This is part two of a two part series exploring the role of content in hospitality revenue generation. The first part focused on producing and leveraging owned content. In this part we'll dive into the role of user-generated content (UGC).
In the age of social media, user-generated content (UGC) has become a powerful tool for travelers looking to make informed decisions about or finding inspiration for their travel plans.
UGC refers to any content created by users, such as reviews, photos, and videos, that is shared on social media platforms or other online channels, such as review websites.
The Impact of UGC
One of the key reasons why user-generated content is so impactful in the travel industry is its authenticity and trustworthiness. Unlike traditional marketing materials, which are often created by travel companies themselves, UGC is created by real people with real experiences.
This makes it more relatable and trustworthy for travelers, who are able to get a more accurate sense of what a destination or hotel is really like.
In fact, a study by TripAdvisor found that 93% of travelers said that online reviews have an impact on their booking decisions.
Similarly, a study by Expedia found that in 72% of cases, travelers will choose a hotel with a higher guest review score over one with a lower price.
For example, guests would pay 35% more for a hotel with a score of 4.4 compared to a hotel with a score of 3.9.
Another advantage of user-generated content is its ability to personalize and inspire travel plans. Travelers are able to see real photos and videos of destinations, hotels, and activities, which can help them get a better sense of what they want to do and see on their trip.
User-generated content is also more likely to include hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences that travelers may not have known about otherwise.
Additionally, user-generated content can help travelers feel more connected to a destination or hotel, particularly if they see others who share similar interests or travel styles. This can inspire them to visit a destination they may not have considered before or to try a new hotel or activity.
How to Leverage UGC
A travel company can incorporate user-generated content in its marketing strategy and leverage it to create a more authentic and relatable brand image. Here are a few tactics you can deploy:
- Customers can be encouraged to share their experiences on social media using specific hashtags, and then share that content on their own platforms.
- Another growing and effective strategy is vlogger/blogger outreach. Hospitality companies can build relationships with influencers with an attractive audience to promote their hotel or restaurant in a more authentic and intimate way. This not only provides customers with a sense of community but also serves as social proof, which can lead to increased trust and loyalty.
- Destinations can also take advantage of user-generated content by showcasing it on their websites and social media accounts. By doing so, they can provide potential visitors with a glimpse of what to expect and entice them to visit.
- Additionally, destinations can use user-generated content to gather insights about their visitors and tailor their offerings accordingly.
As user-generated content continues to grow in importance, it will be fascinating to see how travel companies and destinations adapt to this changing landscape and use it to their advantage.
Overall, the growing importance of user-generated content presents plenty of opportunities for travel companies and destinations to enhance their marketing efforts and improve the overall visitor experience.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get your hospitality business in front of a wider audience, reach out to us!