Sponsored Influencer trips are among the most costly investments for brands but often produce the highest rewards. Wearisma’s Travel Index reveals 2019’s top 10 Influencer destinations to ensure you get highly engaging content when organising your next #presstrip.
Tourism under the influence of Influencers
It’s August, we’ve officially hit the height of summer and many countries have begun benefiting from one of the world’s largest economic sectors; Travel & Tourism. Research from World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) reveals that the sector accounted for 10.4% of global GDP in 2018 and the sector is expected to experience steadily rise. One factor behind this growth is the way the Travel & Tourism industry has embraced content creators over the years to help promote and/or change the perception of various destinations.
Take for example holiday price comparison site Ice Lolly’s campaign with Visit Benidorm in 2017. The duo sent a range of British influencers including Dannielle Lily (@daniellelilly) and Brogan Tate (@brogantatexo) on a series of thrilling excursions and a visit around the city’s Old Town. The content was successful in transforming the image many held about Spanish city, painting it as a youthful and exciting destination. Between 2009 and 2014, visitors to Norway’s breath-taking Trolltunga mountain increased from 500 to 40,000 with many attributing the growth to a wave of social media-fueled tourism. An earlier example comes from Tourism New Zealand, who collaborated with influencer Yao Chen (@yaochen) in 2012 to create the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign. The collaboration allowed the destination to take advantage of Yao Chen’s influence on Chinese travelers via her engaged Weibo audience.
As our social media use continues to rise, the role that Influencers play in shaping our summer destination bucket lists intensifies. By having an awareness of the countries growing in popularity among Influencers, brands can make informed decisions when organising one of their most costly (but rewarding) influencer marketing investments – press trips.
Wearisma’s Travel Index
Wearisma has compiled a list of the countries featured most frequently across several online ‘2019’s Top Summer Destinations’ lists and then analysed their popularity among our worldwide Influencer database between May and July 2019. This allowed us to create a definitive ranking of Summer 2019’s 10 most popular destinations as dictated by Influencers.
When analysing the countries that received the most mentions and highest media value, our data revealed that Italy, France and Indonesia came out on top. We’ve highlighted the brands capitalising on this popularity by executing successful press trips in these locations.
This summer, Italy was the most mentioned country by influencers in summer 2019, defending its top position from summer 2018. The top 3 Mega-Influencers producing the highest media value for their italian based content included Christiano Ronaldo celebrating his triumph at Juventus, Selena Gomez taking in a classic gondola ride and Kim Kardashian reminiscing on her 2014 Florence wedding. Italian drinks brand aperol spritz took advantage of this growing interest in the European destination by inviting a group of international influencers to celebrate the brands’ 100 year anniversary. American influencer, Michelle Salas (@michellesalasb) and Brazilian influencer, Maria Eugênia Suconic (@msuconic) were among the many invitees. The engagement rate for content created for this trip was higher than the average engagement rate for both influencers (0.59 and 0.88 percentage points higher, respectfully). This finding suggests that branded content created in this destination is effective in engaging influencers’ audiences.
France maintained their 2018 position on Wearisma’s index, achieving the second most influencer mentions in summer 2019. Musicians Joe Jonas and J Balvin were among the celebrities and mega-influencers producing highly engaging content, popularising the region this summer. Luxury giant Chanel invited influencers to the brands’ founding country for their #chanelgrasse perfume campaign including Middle Eastern influencer Rachel Kiresepi (@rachelaraz), South Korean influencer, actor and Model Lee Dong-wook (@leedongwook_official) and Indonesian actress Chelsea Elizabeth (@chelseaislan). This trip was particularly successful for the brand as, content created for the trip achieved a higher engagement rate (4.64%) than contents tagging @chanelofficial (2.25%) in the same period (May-July 2019). Similar to Aperol Spritz, it appears that Italian and French founded brands benefit by bringing influencers to them. This tactic capitalises on the appeal of these European hotspots and also fosters more authentic content that reflects the brand’s origins.
Indonesia has seen the highest growth in popularity among influencers over the last year, jumping from the 7th to the 3rd spot in summer 2019. While being the third most mentioned destination, Indonesia is a particularly successful country for content creators, achieving the highest media value (~£247M). One brand who capitalised on the growing interest in Bali was the Australian Fashion label Finders Keepers who, in conjunction with Quay Australia and Moroccanoil hosted a group influencers including American influencer Francis Lola (@francislola) and Sweedish influencer Matilda Djerf (@matildadjerf) at the Mandala House in Canggu, Bali for four days last year to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Influencers were dressed head to toe in the brand as they participated in exciting excursions and photo shoots producing a series of engaging content.
Influencer trips are a great exercise for brands looking to create engaging and inspirational content for their audience. Investing in the right influencers when organising sponsored getaways will always be essential to ensuring high ROI. However, an awareness of the countries which produces the most popular, instagrammable content will enable you to select the right destination and get the most out of your investment.