Nothing seems to inspire innovation more than the necessity to adapt to something new. In the past two years, DMOs had to change their approach towards User Generated Content — because there wasn't any! Now that travel has increased, we are sharing some of the creative ways DMOs are leveraging UGC to market their destination in the new norms of the industry. 

So get ready to run … campaigns, that is.

Here are our top 10 tips for utilizing UGC to boost marketing efforts for your destination:

1. Increase the volume: most successful clients using UGC curate content on every page of their site

2. Place UGC in the header: using a UGC gallery as a website header is a great solution to outdated photography header

3. Make uploading easy: implement a photo collector on your site to make it easy for locals and visitors to share images

  • Get creative and use multiple collectors for photo contests or share a link to a photo collector with local photographers via an Instagram direct message 
  • Make sure they are aware you will provide photo credit wherever submitted photos are used

4. Design mobile galleries: with the majority of visitors viewing DMO websites from their phones, keep their experience in mind when scrolling through your site

5. Implement CTAs: help visitors know what they are looking at by including a call to action on photos; when creating CTAs, include an action verb to drive visitors to partner sites

6. Use interns: interns are a valuable resource when using UGC

  • Find someone who speaks the language, knows where to look for great photos opportunities, has scrolled through Instagram for countless hours, and understands a compelling image when they see one
  • Tap into these savvy young minds to obtain rights to images and to help build and update galleries

7. Plan ahead for holidays: make a holiday gift guide highlighting local small businesses — the opportunities are endless as you consider all of the gift-giving holidays where a UGC-driven guide would be useful

Local Gift Guide Using UGC

8. Embed single image UGC: add a single image from your Crowfriff gallery to complement your blog posts or landing pages 

9. Plan for events in 2022: with most annual events on hold, DMOs are left struggling to find ways to promote upcoming events that are returning in 2022; search for past hashtags used at key events and create a UGC gallery using historic photos to promote future events.

Coachella UGC on phone

10. Use event walls: with a large monitor and an HDMI cable, DMOs can quickly turn UGC into a work of art at visitor centers, events, or conferences

  • At Simpleview, we created a UGC staff wall to encourage our team to share their remote work environments as a way of connecting our staff both near and far