Every day, your guests are capturing and sharing photos and videos of your resort or hotel and the experience you provide.
Whether they’re posting photos of their room or sharing an Instagram Story while lounging poolside, they’re creating authentic and original visual content of what it’s actually like to be a guest at your hotel.
These visuals are aesthetically pleasing, credible, and effective. Consider these stats:
- Social media posts with UGC see an engagement rate that is 28% higher than regular branded content.
- Millennials find user-generated content to be 50% more trustworthy than other kinds of media.
- Websites with visual user-generated content galleries can see a 90% increase in their time on site.
It’s pretty clear that for resort and hotel marketers, UGC is an integral part of any successful marketing strategy.
But, while you may understand the importance of using user-generated content, it can sometimes be hard to figure out when and how you can actually use it. When you find great UGC, how do you actually get the rights to it?
When do you need rights?
Before we dive into how you can get the rights to user-generated content, let’s first recap when you need to request rights.
While this definitely isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice, we can try to provide some good rules of thumb for when you do and don’t need rights.
When you don't need rights
If you’re displaying or sharing UGC through the original social network or an API partner (like CrowdRiff!) you don’t need rights. This includes:
- Embedding an Instagram post or Tweet onto your blog
- Displaying a UGC gallery through CrowdRiff
If using a CrowdRiff gallery like the above, you don't need to request rights to the photos in it, as CrowdRiff is an API partner.
When you do need rights
If you want to use a guest’s photo in most of your other marketing channels, you’ll usually need to ask for rights. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re taking the photo or video off of its social network, you need to ask for permission. This includes:
- Using a photo in a print or digital ad
- Reposting a photo or video to your own social media
- Including it in a direct mail piece
Now that you know when you need rights, here’s how you actually go about getting them.
1| Give guests a way to share their photos with you
The first step in getting the rights to use guests’ photos is making it easy for them to actually share their visuals with you.
Make sure you’re sharing and promoting your social media handles and official hashtag so guests actually know them. If they don’t know them, they can’t use them.
This could be in the bio section or caption of your social posts, on your hotel signage, or in your monthly newsletter. Live displays or photo walls featuring guests' images are also a great way to both promote the different activities and experiences you offer as well as remind guests to use your hashtag while they’re there.
2| Find the high quality, on-brand content you need
Once you’ve made it easy for guests to share their photos and videos with you, you need to be able to find them.
With huge volumes of UGC being created and shared every day, you’re never at a loss for content. However, that can also mean you need something to help you cut through the noise, so you’re using the right content that meets your brand standards.
CrowdRiff makes it easy to find the visuals you want with its AI-powered smart platform, that’s designed to make it as easy as possible to surface the best visuals in your library. With Smart Curation, you can easily filter your library to find the highest quality content that’s likely to perform the best.
3| Want to use guests' visuals? Just ask!
Most social media users are usually flattered when a brand asks to use their photo.
When you’re requesting rights, try using these best practices:
- Show appreciation with a nice comment or compliment
- Tell them how you are actually going to use the visual
- Give them a way to explicitly say “yes” (e.g. #YesCrowdRiff)
Here are a few of the benefits of CrowdRiff’s streamlined rights management process:
- After commenting, CrowdRiff will listen for an approval. When a user responds with your hashtag, a screenshot will be taken and archived for your records.
- Once approved, CrowdRiff automatically retrieves the highest-resolution photo available.
- It’s easy to keep track of which visuals you have rights to - icons are automatically added to every visual that is rights-approved, and you can filter your requests to see which requests are still outstanding and which have been approved.
4| For extra peace of mind, direct people to your full Terms & Conditions
We understand that travel and tourism marketers (or your legal team!) can sometimes want more than just a simple “yes”.
If you do, you can have your comment direct users to where they can review your full terms and conditions. A lot of brands will just create a simple page on their website with their terms and then direct social users there.
For the strictest legal requirements, CrowdRiff also offers Advanced Rights Management, which displays the photos you’ve requested rights to alongside your full legal document. It also lets you send multiple requests to one user and lets them choose which of those photos they want to give permission to, which gives brands a higher chance of getting more photos approved!
Use your UGC
Once you have the rights to great visuals, it’s easy to incorporate them into your existing marketing strategy, whether that’s simply reposting to social media, including it in your digital ads, or even building an entire campaign around UGC.
About the authorFollow on Linkedin More posts by Maggie Brennand