Tempting Travelers through Blogs. By Louise Osborne ~ Exclusive from ITB 2014 Friday, 28th March 2014
Exclusive ITB Feature: In a world where social media and blogs are influencing people in their travel plans and destinations, it is hard to know how to market a hotel or destination.
But one way of getting a product out into the world is hiring bloggers like Conni Biesalski, the creator of blog Planet Backpack, or Sebastian Canaves, who writes the blog Off-The-Path, to market your product to their thousands of followers for you.
"We don't just produce words," said Biesalski in a session dedicated to professional bloggers and working successfully with them at ITB Berlin. "We are authors, but we are also designers and social media experts. We're fit in Wordpress, web design, HTML, etc and we're story tellers, we look for stories for our fans."
The pair, who founded Transit Media, a creative media agency to facilitate business between bloggers and companies, work with tourism organizations and firms to test products, go on blogging travel trips to promote particular destinations and write content for advertising.
"We have no office, we work wherever there is internet," said Biesalski, who called herself a 'digital nomad'. "We don't only love blogging, it's our life."
As well as writing blogs a minimum of two or three times per week, bloggers must also make sure their sites have a professional look, use social media and aim for search engine optimization (SEO), Biesalski told those listening.
"Being a professional blogger is a lifestyle business," she said. "There's no difference between what is work and what is not."
With tens of thousands of followers, Canaves said bloggers are able to reach a wide and loyal audience with the products they are marketing.
"For a company, you can use your face to promote their product," he said. "I always offer freebies and then get email addresses from readers and use them for email marketing. We know what businesses want and what bloggers want."
However, the pair said that it was important to be transparent with their readers about what was advertising and what not.
"We have a good fan base built up and we're very proud of the connections we have with our readers," said Biesalski. "We are transparent about when we are being paid."
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Louise Osborne is a correspondent and editor based in Berlin, Germany. She began her career working at regional newspapers in the UK and now works with journalists across the globe as part of international journalism organization, Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA). Living abroad for the second time, she continues to be fascinated by places both near and far, and boards a plane eagerly, as often as she can.
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