Should we give up group trips for individual trips?
Should we give up group trips for individual trips?
It is very likely that you have already organized trips with bloggers (or, more broadly, influencers) those past years to promote your destination, or that you have already thought about it. The benefits are numerous: today, those we call “influencers” produce high quality content, are closely followed by their communities (hence the idea of influence) and, as a result, are powerful purchasing advisors when it comes to travelling.
At Interface Tourism, we have been organizing actions with influencers for about ten years. And in 10 years, the least we can say is that things have strongly evolved! It is obvious that, today, we do not work with bloggers (because there used to be “bloggers” only back then) like we used to. Since then, uses have changed a lot (especially with the proliferation of social networks), content are increasingly sophisticated, some bloggers have become professionals, and more and more French people trust these leading figures.
Until recently, the trips that were organized by DMOs followed the same pattern: 5 to 7 travel bloggers were invited to discover a destination, together, during an organized trip. Then, we have witnessed emerging ways of working, like individual trips or duo/trio of influencers travelling together. As far as we are concerned, we have tried those options too, and we wanted to share our point of view on those different ways of working. Here are some advantages to digress from group trips to consider for your next actions with influencers!
1 – Bloggers need flexibility in the itinerary… and group trips are often too rigid
If you have ever organized or accompanied a blogtrip, you know it: the itinerary is often very tight and high paced and you have to move quickly between two visits. It is not a bad thing: it is fair to want your guests to visit a great amount of things. However, keep in mind that, nowadays, bloggers are content creators: taking the perfect picture, having the best video and quite simply “feeling” the destination requires taking time to immerse oneself in the destination. And when you are travelling with 6 other people, it is hard to satisfy everyone’s needs when it comes to time and visits!
2- A personalized itinerary = better content and experience sharing
The main problem with group trips is that we offer the same experience to each guest. However, when we travel, we do not systematically follow step by step the typical itinerary of the place we are discovering. We add some activities that perfectly fit our passions. If it is absolutely understandable that a specific partner has to be part of the itinerary, we have to keep the same logic in mind for the bloggers who travel and first think about what they are interested in.
A blogger who specializes in gastronomy, for example, might not see any interest in sharing content about that museum, which might lead to disappointment on both sides. On the contrary, organizing individual trips which are entirely personalized leads to much more satisfying results. The guest is often delighted with being able to take part in building the itinerary and the experience is much more authentic. As a result, the content thus produced will always be more sincere and convincing and, therefore, much more powerful. We strongly invite you to follow the example of destinations that put together “ambassadors” program, where everything is made to offer a tailor-made trip to the guests!
3 – Promoting completely different features
By choosing to work with individual trips, we get away of the logic of one identical itinerary for everyone. As a result, we get the opportunity of reaching bloggers and, consequently, communities that are completely different! Say that your destination’s key messages are gastronomy, architecture and culture. Well, rather than trying to put all of those strengths in just one itinerary and invite bloggers, among a group, who will only be interested in 1 subject out of 3, why not organizing several individual trips which will focus on one point only? Inviting one food blogger, one architecture lover and one museums connoisseur will allow you to have experts’ views on your destination and reach their audiences who trust them on their favourite subjects. Similarly, this will allow you to reach completely different targets interested in the subject that is being talked about.
Of course, these different points are similar to the press trips logic. A journalist who specializes in a said field will need a personalized itinerary, too. There is a difference though, and an important one: a journalist can take time after a trip to enrich their article with new searches, when the blogger will have to post content in real time. Not every blogger does it, but it has become usual for bloggers to share their experiences in real time through stories, live videos and pictures posted day after day.
We will conclude saying that: having bloggers travelling individually or in small groups with similar interests both ensures having authentic feedbacks on the destination and satisfying each stakeholder (blogger, tourism boards and public). Of course, group trips can also be very effective. We especially like them when bloggers and destination claim them as such – there is nothing better than conversations between each stakeholder and a website to publicize the trip!
Social Media Manager