Episode 160: Why Destinations of All Sizes Should be Working With Influencers

By Emily Christman on April 04, 2023

In today’s digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for all industries. Partnering with social media influencers can be an effective way for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to reach out to a targeted audience and showcase their destination in a unique and authentic way. In an earlier episode of the podcast, I talked with Mark Romig, Chief Marketing Officer for New Orleans & Company about how influencer marketing can be a great way for every DMO to convey their brand’s story.

Here are some reasons why DMOs big and small should consider partnering with social media influencers:

Increased Engagement

Something that sets influencers apart from other channels of marketing is their devoted followings and high rate of engagement. Most Instagram influencers have an engagement rate of 2-5%, compared with the .39% engagement rate for Google display ads. By partnering with influencers, DMOs can tap into their audience and showcase the best parts of the destination to this highly engaged audience. Influencers can create engaging content that showcases the destination’s unique features, attractions and experiences, which can help generate interest, buzz, and excitement among their followers.

Authentic Content

Social media influencers are known for their genuine and trustworthy content when compared to other forms of paid media. Influencers have built their following by sharing personal experiences, opinions and recommendations with their followers. This makes influencers a valuable resource for DMOs looking to promote their destination. In fact, studies have shown that 92% of consumers trust influencer marketing over traditional advertising methods. Influencers can share the highlights of their visit, showcase unique offerings and recommend the best things to see and do. This can help build trust and credibility among their followers and inspire them to visit the destination.

Cost-effective Marketing

Traditional marketing methods such as print, radio or television ads can be expensive and may not reach a targeted audience. However, partnering with influencers can help DMOs reach their desired audience at a fraction of the cost. The average return on investment for influencer marketing is $18 for every $1 spent. This number is 125% higher than the ROI for Google ads.

Targeted Marketing

Social media influencers have a unique ability to target specific niches that are more difficult to reach through other methods. Destinations can partner with influencers that match a variety of their desired audience demographics. Explains Romig, “You want to have your audiences see themselves in the activity, whatever background or nationality, you want them to feel like, ‘okay, I belong there.’” Your target audience will more easily be able to connect with an influencer compared to a generic ad.

Increased Social Media Presence

Partnering with social media influencers can help DMOs increase their own social media presence. Influencers can tag and repost content from the DMOs’ official social channels, which can help increase those platforms’ visibility and engagement on social media. This can help the DMO build its social media following, generate more interest in the destination and ultimately, increase tourist arrivals.

Partnering with social media influencers can be an effective way for destinations to promote themselves. Influencers are one of the most cost-effective ways for DMOs to reach a wider and more engaged audience. By leveraging the power of social media and partnering with influencers, DMOs can showcase their destinations in unique and compelling ways and inspire more people to visit.