Your most effective tool in persuading potential customers to buy tickets to your attraction or tour is the glowing, impartial and authentic experience feedback of current and previous customers. Such is the power of user-generated content (UGC), helping to create genuine excitement around your business and drive up sales.
“UGC” is any online content about your tour or attraction that is created and posted by your customers rather than generated by your marketing team. In our highly connected world, it comes in many forms: texts, online videos, images or posts on social media, or online reviews. All you need to know is that it is one of the most effective ways for you to reach new audiences and persuade them to become customers.
In this week’s blog, discover how to harness the immense power of UGC to boost your business. We also reveal simple but ingenious features within our ticketing platform that will help you get your customer-content buzz started.
UGC = power to the people
Research shows that, for a whopping 80 per cent of consumers, UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions. Nowadays, consumers are more likely to buy tickets for a tour or attraction if they know more about the experience that awaits them. This is particularly the case with millennial consumers, 30 per cent of whom – unless social media presence proves that they will get the experience they are looking for – are more likely to avoid it. That’s a lot of potential footfall going in the wrong direction…
Positive UGC builds potential customers’ trust that your tour or attraction is going to deliver the experience they are looking for. UGC is regarded as 2.4 times more trustworthy than your own marketing or brand-generated content. (Putting that in context, less than half the content generated by brands is regarded as authentic.) 70 per cent of consumers consider customer recommendations or reviews as trustworthy. This rises to 92 per cent if the reviewers or posters are people they know or follow closely.
Five brilliant hacks to reap greater rewards from UGC
Help your customers create “Instagrammable” content… In other words, find creative ways to encourage your customers to share more. Twitter and Instagram are very visual media, so provide highly-shareable image-rich content which is perfect for UGC campaigns. For many high-performing brands today, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. If you can encourage users to create and share posts featuring your tour or attraction, showing their audience – and better yet, your own audience – what an amazing experience they had, this will boost your credibility … and sales.
- Suggest catchy hashtags to prompt your audience to share content, placing the relevant hashtag in the caption, making content easily “discoverable”.
- Harness “influencer power”. Many influencers have thousands of followers and their content mostly works better than peer reviews. But choose your influencer wisely! The online audience is getting smarter as distinguishing those who are authentic and genuine from those who are faking it.
- Encourage communities to engage: What’s more powerful than one visitor creating UGC? Answer: lots of visitors creating UGC! The internet has inspired the establishment of myriad groups and communities who enjoy sharing the same interests or experiences. A recent example is InstaMeets: people in the Instagram community who meet and take photos around their city together. If you can reach out and encourage online-savvy groups such as these to participate and then create UGC about their experience, you will be reaching a wider audience than you can possibly imagine.
- Look who’s talking: find out who’s mentioning your tour or attraction on social media (even if you’re not tagged) by running regular searches. If there are posts you want to share, ask the content creator for permission. If they agree, encourage or incentivise them to use your campaign or brand hashtag in future posts.
- Use a social media analytics tool to track your UGC campaign’s performance, monitor engagement, reach and build audience insights. There are many social media analytics tools available for you to choose from, some of our favourites include;
Let us help you launch your UGC
At Ventrata our mission is to provide you with the perfect solutions to all your booking needs. Included in our ticketing platform, along with seamless booking, payment and check-in, we can integrate a campaign function for you. This handy feature will help you connect with customers before they participate. For example, promoting campaign hashtags and social media handles – which will be included on all customer follow-up correspondence: from order confirmations to joining instructions.
This will help your customers share their experiences from the very beginning of their user journey – becoming genuine ambassadors throughout.
If you are not particularly tech-savvy, don’t panic! Keep calm and let our support team walk you through the entire set up. We’ll help you give your customers an incredible experience. For more information about how our proven and versatile booking platform would help you boost your business, book a demo.
“Quid pro quo, Clarice…”
It’s rare to get something for nothing. So what are the best ways for you to fully engage with your potential and future customer advocates and achieve the UGC that will really boost your business?
Credit the original creator
Always clearly credit the creator of user-generated content on your social media channels, indicating whether you are using their words and/or their images. You can easily do this by directly tagging them in the post. By recognising customers’ work, you will also build their loyalty to your business, encouraging them to create further posts. Crediting them will also provide further evidence that this content was created independently, increasing its credibility.
Incentivise your UGC campaign
A great way of encouraging UGC is offering posters something in return. Competitions, vouchers, gift cards, discounts, rewards and little treats in return for content are effective methods of quickly increasing UGC. But to really boost UGC, ask what incentivises potential posters? Surprisingly, research has shown that they are more motivated by getting ‘likes’ or to see their content featured by a big brand (60 per cent) than by prizes (32 per cent).
Be clear about what kind of content you’re looking for
More than half of consumers want businesses to tell them exactly what UGC they want. So help potential posters by offering clear guidelines as to the kind of content you’re after. You’ll therefore need a UGC strategy to make sure you are getting the right sort of content to support your marketing goals.
Devise a clear campaign hashtag and share it anywhere you are interacting with your customers. We can help you build it into a campaign function so it is included in all your pre- and post-purchase correspondence with customers. Make it highly visible across your social channels, hard copy marketing materials, on tickets, on the side of any transportation linked to your business and even on staff clothing.
Let UGC inspire you
UGC is a great source of customer research, it is less expensive than advertising and widely available. It also offers a superb opportunity for you to learn directly from customers’ observations to improve your marketing, social media marketing – and even the experience you are providing:
- Are there images you expected to see which visitors didn’t create? Take this opportunity to challenge your own assumptions about how visitors view your attraction.
- Check out what hashtags posters use – especially if they are using them in combination with your campaign hashtag. This might lead you to discover hashtag communities exist that you weren’t aware of but which could prove highly lucrative to you.
- What words or language are posters using? Could you be reaching entire new audiences by thinking or talking differently about the experience you offer? Do UGC posters’ words reflect more closely than yours how visitors really perceive your tour or attraction?
Be prepared for UGC to contain surprises as to what customers are taking away from your tour or experience. Above all, be open to considering their suggestions: they might just help you take your business in more profitable and exciting new directions.
Find out right now how our versatile booking platform provides you with the perfect solutions, including supporting you with your UGC campaigns. Book a demo today and find out how our single tech stack will transform your ticketing.
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