In fall 2019, we toured Slovenia’s backroads and mountain passes on gravel bikes. As far as bucket list trips go, this one’s up there. Even if you’re not a cyclist, check out the photos, food and other adventures in our story and you’ll want to go explore!
The trip was sponsored by Niner Bikes, Bontrager, HT Components, Roswheel and Mission Workshop. The Slovenian tourism department covered airfare, hotel, meals and transport with a guide.
Using content marketing to promote a destination
Planning a trip like this is a big undertaking on its own. Balancing the needs of the country and the brands with our own editorial goals takes a little extra attention to detail. The results were worth it.
Slovenia provided their top destinations list and recommendations, as will most tourism boards. Which is why you’ll often see many of the same spots, restaurants, hotels, etc., mentioned in different stories from different publications.
What you want is a publisher that’s willing and able to filter that through their readership’s interests, add their own original research and info, and create something that speaks authentically to a particular audience.
We created a gorgeous video and story that’s an evergreen, reference travel feature for Slovenia. It’s also a top notch planning guide for anyone who wants to cycle or travel there. And the brands not only received massive organic product placements and implied endorsements, but also separate reviews on Bikerumor.
Check out the full story on Bikerumor here.
How brands can use travel stories for product placement
Any trip requires gear, from basic luggage to specialty equipment based on the activities you’ll be participating in upon arrival. For cycling, there are a lot of natural fits, and readers are always looking for the right bikes, components, clothing and gear to maximize their enjoyment and avoid any failures that could derail their trip.
Think about the kinds of use cases for your products. Maybe it’s not travel, but I’m sure there are people creating content, videos and podcasts about the experiences where your products become useful. Reach out to those people and discuss how to integrate your products into their story. Benefits include:
- Brand exposure
- Implied endorsement
- Customers see real world use & benefits
- Organic way to show features
- Customers can envision themselves using your products
- Long term SEO value
- Inbound linking from established, authoritative media sites
The video above shows some very natural product integrations, and at the bottom of the Slovenia story are links to the product reviews if you’d like to see how we integrated them. We did a similar thing on a three-part Tennessee mountain bike road trip (One, Two, Three), showcasing multiple trail networks and the gear that made the trip enjoyable.
On Bikerumor, we call these stories our “Where To Ride” series, and we’re already planning our next gravel and mountain bike destinations. If you’re interested in getting your brand involved in a Bikerumor feature, or want to brainstorm opportunities in your own industry, let me know.