If you are the owner or manager of a hotel, have you considered teaming up with travel bloggers? If not, you might be missing out on a great opportunity for PR and communications. Many hotel groups are turning to travel bloggers as they are powerful online influencers that can be a key part of their marketing strategies.
According to a study by Text100, travel bloggers are much more influential than other social media channels when it comes to planning travel. 44% of respondents surveyed said that they relied on travel bloggers when choosing their next destination. It is also advantageous to work with travel bloggers because success can be measured much more easily than with other more traditional types of PR.
However, if you want to tap into the power of travel bloggers it is important to do things right. Many hotel brands make mistakes when working with travel bloggers that affect them negatively. Here are some things to avoid when you are working with these online influencers:
Choosing the Wrong Blogger for Your Demographic
When you choose a travel blogger to work with, you want to make sure that the readers of the travel blog are the same demographic who are likely to stay at your hotel. Otherwise, having a sponsored post on a travel blog will not be very effective because the only people who read it will be not very likely to book a trip to your hotel.
For example, if you are luxury boutique hotel it will not do much good to partner with a blogger who offers budget travel advice, as their typical reader will be a thrifty traveller who is looking for cheap hostels. If you are a swanky, stylish hotel with a casino and bar that mostly attracts adults, it doesn’t make much sense partnering with a family travel blogger who mostly stays at kid-friendly resorts. In order to make your travel blogging partnership more effective, choose a blogger who writes for the same type of people who would be likely to stay at your hotel.
Not Being Clear About Expectations
When you are working with travel bloggers and offering them free or discounted stays in exchange for writing about your hotel, it is important for everyone involved to be clear about the details. If you both have a different idea of what is being exchanged, there is going to be some frustration and confusion down the line. In order to avoid this, put down what you are offering in writing as well as what the travel blogger will provide in return.
Not Offering Good Quality Wi-Fi
If you plan on working with travel bloggers but your hotel doesn’t offer reliable and decently fast Wi-Fi, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Travel bloggers need Wi-Fi in order to do their jobs and when it isn’t there, they will see your hotel as frustrating, inconvenient and behind the times – no matter how nice the rooms or the swimming pool might be. It will be troublesome for them and because it is a high priority you can be sure that it will be mentioned as a negative point in their review. Its 2015, if you don’t have good quality Wi-Fi already you should definitely catch up with the times!
Not Giving Them a Behind the Scenes Glimpse
When you invite a travel blogger to stay at your hotel and write about your property, why not take the opportunity to show them a little more? Take them into the kitchen at the restaurant to meet the chef or give them a tour of your banquet rooms for hire. If some of your other beautiful rooms like your honeymoon suite or your penthouse are empty, let the travel blogger take a peek inside and shoot some photos. The more you show them of your hotel the more they will be able to write about in their blog.
Expecting A 100% Positive Article
If travel bloggers only wrote 100% positive reviews of hotels in exchange for free and discounted stays, no one would trust their opinion. Any of the good travel bloggers out there will have integrity and will write an honest and fair story about their time at your hotel – which means mentioning any things to be improved upon as well. As long as you understand this, there will be no anger and confusion when the final review is published.
Keep these tips in mind and you can harness the power of travel bloggers to help with your Online Hotel Marketing!