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influencer lounging in a hotel pool

Influencer vs Affiliate Hotel Marketing 

Are the selfies serving up brand new groups of guests for your hotel?

They are two similar, yet different methods of marketing your hotel. Affiliate and influencer marketing are markedly different in both their effects and methods to draw the crowds into your hotel and fill up your beds. But which one is right for you? Influencer vs affiliate hotel marketing?

That is exactly what we will address today.

Or perhaps, neither one is the perfect fit for you. But before we jump into any assumptions, let’s take a look at what influencer marketing and affiliate marketing for hotels actually covers. 


What is Influencer Marketing?

Advantages

Disadvantages

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Advantages

Disadvantages

Affiliate vs Influencer – Who Wins for Hotels?


cartoon influencer promotes on social media

Influencer Marketing for Hotels

Influencer marketing is a popular strategy for hotels looking to reach new audiences and increase bookings. The idea is to partner with social media influencers from Instagram, TikTok etc, who have a large following, in order to gain access to their audience and promote the hotel. 

This can range from travel bloggers highlighting the destination USP of your hotel, to models showing off their latest swimwear by the pool. Luckily, influencers aren’t that uncommon nowadays – according to Earthweb, depending upon your definition, there are between 3 million and 38 million influencers across various social media channels including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and more!


The Advantages of Influencer Marketing

One of the immediate advantages of influencer marketing is that it allows your hotel to reach new audiences and tap into markets that you may not have been able to reach otherwise.  These influencers often have a large and highly engaged following, which can provide a great opportunity for hotels to increase visibility and build brand awareness. 

crowd of phone usersAnother advantage of influencer marketing is that it allows hotels to showcase their property in a creative and authentic way. Influencers can create content that highlights the hotel’s unique characteristics. Thanks to TikTok, it’s become easier than ever to create a viral trend that takes the online world by storm!

However, perhaps most importantly is the trust aspect.

It’s common knowledge that potential guests value the opinion of existing guests over any marketing material. Influencers with an engaged following have a relationship with their followers. With the help of influencer marketing for your hotel, you can drive up those bookings.


Downsides to Influencer Marketing

However, influencer marketing does have a few drawbacks along the way. 

hotel_social_mediaCost

One of the main disadvantages is the cost. Influencer marketing can be an expensive strategy, as influencers charge based on their reach and engagement. This can be a significant investment for hotels; especially for smaller hotels that have limited budgets.

It also means that you’ll likely be paying for exposure to followers who have little-to-no-chance of ever staying at your hotel. 

Type 

Additionally, hotels need to be careful when choosing influencers to partner with, since not all influencers are a good fit for every brand. The values of your hotel and your brand reputation need to be aligned with those of the influencer; and you need to be confident that you won’t have a reason to regret being associated with them in the immediate future.

Their FollowersGuest_statistics

As well as cost and branding, you also have to examine their followers. It’s no good investing in influencer marketing for your hotel if any exposure is devalued by the location, demographic or type of their followers. Why would you pay for exposure to followers who have little-to-no-chance of ever staying at your hotel? 


Affiliate Marketing for Hotels

In comparison, affiliate marketing is another strategy that hotels can use to reach new audiences, increase bookings and otherwise fill up your rooms. 

You may have heard people use the words “affiliate” and “influencer” interchangeably, but this is not the case at all. Influencer vs affiliate hotel marketing are both very different approaches to your goals.

The main difference between the two is that influencer marketing focuses on building relationships with individuals who can help promote your hotel, while affiliate marketing involves paying affiliates for generating bookings.

hotel_reception


The Advantages of Affiliate Marketing for Hotels

Regent hotel marketing guides (3)One of the immediate advantages of affiliate marketing is that it can be less expensive than influencer marketing. Whereas influencer marketing can be a shot in the dark, where you have no guarantee that their efforts will pay off, affiliate marketing has to help you; otherwise your affiliates don’t get their cut.

In much the same way that OTAs work, each booking through your affiliates earns them a cut. While we advocate and indeed promote  direct bookings, at least with affiliates – if they want to get paid, you can be sure that they will work hard to promote your hotel!

Additionally, affiliate marketing has the bonus of being far more cohesively targeted than influencer marketing. Affiliate websites often focus on specific niche markets which can play in your favour. This can correlate with your hotel’s ideal guest type, or your destination marketing, or whatever USP that your hotel has that can appeal to potential guests.


Downsides of Affiliate Marketing for Hotels

However, affiliate marketing can also have its downsides.

Personality

One of the main disadvantages is that it can be less personalised than influencer marketing. Affiliate websites or platforms might not always promote the hotel in the most effective way. You can’t have as much control over affiliate marketing – they will serve up their own unique style in order to boost your bookings as much as possible.

Ongoing Cost
hotel_website_traffic

The other downside to affiliate marketing for hotels is that you are far less likely to go viral or receive a significant influx of bookings immediately. It’s a slow and steady trickle of extra bookings, and you’ll have to pay commission on each of them.


Influencer vs Affiliate Hotel Marketing – Which Is Best?

Well, that depends entirely upon your hotel. 

While they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, the best strategy for your hotel will depend on your specific goals, budget, and desired outreach. 

Maybe you are ready to invest in that influencer marketing. Your 5* beach hotel is more than ready to recoup the upfront costs with that influx of new guests!

hotel marketing auditOr perhaps you need to be more cost-effective for the time being and invest in hotel marketing with an affiliate who will work hard to ensure that your beds are being filled up.

It all comes down to your hotel marketing strategy. So let’s talk about that! Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll arrange a quick one-on-one meeting with you to discuss your hotel marketing strategy needs. We also offer free marketing evaluations for hotels of any size – just get in touch with us and we’ll take care of the rest!

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Just fill in the form and we'll arrange a brief meeting to discuss your current marketing efforts.

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      Get Free Consultation

      Let's talk Hotel Marketing

      FREE of charge in just 30 minutes

      Just fill in the form and we'll arrange a brief meeting to discuss your current marketing efforts.

      Feel free to ask us anything that you're having trouble with and we'll do our best to provide exact recommendations on how to improve.