Hotel Influencers: Best Practices For Working With Top Hotel Content Creators

Hotel Influencers: Best Practices For Working With Top Hotel Content Creators

Hotels across the world are discovering that influencer marketing isn’t just for ecommerce and DTC brands anymore. In recent years, influencers have become the golden ticket for hotels wanting to showcase their unique amenities and get people excited to come visit on their next trip. 

So get ready to turn on that “no vacancy” sign because today, we’re getting into how you can leverage hotel influencers in your own strategy. We’ll even introduce you to a few of our favorite creators who have already helped brands like yours get a leg up on the competition. Let’s jump in.  

What is a hotel influencer?

A hotel influencer is essentially a trendsetter in the world of travel and hospitality. By telling stories and sharing experiences, these content creators can make hotels and accommodations look downright irresistible.

Hotel influencers have taken great care to build a strong rapport with an audience that trusts their recommendations when it comes to finding a place to stay. And hotels are finding plenty of success with those who can leverage their online reputation to increase visibility and improve online reputation to help brands stand out in the competitive hospitality landscape. 

woman in headphones in a window staring out at a cityscape as an example of hotel influencers

What to keep in mind when working with hotel influencers

Want to get the most out of working with hotel influencers? Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your next campaign:

Choose your creators wisely.

Your hotel influencer campaign is only as good as the creators you choose to work with. Don’t rush into your first campaign. Take the extra time to identify your ideal influencer and select the rest of your roster based on that persona.

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Brand alignment: Ensure the influencer’s content, values, and audience align with your hotel’s image and target demographic. 
  • Consistency: Make sure your influencers are dedicated to creating content. Their feeds should have about two posts per week minimum. 
  • Quality: Follower count matters, but not as much as the quality of a creator’s content. Prioritize those putting out great stuff rather than the influencer with the largest audience. 
  • Engagement rate: How often are people liking, sharing, and saving the influencer’s content? A higher engagement rate indicates a stronger connection with audiences.  
  • Past collaborations: Dig into the creator’s content to see how they have collaborated with brands in the past and if you can envision a similar collaboration style with your brand.

Pro Tip: Align your influencer marketing goals, content style, and ideal influencer persona with our customizable Creator Mood Board!   

Invite creators to visit your hotel.

If you want your influencer partners to create authentic content, you’ll need to get them to your hotel to experience it for themselves.

Here are a few steps to get started with the process: 

  1. We said it above, but it bears repeating: Identify influencers aligned with your brand and target audience. Your audience will notice if the creators you choose don’t actually care about your brand.  
  2. Follow and engage with the creator on social media. This will help you get on their radar and plant the seed for step three.  
  3. Reach out through email or direct message. Tell the creator why their content caught your eye and broach the idea of partnering on a campaign. 
  4. Be specific about what you offer, such as complimentary stays, unique experiences, or exclusive access. 
  5. Explain how the partnership will be mutually beneficial. Be transparent about what you hope to get from collaborating with them. But let them know you can offer something in return, as well.
  6. Be clear about next steps. Tell the creator exactly what they need to do to lock down this collaboration and move forward with the process. 

Clearly define your expectations.

Once your creators are on-site, they should know exactly what is expected of them to hold up their end of the deal. Do you expect them to create a specific number of posts? Is there anything in particular they need to highlight? Be clear about your expectations so they don’t leave before you have all the content you need. 

Don’t micromanage.

While you should always be clear about expected deliverables, you need to let creators produce the content in their own way. Don’t put words in their mouth or try to Steven Spielberg their content. They know their audience better than you do, so let them create the type of content they know will resonate.  

Offer a personalized experience. 

Offering influencers a personalized experience can enhance their stay and create more memorable content.

Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Ask the right questions before they show up. Reach out in advance to understand their preferences, dietary restrictions, and interests. Tailor their stay accordingly. 
  • Leave a welcome note/gift. Leave a personalized welcome note in their room along with a thoughtful gift or amenity related to their interests or brand.
  • Give them special access. Arrange exclusive access or behind-the-scenes tours of your hotel’s facilities, like the kitchen, rooftop, or private lounge.
  • Offer a unique dining experience. Collaborate with your chefs to offer a personalized dining experience, including curated menus or off-menu dishes.
  • Send them off with a special thank you. As they depart, express your gratitude with a personalized thank-you note and a memento of their stay.

Highlight your most unique features.

What makes your hotel different from all the rest? Is it a stunning rooftop bar? State-of-the-art fitness equipment? The best staff? Whatever it is, make sure your influencers are aware and include a highlight of that feature in your campaign deliverables.  

Encourage creators to hit the town. 

Your hotel is only one piece of the puzzle. Be sure to let your creators know all the fun things to do around your establishment so they can show how you are the perfect home base for a night or weekend out in the city.  

Focus on problem-solving.

Work with your influencers to identify common pain points or challenges travelers face while booking hotels in your area. This could include finding family-friendly options, budget-friendly options, or unique experiences. From there, they can offer some practical tips and solutions in their content.  

Get creative with your campaigns.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your campaigns. If your influencers are having fun, so is their audience—and that’s exactly what you want!

Here are a few fun campaign ideas, but don’t be afraid to experiment with your own: 

Themed room makeovers

Collaborate with influencers to transform a hotel room into a themed wonderland like a jungle safari or underwater paradise. Document the transformation process and the influencer’s stay for a unique and shareable experience. 

Mystery getaways

If your hotel has multiple locations in your country or worldwide, consider offering creators a “mystery getaway.” The creator (and their audience) won’t know their exact destination until they arrive at the hotel. The ultimate “element of surprise” can help generate plenty of excitement and engagement. 

Interactive scavenger hunts

Create an interactive scavenger hunt around your hotel or city. The influencer can share clues and challenges on social media, encouraging their followers to participate and explore the area.

10 top hotel influencers to inspire your strategy

1. The Points Guy

Brian Kelly, the man behind The Points Guy, is the ultimate authority on travel rewards and loyalty programs. He offers expert advice on maximizing miles and points, enabling travelers to make the most of their hotel stays and travel experiences. As someone who has seen and done it all in the travel world, Brian offers some truly unique content to inspire your hotel marketing strategy. 

2. The Traveling Child

Monet Hambrick, a family travel influencer, combines her love for travel with her role as a mother. Her content resonates with parents seeking family-friendly accommodations and activities, making travel more accessible for families. Monet is a great resource for hotels looking for a blueprint for how creators can help them appeal to family-oriented travelers. 

3. Kasia and Graham Lukaszczuk

Kasia and Graham trot the globe as well as anyone, but most of their content is specific to the United Arab Emirates. They offer a personal perspective on their hotel experiences and can provide some good thought-starters for brands looking to appeal to the luxury consumer. 

4. Chantelle Pang

Chantelle Pang’s refined travel content is characterized by her luxurious hotel stays and elegant storytelling. The London-based journalist and content creator shares  insights into high-end accommodations that resonate well with those seeking upscale travel experiences.

5. Gamintraveler

Gamintraveler is a couples account featuring Ruben Arribas and Rachel Molina. These digital nomads beautifully capture the essence of mixing work with play by highlighting unique accommodations and fostering a sense of community among like-minded travelers. 

6. Johnny Jett

Johnny Jett is a money- and time-saving expert. With his wife and two young kids in tow, Johnny shares all of his travel tips, including the best places to stay for the best prices. You never know where Johnny will end up next so be sure to follow along.  

7. Kate McCulley

Kate is one of the most popular creators in the solo travel niche. She provides tips to help anyone traveling alone make the most of their experience, including where to stay in some of the most unique places around the world. 

8. Gil Antolin

Teaching people how to get paid to travel the world is Gil Antolin’s claim to fame. As the founder of Luxury World Traveler, Gil creates aspirational content for those who want to partake in all of life’s delicacies. 

9. Kellee Edwards

Kellee Edwards is a versatile travel journalist and television host. She explores unconventional destinations and accommodations, shedding light on unique and immersive travel experiences. As a pilot herself, Kellee’s content is sure to help your hotel marketing strategy take flight. 

10. smashpop

David Lian, aka Smashpop, infuses his content with an authentic and relatable approach to travel. His diverse experiences resonate with a broad audience, capturing the essence of his hotel stays and wanderlust.

Key takeaway: Leverage brand-aligned hotel influencers to elevate your marketing strategy. 

Today, hotel influencers are a must for brands wanting to get a leg up on the competition. If you’re just getting into the game, be sure to take extra time to identify creators who align perfectly with your mission and values before you start trying to execute on any campaigns. From there, the sky’s the limit. If you stay creative and have fun, there’s no telling how high you can go. 

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