These days, companies aren’t the only ones controlling their marketing. Your customers have a big say in your brand identity, and they can make their case through a variety of channels. Whether you like it or not, user-generated content is changing the face of marketing. But with the right strategy, you could leverage this force in your favor.8
For having such a technical sounding name, user generated content (UGC) is quite simple. The short definition of UGC is, published information that an unpaid contributor (your customers) puts online. It’s online communication about your business that you didn’t create. That could be through reviews on TripAdivsor or Yelp, or through posts, pictures, or videos on social media. Maybe it’s even a blog post about their recent experience on your course.
There’s no official narrative when it comes to user generated content. That might sound scary to a marketer, but that’s actually a great thing for your zip tour or adventure park. Here’s why:
It turns out that millennials—who will soon have the greatest combined purchasing power in history—trust their peers’ opinions as much, and sometimes more, than the pros. Research from the marketing startup Crowdtap, and global research company Ipsos, finds that UGC is 35 percent more memorable than other forms of media. It’s also 20 percent more influential in millennials’ purchasing decisions than all other media. When it comes to travel in particular, two-fifths of millennials say they use UGC to inform their itineraries.
As more people across generations become comfortable online, these trends will apply to older demographics as well.
While UGC certainly democratizes your messaging and marketing, it’s not a threat. As an adventure park operator, you’re perfectly positioned to channel this type of content for your own brand building. After all, you run an exciting, high quality, visually stunning tour. That’s a winning combination for all kinds of Facebook videos, Instagram photos, and TripAdvisor reviews.
But before getting further into this element of your marketing strategy, let’s back up a bit and consider why someone would post this kind of content in the first place.