Travel Influencer Index: These are the World’s Most Powerful Travel Influencers
With the Covid-19 crisis in full swing, travel brands around the world are going to need all the marketing muscle they can get to beat the slump and get back on their feet in the second half of the year. And in the modern world, the travel influencer is an absolutely fundamental part of the marketing mix.
Travel influencer, a term which less than 10 years ago many of us had never even heard of now dominates our news feeds, our Instagram stories and even our everyday conversations.
To the onlooker it may seem that the job of a travel influencer is too good to be true, and some may question whether it is a job at all. But to do so would undermine the true power and persuasion which many of these influencers hold in their selfie-capturing hands, and the work which many of these new stars have put into building their personal brand.
For consumers, travel influencers can be a real source of inspiration, while for business – if used correctly – travel influencers can be an extremely effective marketing tool.
But the question is, which influencer is best? Which is going to provide the reach and audience engagement brands are so desperate for?
The newly released Travel Influencer Index ranks the most powerful travel influencers in the world, by analysing authenticity, engagement and popularity across Instagram, Twitter and the web, taking into account key factors including number of followers, authentic followers, engagement levels, and brand search volume to determine the most powerful travel influencers.
Read on below for the full methodology and results.
How the Travel Influencer Index Score Works
The Travel Influencer Index provides a comprehensive analysis across social media and online presence to determine a holistic indication of the power of a travel influencer, taking into account factors including audience reach and engagement, authenticity of following, online brand awareness and blog performance. The index combines all of these factors to attribute a final TII Score. The factors analysed for each travel influencer are:
- Instagram following
- Instagram followers:following ratio
- % Real Instagram followers
- Instagram engagement rate
- Instagram likes
- Instagram comments
- Instagram follower growth
- Instagram audience quality
- Twitter following
- Twitter followers:following ratio
- % Fake Twitter followers
- Twitter reach and influence
- Twitter likes
- Twitter retweets
- Blog domain rating
- Google search volume for blog
- Blog traffic value
The index scoring was applied to 75 of the most popular travel influencers, with the final results ranking the influencers based on their Travel Influencer Index Score.
Across each of the categories influencers were awarded a score of 6 based on data gleaned from an analysis of their social profiles and blogs. The scores across each category were totalled together to give the final Travel Influencer Index Score, denoting the influencers overall power across all channels combined.
The data tools and third party sources used to analyse each of the data categories can be found in the source list below.
Travel Influencer Index Results
Coming out in the top spot as the most powerful travel influencer on the Travel Influencer Index is Nomadic Matt. Matt has been running his blog for 11 years, using it as a source of travel tips and inspiration for others looking to travel on a budget. Matt has also used his travel know-how and experience in writing two best-selling books, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and Ten Years a Nomad.
Matt scored a total TII score of 72, with analysis of his online presence highlighting that he not only has a large following but an authentic one too. 99% of Nomadic Matt’s Instagram following were determined real, as was just under 80% of his Twitter following. The authenticity of his social following was also evident in likes, comments and other interactions received, alongside a follow ratio which shows he has a large amount more followers than those he follows. Nomadic Matt also scored high for his online presence, with a domain rating of 77 – suggesting Google views his blog as a strong site, while the traffic value to his blog was valued at $635,000. This means that Nomadic Matt would be a strong site for brands to build backlinks on. Nomadic Matt’s blog and brand is also clearly well established and popular with an incredibly high search volume of 6,300 per month.
In second place is Gypsea Lust a.k.a Lauren Bullen. Lauren scored a TII score of 69, and an analysis of her social and online profile demonstrated she had a high level of authentic and engaged followers. One area where Gypsea Lust fell down compared to Nomadic Matt was in having a weaker site with a lower domain rating and traffic value. The search volume for the Gpsea Lust brand was also lower, likely because Lauren also focuses much of her effort on joint work with her partner and fellow travel influencer Jack Morris.
Australian Lauren is currently based in Bali, and her travel content largely focused on envy-inducing travel photography, a skill which she has self-taught.
When conducting the Travel Influencer Index it became clear that one area in which many influencers scored lower is across the Twitter and Blog elements of the index, focusing a large amount of their effort on Instagram. While Instagram is a popular platform, taking a holistic approach and engaging audiences across Twitter and via an online blog is what gives the top ranking influencers their edge and makes them a triple threat for brands to work with – particularly those brands who want to gain strong backlinks as well as gain brand exposure.
All of the influencers featured in the Travel Influencer Index were found to have a high % of authentic Instagram following, while comments and likes are areas which brands can examine to determine which influencers encourage the most interaction on their posts.
Twitter was a platform where many influencers’ followings varied greatly, so tapping into those influencers who have garnered the Twitter corner is one way to make you stand out above the noise.
Blog value was the most notable area where some influencers stood apart from others, with those ranking at the bottom of the index scoring low for their domain rating and traffic value. Many influencers concentrate the vast majority of their attention on social media, but brands should be looking to work with influencers who also have a strong online blog presence which brands can utilise to build strong links to their own site.
When deciding the best travel influencer for you to work with, the best approach is not honing in on one factor alone, but examining the reach, engagement and benefit the influencer can bring you across each corner of the online world – which is where the Travel Influencer Index can help brands to make these decision.