New collective turns agent influencers into destination marketing gurus

Young influencer vlogging from the seaside at sunset

A group of influential travel agents have banded together to create a social marketing network for the post-pandemic travel industry.

As domestic travel restrictions begin to ease, the Agents of Influence (AOI) aims to use the influence of agents who are active on social media to tell stories from a destination marketing perspective.

Creative Aussie travel agents with a strong social media presence and repeat client base will be influential in helping revitalise customer confidence.

The aim of AOI is to use those same agents to tell a destination’s inspirational marketing stories, use their unique content and social media skills to deliver on a brand’s marketing objectives and make sales in real-time.

From June, the new brand will offer content and social marketing solutions as part of bespoke agent famils, agent or hotel destination matching, itinerary creation and agent training.

According to one AOI founding member, Jake Cassar of Travel Counsellors, agents who can create inspiring travel content in 2020 are more relevant than ever to their customers, travel brands, DMC’s, airlines and hotels.

“If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, online is for looking but experienced travel agents like those we’ve managed to bring together for the AOI are for booking,” he said.

“This group of agents are the creme-de-la-creme when it comes to their digital craft, whether that be breathtaking photography, drone videos, memes or simply a kick-ass social media presence that drives leads.

“We’ve built this to help elevate them and give them a unique voice in the industry at this time.”

AOI founder and travel producer Jeremy Drake said this initial group of agents is well placed at a time when travel brands and destinations need a boost.

But more importantly, he said, agents who can deliver both quality content as well as a booking are a unicorn opportunity for businesses who are navigating their way out of this pandemic.

“I first came across a group of talented agents while on famil in the US and was struck by their passion to create and tell beautiful stories,” Drake said.

“But post-COVID-19, I realised that businesses need more than just beautiful content, they want measurable sales from people who know how to also connect with consumers.

“An AOI can help to bridge that gap by providing a destination with rights-free content and an innate understanding of how to turn that content into a customer.”

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