Did a song play in your head as you read the title? Citing the famous lyrics of Chronixx, “we dweet fi di love, we nuh dweet fi di likes”, the saying refers to performing actions from passion versus public celebration. As an online influencer, ‘likes’ (aka social media praises) are definitely important for many reasons but are not (or shouldn’t be) the main drive. What’s exceptional about the Love Not Likes curated experience is that it partners content specialists such as bloggers/vloggers, videographers, and photographers with brands “fi di love”.
What is Love Not Likes?
It was conceptualized by established digital marketer, Kesi Gardner, who sought to jointly promote creatives and companies in the form of excursions. The event allows online influencers to connect, collaborate, and of course, create! To be honest, group travel isn’t my usual first choice but bonding with like-minded people who can better understand (and aid) my process made it worthwhile to say the least. On June 9th 2019, a group of 18 of us set out to picturesque Portland on a Harmony Tours bus with driver Micheal for the inaugural Love Not Likes trip! The Label Snob customized cups were filled with refreshments while everyone shared National Baking Company snacks to satisfy cravings on the 3-hour journey.
Pit stops for pics in front of Castleton Gardens and the regal Trident Castle were followed by a visit to 1 of my current top 10 favourite places in Jamaica, the Blue Lagoon! The water’s natural azure hue still left me mesmerized the second time around. Our sizeable group populated 2 boats for a short ride to the nearby beach of the isolated Monkey Island.
The rocky islet covered in the fuzz of greenery has a small, sandy patch that fades into the blue waters of the sea. Cameras of all calibres, phones, and sponsor products were grabbed to get down tothe heart of business: content creation! The sunny weather coupled with calm waters not only created an ideal beach day, but also a natural photo light studio! Just LOOK at it….
Of course on this hot day CPJ Ltd’s Lifespan & Glinter refreshments + Sharmac Graphic’s printed fans proved to be the real heroes during the beach photoshoots. Work and play were in full effect as photographers and influencers fed and thrived off each other’s energies. In between shutter snaps and collective wad of real-time social media posts (courtesy of Digicel), we all took some time to sink our toes into the sand and splash in the otherwise-undisturbed water! All this while chatting, laughing, sharing, and helping to get-those-angles.
After the initial round of shots (photos, Rumbar, maybe both) we headed back on the pair of boats for a quick tour around the Blue Lagoon. Off the coast, between the islet and the lagoon, is an area populated with sea turtles which we had the pleasure of watching underwater until they popped up for a better view! The boats then continued along the lagoon border to reveal a beach with a bar, rope swing into the deep, and a natural mineral spring. A return to the dock by the colourful craft vendor stalls was followed with a “heart wash off” from coconut water purchases before re-boarding the bus.
The lengthy paved walk from the gated entrance was quickly forgotten once our Sunfactory Ipanema sandals set foot on the powdery champagne sands. I understand why this portion of the sea channeling through a cove to softly lash on sand is largely considered as one of Jamaica’s best beaches! The far-reaching sand and soothing water is what perfect beach days are made of. It was a postcard-worthy weekend at the venue, with patrons out in their numbers enjoying a Sunday Funday.
Our group lined a lengthy table anticipating a long-awaited lunch. The calibre of the venue left some of us surprised with the slow service, though a deliberate icebreaker activity slightly distracted from the wait. After jerk chicken, fried fish, and burger meals were devoured, packed tote bags by Those Creative People were grabbed and more collaborative photoshoots organized. Glowing in Herboo Botanicals, the fine white sand, teal stream running to the sea, and the island’s possibly most famous swing were all utilized for a series of Instagrammable moments.
After each assigned shot was complete, everyone expectedly used the downtime to enjoy the idyllic environs. Just before the sun set on this rewarding day, we headed back to the Harmony Tours bus once more to return home.
Love Not Likes Trip Sponsors
I, like everyone else in the group, would love to thank the sponsors that made this experience extra enjoyable by providing a variety of items ideal for any road trip! Also big up the photographers for these SHOTS (and giving me less work for this post): MDW Media, Darlington Jones Imagery, Rocket Visions, plus aerial shots by @livelikekem.
- Digicel: 28-day Nuff Social Data + Unlimited Talk Plan
- CPJ Ltd.: Refreshing Lifespan Water + Glinter soft drink
- Sunfactory: Sandals by ipanema
- Those Creative People: Expressive Tote bags
- Herboo Botanicals: Lightweight Body Oil
- National Bakery: Snack pack
- The Label Snob: Customized Cup w/ Reusable Straw
- Worthy Park Estate: Rumbar Alcohol
- Harmony Tours: Transportation + Guide
- Sharmac Graphics: Cooling branded fans
- Luxury Ja: Logistics
- Ion Communications: Logisitics & Creative support
Love Not Likes MicroInfluencer Marketing
We’re thankful that these sponsors saw the vision and decided to be a part of the movement which is expected to continue developing. Influencer marketing is growing year by year, and can provide a bigger ROI than traditional advertising. This Love Not Likes trip solely included ‘microinfluencers’ (content creators with a following of less than 10,000), which has also proven to have a more engaged audience and produce a higher ROI than large media personalities.
Influencer Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)
One thing is for sure, we did earn and provide value in a number of ways on this Love Not Likes trip. Namely:
- Bonded and worked with fellow creatives (help each other improve)
- Tried some quality products we were previously unaware of (new potential customers)
- Shared these products with our collective audiences (brand awareness + more potential customers)
- Many of us shared products over a period of time before, during & after the trip (impressions + higher chance of conversions)
- An overall good time for all!
This was such a rewarding day, and I’m definitely looking forward to participating in similar experiences in the future!
Which product and/or aspect from this trip do you think you’d enjoy most?
Let me know in the comments, and follow Love Not Likes if interested in being a part of future plans.
P.S. If you’d like to collaborate with me, whether as a business or fellow influencer, feel free to make contact.
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