media influencers can significantly enhance a venue’s visibility, credibility, and customer engagement. However, if not done correctly or tracked properly, it can be a waste of both time and money.
Here are our tips on how you can effectively use influencer marketing for your venue.
- Set your objectives, budget, and goals
As the very first step of your influencer campaign – ensure that you identify the objectives and goals of the campaign and determine your budget (influencer fees and in-venue spending). It is important to have clarity from day one to keep you on track.
Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and within a timeframe and should be linked with digital metrics so that you can measure success. If you want to drive bookings, create a unique URL for each influencer to use or perhaps include an offer that the influencers can share with their followers.
If you want to measure the ROI of your campaign, assign a monetary value to your goal. For example, if you focus on bookings, you may decide that one booking is worth $100. To calculate the ROI, add up the value of your generated bookings, subtract the costs, and divide the results by your costs. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage.
- Identify the right influencers
Start by identifying influencers whose niche aligns with your venue’s theme, cuisine, and target audience. Depending on your budget, you may want to use a mix of nano, micro, and (if budget allows) macro influencers. We also recommend that rather than just looking at influencers’ following, look at their engagement rate to gauge whether they have an engaged and “influenced” audience.
You also want to ensure that the influencer is authentic and relatable and resonates with your brand. It is a good idea to check their previous partnerships.
- Deliverables & contracts
Once you’ve decided on the influencers you want to collaborate with, ensure you agree on deliverables, fees, and timeframes. Make sure you specify any hashtags, geotags, and keywords you want to be included. The best practice is to sign a contract with each influencer.
Collaborate with influencers to create compelling and authentic content that showcases your venue’s ambiance, menu items, and overall experience. This can include visually appealing photos, videos of dishes being prepared, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and personal testimonials.
Whilst you want to give the influencers creative freedom, don’t be afraid to specify the key messaging you want included and what you would like to showcase. Do you have new menu items or a menu item that is unique to your venue? Let the influencers know before they visit so they can effectively convey these messages to their followers!
- Reshare the content & engage
Once the influencers share their content, make sure that you reshare it (to ensure your followers also see the content) and interact with it. It’s also beneficial to engage with people who interact with it. For example, if someone comments on an influencer’s content that they want to visit – respond to that comment.
When people share positive experiences at your restaurant, it lends credibility to your brand and serves as authentic social proof of your quality and popularity. Their endorsement can influence their followers' perception and decision-making, as people tend to trust recommendations from sources they admire.
- Measure success
Utilise analytics tools to measure the impact of your influencer campaign. As a venue, you should track your website visits, social media engagement, follower growth, reservations/ trade, and so on.
The influencers should share their insights with you so that you can calculate the amplified reach of your campaign and decide which influencers are a good match for any future collaborations.
In summary, influencer marketing can be a great tool for hospitality brands to increase their visibility, engage with a wider audience, and establish a strong online presence. By strategically selecting influencers, fostering authentic content, and leveraging their reach, you can effectively connect with potential guests and create lasting impressions in the minds of your target audience.