Google Drive can be a useful tool for sharing photos with your tour or activity customers. It’s available everywhere and is known as a secure sharing platform.
The problem is, Google Drive only provides 15 GB storage with their free plan. This is equivalent to about 3,000 images. While this may seem like a lot, this isn’t the best photo sharing platform for tour and activity operators who will soon fill up this space with customer photos, as well as internal business documents.
If you share videos with customers, this space restriction will fill up even more rapidly.
Paid plans provide up to 2 TB of storage, which can hold hundreds of thousands of images. This is a more suitable amount for activity and tour operators, but the platform still lacks some major features.
The first is that Google Drive can become especially complicated if you have multiple sites using the same account. But if each site has a different account, the costs can add up quickly for your business.
In addition, Google Drive does not allow custom branding when sharing photos with your customers which not only takes away from your overall customer experience but prevents you from accessing the photo marketing benefits that come with an experiential photo marketing solution like Fotaflo.
Here are some of the top alternatives to Google Drive for photo sharing, which give activity and tour operators an easy way of sharing photos.
The top photo sharing sites and platforms for activity and tour operators
Dropbox is another cloud-based file sharing program like Google Drive. The free version is even more limiting than Google Drive's free option with only 2 GB of storage. To be of any use to your tour or activity business, you would need to upgrade to a paid version, which offers up to 3 TB of storage.
Like Google Drive, the main benefit of Dropbox is that files are accessible from any device with an internet connection. Once files are uploaded and organized, you can share folders with customers by sending them a link. You can also decide whether the customer can view only or edit, providing more control to you and your business.
WeTransfer is a popular file sharing system with both a free and paid version. Both versions allow you to track the files, so you know when they arrive and have been downloaded.
The free version allows for unlimited photo sharing, but you can only send 2 GB worth of files at a time. If you’re hoping to send high quality images for customers to print and share, this space will fill up quickly. You are also limited to three recipients at a time, which can be limiting if you’re trying to share with a larger number of people.
Another problem with the free version is that the images are only available for seven days before they’re deleted. This may seem like a good amount of time, but if your guests visited you early on in their vacation, they might not get home in time to save them.
The paid version fixes some of these problems. It does not limit the number of files or recipients and allows you to control how long the images can be accessed from one week to forever. It also provides a portal where you can organize files by client.
WeTransfer has two major pitfalls. The first is that pricing is per person, which means you will have to pay for each staff member who sends photos. Alternatively, you can limit who is able to send images, but this can create unnecessary headaches. In addition, no matter which option you choose, your images will be sent with WeTransfer branding, and not your own.
Smash is similar to WeTransfer. Some of the benefits of Smash are that it allows users to preview images so that they can decide which images they want to download. This is not the case for WeTransfer. The free version also comes with no file size limits but anything over two GB will be subject to a waiting queue.
Smash does have a paid version but to give your customers more than 30 days of availability, you must get the Enterprise Level. The good news is that this level comes with unlimited users which is great for tour and activity operators with multiple locations and people sending images.
Again, however, you’re not able to brand your photos with your own logo - and you can’t use it to remarket to your customers in the future.
ShootProof is another popular image sharing platform. One of the biggest benefits of ShootProof over the others is that it allows you to add branding, logos and watermark. The program also allows for shareable portfolio galleries that can be password protected so that each customer can only access their own.
ShootProof, however, was designed for professional photographers. This means you will get several other tools, like invoicing, contract management and automated payouts that you don’t need. It also doesn’t allow for multiple branded sites, which means providers with multiple locations would have to have multiple accounts, and that can add up quickly.
ShootProof does have a free version, but it only allows you to upload 100 images a month and pictures are limited to 50 mb each.
While all these photo sharing sites and programs are great photo sharing options, they weren’t specifically designed for the tour and activity industry. Fotaflo was.
Fotaflo is an experiential photo marketing platform that provides activity and tour operators an easy way of sharing photos with their guests.
We offer a range of plans from 3,000 to 200,000+ photos and videos a year with one to 200 branded sites per account. This means that tour and activity businesses with multiple locations can customize the experience of each site for a better customer experience. From these branded sites, guests can view their photos, download and share to popular social media sites.
Fotaflo also offers branded media and custom subdomains, as well as branded emails for easy photo sharing with customers. If you want to share via social or SMS, you can do that as well.
In addition, all Fotaflo accounts come with unlimited staff logins, which mean your tour guides can be responsible for their own images. This will help ensure the right images and videos get to the right people.
More importantly, photos and videos will be available to customers (and your business) forever. This offers two major benefits.
The first is that it extends the life of your relationship with your customer. If a year or two down the road they want to redownload images, they can log in to their custom-branded page and access their photos. This will keep your company fresh in their mind and may lead to repeat business.
Secondly, it opens you up to another major benefit of Fotaflo. One that isn’t available with any of the other platforms that we’ve talked about. And that is remarketing and engagement.
Unlike Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer and Smash, Fotaflo has built-in tools for improving customer engagement and sending out remarketing. This includes advocate identification and automatic remarketing campaigns using images from previous experiences with your company.
At the end of the day, the program that will work best for you will depend on your specific business requirements. What’s important to remember, however, is that many photo sharing programs weren’t designed with tour businesses in mind. While they can be used for storage they have limited functionality beyond that, and they don’t provide customers with an easy to use, branded experience that keeps them coming back to your tour company.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Fotaflo can be customized to help your tour and activity business grow, contact us today.