User generated content (UGC) can simplify the lives of many hoteliers.For those who want to provide better pictures to travelers, but don’t have the budget, UGC can solve this.

With the camera of an iPhone people can do wonders nowadays! Sure, it’s not the same as if you had a professional photographer taking your shots, but at least it’s better than that old listing of pixelated pictures you’re currently showing… no offense.

Eventually you would want these pictures displayed everywhere; not only on your website, but on OTAs and social networks as well.

UGC photos are bound to better fit the requirements many OTAs ask for. For example, Expedia prefers at least 20 images of your property, of 2,880px wide. IPhone cameras still don’t reach that resolution, but the iPhone 5 can capture beautiful 1,136×640 photographs that definitely look better than a 350px wide photo in a 2,880×1,800 computer screen.

So, how can you start generating free content that’s visually appealing? (That already sounds tempting doesn’t it?). First of all, you need to let your viewers know that you want content!  Ask travelers to share their experiences through social channels. Add buttons in your gallery encouraging them to upload photos of your hotel.  Ask your front desk agents to communicate this opportunity to guests that check-in.

Make sure to offer some type of reward! Some people are nice enough to upload their pictures with nothing in exchange, but not everything in life is free. Let users know that the photographers of the selected pictures you choose to use will be rewarded with a free breakfast/ discount in service/free cocktail/gift card, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Contests are also a great way of inciting UGC. They tend to be better in some cases because you can choose to impose guidelines for the pictures you are looking for, making sure that what is submitted is only of the best quality and in-line with your necessities.

The market is asking for better visuals to look at. It’s only fair that you give it to them, especially if it requires minimal effort on your side.

Give them something to talk about.  

IcePortal helps clients manage and distribute visual content to over 11 million unique visitors a month on 1,000s of travel and local websites around the globe in nine languages. To know more about us visit our social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+; visit ICEPortal, or give us a call at (+1)954-893-6778. We would love to hear from you!

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