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Travel influencer industry needs to ‘grow up’ and adopt full transparency

Travel marketers need to follow in the footsteps of the entertainment industry in forcing their influencers to disclose paid reviews, AnyMind Group’s Vivek Misra has said.

Speaking ahead of the panel discussion he will be part of at the inaugural Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit in Singapore on April 16, the Asia director of strategic initiatives argued that the industry needed to “grow up to full transparency”.

He suggested that the influencer industry in Asia had attracted a large number of ill-equipped players and still had a long way to go in terms of evolving to adopt better standards and practices.

He said: “Where the industry is right now really reminds me of the early days of display advertising. It’s becoming more lucrative and attracting a large number of participants who are not quite equipped to deliver the results marketers are looking for.

“I see marketers becoming more forthcoming about the KPIs that they demand and the influencers that reach and deliver will be the ones that thrive – not just survive.”

Addressing concerns related to recent examples of influencer fraud and fake followers, Misra added: “Fraud and fake followers are a reality the industry needs to wake up to. There’s a role in that process that regulation needs to play: industry bodies, governments all need to play in this.”

Looking at the benefits good influencer campaigns bring to brands, he said: “Empathetic messaging to audiences that marketers care for is one. The second in brand advocacy over an extended period of time with influencers who are closer to the personality of the brand itself. The ability of influencers to create a buzz or engagement over a period of time, which actually translates to sales and business outcomes.”

When asked about his favourite influencer in Asia, Misra cited the Indonesian blogger Diana Rikasari – who has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram.

“It’s a tough one because there are so many influencers in Asia who are doing phenomenally well but if I had to pick one I would say Diana Rikasari.

“She’s one of those really authentic influencers who spans across categories; she’s a fashion blogger, she’s a mum, she creates great posts about lifestyle. The way she represents chic is phenomenal work.”

Vivek Misra will be among those speaking at the Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit at the Novotel (Clarke Quay) in Singapore on April 16 – to see the other speakers participating and to buy your tickets for just $399, visit the event website here

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