Inspire travellers to flock to your destination and show them what they're missing! We look at three impactful strategies that will turn leads into visitors.
A destination marketing organisation's primary objective is to make the country or region they are promoting desirable to prospective tourists—both international and domestic. As travel starts to gain momentum with the proper COVID-19 measures in place, tourists are faced with the tough decision of where to go next.
User-generated content (“UGC”) is revolutionising the travel and tourism industry. Tourists proactively capture everything along their travels: from the scenery they encounter, the hotels they stay in, and not to mention the meals they eat. Destination marketing organisations that post UGC serve as strong social proof that a given location is worth exploring.
Beyond just organically posting twice a week to your Instagram account and letting the content do the talking, there are a variety of creative ways to showcase UGC to put your destination on the map. Let’s explore!
Visitors tend to flock to your destination during peak season because of the warmer weather or large-scale events that your location hosts. Meanwhile, there will be periods of downtime between the busy times of the year. To draw in tourists during the off-season, you don't need to rely on conventional methods.
England Originals, a collection of 18 destination marketing organisations, created five itineraries on their website that cater to the many types of travellers using an array of UGC. As a bustling country like England offers so much to do and see, categorising the main attractions into customised itineraries will make the planning process easier for travellers.
For tourists that have an appreciation for ancient sites, England Originals has a Time Travellers itinerary that highlights all the cathedrals and palaces from London to Cambridge within a four-day trip. On the other hand, Harry Potter fans will be pleased to know that the Treasure Trove itinerary covers some of England’s most monumental castles and the famous 9 ¾ platform.
Organically posting content on your Instagram or Facebook page allows your potential visitors to see more of your destination. However, what if you don't have a large following on social media? Paid social media ads present an opportunity for your organisation to get in front of more people, increase brand recognition, and boost conversions.
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a social media ad for it to be successful. Instead, you should focus on the visual aspect by utilising user-generated content. Before selecting which piece of UGC to feature, answer these questions first:
· Who is your target audience?
· What do you want to accomplish from this campaign?
· How is your destination different from others?
As you have likely already collected a diverse library of content for other uses, select a visual that best conveys the above campaign objectives to immediately catch your users' attention.
Whether you select a fall foliage landscape or a panoramic view of the bright blue ocean at your destination, the authenticity behind each visual is what will deliver to the success of your campaign.
Movie trailers at the theatre can oftentimes be enough to captivate us to go see that next flick on the big screen. Why not do the same by creating a promotional video that includes your best UGC to promote your destination?
54% of consumers wish to see more video content from brands they support. Therefore, by posting a video to your website and social media channels, your destination will already gain a competitive edge. The visual format of a video provides an excellent way to cover everything you have to show in one condensed yet robust format.
The Outer Hebrides, an interconnected chain of Atlantic islands off the Northwest coast of Scotland, have perfected the art of making a promotional video. Up-close footage of the wildlife, drone shots of the Isles, and a time-lapse of the Northern lights are all strung together in a short video that makes this destination appealing to intrepid travellers.
Helpful tip: Just like the Outer Hebrides did, embed your video as a hero banner on your website’s homepage. A hero banner sits at the very top of your website and occupies the entire width of your homepage. As a result of its large size, it will be difficult for your website visitors to scroll past!
In conclusion, user-generated content is still a new concept that most marketers are trying to master. It can be challenging to think outside the box in the sense of “How else can we showcase UGC?”
Above are a few ways to exhibit UGC that will, in turn, drive higher engagement rates, generate leads, and attract more visitors to your destination. Be bold and creative in your search for other unique outlets in which UGC can be featured.