Travel influencers need to think like content marketers when they negotiate brand partnerships. Get insights from a travel influencer expert on the brand side, Netanya Trimboli.
Back in the day, when travel blogging was just getting started, that’s who brands looked to for original content. A brand’s website, on the other hand, was for brand-specific information only.
But times have changed.
Not only do brands have original content on their sites, they also have original content on social media, in newsletters and eblasts, and more.
Many organizations even have team members solely dedicated to content marketing.
However, this isn’t an “us vs. them” conversation. In fact, quite the opposite.
Creating original content – both written and visual – either costs a brand time from a team member or money to hire a freelancer.
As an influencer, you may be hired for your following, but there’s more that you can offer.
If you add on a content strategy, you’ll be more likely to win new business and be called upon for future collaborations.
How to Think Like a Content Marketer
To better understand how to adapt your suite of services to suit your clients’ needs, let’s first understand how content marketers think.
If you remember only one word, make sure it’s “repurpose.”
Content marketers love to repurpose content for each channel they oversee. Not only does this save time, it also reinforces messages they want their target audience to see.
With that in mind, the first step for creating content is to narrow in on a topic. Maybe it’s tied to a specific marketing campaign or it might just be a travel inspiration piece.
Let’s say it’s a hotel brand and they want to promote their hotel in Miami.
Next, there needs to be a content plan for each platform, which is all based on repurposing content from one main article.
Creators: Get insights + tips to help you thrive.
An Example of a Content Marketing Plan
Main Article: Website Blog
Action item: Create a “9 Top Things to Do in Miami” article, with events at the hotel featured.
Action item: Turn each of the “9 Top Things” from the blog post into separate Instagram and Facebook posts, building a 9-part series on each platform.
Action item: Consolidate the blog post into a teaser paragraph and include a promo code.
Action item: Include a quote or a testimonial from a traveler who stayed at the Miami property, referencing one of those 9 top things to do.
Read next: How to create an amazing campaign report
How Influencers Can Use Content Marketing
If, as an influencer, you apply this style of content marketing to your collaboration, you’ll offer your brand partners a dramatically more appealing campaign.
The best part about this content marketing approach is that it expands the impact and lifespan of your collaboration, without adding much extra work for you.
And in doing this, you’re increasing your value to your client. You’ll be offering a more resourceful and cost-effective approach.
Travel and Culture Content Creators:
How to Think Like a Content Marketer
Include Content Marketing in Your Pitch & Proposal
Help your client see you as more than an influencer. Start by planting ideas in their head of how they can use your content, with the freedom to give your content a new life.
- Allow the client to repurpose your content for various channels, rights free. If this makes you nervous, you can offer the caveat that your prior approval is required.You could also mandate your byline and link to your site be included.
- Offer to do a testimonial after your brand experience, allowing them to publish it on their website, social media, or in stakeholder communication.
- Offer rights to photography that you take during your collaboration. This can be your published photos, non-published photos, or a client-created shot list.
Need more ideas? Use these 9 hidden marketing assets
Write Your Blog Post with Their Audience in Mind
You want to give your client something they’ll want to use on their own channels.
But your blog post is not about creating an advertorial; it’s about framing your true experience in the best possible light so that your client is excited to share it across their many different platforms.
Here’s how you can make that happen:
- Avoid simply describing the product or service; the brand is already doing this on their website.
- Write about your actual experience of using the product or service, making it personal and memorable.
- Share something you found pleasantly unexpected.
- Cross-promote other things you like about their brand. For example, if you stayed at that hotel in Miami, mention how excited you are to check out their other hotel in Chicago.
- Be honest and be authentic.
Market Yourself Accordingly
Once you’ve gotten a hang of this approach, make it one of your key selling features. Speak the language of content marketing to give yourself the advantage when pitching a campaign.
Here are some ways you can bring your content marketing prowess to the forefront:
- Create packages that include a combination of traditional influencer collaboration features alongside content marketing features.
- In your media kit, include a case study showcasing your content in action. For example, highlight a campaign featuring an excerpt from a blog post, a newsletter clip, a social media post, a testimonial, etc.
- If you haven’t yet had a formal partnership for a case study, no one has to know! Just create the content anyway for a brand you like. Whether or not they used it is inconsequential. All that matters is that you can do it and do it well.
Now more than ever, your clients are being asked to do more with less.
If you can demonstrate your value as an influencer and tack on your expertise as a content marketer, you will double your impact at an affordable rate for your client, without having to double your workload.
That’s already the start to a successful brand collaboration.