By Blake Ng — 4 May 2017
Perhaps you are an independent tour and activity operator who runs a whale watching company in a coastal destination. Your expertise lies in boating and whales and sea life, and you’re an experienced business person as well. You are aware that exciting and striking visual content is essential in promoting any tourism-related brand, but it takes time to capture all those photos and you’re too busy running your business. This is where you can transform your biggest asset — your customers — into your marketing department. Here’s how to implement a user-generated content (UGC) marketing strategy into your tour and activity company:
The first step to increasing user-generated content about your brand is to develop a presence on the most popular social media sites. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are three platforms that are widely used by tour and activity providers. Facebook allows you to post videos and live feeds of your tours, which are known for their high user engagement levels. Instagram is an image-centric social networking site that is the perfect place to post your most breathtaking photographs of whales breaching out of the crystal blue waters. Twitter is the perfect way to keep your followers informed by posting information about new blog posts, tour updates and upcoming promotions. Encourage your customers to follow your social media pages, especially Instagram. When they post their photos of their experience with you on their own Instagram account, you have the source of your user-generated content there and waiting to be used.
Hashtags are a social networking component that originated on Twitter but are now widely used on many of the social networking sites available today. When users post a photo or a status with a hashtag, other people who are interested in that topic can click on the hashtag in order to see more posts regarding that topic. So, by creating a hashtag for your brand, your followers automatically organize all of the posts about your brand in one convenient location. Your hashtag should be short and succinct. Less than 15 characters is best. You can use your official hashtag to see all posts regarding your business collected together and pick and choose the content you want to repost on your own account.
Online reviews are an important component in marketing your tour and activity products online. Upon completing one of your tours, you can ask your customers to leave feedback for you on social networking sites as well as online review sites, such as TripAdvisor. This feedback provides other interested travelers with reliable information about your company, and will ultimately become one of your most influential forms of marketing.
An expensive marketing staff member is probably not in your budget as an independent tour operator who specializes in giving travelers amazing glimpses of majestic whales in their natural habitat. But that’s okay, because you don’t need to rely on an SEO expert or promotional developer in order to increase your brand recognition amongst your target audience. User-generated content is some of the most powerful marketing material available today, and luckily, it’s also the most affordable.
To find out more information about developing an effective distribution strategy and using your own customers as a distribution channel, download the Rezdy distribution ebook now.