Blog trips are an excellent means to generate online exposure for a destination. By hosting a select group of travel bloggers, a tourism board, airline, hotel chain and/or tour operator can benefit greatly from the writing, photography and video skills of bloggers as well as from their online social networks. Blog trips can help to create online buzz before till long after the trip.
The iambassador model creates four rounds of buzz!
iambassador blog trips generate buzz in four phases: pre-trip, during the trip (excellent ‘real-time marketing’ opportunities), post-trip and during the social media campaign. The social media campaign maximises the value generated by blog trips by turning the bloggers into digital ambassadors for the destination. Designed by Keith Jenkins, iambassador is an innovative marketing model which effectively harnesses the value that travel bloggers can deliver through their blog content and social networks. The model is a collaboration between travel bloggers and their sponsors to promote the destination as well as increase brand visibility of the sponsors.
Since its launch in December 2011, iambassador has built an excellent track record, conceptualising, planning and executing successful campaigns for tourism boards and brands that have generated tens of millions of online impressions and reached millions of people around the world.
Testimonials from past clients include the Jordan Tourism Board and Cape Town Tourism:
We could not be more delighted with the success of iambassador and are proud to have been the first to pursue this venture with Keith. The campaign surpassed any expectations we may have had, with many travelers expressing their excitement about booking a trip to Jordan after learning so much about it from the campaign. We hope to continue working with innovative bloggers, such as Keith, in the future. – Jordan Tourism Board
Keith’s conceptualisation of iambassador – using travel bloggers and online publishers as partners in destination marketing campaigns – is ground-breaking. He understood Cape Town Tourism’s brief of destination storytelling through social media and online content instantly and has been an invaluable partner to us in what we consider to be our most successful social media campaign to date. He not only coordinated the campaign but interacted with the international partner bloggers, the tourism products in Cape Town, his readers and followers and ourselves in a passionate and engaging manner.
Keith’s thinking is ahead of its time – I believe that the campaign partnership such as the #LoveCapeTown campaign will change the landscape of destination marketing in the next three years. He has displayed a single-minded focus and professionalism in the lead-up, during and after the campaign and has shared much of his social media and travel blogging expertise with our tourism partners and us. – Cape Town Tourism
Media coverage of iambassador includes:
- Cape Town Tourism – “Locals show they know Cape Town best with #LoveCapeTown“
- Cape Town Tourism – “Capetonians tweet cultural gems for iambassadors“
- News 24, South Africa – “Travel bloggers to unlock Cape Town“
- Hindustan Times, India – “Discovering Cape Town Through Twitter“
- The Real Time Report – “#LoveCapeTown Shakes Up Fam Trip With Crowd-Sourced Tips“
- TTN Worldwide – “Jordan Gets Blogging“
- Travelllll.com – “Jordan Launches Innovative Marketing Collaboration with Bloggers“.
A core group of influential travel bloggers
iambassador works with a core group of some of the most influential travel bloggers who specialise in a variety of niches. The group also includes widely-recognised expert photographers and video bloggers (vloggers). This ensures quality content that’s varied as well as an expansive global reach through the blogs and the bloggers’ social media channels. These bloggers have been selected for their high level of professionalism, proven blogging skills, experience with blog trips and their wide social media networks. A pool of travel bloggers is available to supplement the core group at any time.
The iambassador bloggers are also experienced speakers and are available to share their expertise with local travel bloggers. Workshops on blogging, photography, video-production and social media can easily be combined with a blog trip. Training local travel bloggers can be beneficial to tourism boards in various ways: improved online content from a local perspective as well as an expansion of social media reach help destinations increase their online visibility.
The iambassador product can be customised to meet your objectives, requirements and/or budget. For instance, a social media event centred on a specific destination, product launch or travel theme can be organised as a stand-alone campaign and whilst Twitter and facebook are the primary platforms used by iambassador, other social media platforms like Pinterest can also be added. Moreover, sponsors can determine the duration of the campaign and the number of participating bloggers.
Who is iambassador for?
The iambassador model involves a collaboration between travel bloggers and the tourism industry. The product can be utilised by tourism boards, tour operators, cruise companies, airlines and/or hotel chains (including PR’s who represent them) to generate quality online content and/or market a specific destination or travel theme (adventure, cruises, gastronomy, safaris, city trips or beach holidays to name a few). The iambassador model is perfect for those who are interested in organising a blog trip to enhance their online presence and generate brand awareness.
Please note that the iambassador bloggers maintain full editorial control of content published on their blogs and via social media channels.