Did you know that by 2020, the global tour and activities market is estimated to reach US $183 billion? That’s great news for tour operators, as more and more travelers around the world are interested in the trips, activities, and excursions you provide.
But it’s also a challenge.
The market is increasingly competitive, with new players—like Airbnb Experiences—entering all the time. With so many options, travelers may think you’re the same as the competition.
So, how do tour operators stand out? How do you set yourself apart from the competition and ultimately sell more tours?
The benefits of UGC
That’s where user-generated content comes in.
UGC lets you tap into and provide the authenticity that travelers crave, tell an authentic brand story, and truly showcase the different range of trips and activities you offer, directly from the travelers that have done them.
Tour operators that balance their visual marketing strategy with both owned content and UGC take advantage of the power of trustworthy visuals that resonate with travelers.
Here are 5 ways CrowdRiff can help tour operators use UGC in their marketing strategy, stand out from the competition, and drive bookings.
1| Easily access a large volume and variety of UGC
One of the main benefits of UGC is the sheer amount and diversity of it.
According to Arival, travelers find tours and activities to be the most memorable part of their trip. And with 60% of people sharing their photos to social media while they travel, there’s an abundance of visuals out there just waiting to be used.
Whether you’re looking to target millennials for a post-graduation trip, or families from a specific region on summer vacation, using UGC (and CrowdRiff!) means you can source enough relevant visuals to keep up with content demands across all of your marketing channels.
CrowdRiff helps you source this content in real-time every day, by pulling it into your visual content library and then automatically tagging it with relevant, searchable keywords so it’s always easy to find exactly what you need.
Once you have that content, it’s quick and simple to find on-brand, high quality visuals.
Using AI and the insights we've gathered from processing millions of travel visuals, the Smart Curation filter makes it easy and fast to find the most engaging, high-quality photos. And if you find an image you love, Similar Photo Finder helps you find dozens more like it in just one click.
2| Increase engagement, conversions, and sell more trips by incorporating UGC on your website
Including UGC on your website looks great, sets your brand apart from the competition by showcasing how you’re different, and is really effective.
In fact, websites that include UGC can see an increase in their time on site by up to 90%, and an increase in return visitors of 20%.
Here are just a couple of the ways CrowdRiff helps you take advantage of that.
With CrowdRiff, you can easily and quickly curate galleries for specific tours or activities and add them to your web pages (and update them) in just a few clicks. When you add a new photo or video to a gallery, that change is automatically reflected on your website.
When you use UGC on your website, whether it’s a photo embedded in a blog post or a gallery on your homepage, you see results. Take a look at Haka Tours, who lowered their bounce rate by 45%, increased their page views by 75%, and saw 30% more sessions from users when they started using CrowdRiff and added UGC to their website.
CrowdRiff galleries are also designed and optimized for mobile and the modern traveler. Considering that 48% of experiences are booked while travelers are already in their destination, and with mobile bookings only continuing to rise, this is more important than ever.
Adding CTAs to the visuals on your website lets you take an engaged traveler from inspiration to action. CrowdRiff lets you quickly add CTAs to the photos and videos in each of your galleries, so you can drive visitors straight to your booking portal and take advantage of the desire they feel in that moment.
3| Showcase tours, activities, and excursions with targeted visuals specific to each trip
More than ever, travelers expect personalized experiences.
There are a lot of tour operators out there, and chances are, many of them market similar trips or excursions. This can leave some travelers thinking you’re all the same.
So how do you actually show prospective customers what sets your trip to Machu Picchu apart? Or, why your kayaking tour through the Norwegian fjords is better than the rest? With CrowdRiff, you can gather unique content around every type of trip or experience you offer, easily highlighting key demographics or target markets.
CrowdRiff makes it easy to source enough content to support the volume and variety of your activities so you can communicate each experience in detail.
4| Get rights to UGC with a streamlined rights management process
Great UGC doesn’t just belong on your website. It’s effective, so why wouldn’t you use it across all of your marketing channels? If you get the rights to use traveler photos, they can fit right into your existing strategy, whether it’s on your social channels, in a direct mailer, or in your digital ads.
Not to mention, using UGC across multiple channels allows you to stretch your budget and save time. Think about it—it would be incredibly costly (and time consuming!) to commission a photographer to travel with each group and take photos.
When a user approves your request, CrowdRiff automatically logs the approval for your records, and then moves the photo into your "Rights-Approved" asset folder.
With CrowdRiff, the rights management process is simple and straightforward. It takes just a few clicks, and it’s easy to filter your library to see which visuals you have rights for, and which requests are still outstanding.
5| Take the guesswork out of choosing the right visuals
One of the benefits of a visual content marketing platform like CrowdRiff is that it can help you gain valuable insight through your visuals.
What trips & activities do customers like the best?
With so much UGC flowing into your library, you can find actionable insights into the type of trips and activities that are resonating the best with your customers. Maybe you notice tons of photos of travelers paragliding over an ocean, or millennials participating in an authentic cooking class.
You can use this insight to not only tailor your marketing for different groups or demographics, but also customize your trip itineraries for them.
Which visuals are performing?
CrowdRiff tracks metrics on the images in your galleries (like engagement, interactions, and views), and our Google Analytics integration lets you dig deeper into behavioural and demographic data. This information can provide you with helpful, actionable insights on your visuals and your audience.
CrowdRiff helps you save time and work smarter, so you spend less time searching for visuals and more time using them.
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