Written by Lemongrass Marketing on 12th Dec 2017
The past five years have seen blogger outreach campaigns markedly shift to become one of the most popular resources for coverage in the media world to date – and travel bloggers are no exception.
The rise of the ‘blogger’ has transformed traditional PR methods, offering contemporary and alternative ways of working.
While we don’t believe that influencer marketing can, or should, replace the importance of traditional media outreach, it’s clear that working with influencers has become a core element of many PR strategies and, when done with careful consideration and planning, works with great effect!
At Lemongrass, we integrate blogger and influencer marketing into all of our PR and media outreach campaigns. We know how effective collaborations between travel brands and relevant, trusted bloggers can be, so here are our top 5 reasons why you should consider working with them for your luxury travel brand:
According to an independent UK survey commissioned by the affilinet in 2015, bloggers were the third most trusted source of information behind friends and family. Awareness of bloggers’ influence on consumer behaviour led to new advertising regulations being put in place in 2016 that meant that bloggers and influencers were now required to prominently disclose any payment, freebies, or other compensation they received – even if there were no conditions for a positive review attached.
Whilst this regulation did result in a dip in the trust that consumers had in travel bloggers (falling behind traditional media outlets and customer feedback on third-party review sites) data from influencer marketing platform MuseFind (published on Forbes in October 2016) shows that 92% of consumers still trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.
This is where choosing the right influencer for your luxury hotel is key. A blogger with a strong reputation and following has earned credibility amongst their readers. They earn this through integrity in what they publish and post, and in the experiences they recommend through their blog.
As a result, a good blogger’s readers will trust their recommendations, their opinions, thoughts and insight – even if they know the blogger was paid to produce the review.
If a relevant and trusted blogger can speak for your brand, you will be positioned in front of a hyper-targeted and receptive audience.
The art of blogging is not limited to publishing the article, review or piece they write–it involves all of the follow up too.
If your brand is promoted on a blogger’s site, they will typically share this content through their social media channels to try and gain as much exposure as possible.
This is one of the quickest ways to share content and it has the benefit of promoting conversation around the experience, and your brand.
Typically, bloggers are very willing to engage with your brand’s social media channels before, during and after the trip – and will happily include brand handles, accounts and hashtags in their posts.
Bloggers also actively engage with their followers; this makes them more relatable and personable than one-way communicators. It is here, on their social channels that they will share “in the moment” experiences that can rarely be captured in print media. In doing so, bloggers have forced the digital world to become personal. We understand the importance of selecting the right influencers to work with and choosing bloggers purely on their number of followers is simply not enough – at Lemongrass, we analyse the quality of their content, relevance of their audience, and their specific style of working and engaging with their community to ensure that our clients receive the most reaching exposure (see our post on how to assess if an influencer is worth collaborating with).
We supply our bloggers with handles and links to include in the written piece – in this way, we convert interested readers into potential guests, clicking through to your site.
Because they’ve already read about your hotel or resort on the blog post from a writer they clearly trust, the users coming through to your website from blog posts have a much stronger intent than users coming to your site without any preconceptions of your brand.
As another benefit, the more trusted the blog linking through to you, the more valuable that link to your website is; when high-quality websites link through to your site, they pass some of their own authority over to you. This is a signal to search engines that your website provides value to users, making it more likely for search engines to position you higher in the search results.
Quality blogs can have very strong domains, appearing high in search results for different search terms.
Not only is this a benefit when they link through to you, but it helps add more positive brand visibility in the search results; when a blogger with a strong website writes a feature about your hotel, it is likely that the review will come up in the search results for your hotel’s brand terms.
With so much value placed on community and peer review sites (like TripAdvisor), it has become second nature for consumers to perform due diligence and compare different places they are considering before making a decision.
When they search for your hotel through a search engine using common search terms like “Review of [your hotel]”, it is to your advantage to have as many positive results from different, trusted sources to appear.
Being featured on recognised blogs and publications will add to your hotel’s credibility as a safe, luxury choice, and make the user more comfortable making the decision to book with you.
Because bloggers create and follow their own editorial policy, there is a huge amount of scope for creativity.
The number of bloggers in the travel and lifestyle industry is constantly growing, and therefore influencers have to work really hard to stand out and reach new audiences—offering content that thinks outside the box and approaching subject-matter in a different way.
Bloggers appreciate the impact that images have on blog engagement (studies show that articles with photographs are shared twice as much as articles without imagery), and luxury travel also lends itself so well to visual content. This is a huge bonus, as a blogger’s creative flair and objective perspective can help picture your travel brand in a whole new light.
Bloggers will want to take plenty of photos and video content for their own blog and channels, and whenever we work with bloggers we put contracts in place with them to ensure our clients receive a certain number of posts, outline quality content we are looking for, and whenever possible secure image and video rights for our clients, essentially providing them with extra marketing materials.
When you don’t have a separate budget for professional photographers, blogger collaborations are a great way of generating new photography throughout the year, at the same time as generating fantastic coverage.
If you would like to find out more about how working with bloggers can benefit your hotel, we’re more than happy to have a no-obligation conversation and answer your questions. Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org