03 Mar Working with bloggers to promote your travel business
Working with bloggers is a little different to working with traditional print media. Here are a few golden rules.
Why work with bloggers
Before we go any further, let’s just address the question why you should work with bloggers. It’s essentially about creating influencer endorsement – they promote your business to their audiences – and generating original, digital content. That could be in the form of reviews on their blog, photos on platforms such as Flickr and Instagram, videos on YouTube, tweets and Facebook posts. This all helps boost your online presence and push you up the Google ranking.
Pick the right blogger
You want to make sure you match the right product and story to the right blogger. If their blog is about cocktail drinking in London then they’ll be a great fit for your gin bar in Soho.
Twitter is a useful platform for finding out who’s writing about a specific topic, simply search by hashtags – which group tweets on similar topics together.
Offer first-hand experience
Most bloggers won’t publish press releases but will only write about first-hand experience, so be prepared to invite them to sample your product or service.
This follows the same guidelines as working with traditional media on a press trip, see my earlier blog about that here.
There are so many bloggers out there, how do you judge those that are worth working with?
Read their blog. Check out how many followers and fans they have on their social media channels. Ask how many unique visitors a month their blog receives. (Many of the more established bloggers will have a ‘media pack’ outlining these stats.)
It’s not just about reaching the biggest audience, sometimes value lies in reaching a niche. If you want to promote your activity to families in your local city then your ideal blogger may not have a global audience, but their following will be of value to you.
Should you pay a blogger?
Unlike traditional media, some bloggers expect to get paid for their services. Whilst journalists tend to be either staff reporters on a salary or freelancers paid on a commission basis, many bloggers have to make a living from another day job or monetise their blog.
Depending on your budget and requirements, paying a blogger can work to your advantage. In return you can agree a guaranteed number of blogs and social media posts, and have a greater degree of control over the messaging.
Expect candid reviews
In another deviation from working with traditional media, you’ll often find that a blogger’s prerogative is to write a candid review of their experience. Whereas a journalist on a comp media visit will tend to gloss over any negatives – or if the trip goes terribly wrong, write nothing at all – a blogger will share exactly how they find things. They are after all editors of their own media outlet, and will freely share their thoughts and opinions.
It’s therefore even more important when hosting a blogger to ensure all staff know to be on their A game.
What if it does go wrong?
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and a blogger, as with any customer on TripAdvisor, might have negative comments to share.
As a business manager or owner the best approach is to add a comment at the bottom of the blog. As with TripAdvisor, keep these comments objective, tackle any complaints with facts and most importantly offer an apology for anything that went wrong. Don’t get into an argument just demonstrate that you’ve taken the feedback on board.
Share a good review
If the blogger writes a glowing review, be sure to share it on your own social media channels.
If you’re a blogger interested in writing travel, food and hotel reviews get in touch to find out more about our clients.