A word that has become synonymous with digital marketing in the last number of years is ‘influencer’ – somebody who has a wide reach on in the internet. This might mean lots of Twitter followers, thousands of subscribers on YouTube or a blog that boasts lots of traffic.
The thing many brands want to know is ‘How do I get noticed by them?’ Having worked with travel influencers for the last number of years, I’ve figured out lots of ways to grab their attention. Here are six of them.
1. Invite influencers to your tour
The main reason you’re looking to work with influencers is to help sell your product. So the first tip is the most obvious – simply invite them to take a place on your tour or activity. Just make sure to explain what you expect, be transparent from the outset, and know exactly why you want to work with them.
As many influencers in the travel industry are travel bloggers, you can also use my tips for working with travel bloggers to best benefit from the partnership.
2. Join travel Twitter chats
Online travel influencers love to share where they’ve travelled to. One of the best places to do this is in a travel Twitter chat. By taking part in a travel chat on the world's best known microblogging platform, you’ll discover a host of travel bloggers sharing where they’ve been and what they’ve done - and you can easily join in with the discussion too.
The longest-running travel chat is TNI (Travelers Night In), while recently the most popular has been TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter). Find out more about these and eight others in my dedicated travel Twitter chat post.
3. Meet bloggers at travel blogging conferences
Throughout the year, a series of travel blogging conferences take place in cities all over the world. The biggest, oldest and best known of all these is TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) which has three conferences throughout the year in North America, Europe and Asia. Others include Traverse in the UK and Travel Blogger Destination in Italy.
4. Meet influencers at other travel trade shows
While you’ll obviously meet travel bloggers at travel blogging conferences, you’ll also meet them at mainstream travel trade shows. These include World Travel Market in London, ITB Berlin in the German capital and the New York Times Travel Show in the Big Apple.
5. Engage with online influencers
Online influencers are known for the content they share online. This gives you the opportunity to engage with them in many different ways and on many different platforms. Follow them on Twitter, reply to their tweets, comment on their Facebook posts, +1 their Google+ posts, give a thumbs up to their videos on YouTube, or comment on their blog posts.
6. Hang out with them
My final yet most traditional tip is to network the old fashioned way: by spending time with influencers if you happen to be at the same travel trade shows or conferences.
Find out the main networking receptions that influencers will be attending (often it will be a ‘Travel Massive’ event) and engage with them in the most informal way there is – over a drink. As the saying goes, people do business with other people, so show your more human side and improve your chances of striking up a better relationship with people with a wide reach.
Do you have any other networking tricks to get noticed by industry influencers?
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.