When the collaboration offer with Rosewood Hotel pinged into my inbox, it was one of those moments where you just think, omg this is huge. Other thoughts like, “why me?” And “do they know I’m 5’1” (it was an editorial shoot) also popped into my head. Scoring a meaningful and high-profile hotel collaboration is more than likely high on the list of goals of almost every influencer/Instagrammer/blogger. It lends credibility, provides the chance to create quality and unique content and can often open the door to travel opportunities. I spoke to my luxury hotel contacts to uncover just what the digital managers and PR teams are looking for when it comes to blogger hotel collaborations. And if you thought that working with lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands was a little tricky to navigate, you need to read on.
Content over numbers
The luxury sector is really one of the few that prioritises content over numbers. Patrick Ellerington from Starwood Hotels says, “I find numbers and reach completely irrelevant. Now there are more and more stories emerging of bought followers, likes and falsehoods within digital. I look for GENUINE content creators – people who love the industry they create for and are a credible voice”. But before you start slamming away at your keyboard, writing a ton of emails to your favourite hotels, not all establishments share the same sentiment. When I questioned the production team about the possibility of working with Rosewood had I not been approached, it was suggested that only influencers hitting the 1 million mark would be accepted.
Just like all partnerships, being on brand is essential. The typical idea that traditional, top hotels opt for well-known luxury bloggers and boutique and design-led ones go for micro-influencers with lots of personal style isn’t as simple as it sounds. Hotels aren’t always as active on social media as other industries, which means that not all of them have a very obvious aesthetic or cater to a particular market. Or arguably more difficult – they cater to everyone. However, there are certain establishments such as the iconic W Hotel, where Patrick says “[content] needs to be new, next in the scene and disrupting the norm”. While in theory this makes sense, it’s not as easy to pinpoint what that means for an individual.
This part has been unanimous from all the people I’ve spoken to. It really comes down to the following:
- No blanket emails.
My Rosewood contact shared that she also looks after the collaboration deals for numerous other hotels and will often get the same email from the same influencer looking for a complimentary stays. Don’t think you’ll be able to get away with it!
- Specific points about what you love about the brand and hotel
For me, this is usually the subtle details. Did you know Rosewood has a resident dog named Pearl and sets out bowls of chocolates and apples for their guests on rotation? Finding out titbits of information helps to set your email apart.
- Pitch your content ideas
- How your audience is relevant and what they’ll like about the hotel
- Be flexible with your dates and considerate of peak times – if you’re too rigid, it comes across that you’re begging for a free night.
shot by @dirtyyydan for Rosewood Hotel
Okay, so how likely is it that after all of this effort you’ll actually land the hotel collaboration of your dreams? The advice I was given is if you’ve actually ticked all of the boxes and invested that much time into a pitch, always chase until you get the yes or no. Remember that it’s a business relationship and the relevancy of the hotel to your own brand and vice versa needs to be obvious. So when it comes to blogger hotel collaborations, it seems that the most important thing is how genuine the partnership will be to everyone involved.
I’d love to hear your experiences if you’ve collaborated with hotels before, drop me an email or a comment on Instagram!