Do you have a Strategy?
Most digital influencers, especially those that are active in travel vertical, identify themselves with an image of a free spirit. Backpacker, adventurous hiker, traveler without a route, someone that has said “No!” to the routines of life and has set themselves free to travel the world. Sounds familiar, right?
Well, no objection to that. This kind of spirit might be the actual reason why people on social media and/or those surfing the net enjoy following those influencers. Who would want to take travel advice from a 9-to-5 office worker that spends 2 weeks a year on a tropical island and calls it travel?
While these all make a lot of sense, there lies a trap for professional digital influencers. Being a free spirit is one thing, being totally unplanned about what they do professionally as an influencer is another.
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!” – Zig Ziglar
As a digital influencer, you need a strategy to do your job right. Whether you like it or not, whether you identify yourself with an adventurous backpacker or a marketing professional, it is a rock solid fact that you need to follow a plan that works.
As a travel blogger or Instagrammer or youtuber or whatever corner of the digital world you are sitting at, it is safe to assume that you would want to;
- Increase your website traffic/number of views/visits
- Grow your follower base
- Build a connection with your audience that will make them continue to follow you.
The reasons people have to follow a digital influencer through whatever online channel are usually related to many personal things; visual skills of the influencer (photography, video etc), the level of influence they can make over their expressions in writing or visual material, the personality of that influencer, what-have-you. Without being really good in one or more of these, a digital influencer will not find any audience that will follow them. However to become a professional digital influencer, these alone will be far from sustaining long term success.
To be a successful marketing professional (and trust me that is what you want to be), a travel blogger (or influencer at the broader sense) needs more than being just inspirational. People will follow you for your wonderful adventures, but you will not be able to make it statistically consistent if you are not measuring your audience and the impact you make on them. You might be taking wonderful photos and people might be liking them on Instagram, but trust me you need to do more than just posting them to friends and family in order to join the ivy-league of professional travel influencers.
If you intend to make a living out of digital influencing job, you need to realize that you are in the business of marketing regardless of your outfit hiking in the mountains or whichever tropical part of the world you are at right now. And every marketing professional needs to operate within the boundaries of a marketing plan. Otherwise all the success you manage to achieve through your digital influencing endeavour is nothing but accidental.
Remember Sun Tzu’s invaluable words:
““Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” ― Sun Tzu
How can a digital influencer build a successful marketing plan? See the next article!