Travel influencers say people who think their global-trotting lifestyle is easy are sadly mistaken – while destination representatives warn it’s going to get tougher for content creators once tourist boards come out of the coronavirus pandemic.
During London Travel Week Virtual Content Creators’ Summit, influencers explained the reality of working on content marketing for destinations, saying it’s much harder than people think.
Erick Prince, content creator at Minority Nomad, said:
“People think it’s an easy job for us – that we are running around having fun.
“The creative side is 25% of what you are doing. It’s a nightmare if you are doing it properly.”
Kirsty Leanne, an influencer known as The Plus Sized Traveller, explained:
“It was at least three years before I made any money,” adding even successful influencers have to deal with “hundreds and hundreds” of rejections.
Martinique Lewis, who creates content under the name Marty SanDiego, said:
“Your itineraries are packed out – you are tired out,” while Kelsey Heinrichs, influencer at Kelsey in London, said: “It just never stops. It’s not just taking selfies. It takes real grit to do the job. You go to bed still posting.”
Despite this, Martinique Lewis believes:
“Because of COVID, next year you will see the rise of the influencer.”
But influencers are being warned big-budget campaigns are likely to be a thing of the past as the post-COVID marketing landscape changes.
Tourism bodies will look more closely than ever on their return on investment, and will look to shake up the way they work with digital content creators.
One difference, according to Amy Skelding, Senior Partner at PR and marketing company Brighter Group, is likely to be more destinations looking to collaborate on longer campaigns with one partner.
She said: “I don’t want a one-night stand. I want a proper marriage here.
“Brands will start to think more deeply who they want to be in bed with as a result of coronavirus.
“Come to me and give me a year-long campaign. Everyone’s having their budgets cut. A lot of people have revised their fees and it will have to continue. The budgets are not spiking any time soon.”
With entry requirements and rules constantly changing as a result of coronavirus, the emphasis is on making sure information that gets out to followers is up to date, said Fiona Anderson, Director at GEC PR.
She said: “It’s really important that PRs and tourist boards are proactive about making sure information is current and shared with journalists and content providers.”