Consumer brands have, for some time, cottoned on to the fact that consumers listen to those who they can relate to; they don't trust easily and they rarely make snap decisions based on what message the brand is putting out there in marketing and advertising materials.
Influencer marketing is by no means a new concept for the consumer sector, but for the travel industry it is only just beginning to pick up momentum.
When looking at booking behaviour it is clear that consumers no longer embark on a linear path to purchase. Instead, they fluctuate between 'practical' and 'inspiration' touch points to make a decision.
Engaging with influencers is one way to create inspirational content that consumers can engage with - travellers want to know about the experience that they are going to have through choosing a particular brand.
But of course there are pitfalls, which Jessica Gow outlines in her article. It has to be part of an overall strategy in order to achieve cut through, and time and effort must be invested to match your brand with the right influencer. Mismatched tie ups could be costly, both in terms of your image and your budget.
These influencers pose an exciting possibility for the travel industry, as they possess the ability to bring the experience a brand is trying to sell to life. The content they produce opens a dialogue with their target audience and gives consumers a platform to engage with the brand indirectly. With due consideration as to which influencers they partner with, and the audience they are aiming to reach, brands within the travel industry can really benefit from influencer relationships and should consider these as a key part of their overall marketing strategy.