4 travel influencers share their real media kits and tips to promote hotels on free stays in exchange for content

Asdgik Melkonian

  • While travel influencers are often offered free lodging, they do have to submit their bids from time to time.

  • Four top travel influencers have shared the media kits they send to hotels when trying to get a room.

  • They also provided insight into which companies to ask and how to stand out.

Media kits have become a standard tool that influencers in all industries prepare to showcase brands and potential customers. For travel influencers specifically, it is critical to set up a hotel stay where they are traveling – a unique feature that can help complement the high cost of business travel consistently.

But booking accommodation in an enviable place is not as easy as it seems.

Four travel influencers gave Insider examples of the media groups they use to try to get these deals. Some have warned those hoping to break into this crowded space to humbly heed this advice: Not every hotel will give you a room because you have too many Instagram followers. But each offered advice on how to stand out and build good relationships with hotels.

Here are four examples of media groups that travel influencers use to promote hotels:

Eric Stoen @travelbabbo (332.000 followers on Instagram)

Eric Stoen's media group

Eric Stoen

Eric Stoen, 50, from @travelbabbo, has garnered over 332k followers on Instagram in the eight years he’s been traveling and logging his online travels full time. As his one-page media compilation states, he’s visited 62 countries across seven continents in that time.

Stoen told Insider that 90% of hotels will offer him a free stay first. However, he still exercises his muscle to offer hotel deals every now and then where he can stay for an extended period of time so that he can get a better rate.

“I would appreciate a third of the time I got rejected, a third I get free accommodation, and a third I get discounted media rates,” he said.

For those who are still breaking into the industry and can save a lot of money up front with built-in hotels, he suggests promoting chains that can give up space for promotion. And most importantly, the commitment to promote the hotel in an original way.

“Connect with hotels who know there is a fit for your followers and trust that your posts can generate revenue,” Stoen said. “And don’t look at anything as a free stay; it’s a marketing partnership where you are expected to provide real value for the stay.”

“Make sure that it will be a fair partnership,” he added. “I don’t usually reach out to small hotels – they need revenue. Chains can be a better way to go, especially when you’re starting out.”

Kristen Addis @bemytravelmuse (122K followers on Instagram)

Media group Christine Addis

Christine Addis

Media group Christine Addis

Christine Addis

Kristen Addis, 36, has been a full-time travel Instagrammer for the past decade. Her account @bemytravelmuse has over 122K followers but she mainly focuses on her website, which sees over 400,000 unique visits per month.

Addis, unlike others in the field, said that it rarely offers a direct offer to hotels anymore. Instead, she works with tourism boards in as many different destinations as she can.

“I have done five tourism boards collaborations in the past six months,” Addis said. “They cover my entire expenses.”

She said most locations will have a tax-financed tourism board, as small as a remote city and as large as an entire country.

Addis said that if you do a deal with the tourism board, they will likely give you a bigger budget that covers your stay and any activities you want to do and publicize.

Asdghik Melkonian, @thejetsetterdiary (104,000 followers on Instagram)

Asdgik Melkonian Media Collection

Asdgik Melkonian

Asdgik Melkonian Media Collection

Asdgheik Melkonian

Asdgik Melkonian Media Collection

Asdgik Melkonian

Asdghik Melkonian of thejetsetterdiaries has provided Insider with an 8-page media kit that she uses to deliver promotions to hotels and other sponsoring entities.

Melconian said she’ll hear an average of every 10 to 15 hotels bid for her from one or two hotels.

Its comprehensive media suite offers her account stats, examples of Instagram aesthetics she’s taken, and line descriptions of the services she offers in exchange for a free stay.

It also includes several pages of past partnerships she’s made, similar to a resume.

Melkonian says destination plays a big role in how well a hotel knows about the creating economy of travel.

“About four or five times a month [hotels pitch me]But I don’t take them all, she said, because they are in random destinations. “Some destinations are smarter than others.”

For those coveted locations, Melkonian says she tries to find a direct contact for the hotel you’d like to stay at, whether that’s a PR person or a manager. And in her email to this person, along with her media kit, she said she’s very specific about promoting specific posts or promotions she can offer the hotel.

Chris Howethechrishau (502,000 followers on Instagram)

Chris Howe's media collection

Chris Howe

Chris Howe's media collection

Chris Howe

Chris Howe is an international photographer and videographer. His personal Instagram page has more than half a million followers. Hau told Insider that he also prefers working with tourism boards to connect one-on-one with local businesses.

In his media collection (above), he even includes testimonials from reps on these boards to make it clear that the working relationship you cultivate with them is just as important as the content you produce for them.

Despite his success as a travel influencer, Hau said he still spends about half the time promoting hotels.

“We’re offering tourism boards more than hotels in general,” he said. “But at most like three to four hotels per month with a 50% success rate. We usually target big companies with long-term partnerships. [with creators]. “

He also advised travel influencers to promote as personally as possible a more rewarding partnership with hotels – not just a transactional partnership.

“There are many events around the world, such as the World Travel Market in London and the International Trade Fair (ITB) in Berlin, where there are a lot of hotels,” Stoen said. “One of my first collaborations, before I had many followers, was with a Peninsula Hotels because I had a great conversation with their representative at ITB. This sets you apart, compared to just anyone emailing hotels.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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