Marketing and travel lessons learned from TBEX
We just returned from the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers and new media content creators in Toronto, CA – TBEX where over 1,300 bloggers and industry folks came to talk about content, social media, marketing and social media metrics and ROI, story telling and more and they networked and had fun. And fun we all had.
A few takeways from the conference:
It’s all about being VISUAL
Visual content takes a huge part in travel experiences. The web is going visual. Trey Ratcliff’s keynote and story telling with his amazing images illustrated this point very well. One of the best HDR photographers in the world, Trey’s passion for photography can be seen on his blog Stuck in Customs. I learned that editing your images is OK and you should do whatever feels right to you. “You will make a few enemies”, said Trey but just ignore them. Stick with what you are passionate about and don’t worry about the rest.
Katja Presnal talked about the power of Instagram and gave examples from VisitNorway and Australia on how to develop an engaged Instagram community. Tip: It all starts with a solid strategy.
With the web going more and more visual, are you taking advantage of visual content for your brand?
Travel Bloggers need to make money too
Affiliate marketing can be an extremely good resource for additional revenue to your blog or website. Just be strategic about who you connect to. Travel bloggers can use affiliate marketing to develop their incremental sources of revenue. Other revenue sources include ebooks, packages, content development. Working with travel bloggers can be very beneficial to your travel brand. Just pick the right ones and be selective about who you work with.
Your Audience is the Most Important Part
Know your audience. Define your audience and develop valuable content. SEO is not dead but good content that is relevant to your audience plays a huge part towards ranking higher on Google. Find your niche and be the best in the world in it. A good advice not just for travel bloggers but for any brand in general.
The Value of Social Media
Social media works for luxury brands and Four Seasons was very clear about the fact that they see the value of social media for their brand. Focused on acquisition models and converting people on their website, they admitted they don’t spend too much time on social media metrics but rather look at their main KPI being conversions. A great strategy to apply to any business when it comes to measuring your social media efforts.
Technology is great but Face to Face still rules
Face to face meetings are still the best way to connect with people. We enjoyed meeting with various travel bloggers and people in the industry and together experiencing Toronto, the conference and sharing the passion for travel. We look forward to developing these relationships and working together in an industry we love and are passionate about – travel & tourism.
And what about all the fun? We toured Toronto, enjoyed the architecture, discovered the market, observed Niagara Falls for hours in owe and loved the Toronto skyline. One day, we’ll come back. Maybe even next year. Would you join me?