Imagine waking up with a wish to go for a holiday to a serene destination and explore the beauty of nature. Believe me, the first thing you’ll do is “GOOGLE”.
You read the reviews of travel freaks to decide on a particular destination and then you will ponder upon the ratings of different travel companies to get your itinerary and tickets confirmed.
But, have you ever thought why do you even consider these reviews and ratings before every click to plan your journey?
Simple, because they are trustworthy and reliable.
So to create a strong bond with the customers and attract them with the authenticity of the services, Travel Industry leverages UGC and has incorporated it in every step of the booking process.
This blog is a full guide on how you can leverage user-generated content for travel Industry, by what means can you encourage UGC, and how to manage the authenticity of the content.
So, let’s get started.
Why Leverage UGC For The Travel Industry?
The travel industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors globally. With the high rising competition, it is getting tough for the companies to stand still in the market and perform better than the other competitors.
To upthrust their performance, they need to buckle up their marketing strategies. But the question is;
What sort of content should they provide to the customers to magnetize them towards their company?
And here comes to rescue the User-Generated Content. It is undoubtedly the most powerful content online that will help you brush-off your competitors from the market.
User-Generated Content is any content such as reviews, feedbacks, photos, videos, blog posts, etc. created by the users of the company which reflects their experiences with the company and its services.
User-generated content for travel brands plays an important role in boosting the authenticity and reliability of the company to a great extent.
It allows the travel companies to display the most valuable content to capture the attention of the customers and elevate the conversion rates like never before.
The Undenying Presence of UGC at Every Step of Travel Booking Process
When it comes to planning a vacation, it is a tedious task. You need to choose the destination, search for the best airline deals, choose the hotel/property for accommodation, and create an itinerary. After all, you need a relaxing staycation.
When you have so much to do, then why not plan it much before. And, you would be surprised to know that customers start planning their holidays 44 days before they book.
Initially, to have a better vacation experience, customers turned to their friends and family for recommendations. But now the scenario has changed. Customers have started leveraging on the internet’s word-of-mouth i.e. UGC for the recommendations before they confirm any booking.
Be it for the destination, or for the accommodation, customers search for the reviews online and consider them valuable for their vacation. They love to get recommendations from their peers online to plan for a perfect vacation without any hustle and bustle.
Travel companies showcase this UGC by displaying the past experiences of their genuine customers to authenticate their services and attract customers.
Types of UGC That Travel Industry Needs
Now since we know the importance of user-generated content for travel industry at every step of the booking process, let us explore the different types of UGC that can help you attract more customers.
1. Reviews & Feedback
Reviews and feedback are the words of the internet about the quality of the services of a company. Customers are willing to know what the existing or past experienced customers have to say about the particular hotels, or destinations.
People have a tendency to ruminate over these reviews and feedback before coming to a final booking decision.
To provide a seamless decision-making experience to the customers, travel companies display the reviews of their real customers on their website, social media accounts, and other review sites.
Travel companies, airlines, and hotels should separate positive and negative reviews/feedback and should display only the positive ones that reflect the aesthetics of their services.
According to statistics, 95% of travelers consider reviews before booking for a hotel. These reviews not only boost engagement with the customers but also lift the conversion rates of the companies.
A 5-star or 7-star hotel will offer the best leisure and luxurious services. But have you ever thought about who decides the star rating of these hotels?
Well, it’s the customers who rate these hotels according to their experiences of the services provided.
Be it a hotel, or airlines, it is important for the companies to display these star ratings to the customers. This numerical figure plays a crucial role while booking for their vacation.
Visuals attract people and infuse them with the liveliness of the image. They have the capacity to trigger the emotions of the customers and influence their purchase decision.
Taking this advantage into consideration, hotels, travel agencies enrich their website, social media, and advertisement pages with attractive and compelling visuals.
Images by the customers are the social proof of their quality services which adds to their credibility and make them a perfect choice for the new customers.
When people check-in on their social media account, they tag the destination, or the hotel, or cafe they are visiting. This serves as a powerful user-generated content for travel industry and places which help them to drive more customers by spreading awareness about the place and their services.
This way the travel agencies, hotels, places, etc. get more followers on their social media platforms which in results increases their customer reach worldwide.
How Travel Brands Can Use The Efficacy of UGC
The most crucial step is to utilize UGC effectively and efficiently to make the most out of it. Here are some interesting ways to use UGC.
1. Display reviews on the website for dignified image
Positive reviews about the hotel, airlines, or travel agencies are just a feast to their owners. They use these reviews to increase the reliability of their services.
These reviews are displayed on the website to make it look more professional and authentic than before. This enhances the image of the specific company and gives them a good position in the market full of competitors.
Many tools like Taggbox Widget can help you to embed these reviews on your website and shine with the spark in your marketing sphere.
2. Legit advertisement with social media feed wall on the website
With almost 3.6 billion users, social media is rolling over any other marketing channels nowadays. The first thing that people do when they go for a vacation is to upload their exciting images on social media to let others know about their experiences and their fun moments.
These images are a boon for the travel industry. They act as the legit advertisement for the different sectors of the industry.
These images are curated and aggregated into a single feed by using a social media aggregator tool which then embeds the feed onto the website.
3. Create an exclusive visual gallery on social media
While uploading the image, people never fail to tag the place on social media. They do this either by mentioning their social media handle or by using dedicated hashtags.
Various sectors of the travel industry use these hashtags to create a compelling and enticing social media feed to display the exclusive content on their social media accounts.
This enhances the looks and design of their social accounts and gives them an opportunity to attract image-addict customers.
4. Create recurring marketing campaigns
With the end of one vacation, there is always the start of another vacation for some other person, and the cycle goes on.
The trend of using the images of one customer to drive new customers keeps ongoing and provides the travel companies the opportunity to run the most authentic marketing campaign throughout the season.
Travel companies can even create Hashtag campaigns, by asking the customers to upload their fun moments using dedicated hashtags. These curated images can be used to create an exquisite gallery of compelling content.
This cost-effective way of marketing helps the companies to promote their services in an effective way.
5. Design an attractive advertisement with print media
Print media is not a new trend instead it’s the most primitive form of marketing. Whether regular or digital, newspapers are the daily necessity of people nowadays. So, why not advertise your services using print media?
Travel companies can use the visual content generated by the users to design attractive brochures, advertisements, etc and can use it to enhance their marketing strategy and boost their revenues.
6. Boost engagement with email marketing
Email marketing is the most civilized and professional form of marketing. To boost engagement with email marketing, travel brands can create authentic emails with enticing user-generated content to increase the click-through rates on their emails and websites.
It will enhance customer interaction with the website and will result in magnified conversion rates and accelerated rates of booking a trip.
But, Can companies repurpose the UGC in the above-discussed ways without the user’s consent?
Let’s find out!
Does Reusing This User-Generated Content Require Permission?
UGC is the content type that is created by the users in their own comfort zones. But sometimes big brands/companies do not consider the privacy of the users and reuse their generated content for their own promotional activities. This results in legal complications that might ruin the company’s image.
Therefore, companies should adhere to some specific terms and conditions to use user-generated content legally.
It is important for companies to respect the privacy concern of the users and acquire permission from them before advertising their created content.
There are many UGC rights management tools available that can help the travel brands to acquire legal rights from the users for reposting the content.
Best Practices to Encourage UGC For Travel Website and Social Platforms
1. Create an easy, quick, and well designed online survey
To make sure that your surveys are impactful and hit the large audience, use limited questions and add attractive designs to it. Use different layouts like checkboxes, progress bars, MCQs, etc to make it easy for the customers to fill the survey even if they are running out of time.
2. Offer attractive and short scaling style for ratings
Use scaling styles for encouraging the customers to rate your services. The scaling pattern should be easy, and attractive like an innovative slide bar, or emojis.
3. Create a reward system to encourage user participation
Who does not want to be rewarded? Offer an attractive give away or an exclusive reward for those who are participating. Rewards like win points, coins, badges, or discounts can make users feel special and overwhelmed. This results in better engagement of the users leading to more user generated content for travel industry.
4. Build a bond of trust with the customers
It is important to understand the privacy of the content creators to stay free from any legal issues. Travel brands should acquire rights from the content creators legally to repurpose their content for advertisement.
Apart from getting permission, companies should focus on providing personalized messages and connect with customers on social media. This builds trust in the users and encourages them to post more content.
Suggestions For Better Handling of UGC
1. Display fresh and unique content
Customers rarely rely on reviews that are quite old. To gain customer’s attention, the travel industry should consider displaying fresh and unique content which is up-to-date.
Taggbox offers a feature of real-time updates which allow these brands to display fresh content every time a customer lands on the website to make a booking.
2. Moderate the content in a decent way
Not every review about your business is positive. There are many people who give negative feedback and use filthy content to share their views. This content might damage your image in the market.
To stay free from this degraded image, travel brands must ensure that they display only valuable and relevant content.
Moderation feature offered by Taggbox helps the brands to moderate their content effectively in a simple and easy way.
3. Provide the option of classification
It is always a good option to make your customers feel comfortable and easy while searching for their needs.
To achieve this, travel brands must provide the customers with the option to classify the content according to price, location, availability, etc. Filtering reviews as per their requirement will make it easy for the customers to find the relevant reviews easily.
Wrapping it up
UGC is the most powerful content online as it displays honest and valuable reviews about the brand, and when it comes to the travel industry, it displays the authenticity of the services provided to the customers.
So, why not boost up your marketing game by leveraging UGC for travel industry advertisement?
With the above-discussed tips and suggestions, you can surely win the game with UGC and lift your conversion rates like never before.