11 May How to line up successful blogger trips for your hotel
You may be sold on the idea of hosted media visits – offering up free bed nights to journalists in return for reviews – but uncertain whether the same rules apply to travel bloggers and influencers. If you’re not sure how to select those worth working with (or not) then read on.
Choosing the right bloggers to work with
When deciding whether to collaborate with influencers it’s essential to do the ground work before committing. As part of our PR campaigns for hotel and destination clients I’ll spend a good deal of time researching and seeking out bloggers and influencers worth collaborating with.
This can start with a Google search (try terms like “top travel influencers UK”) but I recommend checking out their blog and social media channels in detail before reaching out to them. See what they have to say about themselves, where and how they like to travel, who their readers are and what sort of engagement they get (i.e. likes and comments). Someone with thousands of Instagram followers whose posts only get the odd comment and a few hundred likes might have less impact with their fans than someone who has fewer but is more responsive.
It’s good practice to follow and engage with them on the social media channels they hang out on and there’s no harm in a little ‘light stalking’.
Once I’m confident they’re a good fit I’ll email with a tailored pitch explaining exactly what I’m offering and why I think a trip with X client will be of interest.
The whole process can be time consuming but ultimately worthwhile if you approach this as a long-term relationship building exercise.
Remember, it’s not always those with the biggest following who you should focus your efforts on. I’m a big believer in working with micro-influencers and if someone has a committed, engaged following you’re much more likely to have a big impact on their fans. It can also be worthwhile working with someone who’s successful in a particular niche.
Responding to requests from bloggers
Unsolicited email approaches from bloggers and influencers (or in some cases their agents) can vary wildly. From very short and informal notes to full-blown proposals. (I particularly like this one I shared recently on my Linkedin feed.)
In order to make an informed decision on whether a particular influencer is someone you should collaborate with, you need to start by asking a few simple questions. If they don’t outline who their audience is and the specific benefits they can offer you then don’t be afraid to ask. If someone has taken the time to research your property and put together a detailed email about why they are a good match then they’re worth taking seriously.
It’s always advisable to send a polite reply, however off the cuff or irrelevant you may think an approach is. Unlike this hotelier in Ireland.
Measuring return on investment from blogger trips
Most hotel owners are comfortable with the concept that a hosted (complimentary) media visit results in an article appearing in print or online with a credit and contact details for the hotel. This may or may not generate directly attributable bookings but the general consensus is that it’s positive exposure.
But how do you measure the impact of say a blog or an Instagram story? Stats to look out for include number of views (for a story) and monthly unique views (for a blog). It’s important to bear in mind the reasons for choosing to work with the blogger in question: exposure to their audience, advocacy and valuable content. Read my post on why you should work with travel bloggers and influencers.
Want to reach out to new customers? Get in touch to discuss how influencer marketing could work for you.
Interested in working with our clients on a media visit? Drop us a line.