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Queenstown accommodation providers get direct bookings through Social Influencer Marketing

8 June 2020

New Zealand, things have gone from great to not so good on the economic front but as of Monday, greaty-ho we're leveling up.

And, we have some great social media 'influencers' living in our country that can help our businesses move forward in this.

"For the travel and hospitality industry, influencer marketing has become a key tactic for tapping into communities of engaged followers to grow and build lasting relationships with customers." Kristin Burnham, CMO by Adobe.

As a nation, we are now more interested in who's mouths we are feeding when we spend.
It's time to capitalise on the opportunity by putting social influencer marketing to work. Let it increase your brand & business ownership awareness and encourage direct bookings - in a more authentic way.

Whilst social influencers are great for a range of different industries, this article is talking specifically about how they can help accommodation and activity providers in Queenstown get more direct bookings.

For those of you that don't do social media and aren't familiar with the word 'influencer', I've created a short example below to help get your head around this and how it can influence your sales. Those that are familiar, feel free to skip this paragraph and move on to the rest of the article.

What is a social influencer?

Chloe has an iPhone, an Instagram & Facebook account, and lives in Auckland. She loves sharing all things lifestyle through her social accounts - where she's dining tonight, what clinic does her Botox, where she's going on holiday this winter, and what activities she'll be doing when she gets there. People like Chloe and her lifestyle, they want that lifestyle too and so they follow her. In fact, 50,000 people follow Chloe.

You need Chloe.

An example of how a social influencer can market their Queenstown hotel, motel or tourist activity

Example of the Fairmont Hotel and The Ritz Carlton using social influencers to promote their accommodation


A social influencer will share, with the people that follow them, an authentic visual account (through video & photo) of their weekend at your hotel, motel or bed & breakfast.
Credible influencers are selective about what brands they align themselves with because ultimately their choices reflect on themselves.
For example, an influencer positioning themselves with high-end brands most likely won't be interested in influencing for a low priced hotel, rather, they'd be attracted to a luxury accommodation provider that is focused on quality and those extra trimmings.

A lower-priced hotel with a family-friendly environment would be aligned to an influencer that is a mum who speaks about and influences on family lifestyle hacks at an affordable price for example.

The same goes for tourism activity providers.

How do you find the right social influencer for your accommodation or activity?

Take a moment to absorb the Queenstown Economic Update for March Quarter 2020 showing visitor statistics to Queenstown and the impact Covid-19 has had on the town (report provided by our landlord Westwood Group Queenstown, powered by Luma Analytics). See the end of this article for how visitor statistics are obtained.

With relevance to this blog article, Auckland will continue to be a market to welcome to Queenstown and with great influencers based in Auckland, here lies the opportunity.

The task is to find an influencer that aligns with your brand and ensure they have a credible following. Some influencers can have an impressive amount of followers but are the followers the right age group, income bracket and location (to pick a few demographics) to be a potential customer of yours and are the accounts real and not fake.

According to AccorHotel’s Executive Director Of e-Commerce & Digital Marketing, Mansi Vagt, “It is not just about huge fans and followers in my opinion, but rather the right message being delivered in the most authentic way possible to targeted and relevant audiences bit by bit.”

Swordfox use a combination of certified social influencer search software to connect with influencers in your accommodation or activity niche as well as human agents for those managed by an agency.

Following this, it's working out the social influencer campaign that works for both parties. For example, will your influencer relationship be a one-off or will you fly them down every 3 months for on-going post engagement with their audience?

How do you measure the Return on Investment?

Whilst each case is different and depends on the social media channel and campaign objective, here is an insight into how ROI on social influencer activity is measured:

  • 1) Click through rate – If your social influencer is specifiying a call to action, what is the click through rate from this call to action? (If measuring from Instagram, the influencer would need to have a trackable URL in their Profile to your website for the length of the campaign).
  • 2) Subscribers / follower activity – Did your subscribers / followers increase for your own social channels / email marketing list during the campaign. Compare this to your usual growth trend?
  • 3) Social shares – How many times has a video / blog / social influencer content been distributed?
  • 4) Views – How many times has your hashtag / branded video been viewed?
  • 5) Engagement – How many comments, likes, dislikes, shares etc did your influencer content get directly on each post?
  • 6) Google Analytics Data that you may find valuable if you are measuring ROI from engaging a professional travel blogger include:
    - Referral traffic to your website from theirs – This considers all of the website users that have visited your website from the Travel Bloggers site.
    - Social Shares of their blog posts – How many social shares on the posts you sponsored?
    - Engagement on blog posts – How many comments on the posts you sponsored?
    - Referrals to website content from search engines – This data you should be able to get from the Travel Blogger, a good indication of how well their posts are performing in search engine results.
    - User conversion rates from referral visitors – How many of your website users visiting from the Travel Bloggers website are converting, with a conversion determined by actions such as an online booking, subscribe to email or contact form enquiry?

Before I go...

If out of curiosity you wonder how statistics are acquired for the Queenstown Economic Update, this is the information provided from Luma Analytics:

"The overseas spend data comes from a model built by the NZ government (MBIE) to estimate tourism spending - https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/tourism-research-and-data/tourism-data-releases/monthly-regional-tourism-estimates/

MBIE estimates the spend data off a number of sources to account for card spend and cash spend:

  • Electronic Card Data which is purchased from Marketview (Which is a product by BNZ & Paymark) and accounts for 75% of New Zealand retailers and provides information on the overall card spend in all locations, including the nationality of cardholders.
  • International Visitor Survey (IVS) data is a quarterly survey of departing visitors that provides information on the characteristics, spend behaviour and expenditure of international visitors.
  • The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) dataset from Statistics New Zealand. The TSA measures the contribution of tourism expenditure to the New Zealand economy and is categorised into 11 groups covering all tourism-related spending.

How can I get my Queenstown business started with Influencer Marketing?

Have a conversation Swordfox and learn how we can set this in motion for you. Email hello@swordfox.nz or send an enquiry form below.

Georgina Cunningham

Georgina Cunningham

Creative Director / Digital Marketer
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