Are Influencer Trips Worth The Investment?
After watching Revolve debut on Wall Street for $1.8 billion, many brands seem to be following the popular retailer’s footsteps when it comes to their marketing strategies. From the early days, Revolve has relied on working with thousands of influencers and inviting them to exclusive events and extravagant trips to spread brand awareness and foster community. Revolve’s chief brand officer, Raissa Gerona, explained that this method has proven to be very successful, with 70% of the brand’s sales being driven by influencers.
Other brands are taking a page out of Revolve’s playbook by inviting influencers on lavish getaways. Last year, Boohoo jetted off to Mexico with their brand ambassadors to promote their spring break collection. More recently, Shopbop escaped to Lisbon and Lake Como with a handful of fashion influencers, who strutted around in the brand’s trendy pieces and covered the euphoric vacation in real time on social media.
Of course, there has to be good reason behind brands spending thousands of dollars on these luxurious influencer getaways. They do it because they know meaningful experiences trump tangible items. In fact, Momentum Worldwide Proprietary Research found that the consumer and brand relationship is evolving to focus more toward human-centered experiences and less on transactional exchanges.
So, brands investing in influencer trips are smart to do so. But how exactly are they measuring the impact of such campaigns?
Influencer vacations work wonders for increasing brand awareness.
Typically, influencer trips involve a schedule jam-packed with fun activities, exciting excursions, and five-star meals. Because there are so many Instagram-worthy moments, influencers are constantly live-documenting the trip and giving plenty of exposure to the brand before, during, and after the event. Their content is also tagged with signature branded hashtags, driving even more engagement.
Additionally, most influencers have friends in the same profession and their audiences love to see them together. So, taking these friend groups on luxurious getaways will encourage more of their followers to check out your brand!
Take note from the brands that do it best.
The trip is a win-win for both brands and influencers. Brands can reach a wide audience and get them talking, while influencers get the exclusive opportunity to participate in an amazing, all-expense-paid trip!
Brands source hundreds of pieces of content during the trip.
Influencers have a keen eye for making even the most boring locations look amazing. (Need I mention the Ugly Location Challenge?) They know which lighting and angles are best and they’re also skilled photo editors! These trips add a camera-ready backdrop to their already amazing content creation process, ensuring that they will produce high-quality images for your brand.
Plus, their eye-catching content can be reused across all branded marketing channels! Influencer generated content (IGC) is a powerful and cost effective way to engage with consumers across all marketing channels. In fact, 57% of advertisers indicated that influencer content either somewhat or greatly outperforms brand created content. IGC is also diverse, allowing your brand to target specific consumers with content that resonates with them better.
Take a look at how online clothing boutique Venus took their favorite influencers on an all-inclusive trip to Miami to show off their latest collection, just in time for summer. On top of documenting nearly every moment of the getaway on Instagram Stories, each influencer also posted an abundance of feed photos repping the brand’s summer pieces without it being #sponsored. For instance, @kennedyfrazer posted six times over the span of just four days raving about Venus!
Venus then repurposed the stunning images produced by the influencers on their own Instagram and website, showcasing their new collection worn by real women.
Not a fashion brand? No problem.
Beauty brands have also taken influencers on trips to create behind-the-scenes content and give customers transparency on how their products are made. In the video below, YouTuber Jenn Im travels to British Columbia to see how La Mer creates their no-nonsense products. At one point, viewers can see how the brand harvests kelp straight from the ocean to make their “miracle broth,” the secret ingredient in all of La Mer’s products.
The right influencers can help boost sales.
Because influencers create authentic content, their audience typically interact with them beyond just likes and comments on social media. In fact, 49.3% of American consumers have bought something based on a recommendation from an influencer. So, having influencers promote your products consistently (i.e. during a week-long trip) will likely increase sales!
However, remember to do your homework and find the right influencers to take on the trip. Like every other campaign, it’s extremely important to connect with influencers who align well with your brand in order to get the most out of your investment. (See: 4 Tips for Identifying the Right Influencers)
See how Absolut Vodka was able to make a splash at Coachella this year by flying out a handful of influencers to the festival. Of course, they were able to do so because they worked with influencers who fit naturally with the brand.
Absolut’s campaign was focused around their mission to be “Planet Earth’s Favorite Vodka,” one that strives for a better, sustainable model of manufacturing. So, they invited sustainability-minded influencers to sip Absolut Vodka cocktails and share their knowledge about how the Absolut Tent is a carbon-neutral and zero-waste venue.