Why UGC is a Game Changer for Destination Marketers

There are 4.7 billion active social media users, so if only half of those post just once that's still 2.35 billion pieces of user-generated content.

Tapping into locals and honing into those local stories is something that's now clear is the only way for destinations to think about how they tell their stories.

Tapping into locals and honing into those local stories is something that's now clear is the only way for destinations to think about how they tell their stories.


Hannah starts out by sharing the 'box of life' stories that exist within our lives. Do any of us remember how we used to have physical photos or old films that we would gather around and watch together, or how we uploaded all our photos to Facebook albums, to share them with friends and family? Now, the way we share stories has changed, it's in real-time and instead of telling it in the living room, we tell it to the world.


Considering all of this, user-generated content is not new. All of these ways in which we tell our stories are just an amalgamation of this wider storytelling environment which has always been part of our DNA.


At CrowdRiff, they talk about user-generated-content with three Ps:

  1. Plentiful
  2. Profitable
  3. Powerful


According to CrowdRiff, there are 4.7 billion active social media users, so if only half of those post just once that's still 2.35 billion pieces of user-generated content that destinations can choose from, whilst brands are of course posting a lot more than that.


So how do you leverage this? Well, destination marketers need content and recognise that today they aren't the only stewards of the brand. Research shows that user-generate-content performs 5x better across our channels. It's worth noting that this is not only marketing value, but it's also highly useful in filling content gaps.

The Power of Social


As destinations increasingly focus on sustainability and educating visitors, we see the power of social to also provide new perspectives.


Passports are not a new technique to get people inside the destination to go out and create authentic content in the destination.


Visit Fort Wayne has taken this to the next level with a physical passport ran as a big event each year with visitors as well as residents going out and sharing stories and content around the destination to get stamps and deals and share each page / story in the passport on social. This results in a massive increase in content creation, driving really useful results for the team to use.


In Milan, YesMilano created a robust strategy to drive interest again in the destination through UGC. Coming out of Covid they grew visitors from 45,000 to 200,000 and more recently have started to use user-generated-content to drive engagement around events like Milano Design Week.

Key Takeaways

  • Visitors look for authentic content and real stories to help make decisions in travel.

  • UGC can be highly useful in filling content gaps.

  • Effective UGC has to (can) be plentiful, practical and powerful.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Hannah Grant

CrowdRiff