Working with Travel Bloggers and Social Media Highlights


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Destinations and companies are looking more and more to work with quality travel bloggers as part of their marketing campaign. This speech was given at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in April of 2013.

It addresses four topics:

Why work with travel bloggers?
How can you find good travel bloggers?
How the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA) can help you
Some case studies from blogger projects and social media campaigns to inspire you

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  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- quick story of me -- lawyer, RTW no flights, full time blogger, content creator and consultant now
  • Am going to try to get through this with at least 10-15 minutes left for questions --- so I hope you will have some ready for me
  • I hope that I can assume that your being here is a good indication that you are already interested in working with bloggers and expanding your social media reach, but let’s briefly talk about some of the particular advantages
  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- Ambassadors -- Can be long term advocates -- for me, I have a deep tie to Jordan and Costa Brava, when I see them doing things online, I go out of my way to support and amplify
  • Who else could be tweeting from down here – ok, only half joking, but I did go back up after this dive and have photos up on Facebook a few hours later The power to run a social media campaign through bloggers, in real time, is something you can’tas effectively get anywhere else
  • Will talk about this some more tomorrow morning at 11 right here, for the small panel discussion we have on blogging and social media ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- Very quick, unless only 10-15 minutes in
  • Some options include – bloggers you have worked with before – call on them, since you have developed a trust relationship with them Working with PR companies or consultants that specialize in bloggers and social media and
  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- mention website URL with the "s"
  • Non-profit. Only public since December. Have partnered with ATM, of course, also ITB Berlin and WTM Latin America. Excitement from both travel bloggers and industry people ready to start doing more in this field. ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- Will be a fully international organization. Travel bloggers from all over the world, blogging in many languages. The Bylaws of the PTBA mandate that the Board be elected from multiple world locations. This will be the industry setting organization for travel bloggers.
  • Primary benefit right now, though we are adding some additional features to membership, like a blog focusing on the business of blogging and how to work with bloggers and social media – and also a bulletin board on the site, to showcase opportunities from industry to bloggers (upcoming trips, work/content you need for your channels, and more)
  • Because ATM has partnered with the PTBA, we are offering all exhibitors and attendees free access to our search engine for a month. Unlimited searches. Go in, explore, hopefully find some bloggers you want to contact to possibly work with, and hopefully end up joining as an industry member ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:53) ----- AT THE END now let's talk about a few case studies of blogger campaigns and some social media ideas -- food for thought for you
  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 10:23) ----- Can do individual blogger trips -- can bring them in as a group -- can bring them in in conjuction with traditional media AT THE END -- brand development and recognition doesn't happen overnight. Bringing in a few bloggers is not a silver bullet. Jordan did a 2 year campaign… results
  • This is Perennial plate for Intrepid Travel. Creating a mood and a feeling for a country and its food. (play video) Over 200,000 views of this Vimeo video. Selected as one of the Vimeo editor’s choice videos of the month. Now they are doing a series of videos for Intrepid over the next year.
  • Rachelle Lucas for the Four Seasons, as part of their RTW tour at the end of 2012 – (play video) telling simple stories using locals, employees, other guests – using the resources right there in front of you
  • Sometimes a sense of humor helps make a story or event pop a little. Bringing in a blogger to work with you means you can use different voices – your brand’s particular voice may not be funny or irreverent or whatever, but because the blogger can speak in their own voice, you can make your brand appear more diversified and more human
  • Over 1,000 photos uploaded daily to the Australia FB page, they curate the best into weekly albums with about 35 photos each Entirely free content – making your customers or residents part of your marketing team
  • This is all most people want – recognition And notice the interaction and engagement
  • The ‘Discover Australia Through Your Friends’ app - a unique travel planning tool to provide inspiration and advice from friends who may already have been there. Works in Facebook, you log in and allow it to access your friends list, then it searches through to match them with spots they have been to in Australia. If they have checked in or posted photos with a location tag, they appear – also content from Tourism Australia appears
  • Again, personalize your brand – almost free marketing – and content for your social media channels And most importantly…. Ongoing and continuous – not just short, one-off campaigns
  • Explain insta-meet parties and also their Instagram art shows Travel bloggers and prominent Instagramers were brought in to help start up the campaign and hashtags Over 37,000 photos now on #incostabrava hashtag
  • People aren’t looking for huge giveaways or promotions on social media. Sometimes just recognizing them for good work done is all they need }} If you are a company doing great things, your customers want to promote you. If you are a destination, your residents and tourists want to promote you – give them ways to help you do your job.
  • And a personal challenge – was at the Atlantis just this Saturday and Sunday and wanted to see if I could turn around a video from that for this talk. This is a ROUGH cut – I took over 3,000 photos and 2 hours of raw footage, so there is a lot more work to be done, but will be done by the time I get back to London on Sunday… 7 day turnaround ----- Meeting Notes (5/8/13 11:58) ----- Many thanks to the Atlantis for hosting me for the weekend and to Marika for showing me around and actually helping me do a bit of the shooting
  • Working with Travel Bloggers and Social Media Highlights

    1. 1. Using Blogging and SocialMedia
    2. 2. Who am I?Michael HodsonPresident, Professional Travel Bloggers AssociationMember, Navigate Media Group
    3. 3. Today• Why work with travel bloggers?• How can you find good travel bloggers?• How the Professional Travel BloggersAssociation (PTBA) can help you• Some case studies from blogger projectsand social media campaigns to inspire you
    4. 4. Why Work with TravelBloggers?
    5. 5. Advantages• Dedicated followers• Living in Social Media• Ambassadors, not just content sources• Timing of content• Duration of online content• Also can be content creators for you• Co-marketing campaign possibilities• Developing relationships with bloggers as afuture knowledge resource
    6. 6. Real-time Social MediaCampaigns
    7. 7. An Important Note onQuality• Numbers alone are NOT the key– What social media platforms do they use?– Do they have a well defined niche?– Are they contributing regularly?– Are people interacting, in social media and ontheir blog – actual conversation or justbroadcasting?
    8. 8. But How Do You Find GoodBloggers?
    9. 9. The PTBA
    10. 10. The PTBA• Formed to help develop the travel bloggingFormed to help develop the travel bloggingprofession with a set of professionalprofession with a set of professionalstandardsstandards• 50 bloggers and 10 industry members worked50 bloggers and 10 industry members workedfor 12 months to develop structurefor 12 months to develop structure• Almost 200 blogging members right now andAlmost 200 blogging members right now andgrowinggrowing
    11. 11. Customized search• Search by location, language and nearly 40niches• Industry standard statistics for site evaluation• Metrics for all social media platforms• RSS subscribers and newsletter subscribers• Outside evaluation included (Klout,PeerIndex, Kred)
    12. 12. Search Engine
    13. 13. Blogger Profiles
    14. 14. Your Temporary FreeAccountIf you attended the Arabian TravelMarket and want access to the PTBAsearch engine until the end of May,please
    15. 15. Traditional BloggerCampaigns• Finland January Campaign by NavigateMedia– 177 Facebook posts with over 5,000 likes and 5,000 totalcomments– Over 2,600 tweets using #visitfinland– Over 100 Instagram photos with 7,250 likes and over 500comments– 47 blog posts so far with over 27,000 page views• An iAmbassador campaign now --#meetsouthafrica -- with 15 bloggers on 4different itineraries• Visit Jordan’s 2011-12 campaign– 25+ bloggers– 300+ blog posts– Results: top places to visit lists for Conde Nast, New York Times,Lonely Planet and Virtuoso on Fox News
    16. 16. The Future is Video
    17. 17. Telling a Story
    18. 18. Adding a Unique Voice
    19. 19. Tourism Australia andFacebook
    20. 20. Tourism Australia andFacebook
    21. 21. Discover Australia
    22. 22. Visit Costa Brava andInstagram
    23. 23. Instagram Your CitySo far, Visit Costa Brava has had 5 Insta-Meets:– 7,100 photos– 160,000 likes– 550 users– 483,000 reached•In the future: 27 more Insta-meets planned using#InCostaBrava or #InPyrenees•Also using #Insta(Village)•Additional Instagram events, such as the contest toget to meet the Roca brothers, chefs of the newnumber 1 restaurant in the world
    24. 24. Small Rewards Work
    25. 25. A Quick Experiment inVideo
    26. 26. Thank youMichael on TwitterFor PTBA