interview with brand

Pro motion: Andrew Burenok, TripMyDream

Maria Fitzgerald
Author
In a break between Andrew's numerous meetings and travels, Publicfast was able to ask what methods of promotion he and his team use for the TripMyDream service.
— TripMyDream appeared in 2015, and in 2016 won at the startup competition and thundered throughout Ukraine (and not only). How did you manage it and what promotion methods did you use?
— In 2014 our site did not exist yet, so I manage the page on Facebook. In May 2015, when we started, the page already had about 50,000 followers. People just read and inspired. It was an inspiration Facebook page, telling about sights and not only.

When the site launched, a lot of Ukrainian media wrote about TripMyDream, such as "Ukrainian Truth," "Economic Truth," "ITC," AIN.ua. The publication of AIN.ua we promoted on Facebook, thanks to this it was read by more than 110 thousand people.

We got massive feedback, and it helped us to understand what our target audience is and what to do with the product further. From 2015 to 2016, we tried AdWords, but the full e-commerce and the big promotion was not engaged.
— Then everyone found out about your victory at the contest. How did this affect the company's promotion? It was such a #victory.
— Yes, but there were no cardinal changes. We are the company that creates the product. Present it to the user and engage in promotion is possible only when it is fully ready. It is not necessary to immediately invent a "rocket." So that users can go on it, you can first make a "scooter." Then we will do "skate," after - "bike," and we will gradually evolve. And if you want to make a "rocket" at once - nothing will turn out, because it takes a lot of time. Your "rocket" then either will not interest anyone, or become obsolete.
All you have is time. The faster you act, the faster you manage everything. This is the essence of start-ups, they can quickly change direction and do something new.
— Andrew, you are a promotion channel. You are an influencer as well as media. How long have you begun to do this and what mistakes have you made? Андрей, вы сами являетесь каналом продвижения.
— I'll start from the end. I believe that there are no mistakes. Life is always favorable to us and gives us lessons that allow us to receive goodness. Therefore, it is better to do something and admit, as you think, an "error" than not to do anything. You need to act quickly, do what you feel. Inspiration guides me. I don't do what I don't enjoy. If I don't want to go to a meeting - I'm not going. If I have a job that I don't want to do, then I try to find in it something that will encourage me to do it.
Returning to the question of "You are an influencer." More than a year ago Veroslava came to see me [Veroslava Grankina, the founder of the PR agency SLOVA, cooperates with Burenok] and offered to promote TripMyDream. I told her that it was too early to do this and she offered to promote me. I politely declined. But then I wrote one post on Facebook, then the second, the third. And it raced.

I realized that I like to write. Yes, there are many haters whom I annoy, and they always compare me with someone. Every day there are more and more of them. But I learned not to pay attention; there is no point in spending energy on them. One of the primary rules of the negotiations is "always lead the game on your side of the field." If you turn to someone else's, then you play according to other people's rules and conditions.

I didn't develop my personal facebook, I simply write there for my pleasure, and I already have about 8 thousand subscribers. On Instagram, there are about 7 thousand followers, but I don't like it. All sorts of fake, you need to select some beautiful photos, filters. I prefer storytelling.
— Why did you decide to start a YouTube blog?
— I'm constantly on suitcases, in airplanes and hotels. I'm used to waking up and not knowing where I am. I just want to share my thoughts, inspire someone to act. My spouse, for example, says that I don't even need to finish the circus school because I'm still a clown. And I like it. This is my number one motivation.

Secondly, we have promoted our Facebook page very well. We have about 135 thousand subscribers. And I'm sure we can do even better on YouTube. Moreover, 75% of all content will be there soon. Sooner or later everyone will go to YouTube. Already today, many people are looking for answers to their questions there.
Also, I analyzed and learned that none of my competitors are doing the content on YouTube. They cooperate with bloggers, pay for native advertising, but they are not themselves a platform. And TripMyDream is a platform. We have the best travel-content in Ukraine. Customers come to us not only to look for air tickets but also to read.

YouTube will allow us to make another leap forward. I have ambitious plans - in two or three months to collect 100 thousand subscribers on the channel. Now I have only a few videos and almost five thousand subscribers. I shoot a specific "auditor" of airlines. Next, I will make an exciting channel format for YouTube - find air tickets, catch people and do the challenge. For example, to pack a suitcase and fly to Bali on the same day.
— What are other social networks you use?
— There is also a twitter, but there we have low activity, just because in Ukraine it did not become popular enough. Now we are testing Telegram; there are already more than three thousand subscribers. Also, we made a Facebook bot, but it doesn't yet release. There you could use search, track prices, get inspired.
— Also, you have effective email marketing. Who does it?
— I'm leading it myself and doing newsletters. I'm testing different types of letters. On average, the opening rate of letters is 27%, while 15% is already good. But some groups do not read our letters and once a quarter I delete these people from the mailing list. I'm writing a letter saying, "It's time to say goodbye." You do not read us, and I do not want to spam.

We did internal analytics, where MailChimp and Mandrill became friends, we have all the data about the user: what he was watching, reading, opening, searching, buying on the site. We have a large CRM, with which we will soon start working. Roughly speaking, if you bought something, we know what led you to buy: what articles you read, how many times and what mail opened, which link you click, what prices you saw. We will start taking even more active care of our customers.
— How did you find out about Publicfast?
– Hoshva PR told me about the Publicfast a long time ago, but, until recently, I didn't need it. In the summer we launched a catalog of air discounts, where we collected all attractive prices and offers. This is what distinguishes us from all meta-search engines. We made a press release about this, which was placed by all the powerful Ukrainian online media, such as Ukrainska Pravda, Delo.ua, Segondya, etc. We did not pay for publications; it's our rule. We need to create content or an information guide that will be interesting and will be read. Also, we promote press releases on our advertising platforms. This is a double win for media - free content and its promotion.

After the release, we came up with a promo for Facebook promo code-named "Promo-33". I gave 33 air tickets to the lucky ones who used the service and made a repost. About 10 thousand people took part in this campaign, imagine? All the facebook was filled with Snippets TripMyDream, at least in my feed. It seemed that everyone was flying with us.

And then I decided that we need to involve influencers and remembered about Publicfast. I wrote the brief in which I noted that I don't need to promote TripMyDream. The main purpose was to tell people how much money they can save buying tickets in advance. It was important for me to convey this. Many influencers applied for participation in the campaign and made good posts.

But Publicfast has some disadvantages. The first is a large number of influencers who have no influence. They create confusing accounts and apply for the campaign. It is tough to understand the quality of the influencers. Unfortunately, most people have not learned to write natively. I indicated in the brief that it is necessary to participate in the campaign only for those who like the service and who supports it, and not just want to earn.
I believe that money must be paid for every job. And I gladly pay the influencers. They monetize their social networks.
For example, I created my YouTube channel and will monetize it using native advertising, banners, product placement. This is how the whole world works. After all, if you do not take money, you say to the universe: "You gave me a resource, I used it, but did not take anything for it." That is, I gave the Universe a sign that my resource is worthless, which means I do not need to provide it anymore. Therefore, I take money for everything and pay for everything.