Traditional communication, constrained by rigid tools and a poor understanding of the target audience, their needs, passions, uncertainties, and their position in the customer journey, is not very effective in meeting the needs of new tourists who are more skeptical than ever of stimuli sent by traditional and institutional communication, and are also more accustomed to online research and a new ability to discern information and news.
In addition, even those entities that previously succeeded in influencing tourists’ choices, such as travel agents, tour operators, catalogs, mass media communication on TV, newspapers and radio, famous testimonials, have lost much of their influence compared to tourist reviews and especially influencers, who offer more modern and audience-friendly languages, styles, and formats.
Influencers are creators who have managed to show credibility and gain the trust and following of numerous fans, and can be bloggers, video makers, photographers, online journalists who have learned to use new languages, forum administrators, social media stars who have found their expressive niche and/or their particular passion and following.
Depending on their followers, influencers can be divided into various categories, e.g., Bella Foxwell of iconosquare.com [Foxwell B., 2021] classifies influencers into 4 categories:
- Mega: 1 million or more followers
- Macro: between 100,000 and 1 million followers
- Micro: between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
- Nano: 10,000 followers or less
Based on the ability to engage audiences, influencer marketing has emerged, which is the use of online experts in the field who have a fairly large audience that respects and trusts them. In the case of tourism, influencers can be tourism experts, but also specific experts of the target audience (e.g., families, singles, seniors, etc.), or even experts in experiential themes that the destination offers, such as sports influencers, food influencers, etc. Therefore, in tourism, it is important to use not only travel influencers, but also a range of specializations that fully represent our destination.
[Foxwell B., 2021] iconosquare.com Bella Foxwell, January 28th, 2021 “A Guide to Social Media Influencers: Mega, Macro, Micro, and Nano” https://blog.iconosquare.com/guide-to-social-media-influencers/ accessed on January 23rd, 2022
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