October 20, 2015

The Importance of User Generated Content

by Malek Murison

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Why do it yourself, when you can build a community?
Why do it yourself, when you can build a community?

In an online world where marketing bombards us from every angle, it’s getting more and more easy to simply switch off and ignore the expensive messages that businesses are intent on driving our way. Pop-ups, email newsletters, social media posts, video adverts… All of these methods can be avoided, deleted, fast-forwarded or completely disregarded. The internet is a more competitive battleground for attention than ever, so marketing needs to be smarter.

This is no different in the travel industry. The rise of spam marketing and clickbait has led to a lack of trust from consumers. Most of the internet content they see is suspected to have a hidden agenda; that's if it isn’t blatantly advertising something already. Because of this, marketing has needed to adapt to win trust back from the masses. In the travel industry, this adaptation is no better exemplified than through User Generated Content. UGC is a proven way to win the fight for authenticity, with purchasers more likely to be receptive to information from a source that doesn’t stand to directly benefit from winning their trust. UGC can be anything, from blog posts to social media statuses and reviews, photographs and videos – the key is that it’s been written by a non-professional, an authentic user who simply wants to share an opinion or experience.

The ease with which User Generated Content can be created means that you'll probably save a bunch on your marketing, and produce more fresh, engaging content than if you'd have hired a load of professionals to do it.

One market which has proven to be highly responsive to User Generated Content is the millennials. This internet-savvy generation can spot a pop-up from a mile away and is so used to scrolling on past social media adverts that they might as well not be there. Because of this they are much more comfortable with content generated by their peers, and increasingly likely to be influenced by this content over more traditional forms of marketing. Remember, not only does user generated content radiate authenticity, it's an easy way to spread your message quickly through your audience by utilising the power of influencers.

Why you should take advantage of User Generated Content to win over Millennials 
• UGC is 35% more memorable than other media
• UGC is 50% more trusted than other media
• 40% of Millennials say that they use UGC to help them make travel plans
• Millennials will soon have the greatest combined purchasing power in history
Source: Mashable, 2014

How Travelshift Fits In

Travel is the perfect industry for User Generated Content. This is because we are increasingly sharing and speaking online about our adventures through social media networks. These posts can be the foundation of any UGC campaign, and many companies already utilise these channels to start competitions, highlight positive reviews and generally spread the word.

Our Travelshift software allows you to build up a local community of experts who can post and share content related to your services and products. This creates a thriving community full of peer-reviewed services which exudes authenticity. Through reviews, blog posts and general media, customers can learn more about what you offer through the eyes of their peers. When arranging travel plans, people want to know that what they’re paying for is a genuine reflection of what they will experience. Travelshift facilitates the User Generated Content you need to give buyers the confidence to purchase in your marketplace.