Decoding Influencer Partnerships for Wedding & Hospitality Brands

Have you contemplated working with an influencer? While the mainstream consumer market is ripe for influencer partnerships, there’s an interesting opportunity for those in the creative industry as well. The “influencer to brand” relationship is symbiotic in many respects - they fuel one another. And while celebrity mega influencers are easy to spot, there are other types of influencers that play an equally impactful role in a smaller, more niche community.

The first, and arguably most important thing to remember, is that followers don’t equate to value. Working with someone solely based on the size of their network may not alway deliver the best results for your brand.

It’s a wise strategy to target an influencer for their tone, content and engagement rate amongst their network rather than number of followers.

When may be an appropriate time to engage with an influencer? Specifically for those in the wedding, events and hospitality industry;

  • Book Launch

  • Product

  • Experience at a venue / hotel

  • Industry event

Today we’re diving into how to best work with micro-influencers (10k - 100k followers) and nano-influencers (as few as 2k followers); both key personas who may be able to leverage your brand in a meaningful way.

Both these influencers have high engagement amongst somewhat of a smaller audience. These people are often more approachable than the mega influencers, but still have a vested interest in creating high-quality content. Their followers inherently trust them, often leading to a higher conversion rate for any posts they sponsor, services they recommend or events they attend. And if you’re having trouble pinpointing a digital influencer, do a little local outreach. Maybe it’s a popular yoga studio who uses your mat in class and shares that with their students through social media and word-of-mouth. That’s a captive audience!

Influencers tend to look for one or many incentives from brands before committing to a partnership. Brand alignment is priority, with either a product/event/service in trade or payment.

Start by understanding whether your two brands would be followed organically by the same audience. Are you speaking to the same language, and do you have a like-minded approach?

Once you feel confident you’ve found a match, assess what your objectives are and how this particular influencer can help you reach that goal in an authentic way. How can they promote your brand in a way that feels like a natural extension of what they already do? For instance, if you’re hosting a workshop for wedding photographers and need to sell tickets, consider inviting an influencer bride who recently got engaged who can share her experience of working with a photographer through her Instagram. Storytelling will come across more natural, not salesy.

Nurture your influencer relationships

Give them respect: An influencer’s content is at the core of their professional reputation. In many cases, influencers have likely committed years to crystalizing their aesthetic and finding their voice online. Developing visual content and copy takes time. Show you respect that process.

Give them creative liberties: Are you naturally drawn to that influencer’s grid? If so, don't feel like you need to hold on to the reins so tightly when guiding their creative direction. Chances are, if you already like their style, they will give your brand or product the same royal treatment when posting about it. It’s important to give influencers the creative flexibility. Empower them to become your brand ambassador, but give them the leeway to speak to their audience the way they know will resonate in a meaningful way.

Give them a platform: Is there something that particular influencer is passionate about? Have a transparent conversation at the start of your engagement to understand their larger goals and how you can contribute to that through a collaboration.

Influencers represent a powerful marketing channel if you can approach things with the same thoughtfulness you would with media. Let those relationships grow organically and you may find a new way to achieve brand awareness in this market.

Considering new ways to strengthen your marketing strategy for 2019? Let’s chat