User-generated content (or UGC) refers to unpaid, unsponsored, and unaffiliated content shared on social media by real people promoting their actual experiences. UGC got its start thanks to customer reviews and product ratings first popularised in the early days of the internet. Today user-generated content has grown to include photos, videos, blog posts, testimonials, and even podcasts.
Travel content marketing is an umbrella term to describe marketing strategies used in the travel industry. Destination Marketing Organisations, hotels and resorts, attractions, and travel agencies are just a few examples of companies using travel content marketing strategies.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” - Seth Godin
Every destination has a story to tell.
Travel content marketers need to have a clear understanding of the behaviours and motivations of their audience before creating a successful marketing strategy.
Travel content marketing can be especially tricky because the travel industry is highly competitive and relatively inconsistent. Destinations are at the mercy of seasonality, local conflict, and popularity.
Fortunately, incorporating user-generated content allows companies and travel marketing agencies many benefits including the opportunity to holistically represent unique destinations around the world.
User-generated content is content created for the people by the people. Instead of companies promoting themselves, UGC empowers and encourages audiences to share their personal stories and unbiased experiences. An Elite Daily study discovered 43% of Millennials regard authenticity over content quality.
According to a survey released by Offerpop, 85% of consumers prefer user-generated content to company-branded photos and videos. Why? It’s simple: there’s no sales pitch, no fiscal incentive, just a human with the desire to promote a destination or activity on their own terms.
Creating a highly-successful travel content marketing strategy can be time consuming. By leveraging user-generated content, destination marketing organisations are no longer responsible for creating every piece of content they publish. With more than 1.3 million Instagram users active daily, finding new and unique photos and videos has never been easier.
Imagine an endless stream of fresh organic content available at your fingertips — and it’s free. Travel content marketers can focus on engaging their audience and learning insights while incorporating authentic imagery.
Communities are built when people are able to interact with one another. Creating an environment where users openly and honestly share their stories not only promotes social media growth, it increases brand loyalty. By incorporating user-generated content, companies show their willingness to listen, learn, and engage with their audiences.