Can a tour operator benefit from a travel blog partnership? For small and large tourism companies, marketing across multiple channels can be difficult. As a business owner, you’re more likely to want to focus on organizing and running your amazing tours, and less on how to promote your tour business.
But bloggers have the ability to provide unique and cost effective marketing. And considering 77% of web users read blogs and 92% of consumers trust a peer-to-peer review, it might be just what your company is looking for.
Brand exposure for your tour company
By partnering with a travel blogger (also referred to as blog sponsorship), your business gets exposure to a following of people that would normally be difficult for you to reach on your own. A travel blogger’s audience could be the demographic you’re looking to attract, or even a demographic you haven’t reached yet, but fits your target market.
Let’s use an American travel blogger for an example. Their travel blog mainly reaches a U.S. audience. A European tour company can gain exposure to a U.S. audience by partnering with a travel blogger and sponsoring them on a tour. Their blog post about a tour in Europe could bring hundreds of clicks through the blog to the tour company’s booking page.
Successful bloggers have developed a voice and tone which their readers respond to. Partnering with the right travel blogger can enhance your company’s brand. They can also produce different kinds of content marketing for your business to share and reuse, such as images, videos, and written content.
A blogger’s reach
Another unique opportunity that comes from partnering with a blogger is their reach. A travel blogger will use multiple channels to reach their audience and grow their followership. A successful blogger will have a series of blog posts, subscribers to their feed, an email list, social media following, and partner with other popular blog sites for referred traffic.
Perhaps they reach their audience through both written blogs and vlogs (video blogs), giving them (and you) exposure on YouTube. They are likely to use Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their blogs posts and attract new audiences. Also, most are on social forums such as Reddit, Tumblr or StumbleUpon where they give real-time opinions, answers, and recommendations to readers searching for all sorts of information.
Bloggers share candid and trusted opinions through a blog partnership
Travel bloggers provide a candid review of their adventures. They’ll give helpful tips and suggestions on what to bring, how to pack, and even what to do differently to have the best possible adventure. They will follow FTC regulations (Fair Trade Commission) by letting their readers know when they are sponsored by a tour company (or product). And remind their readers that the content and opinions expressed are entirely their own.
For these reasons, bloggers are trusted. A survey from the U.K. revealed that bloggers are the most trusted source for information after friends and family – even above journalists, celebrities, and politicians. Not only do their loyal followers trust their opinions, but unique visitors looking for specific information are more likely to trust a blog review over the information and testimonials available on a company’s website and traditional advertising efforts.
Regarding loyal blog followers, a post may influence a decision they make which would never have been considered. Such as a trip or activity that they had no interest or knowledge about before being exposed to the blog post. Bloggers are seen as independent and transparent in their recommendations, their post will give your business credibility to the reader.
Excited to partner with a travel blogger?
Partnering with a travel blogger to promote your small business and increase your brand’s exposure is smart! They provide a marketing opportunity to generate further brand awareness into your target market. They are also a trusted source to readers, with a wide reach to their audience which can lead to significant sales increase. But it still requires some hard work and involvement for you the business owner.
It is important to find the right blogger to fit your brand with the right audience. It is also important to think through what your marketing expectations are about partnering with a blogger so you are able to give them direction and engage in a healthy business relationship beneficial to you both.