Published on Friday, June 16, 2017

The power of the holiday snap

Marina Cheal, chief marketing officer at Reevoo, explains how to use your customers' holiday snaps and videos to promote your business.


"That smartphone in the traveller's hand snapping photos? It's a marketer's best friend. Whatever the holiday, people are capturing beautiful little moments the entire time. But when you go to a site like TripAdvisor and look up a nice hotel in an interesting place, you often end up with rather uninspiring stuff like this:

Where are those awesome photos, those once-in-a-lifetime stories? It's not that people are shy - #wanderlust Instagram is a testament to that. The problem runs a little deeper. The problem is that travel companies tend not to know that they can even get this stuff, or what they can do with it. It's a shame, because with a bit of strategy about what you collect and how you display it, these magical holiday moments can be transformational to the way a travel business operates. According to our own research, 67% of travellers use user-generated content to help inform their purchase decision. In fact, 38% of people rely on UGC the most when purchasing a holiday, over the advice of friends/relatives, price aggregation sites and expert reviews.

Done in the right way, UGC can fit in with your SEO strategy, your content strategy, and even your plans for customer experience along the purchase journey. We're not talking about ripping out what you're doing and replacing it with UGC, but using it to greatly enhance and enrich your existing marketing strategy.

SEO strategies are, of course, organised around specific queries and keywords. The problem is users are pretty uncontrollable. Can you really cover all your bases with branded content alone? Lots of branded content is great, but if you have a proactive way of collecting tailored content from your actual customers, you can display it in a way that drives traffic earlier on in the purchase journey, keeps people on your site and drives them to action.

Of course, travel brands are deep in the content game. Having good stuff on your website is crucial. But where do you get it from? Professional photography? Stock image sites? What about getting it from people who have actually been there? Contact your customers proactively via email - it's a lot better than trying to grab bits off social for a few reasons, but mainly it will avoid the tricky issue of rights management.

Request content from all of your customers once they return home, but make sure it's good quality and is structured for use. I would advise starting with a review. People expect to be asked for one and are receptive to it. Make sure it's impartial, then find out what their highlights were and probe for further content. Work out your goals before you ask for the content. If you're having trouble attracting younger people, for example, ask for party stories and photos.

Use the content everywhere, not just on your website. What about your social channels, your advertising, your physical stores if you have them? People are capable of inspiring, educating and convincing. You just have to give them the chance, by letting them share their experiences with your audience at every touchpoint.


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  • Couldn't agree more. Another example for you - these guys pull it off really well - the UGC process is built into their customer journey (in My KE and by email), each review, image or video is linked directly to their product and displayed on the KE homepage, the reviews page and most importantly the product pages where the images and videos are also displayed separately next to the official KE images for the trip. Customers can submit reviews, blogs, image libraries and videos. Submissions are frequent and have been further boosted by the inclusion of the the MyKE club level (Bronze/Silver/Gold) of the submitter which seems to have a positive effect too.

    By Matt Illston, Thursday, June 29, 2017

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