As we all know that people will be influenced by many things during their customer journey before they arrive (if they arrive at all) to our golf resort/club or to the golf resort‘s website. We also know that 90% of the consumers trust peer group member recommendations (source: Nielsen). This tells me that they are looking for social proof.
Some golf clubs and golf resorts have already recognized the above-described phenomenon and trying to find influencers, golf travel bloggers who can help them to:
- expand brand awareness,
- improve brand advocacy,
- reach new targeted audiences,
- increase share of voice.
Today, influencer marketing is a full-fledged industry. Recently, Experticity (an unpaid influencer network), Jonah Berger (marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania) and Keller Fay Group have conducted a study about micro-influencers.
They found the following:
- 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer, compared to 73% who are highly likely to act on a recommendation from an average person.
- 53% of influencers’ recommendations happen at work, compared to 19% of general population recommendations.
- The influencers are more knowledgeable, credible, believable and they are able to explain much better how a product or service works.
To find such golf travel influencers in the golf travel topic is not so simple. I will tell you soon why.
When I worked on a social media project for the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Zala Springs Golf Resort (member of IMG Prestige and World of Leading Golf), one of my recommendations was to find golf travel influencers who can present and explain why worth visiting and playing golf in this Hungarian golf resort.
One of the reasons why I recommended them to find golf travel bloggers was that unlike offline articles in golf magazines, the blog posts are:
- More personal,
- You can discuss with the blogger his experience —> the partner golf travel blogger can share much more and deeper insight than an offline article in Golf Monthly, Golf Digest, Today’s Golfer etc.
- Searchable —> people will find them easily via search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo!)
Why is hard to find a reliable golf travel blogger?
First of all, I took out from my list all those blogs that are not professionally managed and written. It was important also that they should be active golf travel bloggers who publish at least once a week. Furthermore, they should be known among other golf bloggers. I also used the 4Rs model (a well-known technique to select the right influencer for your business):
- Reach – the number of daily/weekly/monthly unique visitors and page views.
- Relevance – in this case, I looked for golf travel blogs where golf tourism/travel is the central topic and not one of the many ones.
- Resonance – are they engaged with their readers?
- Relationship – are they authentic? Do they share your brand’s values + brand persona?
This is how I “arrived” to my TOP 10 golf travel bloggers who can be useful in your golf club promotion and communication. Please, note that these golf travel blogs are not ranked as per their quality:
- Reisegolfer.de (in German)
- Katharine Dyson @ Travelgolf.com
How to work with golf travel bloggers?
After you found the right golf travel bloggers and golf travel blogs that fit your business, here comes the next challenge: nurture and manage these relationships. The cooperation with golf travel bloggers is not much different from other influencer marketing initiatives in other industries. I would not recommend treating these golf travel bloggers and influencers as the classic journalists to whom you send time-to-time your latest press release. Of course, it is more than nothing.
However, if you wish to exploit their influence to generate more awareness and trust in your golf club/resort then you have to provide more insider insights, unique information and be open to their questions and requests. Invite them to your events (e.g. tournament; opening ceremony of your new bar/restaurant/xyz; in-house workshop etc.). By the way, I also have got such influencer marketing cooperations.
Who is your favorite golf travel blogger and why?
At your golf club/resort have you got any experience working with golf travel bloggers? If yes, share with us and recommend golf travel bloggers. If not, then tell us why not.