Sri Lanka barter deal campaign is something I have been planning intermittently for the last five months. The plan is to travel to Sri Lanka for free by having a prestigious organization sponsor my trip. Why Sri Lanka? You may refer to this article for the underlying reasons.
How to pull it off? Within the next five days, I’m going to propose to at least 75 different organizations to sponsor my visit in exchange for promotion and sponsored reviews on Travel Hustling.
What type of organizations are we talking about? An assortment of organizations, in fact, ranging from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority , Sri Lanka Convention Bureau , Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management, tour operators, hotels and resorts and even the Sri Lanka airlines Air Lanka.
It promises to be a bloodbath, with a flood of rejections bound to hit me. My thick skin being a marketer won’t be enough to save my ego from being scrapped in this onslaught. I’ll just have to grow another thick layer of skin over it.
The question is- why would any company sponsor this trip of mine? Aren’t there other travelers? Aren’t there other travel bloggers? Aren’t there other travel guides and websites more popular than me?
Of course there are, and there always will be, no matter how big I become. First and foremost, it’s me who’s making the effort to approach these companies for sponsorship and not all those other travel sites and bloggers. Maybe they don’t need any sponsorship. Maybe they don’t want any strings attached to their trip, they don’t want to sing anyone’s praise, they don’t want to confine themselves to writing paid reviews about the company, or any other combination of factors.
At the end of the day, it’s me who’s proposing this barter deal.
So what is the barter deal? That on my Sri Lanka trip, whichever company sponsors either the complete tour or a particular leg of the tour, would receive the following major benefits:
- Banner promotion of the company both on the homepage and within individual articles related to Sri Lanka.
- Sponsored Review of the company.
- Favorable mention of the company within articles related to Sri Lanka. If the brand is sponsoring only a specific leg of the tour, then mention only on articles related to that part of the tour.
- Flattering High Resolution photos of the place, especially if it’s a hotel or resort to be given free of cost to the company as well as placed on Travel Hustling and all the other travel review websites where I’m a member of.
- Interview of one of the senior executives. This is optional and totally upto the company.
These were just the major benefits. There are a slew of other advantages that will benefit the sponsoring brand at one time or the other. A few of them being:
- Being an active social networker and an established brand manager, I’ve got loads of contacts on the popular networks; be it linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. In fact on Linkedin my professional network comprises of the Who’s Who of the marketing and advertising fraternity.
- I’ve also got corresponding blogs on Tumblr, Livejournal, SETT, Pluck, Friendfeed and Instapaper.
- Present on all major social bookmarking platforms including Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious and Reddit.
- My travel website notifies the following 27 different services on the world wide web that an article has been published instead of just one.
And my travel site is connected seamlessly with all these Web 2.0 properties. What this means is that whenever I publish an article on Travel Hustling,
- All my social network profiles get updated with a snippet of the article along with a picture.
- It gets published on the blogging platforms, which means being seen by followers of that network.
- It gets promoted on social bookmarking sites
- It gets pinged by all the pinging services.
I also maintain profiles on the following major travel review networks:
- Virtual Tourist
- Lonely Planet
And both this and the above list will continue to grow as I continue to enhance my web presence.
What this means is that there are a multitude of platforms where my reviews of a particular brand are going to get noticed and not just the search engines or direct visitors to Travel Hustling.
Secondly but equally important, you’ve to account for all the future visitors as well to my travel website and not just the current ones. That’s because the mentions of your company in my Sri Lanka articles would remain as it is long after the tour is over.
Which means any company game enough to sponsor my Sri Lanka trip would continue to get benefited from my site for years to come without putting in anymore investment. Even five years down the line if someone searches for Sri Lanka on Google and finds my series of articles, he will come across your company and likely to utilize the products or services of that company upon reading a favorable mention.
This enormous benefit is something you won’t find either in traditional media advertising or even in social media alone or travel review sites.
This is a win-win situation whichever way you look at it.
The only thing that remains to be seen which brand has got the foresight and the guts to back me on this. Whatever happens- good, bad or downright awful, I will be publishing my sales pitch along with the responses I get from these companies. It would be interesting to see what kind of responses I incite from the plethora of organizations I intend to contact and make a deal with.
We’ll find out soon enough how effective this idea was.
Let the games begin for Sri Lanka barter deal plan.