Five Tips for a Happy Marriage Between Industry and Bloggers
Guest post by industry PTBA member Katy Rockett, Marketing Manger, Intrepid Travel
Penetrating into the world of travel blogging has become an increasingly challenging feat as the industry has become diluted with new bloggers trying to carve a niche and make a name for themselves. The community has been growing immensely throughout the past few years, and it’s no surprise that travel industry professionals have seized the opportunity to tap in. However, when new media meets industry, there are inevitable road bumps and learning curves that inhibit the process. New media challenges the mindset of traditional business professionals, often making a blogger’s road to success an uphill battle.
There are steps that can be taken along the way to better communicate with industry professionals and enhance the overall potential for success. Here are the key tactics to avoid and the best way forward for a strong foot in the door.
1. Take the time to build a relationship. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger in a bar and open with a request to go on a trip together, and the same applies for business. While the travel industry may seem more casual than other industries, building a relationship is still a critical step. It helps you build trust with the brand and will allow you both to better understand each other’s needs and objectives. From there you can form a strong bond and move together for a long-term relationship – avoiding the ‘one-night stand’ phenomenon.
2. Don’t send a generic pitch. Both bloggers and industry professionals can plead guilty to blasting their desired contacts with a generic pitch on why they should work together, citing endless statistics to substantiate their claim. We all (should) know that no one wins with this approach. It’s important to learn the ins and outs of who you’re contacting, what they’re looking for and what they’re all about. This ensures a mutually beneficial relationship and puts everyone on the same page from the get go. Taking the time to figure out and communicate why you click with the brand will lead you both on a path to success.
3. Know your audience. The first thing any marketer or PR professional learns when starting with their company is their target audience. They need to know who wants their product so they can figure out how to reach them. Every subsequent activity then works towards communicating to this target demographic. The fact that you have 50,000 monthly visitors and 75,000 page views is simply not enough. Knowing that they like reading about travel (a given) will also not suffice. Take the time to learn your audience – are they male or female, where do they live, where do they like to travel, how often do they travel, what types of experiences do they enjoy? Not only will this help you create and curate content that is relevant to your audience, it will also allow you to ensure you’re aligning yourself with brands that are looking to reach your audience.
4. Identify the gaps. Businesses always have room for improvement – areas they are not currently focusing on that they could be – and this is especially true when it comes to social media and the digital world. Technology and platforms are changing at such a rapid pace and you are the experts! If you want to work with a company, figure out where they can improve. A platform they’re not using that will really benefit their business. Figure out what you can do for the brand that they’re not already doing. Obviously, it’s wise to tread lightly, but showcasing what they can do and how you can help them will truly allow them to understand that exceptional value you provide.
5. Understand business. Not only is it important to understand business for the success of your blog, it will also help you tap into the mindset of those to whom you’re pitching. Take the time to figure out what a company’s objectives are and ensure you’re offering value that fits with what they’re ultimately hoping to achieve. The majority of the people you are pitching to have managers/executives/boards that they answer to, and have to justify their actions, activities, and costs. They need to be able to tell those people exactly what the ROI is for working with you, whether qualitative or quantitative. The more you understand this, the more competitive you’ll be.
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The views in this post represent those of the author and not necessarily those of the PTBA or its Board of Directors.