Opening The Doors To An Escape From Reality
In today’s digital era, many adults have shifted away from ‘traditional’ careers, deciding instead to tap into more creative outlets in order to make a living. From live-streaming video games to vlogging about veganism, creators are finding that making money doesn’t require anything more than an idea and a camera.
Watching someone else skydive in New Zealand or explore the cuisine in Japan allows us to leave our worries behind and experience something new, even if just for a few moments. Unlike other social media influencers comfortably nested in niche markets, such as beauty vloggers with a mostly younger, female audience, or gamers with a very male-dominated audience, travel vloggers appeal to anyone. And that has opened the door to a very specific type of influencer, the travel influencer. In this blog, Hollywood Branded will explore which brands and top travel influencers are partnering together, and why these partnerships work to drive awareness for travel related brands and beyond.
Many of us have, at one point or another, wondered what life could be like if we abandoned the 9-5, packed a suitcase and spent our days traveling the world. This dreamy fantasy is no less than reality for numerous travel influencers, jet setting around the globe and sharing their adventures daily.
The most well-known names in the travel vlogging world started out with few followers and little expectations. As they continued to share their stories, the world began taking notice. As humans we have an intrinsic desire to understand the world around us, but responsibilities like families, careers, or school can leave us feeling trapped.
It’s this fact that make these influencers so perfect for brand partnerships. From airlines to apparel to food companies, almost any brand can successfully leverage partnerships with travel influencers to boost sales and increase name recognition.So, where should you start as a brand? With so many influencers, how can you find the right one that appeals to the type of audience your company hopes to reach?
Hospitality and Transportation
It should come as no surprise that airlines, hotels, and tourism companies love travel influencers. When influencers share how much fun they had staying at an all-inclusive resort, or rave about the service on their most recent 16 hour flight to Fiji, thousands of followers will notice.
Murad Osmann is famous for his unique images, featuring wife Nataly Osmann leading him through numerous exotic and beautiful destinations around the world. He partners with impressive luxury hotels, such as Renaissance Hotels in Dubai, capturing images that leave his 4.4 million followers longing for more. Luxury airlines and hotels are not the only travel companies who can take advantage of partnerships with travel influencers, and they certainly are not the only ones who should.
Smaller travel influencers are also great partners, especially for smaller local hotels, budget airlines, and credit card rewards programs. Kate McCulley, known by her Instagram username “AdventurousKate”, has a following of 101 thousand. Spirit Airlines noticed her following of other travel enthusiasts trying to see the world on a budget, and cultivated a partnership with the influencer.
Johnny Jet has a following of 27.9 thousand. While he might have far less followers than say, Murad Osmann, brands shouldn’t let this fact scare them away from partnerships. Not only will they cost less than partnering with an influencer with millions of followers, his audience is fiercely loyal. Many have been turning the money-saving travel expert for advice for the past 20 years, they see him as a relatable and approachable family man. He’s worked with travel brands including Hawaiian Airlines, Barclaycard US and more. And our own client, slow Watches.
Some of the most well known travel influencers on Instagram and Youtube have won over their large audiences by capturing and sharing incredible moments through photography and videography. Naturally, brands in the business of producing cameras, vlogging equipment and computer editing software seek out these influencers for partnerships.
The people who follow these accounts are often times creators of all levels, always looking for inspiration or advice. As a photographer and filmmaker myself, I can affirm that I’ve turned to these influencers for every media-related purchasing decision I’ve made. The easiest way to decide which products to purchase when it comes to technology is to see what other creators, those whom we look up and take inspiration from, to are using.
Travel journalists and nature photographers all know the name Chris Burkard. His dreamy edits awaken a sense of awe to all who scroll through his feed. Coming from a humble Wyoming upbringing, and never having stepped on a plane before the age of 20, Burkard encourages his 3.1 million followers to work towards turning their fantasies into a reality. It’s no surprise that Adobe, a major American software company, chose Burkard to promote editing software such as Lightroom and Photoshop.
Another popular creator and explorer, Louis Cole, has partnered with companies including GoPro and DJI, brands that produce technology cameras and drones for the more extreme, adventure seeking travelers. Known to his 1.4 million Instagram followers as @funforlouis, his content captures extraordinary views that could convince even the most committed workaholics to book a redeye flight and leave the office behind.
Food and Restaurants
If you’re anything like us at Hollywood Branded, you know that half the fun of any vacation is discovering the incredibly diverse cuisines each destination is known for.
Local eateries can take advantage of travel influencers by creating partnerships that will extend their reach far beyond Yelp and Tripadvisor. With the Instagram ‘save’ feature, fans of these influencers can save their mouth-watering food ‘grams and refer back to them later while visiting each destination.
Eric Stoen, the man behind the account @travelbabbo, has partnered with and promoted several restaurants and bakeries throughout his travels. His 68.9k followers love seeing where he eats! He has also worked with brands such as Nature Valley, which has proven to be a perfect partnership for the always-on-the-go fan base he’s generated.
Apparel and Accessories
Travel influencers are clearly great for hospitality, technology and food partnerships. But brands that create apparel and accessories are just as well suited for these partnerships! Travelers carefully consider their options before purchasing clothes, shoes, luggage or backpacks - they usually want to look their best while at the same time, traveling light.
Louis Cole, the same influencer who partnered with Adobe's editing software, also helped to promote Jack Wolfskin backpacks on Instagram.
Other Traveling Influencers
We’ve covered apparel, food, technology, and hospitality - by now you might be wondering what else could possibly benefit from a partnership with a travel influencer? The possibilities, honestly, are endless.
Just take a look at these influencer partnerships; note the creative strategies that brands are using to promote their products and messages!
Brian Kelly (@briankelly), 197k followers, Paypal
Kiersten Rich (@theblondeabroad), 530k followers, Pantene
Damon and Jo (@damonandjo), 158k followers, LifeStraw
The Planet D (@theplanetd), 224k followers, Ancestry DNA
Ready. Set. Travel!
So if your brand is ready to be seen around the world as a tool to help travelers, or a destination must-go-to that you want to leverage the social universe to show a true look at the experiences you offer, you should absolutely consider partnering with travel influencers.
Check out some of our other blogs below:
- 4 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Still Works
- 7 Secret Social Acronyms Brands Need To Know For Influencer Posts
- How Much Kim Kardashian Charges For An Instagram Post
- 8 Steps To Leverage Celebrity Talent To A Brand’s Advantage
- 3 Examples Of Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong