Spontaneous and real-life stories influence follower choice more effectively: Ellie Shedden

At a session on ‘Impact of Influential Marketing in Tourism’ at ICTT 2019, digital marketing strategist Ellie Shedden spoke of the vitality of a thorough understanding of one’s intended audience and ultimate goals to help understand the entire gamut of the marketing plan.

According to the speaker, who is founder of, more and more travelers of late prefer influencers’ opinion to advertisements. They choose agencies, hotels, airlines and even travel directions based on the advice of influencers, she noted.

“Companies offering predefined descriptions of the products get much less traction compared to influencers. Today influencers manage the information themselves,” Shedden said. “Spontaneous and real-life stories influence follower choice more effectively. The most popular are social media stories, where influencers share their experience, gained in different places.”

She emphasized the need for businesses to understand their target audience before zeroing in on the influencers and opt for multi-platform campaigns. “Multi-platform campaigns ensure that outreach of the campaign is much larger compared to a single-platform. At the same time, you must also understand your target audience before starting the campaign,” she said.

“For example, if your target audience is 60 years and above, an Instagram campaign will not be a perfect choice; instead you should opt for a Facebook campaign followed by a YouTube and blogging,” went her reasoning.

Earlier, Shedden also spoke about the importance of choosing the right influencer for launching a campaign. “While choosing the influencer, check the audience engagement the influencer has. Generally, a micro-influencer or a medium size influencer has more audience interaction compared to a celebrity or an influencer with over one million followers,” she said. “That is why the trend to engage micro-influencers into tourism is becoming more and more popular.”

She said it is important to “choose an influencer who understands your brand and deliver accordingly. You must make a contract with the influencer, so that the outreach is more. A good example of companies and influencers interaction was a campaign by Avoya Travel, a travel agency which understood that more and more people are booking their travel online and not approaching travel agency. So, they tied up with influencers and created interesting content made for brand awareness, and this is also the case of how companies and influencers’ cooperation may be mutually profitable.”

The conclave at Le Meridian has experts from across the world discussing newest trends in AI application on tourism and intelligent use of apps that are giving the industry new energy and vitality.

The inaugural ICTT was held in 2013, followed by a second edition in 2017 — all with idea of meeting the demand and supply of changing business situations even as the tourism community is comprehensively reliant on expertise and modernisation.

The conference enables the travel and tourism industrialists in India and neighbouring countries to acclimatize to the varying technologies, obtaining skills in surviving/winning over competitors, comprehending the significance of web marketing and the use of the resources accessible online to run businesses.