All those working in any tourism sector certainly perceived that in the past 5 years, the number of travel-blogs has steadily increased along with their respective bloggers, who are seeking their place in the sun. This is more than natural; after all, the Internet democratized the production of mass contents, but how to choose among these mediums at the moment that a given brand decides to link its image to the blogs?
Unfortunately, there is no ready-made formula to provide an answer to this question. Nevertheless, it suffices to take notice of some details, to know whether a blogger pursued his professionalization. Is he/she a member of [ABBV – Associação Brasileira de Blogs de Viagem – Brazilian Association of Travel Blogs]. Is it still a hobby or has it turned into a profession? What is the frequency of its publications? Is there a column on the policies of the blog and its editorial line? Does the blog’s layout look professional? In short, issues regarding the blog’s continuity, on which the advertiser needs to rest assured, prior to investing time and money.
The fact is that more experienced bloggers, whether by their time on the road or in front of the computer screen, have an increased capacity to achieve good results. After all, they had the chance to work for and focus on the growth of their media platform. This calls for a complex mix of skills, acquired over the years in developing the blog, of setting up an electronic mailing list, of being successful in social-media relationships, in addition to a whole set of tools required to increase readership/audience, to interact with followers and to be on-target with a specific public.
Keep away from favour exchanges
Currently, a good part of bloggers call for professionalization stating their intent of earning their livelihood with the blog, of burning their bridges, of dropping everything else and of dedicating themselves exclusively to the travel business. Frequently, however, their conducts are contrary to the call above, given that any act of kindness becomes the motive for gratuitous advertising. Just as an example, as long as brands continue to provide products and services in exchange for disclosure, this situation shall not improve.
Possibly, there is no right or wrong in such an exchange and that, in fact, there are benefits for both parties in some situations. To become entitled to journey in exchange for articles in the blog, of overnights in a hotel for conducting a review. In short, each one should be aware of the limits between advantages and disadvantages. However, what must not take place is the granting of advertising space for a simple act of kindness.
How to achieve better results
Imagine that you are looking for new manner of promoting your service, of selling a product or, simply, of generating an increased audience. You establish contact with portal owners, bloggers, instagrammers, youtubers or any person wielding authority within a specific niche of the travel and tourism sector.
Let us assume that you handpicked each one, sent them an email describing your objectives and requesting the submittal of a media kit. The majority, possibly 100%, would send a file addressing their background and their Internet coverage.
This is excellent. It shows that you made a good choice and that this ensemble comprised of content generators is capable of meeting your needs. Most likely, you would choose those with the highest indexes and best qualified for achieving your aims. Nevertheless, would this strategy really bring in the best results?
Neither am I an Internet guru, nor do I consider myself the author of one of Brazil’s leading travel blogs, since I know that there are many excellent professionals out there. However, in these past 10 years on the road, working virtually, I tested many tactics that worked and as many others that had no effect at all.
Having said this, I believe that the best manner to achieve expected results, by means of a given campaign, is to find the right partner, capable of developing an effective method for arriving at the final objective.
In practice, requesting a media kit alone would not suffice. It should be accompanied by a personalized action plan for the advertiser. In this manner, you would be able to test the expertise and creativity of those selected, and would have a better chance of choosing professionals best-suited for the disclosure.
Guilherme Tetamanti is a digital entrepreneur and a member of [ABBV – Brazilian Association of Travel Blogs]. He writes for Quero Viajar Mais (www.queroviajarmais.com) since 2011.