Tourism NI pays £11k to influencers for social media posts
Tourism NI has paid £11,000 to influencers and bloggers to encourage holidaymakers to book a trip to Northern Ireland, it can be revealed.
Since 2017, it has "worked with" eight influencers who have posted about Northern Ireland across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
They include Paulo Ross, who works as a breakfast presenter and sports reporter at Cool FM.
He has 20,500 followers on Instagram and his own website, where he has posted about walking The Gobbins cliff path using a 'sponsored' hashtag commonly used by influencers to indicate a post has been paid for.
The retired English golfer Nick Dougherty is included on the list of influencers used by Tourism NI. In August, he took in a tour of several golf clubs and restaurants, starting at Holywood Golf Club, from where Rory McIlroy hails.
He went on to visit Ardglass, Massereene and Galgorm golf clubs in a whistle-stop tour, along with a visit to Deane's Meat Locker and the Grand Central Hotel and a guest appearance from Niall Horan.
Tourism NI has also worked with Tara Povey and Sarah Slattery, influencers from the Republic of Ireland.
View this post on Instagram
Taking a spot of inspiration from @followmeaway & rolling with the moody misty vibe⛼. Pity I pretty much wear blindly bright clothes 24/7 hahah. This was at Belfast Castle today. I have my crystal ball 🔮 (@lensball ) in my hand in a desperate attempt to see if it will stop raining at any point in the future. We had planned to climb/walk cave hill but the weather wasn't in our favour. Head on over to my stories to see what else I've been up to during my 48hrs in Belfast. Thanks to @littlegforce for being my photographer on this trip. #TarasTravelTribe #whereistara #discoverNI #visitbelfast #belfastcastle #belfast
Ms Povey posts about travel on Instagram as Where is Tara? and has more than 40,000 followers, while Ms Slattery, who is known as The Travel Expert, has 5,720.
Ms Slattery said she wasn't paid to work with Tourism NI but was given tickets to promote the Game of Thrones exhibition on her social media channels.
Nadia El Ferdaoussi, who posts on Instagram as Nadia Daily Self, has also worked with Tourism NI to promote Northern Ireland to her 27,800 followers.
Conchur Moore of Document Belfast has also worked with Tourism NI to post about Northern Ireland. He has 12,500 followers on Instagram and 168 subscribers on YouTube.
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This competiton is now closed - congratulations to Sharon Keady - you are the winner 👏👏. Random winner chosen, you see how on my Insta stories. Thanks to all who entered 😘 Fancy a night in the @titanichotelbelfast and tickets to the Game of ThronesTM: The Touring Exhibition in @tecbelfast? The exhibition leaves the UK & Ireland on the 8th of September so if you haven’t seen it yet - get yourself to Belfast quick 🚘 All you have to do to enter is like this post and tag who you want to bring with you - easy or what?? 😎#GoTBelfast #DiscoverNI Copy and paste this link to book tickets: https://www.gameofthronesexhibition.co.uk/ Ts&Cs Like this post and tag at least one person to be in with a chance of winning: 2 x entry tickets to Game of ThronesTM: The Touring Exhibition in TEC Belfast and one overnight stay in the Titanic Hotel Belfast, on any date between the 2nd and 8th of September 2019. A random winner will be picked from all comments on this post and a similar Facebook post. Good luck! . . . . . @discoverni @gameofthronesnotofficial #got #gameofthrones #visitbelfast #titanicmuseum @titanicbelfast @teamjagocomms #thedarkhedges #bregaghroad #northernireland #irishtravelblogger #competition
He posted on Instagram about giving away four tickets to the Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition using the hashtag associated with Discover NI.
Xavier Serra, also known as golf60s and Mairi Rivers, also known as Ginger Vegan, have also worked with Tourism NI.
The organisation is working on a social media strategy to investigate how influencer marketing could help their promotions.
Tourism NI said: "We have commissioned a strategy to look at the ways in which influencer marketing has evolved and where potential lies for Tourism NI. Tourism NI employs a broad marketing mix, of which digital marketing is an integral part.
"As with the majority of our competitors in the sector, and indeed many brands globally, influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly important way to promote our destination. Digital influencers now play a very relevant role in the decision of consumers to book a holiday.
"This is an area of huge potential for Tourism NI to inspire people in our target market to plan a short break to Northern Ireland.
"Digital influencers can deliver our key messages to priority segments in an engaging and authentic way because they know how best to communicate with their audiences by delivering inspiring and creative content."