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Surrounded by a forests and green hills, Vilnius is always full of romance and mystery.

Paying for Media Coverage

In traditional media, there was a clearer distinction between editorial and advertising. Today, digital media has blurred the line and there is a larger crossover between the two.

One of the ways that tourism marketing has embraced the changes in digital media is by viewing the production of editorial content as something that can be ‘bought’ and not just ‘earned’. Although this practice is often associated with bloggers and influencers, large online publications are using the similar business models.

Paying for digital media to give coverage to your World Heritage site may not be something you have done before but it could prove to be a very cost-effective way to achieve your marketing goals. It is also something that may be easier to do as part of a larger project, such as the World Heritage Journeys of Europe.

Influencer Campaigns

A very common way for travel brands and destinations to work with digital media at the moment is with paid ‘influencer campaigns’. Despite the title, these involve bloggers and journalists as well as influencers.

In some ways, these campaigns look like traditional fam trips, in that there is a small group of media who travel around a destination, experiencing different elements, and then producing content based on their experience. However, there are some key differences.
The first difference is that the media are being paid directly by the client (you or your local DMO), rather than by a publication. This payment brings with it the ability to have a set of agreed-upon conditions. One of the most common conditions is that the media’s content stays within the theme of the campaign – for instance: ancient history, food and drink, culture, adventure.

Beyond that, the agreement would normally include a guaranteed amount of content during and after the trip, key messaging, links to partners, and other online interactive events. The group of participants would normally also share each other’s content, amplifying the reach.

It is important to stress that a paid campaign is not the same as buying advertising or buying positive editorial. The content will be the most effective if it comes across as genuine and authentic. It should inspire and inform the audience and that works best when the bloggers and influencers retain their creative freedom.

Content Generation

Earlier in this guide, we talked about how it is important for your World Heritage site to have its own online presence and how a website or social media will need content to be added regularly. If nobody working at your site has the skills or time to produce this content yourself, you may need to look to outside help for the generation of content. One of the sources for this material could be from digital media professionals.

If you are not comfortable with paying digital media professionals for coverage alone, you could consider negotiating an agreement where the producer also provides you with a certain amount of content that you can use on your site’s own online properties.

This could include:

  • photography with captions for your Instagram account
  • short videos for your Facebook page
  • longer videos for your YouTube account
  • blog articles for your website.

By now if you have set up your site’s online platforms effectively, then you probably have a an idea of the content you need and what could be produced by outside organisations. If you also know the annual budget you have for producing this content, then you can start to plan how many bloggers and influencers you are able to work with for this period, which will also lead to extra coverage of your site.

All Digital Media Guidelines

The Importance of Digital Media >
Creating Your Own Digital Media Identity >
Generating Free Media Coverage >
Paying for Media Coverage >
Monitoring Results >