By Sharon Hirschowitz
Nadine Sykora has some impressive statistics behind her. She is the top travel influencer and travel videographer on Youtube having made over 800 videos gaining 40 million+ views. Here, she talks about identifying the right travel blogger for your property and how to build a successful partnership where both of you benefit.
How do luxury hotels build successful relationships with travel vloggers?
Finding the right people is key to building a good relationship. How you find those vloggers is by doing your research. You can’t build a successful relationship unless you know who you are working with. So, watch several of their videos and get to know their style. When reaching out, ask for some previous examples of work they have done with other brands or clients.
Then, create a proper contract, outlining what it is that you would like to receive and what you can provide. Discuss this with the vlogger, and listen to their thoughts, opinions, and concerns. They know their audience and know what works for them. Also, be aware that there are varying price ranges when it comes to vloggers, several will work for free, but most will ask for compensation and payment. Negotiations and rates should always be discussed beforehand.
What should they look for when determining whether a specific vlogger is right for their brand?
First is to watch some of their videos. How do they act? Are they respectful? Do they showcase the places, destinations, brands through stunning visuals and do they have any information throughout their videos? Or are they jumping out of windows, climbing roofs, and breaking rules?
Do they take photos as well? Instagram is HUGE and adding photos is a great way to get more content and more value for the same duration of time.
If you are wanting to work with them because of their social numbers: are they a target demo to your hotel, or is their audience? Will they attract the right people?
What’s the Quality of the Content? Can you hire them as a video production crew to produce a piece for your channels or the brands?
How can hotels prepare for a visit from a travel vlogger?
The biggest thing is making sure the vlogger has permission to film, you’d be surprised how many memos don’t get passed down. If there is a drone required, can they fly it over or around the hotel? When it comes to other guests, privacy can be an issue. Some travel vloggers are aware of this and avoid filming close-ups of other guests, while others might not think of it. So as a client it’s up to you to discuss and make clear to the vlogger where they can and can’t film.
Also, giving the vlogger freedom and enough time to film. Filming takes far more time than photos or writing and we need to have enough time scheduled so we can spend more time getting creative shots.
Don’t over-hashtag or over-tag. One or two hashtags and one or two account tags is BEST. The more you have, the more difficult it is to follow up. Make sure the influencer knows to location tag and that they have the proper accounts to tag with an outline of what all needs to be included.
How can they leverage the exposure a travel vlogger is willing to provide? What should they offer in return?
The right travel vlogger can do wonders for a hotel. They can create an excitement and wow factor that makes people not just want to go to the destination, but go to the destination because of the hotel. Travel vloggers are also mini-production companies, they carry high-quality cameras, audio gear, and stabilizers. The best content you can create together is something of mutual benefit. Each travel vlogger has their own style, format, and knows what they like to film. It’s best to let them create the content they want for their own videos. That’s the way you get the most organic content and utilize the natural distribution network and audience they already have.
But while they are there, you also can use that opportunity to get the travel vlogger to create a hotel tour or review, take photos, or film a piece specifically for your networks. That way you are getting a piece of content that can be tailored to your style. Of course, that being said, ALWAYS have a set of agreed-upon outlines before you invite any Influencer to your property, so everyone is clear. Contracts are tedious, but they are so important, even for just a freebie and the one-night comp stays.
What are the key trends in travel vlogging this coming year? What’s the next best thing?
Exotic, unique, and Instagram worthy. People want to take cute photos on balconies, at pools, with breakfast in bed. They are looking for photo backgrounds for their own curated travel experience, even if the photos are only taken on their phone. Hotels are all a part of the travel experience, not just a place to stay, and people want to showcase that to all their friends and family.
Can you tell us about a recent trip that was particularly meaningful to you?
This summer I did a family trip to Europe with my dad, sister, and my boyfriend. It was a really special trip for me because anytime I travel with family members, especially my dad, it’s a real treat. I get to show him parts of the world he’s only read about in books and seen on TV. It helps that I am with him so he’s comforted by the fact that I am a travel expert. Also, since I have family from there, we got to meet up and learn more about my background, ancestry, and where my dad’s side of the family comes from. Which is, of course, my side as well.