In just a short period of time, the way we communicate with each other has evolved so rapidly that marketers are often scrambling to keep up with trends. And I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “everything comes back into style eventually”—enter User Generated Content (UGC).
Imagine a time before social media, before texting, before personal computers invaded homes—how did you find out about anything? Unless you were interested in taking a ride down to the library and using the Dewey Decimal System to locate your favorite encyclopedia or a 10 year-old book, you communicated with friends, family, teachers or what we call “trusted resources” to learn new things, gain valuable insights, and ultimately influence your decision-making. At the time, there was nothing more convincing than your newly tanned aunt basking in the afterglow of her trip to (insert cool destination here), telling stories and showing off her newly developed photos! Think back to all the cool pictures and wondrous tales everyone had about their recent adventures to unknown lands and how badly all of that made you want to book your next trip—FOMO is nothing new. However, the channels in which we now receive this word-of-mouth advertising have changed immensely.
Let’s jump out of our time machine and come back to 2017. Thanks to technology like the internet, social media, and smartphones, your circle of trusted resources has likely grown to hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Everyone wants to share everything and the influential power of seeing someone you know and trust post stories and images of anything is exponential. How can marketers take advantage of this and create new connections? You guessed it—UGC.
As travelers plan their next trip, they read articles, order travel guides, scour the internet, and check every social media platform they can with the hope of being inspired. What’s more inspirational than making an authentic connection with a destination through images and videos that show what it’s really like to visit? Blending your brand with content from actual visitors, people who have enjoyed and captured what it’s like to immerse themselves in your culture, and sharing that with prospective visitors is the new face of marketing. It’s the new word-of-mouth advertising. Take your visitors’ word for it (because you know others are) and weave their stories and photos into your digital strategy to further strengthen your brand. A diversified marketing plan with branded content and the added clout of UGC complementing each other is where it’s at—are you there?
To learn more about how UGC can elevate your destination marketing efforts, fill out the form and let us connect with you on a strategy.