Setting Up Your Influencer Marketing for Success, with Colleen Onuffer

Episode 119:

Colleen Onuffer is a consultant at Break the Ice Media and vital part of the team. She uses her passion for writing and storytelling in her role here to make a big impact for her clients. Since her start in 2016, Colleen has helped her clients find their essential stories and develop targeted messages.

Colleen enjoys making new travel media contacts by participating in travel shows, like Discover America Day and I Love New York Media Marketplace. She loves exploring travel trends by attending conferences likes the one provided by the New York State Tourism Industry Association.

This episode of Destination on the Left is a team cast, in which I talk with Colleen about influencer marketing. What is it, and how can you best use it to bring more visitors to your destination? Colleen has literally written the book on this, working with the Break the Ice team on a new ebook on the subject.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why working with an influencer is different from working with a traditional travel journalist
  • How to understand and set expectations for an influencer you work with
  • Why the number of followers is not the best metric to use in deciding which influencer to work with
  • How to find the right influencer “match” for your destination
  • How influencers can help you reach a new or underserved market for your destination

Is Your Destination Right for Influencer Marketing?

Working with influencers may or may not be a fit for every destination. But it can be an incredibly powerful way of making a big impact through the social media pull of that influencer. Colleen and I talk about how to vet influencers to match the audience you are trying to reach. Who is their audience? What is the level of engagement they receive? If they post content and don’t get much response, they might not deliver the bang your buck that you are looking for.

Understand that sometimes an influencer will come to a destination for the comped travel package alone, but some will be looking for financial compensation. This is how they earn a living, after all. Be ready to know your own budget for the project and be willing to discuss the deliverables you expect for an agreed-on price.

Working With An Influencer

Influencers are looking for a different experience than a traditional travel journalist. Understanding each other’s expectations will make the experience a benefit to you both. For most influencers, capturing great images is the key, so itineraries tend to be more fluid. They need time to get a shot of a gorge or a sunset, or whatever they find interesting about your destination.

To make the most of the opportunity, make sure to supply them with hashtags and links to deals or resources that point the influencer’s followers back to your destination. The impact could be felt months or even years after the influencer has come and gone. Being able to track who expressed interest and who actually booked a visit will help you measure the success of your influencer marketing projects.


Episode Transcript

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