As restrictions begin to ease and vaccines begin rolling out, the ache to travel burns stronger than ever for many. With travel restrictions and safety precautions keeping us from traveling over the past year, travellers are looking for new adventures. As a result, travel is likely to make a huge comeback.
Recent months have seen travel brands making an effort to promote their services as travel opens up again. These efforts are most visible in the brands’ turn towards influencer marketing. Sponsored collaborations, shared travel photos, and giveaways are just some of the successful tactics these brands have utilised to boost their social media presence, customer loyalty, and brand awareness.
Using the Tagger platform’s affinity, mentions, and growth toggles, we found these 15 travel brands using influencer marketing to get people excited to dust off their suitcases!
2. Away (@away) – Despite losing followers around the beginning of the pandemic, Away Luggage has managed to recover and send its Instagram account back towards positive growth in recent months. With a potential reach on their sponsored mentions as high as 36,000 in March 2021, influencer collaborations as a marketing tactic are still working in Away’s favour.
3. Expedia (@expedia) – As one of the full-service travel brands on this list, Expedia saw a slowdown in follower engagement and growth on their Instagram when travel restrictions began. Still, as soon as August 2020, their page experienced increasing growth. While the brand already had over 1k sponsored mentions with influencers, from March 2020, they have had 124 sponsored posts (as of March 24, 2021).
4. JSX (@flyjsx) – The hop-on jet service for travelers wanting a crowd-free or airportless experience, JSX has had phenomenal success with its’ efforts in influencer marketing since the pandemic. Growing at a steady pace of over 25k followers since March 2020, JSX’s Instagram growth is thanks to the brand’s high engagement and regular Influencer mentions.
5. National Geographic Travel (@natgeotravel) – At 42.5M followers, National Geographic Travel undoubtedly has the largest following on this list. While their sponsored posts are few and far between, the real gem of their influencer marketing strategy is that every single post on their page is a collaboration with a creator. Photographers, storytellers, and nature geeks alike are featured on Nat Geo Travel, and in turn, National Geographic is on their pages. These collaborations, combined with captions that tell more of a story about the photographers, humanises Nat Geo’s page and increases their brand awareness and reach.
6. MODERN ADVENTURE (@modernadventurists) – Curators of national and international group travel trips, Modern Adventure has seen recent spikes in its’ growth. However, much of their influencer marketing is at a micro-level considering their smaller following size. Their audience is not limiting by any means, though, as Modern Adventure’s collaborations with their “tastemakers” regularly highlight their social media page. Their mentions are nearing 140, and with this only being over the past year, their progress is stellar.
7. SteamLine Luggage (@steamlineluggage) – The vintage-inspired luggage brand has generated tons of Instagram engagement and growth in recent months. By keeping their followers entertained with their Instagram story, Influencer mentions, and highlights of customer reviews, the brand has a lot more interactivity with their customers. With just under thirty sponsored mentions in the past year, the mid-tier (follower count) brand has found various ways to interact with audiences.
8. Hopper (@hopper) – Though the flight and hotel price predictor experienced a downturn in their follower count at the beginning of 2020, they have slowly but steadily brought their Instagram to a positive growth rate. With 425 mentions since March 2020, their efforts are certainly in their best interest.
9. Airbnb (@airbnb) – Another online marketplace for travel lodgings, Airbnb specializes in homestays and vacation rentals. While the brand saw a downturn in travelers and hosts with the beginning of the pandemic, their use of influencer marketing was able to help bring them back into the public eye once hosts caught up with safety and sanitation regulations. Over 3k sponsored mentions and 306 since March 2020 have helped the platform increase their reach, brand awareness, and follower count.
10. Baggallini (@baggallini) – The brand touting luggage and carry-ons of all sizes, Baggallini has experienced slowed down growth a few times over 2020 but has still managed to grow their Instagram following overall. Though the brand has a decent number of sponsored posts with influencers, they have also experienced significant engagement and audience growth using giveaways. These giveaways help to boost brand awareness through the widespread coverage of giveaways by influencers and entry participants.
11. Girl Gone International (@girlgoneinternational) – A community of womxn internationally organizing travel and sharing information and advice for female solo travelers. The brand maintained constant Instagram growth throughout the pandemic and kept up its engagement level. By utilizing Instagram stories and IGTV, their posts keep audiences entertained and regularly prompt responses, raising engagement rates.
12. Travelocity (@travelocity) – Influencer marketing aided Travelocity’s loss of followers from the beginning of the pandemic as soon as August. This growth spike directly coincides with the brand’s first influencer collaboration of 2020, having no sponsored ads in the months preceding August.
13. AvantStay (@avantstay) – The online short-term rental marketplace features rentals of all kinds, focusing on curating travelers’ experiences. The brand has continued to use influencer marketing over the past year, seen in their 256 mentions since March 2020.
14. Orbitz (@orbitz) – Certainly a one-stop-shop for travel plans, Orbitz immediately saw an uptake in their followers and engagement when they began sponsored posts again in August 2020. Their collaborations with typically mid-tier and micro-influencers have boosted the brand back into social media spaces and, more importantly, increasing their audience engagement.
15. Cheapflights (@cheapflights) – By comparing flight prices, Cheapflights helps customers find the cheapest flight for their circumstances. Their mentions are full of all kinds of influencers, and they regularly share posts from customers, boosting their engagement and customer alignment.
This article was originally featured on TaggerMedia.com on March 24, 2021.