In today’s hyperconnected world, marketing professionals face a relentless challenge: keeping up with the ever-expanding demand for fresh and engaging content. With over 79% of adults using social media, these platforms, particularly TikTok and Instagram, have transformed into bustling marketplaces, each vying for attention amidst a ceaseless stream of content. This relentless demand for fresh and engaging content can result in creative stagnation or burnout amongst already resource limited teams.  

A new form of marketing that has evolved with the expansion of social media is User-Generated Content (UGC). UGC offers a solution that is both innovative and highly effective in meeting the new demand placed on businesses to create content. UGC refers to any content created by consumers or brand advocates, comprising of everything from product reviews and social media posts to customer-created videos and images. Unlike traditional marketing materials, UGC harnesses the creator’s authenticity and relatability to resonate with target audiences at no added cost to businesses.  

By leveraging UGC, marketers can address the creative fatigue that plagues the digital landscape. In addition, UGC offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional marketing strategies which allows brands to amplify their reach without breaking the bank. 

Two prime examples of worldwide companies that have successfully harnessed the power of UGC are GoPro, a renowned camera manufacturer, and Stanley Cup, which recently had a customer post a TikTok video of Stanley Cup ‘s thermal ‘Quencher’ having withstood a car fire that went viral.  

GoPro has cultivated a community of adventure seeking brand enthusiasts who frequently share their experiences captured using GoPro cameras. In addition, GoPro runs the ‘Photo of the Day’ campaign in which the brand chooses one UGC photo every day of the year to repost to their social media accounts, giving fans the opportunity to launch their own social media followings. The company’s Instagram account currently boasts over 19 million followers and has over 49 million posts to the #GoPro hashtag, with a significant portion of content shared being user-generated.  

While GoPro fosters a dedicated community through ongoing engagement, Stanley Cup’s viral moment exemplifies the explosive power of a single, unexpected piece of UGC.  Recently a women posted a TikTok video of the inside of her scorched car after it had caught fire. Inside the car was her ‘Quencher’ thermal Stanley Cup, completely unscathed by the flames and amazingly when she picked it up, you could hear there was still ice inside. Stanley Cup’s Global President realised how this users’ content acted as a great brand ambassador for their product and quickly contacted her to send her some more Stanely Cups as well as replace her burnt car with a brand-new one. At present, this video is sitting at over 94.1 million views, 9 million likes and thousands of comments from users being swayed to purchase their own cup after seeing its durability and the generosity of the company. Since then, Stanley Cup has raised over $750 million in increased revenue in 2023, which is in stark contrast to 2019 when the brand considered ceasing production of the ‘Quencher’ due to lack of sales.  

The impact of UGC on GoPro and Stanley Cup’s marketing strategies are undeniable. By showcasing UGC, the brands have not only enriched their social media presence but also fostered a sense of loyalty and connection amongst their customers, which in turn increased their business revenue. UGC has emerged as a game-changer in the marketing landscape, providing a powerful solution to the content creation demand. By embracing UGC, brands can effectively connect with their target audiences, enhance brand authenticity, and drive business growth.  

While these global examples illustrate the transformative power of UGC, at Epic Shot we have focused on the gap that exists within New Zealand’s tourism industry. As technology has evolved, travellers now often scour social media posts when deciding how to plan their itineraries instead of visiting travel agencies. We at Epic Shot know travellers crave authentic, real-life experiences — whereas staged photos and glossy brochures just don’t have the same impact.  Tourists want to see destinations through the eyes of their fellow adventurers.   

That’s where Epic Shot’s easy and intuitive based system becomes a game changer. Epic Shot is a photo and video system that is designed for customers to download footage straight to their devices and post to social media, transforming customers into valuable online advocates for the business. With direct device download, vertical videos, and copyright-free audio, Epic Shot empowers customers to create high-quality, social-ready content that can easily go viral. Since Epic Shot has been implemented at AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, have garnered over 80 million views, seven million likes and 100,000 shares of Epic Shot content through UGC in just six months.  

“User generated content is an integral part of our social media strategy at AJ Hackett Bungy NZ. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety surrounding the nature of our experiences, so potential customers find it incredibly helpful to hear from those who have just completed one of our activities to gain insight into what it was like to bungy jump, swing, etc. There’s a lot of work we can do at the brand level using our owned social media channels to inspire individuals to Live More and Fear Less, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, a lot of the time, UGC can help nudge those on the fence who may need a little bit more convincing when it comes time to book.”

Heather Cosentino, Digital Marketing Manager, AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

No marketing tool resonates as strongly as your own customers raving about your product. Public perception of a brand is really the only thing that matters, it’s immeasurably powerful. By harnessing customers with optimal photos and video, Epic Shot turns customers into brand ambassadors, effortlessly amplifying your reach and fostering genuine connections with potential visitors. 

The landscape of tourism marketing is changing, and Epic Shot is at the forefront of this evolution. By embracing the power of UGC, New Zealand tourism businesses can not only captivate potential visitors but also build a community of loyal brand advocates. This is the future of tourism marketing, and Epic Shot is the key to unlocking it. Embrace authentic storytelling, empower your customers, and watch your business thrive.