Earlier this month, I asked you on IG stories how you felt about me going on brand trips. I was curious because ultimately I am creating content for YOU, so I want to make sure that any partnerships I take on are bringing you value in someway. Which led me to the question–are brand trips interesting to you, or would you rather see content around my to day? Overall, the responses were pretty split. The majority leaned toward day to day, but overall the occasional brand trip was of interest. That being said, it led to some questions of, well what exactly is a brand trip though? What’s the point? Is it for marketing/brand exposure? Is it fee for you? Do you get paid? All great questions!
What influencers do, and how they work with brands can be kind of confusing if you aren’t actually doing it. It’s a pretty “new” job and so a lot of people don’t really understand what actually goes on. Which is totally understandable! In general, influencers do digital marketing for brands. That is the easiest way to sum up this job. But let’s get into brand/press trips specifically!
Every brand trip is a little different. Meaning, some brand trips I go on are with brands that I have an on-going partnership with (like ONE bars or Johnson & Johnson), and they have an event coming up that they want me to be a part of. In this case, I am already being paid by them via my contract, but the trip itself is not paid on top of that. All expenses are covered but it’s just an opportunity to further connect with the brand and help spread awareness around whatever event or initiative they are holding. Sometimes trips like this are required as part of your contract, while other times it’s more like “Hey we have an event next month, would love for you to be a part of it if possible!” Typically in these cases, there aren’t any required deliverables (ie. specific number of IG posts or stories) because it’s not part of your contract. It’s just kind of expected that you’ll share what you can organically since you’re spending time there.
Other brand trips, like ones with a hotel brand are a little different in that I don’t have an on-going partnership with them. Meaning, I didn’t sign a contract earlier in the year saying that we would be working together for X amount of time. Here the the hotel is looking for influencers to come and experience their property in exchange for sharing over social media– so it’s a one time contract only for the duration of that particular stay. The purpose is to help create brand awareness and exposure for the hotel. In these cases, you have a certain number of deliverables to meet (ie. 4 IG posts, 1 blog post, plus X amount of stories per day). As far as payment goes, all expenses are paid (and yes, you fly coach lol), but you are usually not getting compensated on top of that. Sometimes an influencer will get additional compensation but typically in those cases those influencers are travel influencers/bloggers, so that is their niche which they only create content for. However, that is a unique case. In general, plenty of influencers are willing to travel to a cool place in exchange for all expenses paid, so it can be difficult to argue for compensation. Basically, if you want to be paid, a brand will just find someone else who is willing to go for free instead haha.
Last year was the first year that I started traveling with brands for this job, and I thought it was so cool! And don’t get me wrong–it’s not that it isn’t cool anymore but as my brand has grown and I have other priorities, there are a lot of things I have to think about now when accepting a trip. The fact is, I know that I’m not going to be paid so I have to think is the 4-5 days “out of office” worth it? That’s basically an entire week where I’m not creating my own content, or pitching brands for partnerships that are paid. Plus, days on these trips are typically long so it’s not like going on a vacation. Yes, they are filled with fun activities, but you’re basically working from 7:30am to 11pm at night–and that’s not including time to actually create content. That is usually done after dinner (aka 11pm) and you still have to keep up with other emails, etc.
So in general, I hope that this helps give a better idea of what brand trips are like and the purpose behind them. They can definitely be really fun, but overall you are there for work so there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to keep up with everything! Any other questions on this topic though, I’m happy to answer! xx C