Whenever people discover that someone they have just met is a magician or comedian the first thing they ask is, show me a magic trick or make me laugh. When I meet someone who tells me they’re an influencer I am so tempted to say “Influence me. Sell me this pen*.”
*Made famous in the Wolf of Wall Street this is a lesson in sales by Jordan Belfort. In the final scene, Jordan Belfort stands onstage before an audience, and an expectant hush fills the room. He takes a deep breath. Considers the audience. Steps down, walks forward, picks one person in his seat.Staring eye-to-eye, Belfort pulls an object from his pocket and leans over to make a firm request: “sell me this pen.”
Perhaps this should be the standard test all persons calling themselves Influencers are subjected to before any proposals are entertained?
As economies are decimated across the world, borders remain closed, and more people find themselves without a formal job or way of earning an income, there seems to suddenly be a plague of experts and influencers offering advice and solutions to the tourism industry. ( Other sectors as well of that I’m sure, but having been involved in Tourism for over 30 years now, this is the sector I understand and know well ).
Much like the scandals surrounding the awarding of PPE tenders to companies that prior to lockdown were offering catering or building supplies, I’m now finding make-up “sales” people and financial “experts” punting their marketing and expertise to the tourism industry. When you have a problem with drainage you call in a plumber, what value does someone who punts beauty tips add to marketing your establishment?
Remember no one cares or understands your business better than you. Times are tough, I get it, however, there is no influencer in shining armour coming to your rescue.
We have no Oprah Winfrey’s in this country, no one person that recommends a destination or a book, and millions of people rush out to visit or purchase.
I stand by my assumption that if you have to call yourself an Influencer, you aren’t.
The definition of an influencer is as follows:
The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
When you decide to place an advertisement in a publication you look at the circulation figures, audience, demographic, the content and the placement of your ad. If the publication is unable to provide you with these, do you still place the ad? The majority of proclaimed influencers punt their “vanity numbers” and little else. ( Numbers mean nothing if they don’t speak to your audience )
Once you have placed the ad, you expect enquiries, I assume? Once an influencer has posted that instagram picture, as long as they get the likes, little else matters. Likes don’t generate enquiries or sales. Who can forget the Influencer with 2 million followers, who couldn’t even sell 36 of her own t-shirts.
I found this article really informative and should answer a number of your questions around whether you should or shouldn’t work with Travel Influencers https://uhurunetwork.com/travel-influencers/
Reading this you may assume that I am against the power of social and digital media channels. I’m not. I am a huge fan, finally we are able to “track and trace” real-time analytics and not rely on outdated PR extrapolations ( A thumb-suck in my opinion) . However I do believe we need to treat “influencer” and creatives services as we would any distribution channel, whether it be print, television, radio or digital. Audience and quality content is key.
We have an abundance of brilliant creatives. Bloggers, videographers, photographers, vloggers, travel writers, storytellers, people who have mastered their craft. This where I would focus my energy, with a well thought out, planned strategy.