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Mary Jean Quijano

From Selfies to Sales: Integrating UGC into Hotel And Tourism Summer Marketing Strategies

Summer has arrived and the travel bug is definitely biting. But, in a sea of hotels and destinations all competing for attention, how can yours truly stand out? This is where the power of User-Generated Content (UGC) comes into the picture. Learn how it can transform your summer marketing strategy, increase engagement, build trust with potential guests, and ultimately convert summer dreams into hot bookings.

The Rise of UGC in Marketing

The marketing landscape has gone through a significant shift. The days of polished commercials and airbrushed magazine ads shaping consumer perceptions are over. Today, authenticity thrives and customers want to see the real experiences that brands offer. This paradigm shift caused the rapid growth of UGC, an emerging trend in which customers, rather than marketing professionals, shape brand narratives and influence purchasing decisions.

The Influence of Social Media

In the 2023 State of Social and User-Generated Content Report by TINT, it was discovered that the majority of consumers use social media as a search engine. In this digital age, social media has officially transformed how we connect, share information, and even decide what to buy. Social media platforms allow users to voice their thoughts, recommend products and services they love, and share their experiences. Consumers usually often turn on peer recommendations before making purchases.  Positive feedback, testimonials, and recommendations from friends, online influencers, and communities heavily influence buying decisions and brand loyalty.

The Shift Towards Authenticity

Consumers nowadays look for authenticity. This shift in consumer behavior explains why UGC is effective for summer marketing strategies. According to the report of TINT, 68.75% of consumers have made a purchase based on something they saw on social media, and 69.08% of marketers believe ratings and reviews influence conversion rates. Unlike traditional marketing materials, UGC provides a glimpse into actual guest experiences. From poolside selfies, breathtaking sunset photos, and to genuine reviews that capture the essence of your location. This authenticity resonates deeply with potential guests, establishing a sense of trust and connection far stronger than any manufactured marketing message.

The Art of Content Creation

UGC isn’t just about casual photos and reviews, incorporating it into marketing campaigns requires a strategic approach. Understanding the art of content creation, the ability to create compelling narratives and visuals that resonate with an audience in particular, is vital for transforming these everyday posts into effective marketing tools for your summer strategy. By leveraging the creativity and enthusiasm that come with user-generated content, you will not only increase engagement but also grow a sense of authenticity that appeals to today’s consumers.

Curating Compelling Campaigns

According to TINT’s survey of consumers, the most trustworthy content is Authentic UGC, followed by Creators, Brand Content, Influencers, and Staged UGC. Matt Greener, CMO at TINT, stated that Authentic UGC is viewed as the most trustworthy because it is created by people who have firsthand experience and is not directly affiliated with the brand, whereas staged UGC is less trustworthy because it is planned, rehearsed, or commissioned by the business. However, if used strategically, staged UGC can serve as a guide for real customers to produce high-quality, authentic UGC. 

The report discovered that each type of content has particular effects on different stages of the journey of the consumer, making it critical to select the appropriate type of content for each stage of the funnel.

While UGC provides a collection of authentic moments, it takes strategic content creation to transform them into sales drivers. By understanding user interests and trending content formats, like short-form videos or engagement posts, you can spark user creativity and encourage participation.  Through this strategic content creation approach, you can curate the best UGC and weave it into a compelling narrative that not only boosts engagement but seamlessly integrates UGC with your summer sales goals.

Building Desire and Trust

According to a study by Hubspot on consumer trends in 2022, 22% prefer to discover new products through social media over other channels. By utilizing social media, the main role of UGC takes place. UGC can take many forms, including awe-inspiring customer reviews, compelling comments, stunning social media posts, and captivating videos. It serves as the collective voice of people, conveying authentic experiences and emotions that resonate with your target audience. By building desire and trust through UGC, it not only allows brands to tap into their customers’ perspective, but it also strengthens relationships and fosters brand loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.

Leveraging UGC for Sales

When it comes to summer marketing campaigns for hotels and tourism, integrating UGC can yield several benefits. It adds authenticity to promotional efforts. Potential travelers are more likely to trust content created by fellow travelers than polished advertisements from brands. By showcasing real experiences and genuine reviews, UGC helps to build trust and credibility, ultimately influencing purchasing decisions. UGC provides a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, catering to different demographics and interests within the target audience. For instance, a hotel can feature UGC from families enjoying their stay, couples on romantic getaways, or adventure seekers exploring nearby attractions. This diversity allows for a more personalized and inclusive marketing approach, resonating with a broader audience.

Partnering with Content Creators

Content creators bring creativity and authenticity to promotional content. Their unique perspectives and storytelling abilities enable them to craft compelling narratives around travel experiences, enticing their audience to engage with the brand. Through visually captivating photos, engaging videos, and insightful reviews, content creators can effectively showcase the offerings and amenities of hotels and tourism destinations, ultimately influencing purchase decisions. Whether it’s showcasing luxurious accommodations, highlighting local attractions, or promoting seasonal packages, influencers can produce a steady stream of authentic content that resonates with their audience. This content can then be repurposed and integrated into summer marketing campaigns across various channels, including social media, websites, and email newsletters.

Optimizing Your Content 

Optimizing involves leveraging various digital platforms and channels to amplify its reach and visibility. Incorporating relevant keywords, hashtags, and geotags can enhance the discoverability of UGC, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with. Furthermore, optimizing content involves leveraging analytics and data insights to refine summer marketing strategies continually. 

By tracking key performance metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, businesses can identify which types of user-generated content resonate most with their audience and adjust their approach accordingly. This data-driven approach allows hotels and tourism destinations to optimize their content in real-time, maximizing the effectiveness of summer marketing campaigns.

Key Takeaways

Today’s consumers seek authentic experiences, and UGC delivers exactly that, fostering trust and connection with potential guests. Hotels and destinations can grow their reach, build credibility, and convert summer dreams into bookings by incorporating UGC into their marketing strategies. From social media posts and reviews to influencer collaborations, UGC offers a wide variety of real content that resonates with target audiences. By leveraging social media platforms, where UGC thrives, it allows brands to tap into their audience’s voice, influencing purchasing decisions and increasing campaign sales. If you feel lost in the world of digital marketing, consult with an expert. Book an appointment today!

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