There are a number of things to be gained from working with Instagram travel influencers. By partnering with the right person, you can get your brand in front of a wide (and interested) audience.
Many travel companies see the value of incorporating this strategy into their marketing plan as they know that travelers trust peer recommendations. After all, nothing speaks louder than a stamp of approval from someone you deem to be trustworthy.
How do you find the right person to help you grow your brand though? Well, firstly you need to understand more about the audience this person can reach. Essentially, you need to determine whether delivering your product to this audience will add value to their lives and achieve the goals of your campaign.
Who Is A Travel Influencer?
Simply put, travel influencers are people who can persuade others to take an action. The action; be it a website visit, ultimate guide download, social media engagement, or sales conversion; will depend on what you want to achieve with your campaign.
Essentially they try out your travel offering or product, then present a rave review to their audience in a bid to prompt the desired action. The key point here is, the audience trusts the influencer or blogger. They see them as a reputable peer and because of this, are open to their suggestions.
By default, they need a large following; presumably larger than your own. Otherwise, you might as well stick to marketing distribution channels which are bringing you success already. More importantly though, the content should be relevant to the audience it reaches.
Top Instagram Travel Influencers To Grow Brand Awareness
Most travel influencers on Instagram usually work on other social platforms too and will share content to their profiles on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter for example. Here’s a list of top bloggers and influencers who have helped brands to grow, and could be a suitable choice for your own travel business.
Matt Karsten, aka Expert Vagabond, is an adventure travel photographer with reach. Between his social media accounts, brand features and blog, he reaches 5 million people annually with his amazing photography and travel stories.
Nomadic Matt is one of the top travel influencers recognized for his expertise in the area of budget travel. He has featured on CNN, BBC, Time, National Geographic, Huffington Post and is the author of an award-winning book How To Travel The World On $50 A Day. On top of his blog, he has a following of 99 thousand on Instagram, 251 thousand on Facebook, and 117 thousand on Twitter.
As a freelance photographer, Kirsten Alana has amazing skills and takes beautiful city and landscape photos. It is no surprise then that she has more than 219 thousand Instagram followers and has worked with a number of brands including Air France and the Four Seasons.
You will recognize husband and wife Murad and Nataly Osmann from their #followmeto campaign. Stunning photos of Nataly leading Murad showcase a stunning destination each time. Today the travel influencers have 4.2 million followers on the platform.
The Planet D award-winning team of Dave and Deb turned their love of travel into a career. As prominent travel ambassadors who share travel information and advice, they have been featured on the likes of BBC, National Geographic, as well as the Huffington Post. Not only are they big on IG with 218 thousand followers, but they also have a following on Twitter and half a million monthly visitors to their blog.
Eric Stoen, or Travel Babbo, is an advocate for family travel. He’s got an Instagram following of more than 86 thousand people, and his feed includes photos of his family exploring different destinations. Additionally, he’s an ambassador for AFAR and Travelocity.
yTravel Blog aims to show that travel doesn’t have to stop once you have kids. The family has been all over the US, as well as to other countries, and have gathered a healthy following in their wake. In addition to 42 thousand on Instagram, they also have a viewership on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
Migrationology is Mark Wiens’ foodie travel feed on Instagram and YouTube. He has been all over the world, tried hundreds of dishes, and has a strong focus on delicious and interesting street food.
Conor MacNeill is an ambassador for a number of travel-related companies including Lonely Planet. He has over 194 thousand followers on the platform, and his inspiring feed is filled mainly with striking landscapes and stunning nature photos.
He’s a travel photographer with over 3.3 million followers on the Gram. And after browsing through Chris Burkard’s feed, it is really easy to see why he has so many. His photos consist of out of this world landscapes depicting oceans, mountains, rivers, dunes, volcanoes – you name it!
IzKiz, or Jennifer Tuffen, has made Instagram her business. With a mix of beautiful photos, hotel and restaurant reviews, as well as city guides, she is ranked highly in the social media community. Boasting a following of 2.7 million followers on the visual platform, she definitely has the reach.
Aubrie Bell, the Globe Trotting Ginger, has created a lifestyle brand which focuses on adventure, luxury, and solo travel. The striking photos in her feed showcase beautiful destinations and settings. She is also a certified travel agent, which no doubt sits well with her Instagram following of 211 thousand.
Oliver Vegas is a brand ambassador for Sigma and scores his spot on the top travel influencers list with more than 417 thousand IG followers. His feed sports an interesting travel mix of land and cityscapes, self-portraits, and animals.
Solo female travelers
The Blonde Abroad has a feed full of personality and showcases a mix of beautiful places, destinations, restaurants, fashion, and healthy foods among others. She is forever on the move and promotes all-female tours to her 547 thousand followers.
Kate McCulley, who goes by Adventurous Kate in her blog, is all for solo female travel and has been to 77 countries. She has an impressive Instagram following of more than 99 thousand and also shares her adventures on Twitter and her blog.
Karl Watson‘s adventure-filled travel documentaries have earned him a healthy social media following. Although his YouTube channel sees most hits, his Instagram feed often lays hints as to where he is off to next in the world.
With over 211 thousand Instagram followers and a website that gets 4 million visitors each month, Brian Kelly, aka the Points Guy, is certainly well known. On his blog, you will find tips for getting the most out of travel rewards cards, as well as travel news and other advice.
He’s been called one of the original travel influencers, and because of it, Johnny Jet has cultivated quite a following. In addition to rewards and points guides, he offers travel tips and information on Twitter and his blog.
Travel bloggers Damon and Jo have a high following across their blog, YouTube, and Instagram profiles. Their millennial-focused travel show, Shut Up and Go, features multi-lingual travel videos across various destinations each week.
Travel vlogger Fun For Louis heads up a strong following of 1.3 million on Instagram and a YouTube channel with more than two million subscribers. He posts a new video just about daily to show off where he is and what he is doing.
Ultimately, partnering with a top influencer should be a mutually beneficial relationship that adds value for everyone. You have either the great travel content, product, or offering and they have a suitable and interested audience to market it to.
Remember to discuss your goals from the beginning and set realistic expectations for the campaign. At the end of the day, it pays to have friends in the industry and building relationships such as these can have a significant and positive effect on your brand.