How influencers help tourism – case study
As part of its marketing strategy, Tourism WA works with social media influencers through its visiting journalist and advocacy program, to deliver content through images and video published on social media.
Tourism WA’s Instagram account, #JustAnotherDayinWA, had a staggering 775,000 posts at the time of publication, thanks to contributions by locals, travellers, industry and a handful of influencers.
A spokesperson for Tourism WA says social media influencers who can tell stories about WA are an important part of the media landscape.
When choosing an influencer to work on a campaign, Tourism WA looks beyond the number of likes or followers and is focused on their brand – “great content, tone, voice and their audience”, the spokesperson said.
One of the professional influencers WA Tourism has worked with is Australian photographer Lauren Bath.
Her photograph of a whale shark posted on Instagram while on assignment for Tourism WA at Exmouth was seen by more than 75,000 people, liked more than 5900 times and received 132 comments.
At the time of publication, Bath had more than 450,000 Instagram followers, 12,000 followers on Facebook business and several thousand Facebook friends. Her audience is predominantly Australians and Americans aged 25-34 years.
Her considerable audiences on Instagram might have something to do with the fact that she has what many consider to be the best job in the world.
Her work has taken her around Australia and the globe. Her clients have included Dubai Tourism, Tourism South Africa, Tourism Australia, Switzerland Tourism, Tourism New Zealand and the Canadian Tourism Commission. She’s also a brand ambassador for Olympus and Telstra and sponsored by GoPro.
Creating a following
Bath places a high value on authenticity. She says her following has been created purely through organic content, rather than the purchase of fake accounts or the use of engagement pods (groups of Instagram users who share and like each other’s posts).
“Authenticity is everything! Unlike many other influencers, I have been open and honest with my followers,” she says. “I always disclose work and refer to my trips as ‘jobs’ or ‘campaigns with clients’.
“It’s important to note that I consider each job a collection of posts, stories and other services that all work together for the one goal of raising awareness of a destination or brand.”
Working with the client
Bath’s content is divided into two types: awareness marketing for tourism and destinations; and brand and sponsored, which is more like advertising.
She has complete control over content for awareness marketing in regards to what she posts and talks about. For brand and sponsored marketing – which commands a higher price tag – the client has input on both content and messaging, she says.
Regardless of the type of work, Bath maintains complete control over who she works with and turns away work if it is not a good brand fit.
Under the right conditions, she’ll do overt promotional work, like offering prizes on behalf of a company.
“I work with brands that I use and love already. Or else I try them before I agree to a collaboration. All aspects of messaging and calls to action are pre-negotiated and my pricing is much higher.”
Bath provides reporting on the reach and number of impressions. She says the three main KPI’s her clients can track on her work are overall engagements and impressions on branded content as well as traffic to clients’ online content.