Human to human marketing is without a doubt a topic travel destinations cannot ignore, should they want to reach out to the global traveler to get a share of their time and holiday budget. If adapted in a clever way, human to human marketing can give the destination competitive advantage. A personal approach to marketing is a must when reaching out to the potential traveler and customer, and collaboration with social media influencers is an efficient way to achieve that.
Visit Turku has been working with international bloggers and social media influencers already for several years. We value human interactions and a personal touch, which is why we have decided to work with influencers and have been inviting them to Turku to find out what our destination is all about. It is important to us that the visitors get to know both the destination itself and the local people. The bloggers get to meet the locals when visiting our destination and experience the everyday life of our hometown. These are both important factors that in the end create the destination and the atmosphere in it.
Our main aim is to make the bloggers truly feel welcomed during their visit in our town, like they were temporary locals. We put our hearts into each visit and the effort usually pays off – eventually our bloggers become true Turku-ambassadors and part of our #kissmyturku family. Often they also tend to end up with new friends around the globe. Travelling creates emotions and memories, which is something we want to achieve. I think working with bloggers and influencers gives that vital and much needed human touch to travel marketing.
Co-operation with bloggers and other social media influencers also make it slightly easier to get the attention of the younger audience. These digital natives might otherwise be challenging to reach via traditional marketing channels. Obviously working with bloggers also helps to reach a world-wide audience, which might not be as easy and cost effective to do via other marketing activities. Digital content created by the influencers is also beyond the quality we would be capable of creating on our own, not to mention more credible to the readers. The digital content created by the influencers also provides us with crucial material for the inspiration phase, that is when potential customers are looking for online ideas for their next travel destination.
In order to create a successful travel marketing collaboration with social media influencers you need to choose them carefully. Work with the ones that represent the same or similar values as you, your destination or brand. You need to have a clear vision of what you want to communicate to both the present audience and your potential future visitors. Take all this into account when planning and creating the programme during the visit to your destination. In order to maximise the outcome of the co-operation it is vital to have a strategy on how to utilize the content created by the influencers in your own marketing.
In other words, collaboration with bloggers and social media influencers requires a lot of work both before and after the visit itself. But when done properly and with the right attitude, it might become a success story – for both parties.