It’s reasonably fair to say that the industry has always had mixed emotions when it comes to the world of travel blogging.
Some brands have seen good results from working with individuals or groups of bloggers, whilst others have questioned whether their investment would simply be better off ploughed back into instantly measurable digital marketing.
But travel blogging has evolved as a discipline in recent years – indeed, many like to call themselves “influencers” nowadays, a term that perhaps better encapsulates what they’re trying to do: influence pockets of travellers (it’s no longer a scale game) to visit a destination, stay in a hotel or take part in a particular activity.
To try and understand how the industry feels about these influencers and how effective they may (or may not) be, blogger network Green Travel Media spoke to a string of brands covering the hotel, airline, tourism organisation and tour sectors in the industry, as well as PR agencies.
The results are listed below:
In the past 12 months, how often have you worked with bloggers?
Do you anticipate that you’ll work with bloggers more frequently in the coming year?
How do you find bloggers to work with on a given campaign?
On a scale of 1-10, how important are these statistics when choosing bloggers to work with?
On a scale of 1-10, how important are these intangible elements when choosing bloggers?
Which of the following services have you paid bloggers for in the last year?
What percentage of your marketing budget is earmarked for working with bloggers?
Bret Love of Green Travel Media says there are some trends can be taken from the results when analysing how the industry felt three years ago.
For example, there is generally more activity and most brands expect that to continue and increase going forward.
More companies willing to get involved but budget constraints are a problem, Love says.
But a significant shift is how “authenticity, authority and professionalism” are now considered to be “just as important as traffic”.
Presumably, the grey area of social media reach is no longer a key metric from which to create a blogger relationship.
“The problem for bloggers is that, with thousands of new people entering the field each year, there’s ever-increasing competition for a relatively small pool of paid projects.
“The question is, why isn’t the $7.6 trillion a year travel industry investing more in influencers?”
NB2: Travel blogging image via BigStock.