I'd like to create a new word that summarizes how hotels can effectively participate in today's web:
Guestsourcing: the practice of sourcing content from customers in the hospitality industry.
Terms such as user-generated content (UGC) and crowdsourcing have been popular for the past 4 or 5 years, but I find them unsatisfactory for this concept.
Advantages of guestsourcingGreater depth of information
- UGC can refer to anything from product reviews to opensource software; guestsourcing should apply only to rich media in the travel & hospitality context
- Crowdsourcing is a term better applied to project-based work; guestsourcing should be an ongoing process
It's time we had a specific label for this concept in the travel & hospitality marketing industry.
: there's a reason Wikipedia is over 25 times larger than the Encyclopedia Britannica – everyone working together can create more content than one individual organization. A wide range of information is essential for reaching the long tail of niche web searches.Guest's perspective
: Travel planners would rather hear from other guests than from marketers like usPotential to increase brand loyalty
: Active participation in content production can create a sense of ownershipIncreased search visibility
: Neislen Buzz Metrics reports 26% of all search results link to user-created contentFree & candid market research
: Guests will be freely talking about what they like and don't like – without interruptive surveys or focus groupsWhat types of content?
Guestsourcing primarily focuses on five areas of searchable content:
- Wikis (for destination information)
- Blog posts
- Audio (to a lesser degree)
Guest-written reviews – like the ones you find on TripAdvisor – fall outside the definition of this term. While this type of guest-produced content is essential for any hotel marketing effort, much has been written on this topic and no further definition is needed.
Blog posts, however, represent a unique type of contribution to an organization's web presence, and should come under the category of guestsourcing.Traits of highly effective guestsourcing
- A plan and organizational culture of actively encouraging guests to produce content
- Providing resources and access to produce the content
- Explaining a way to organize content uploaded to the internet
- Creating a central access point for others to access the content
- Developing sharing mechanisms to distribute the content
Original article: www.hotelmarketingstrategies.com/guestsourcing About the author
This blog is written by Josiah Mackenzie, who enjoys exploring the relationship between emerging technology and the hospitality industry. www.hotelmarketingstrategies.com