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There are two reasons why a customer books a tour or activity adventure. Firstly, because they want an amazing experience. And, secondly, because they want photos of that experience that perfectly capture their memories, and that they can share with their friends and family.

Where many tour and activity businesses go wrong is that they either let their customers take their own photos during the activity, or they take photos of customers in random places throughout the experience on the customers’ smartphone.

What businesses should be doing is taking photos with intent, and then controlling the distribution of those photos so that they are always shared with the company’s brand logo on them.

Tour and activity businesses can access huge benefits when they focus on creating owned media instead of earned media. In this blog we’re going to look at owned media vs earned media, and how owned media can drive both new referral bookings and repeat bookings. 

What is earned media?

Earned media is favorable exposure for a brand that isn’t controlled by the company itself, but by its customers. It’s essentially online word of mouth, usually seen in the form of ‘viral’  posts, mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, social media posts, recommendations and content picked up by third-party sites.

For tour and activity operators, earned media often comes in the form of content that is distributed by the brand to their customers, without any branding or control over how it’s distributed. For example, a form of earned media would be a tour guide taking a photo of a customer on the customers’ smartphone, and then the customer going home and sharing those images with their social media followers.

Earned media can be great for word of mouth marketing. In fact, A Nielsen study shows that earned media earns high marks for trust. 83 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people that they know. 

The problem is, when it comes to tour and activity experiences, earned media often has no clear branding or call to action to point new customers in the direction of your company. 

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What is owned media? 

Owned media, on the other hand, is marketing content that is owned and controlled by the brand. This often comes in the forms of photos, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and social media posts.

Tour and activity operators can also use a photo marketing service to distribute owned media to their customers, and realize huge ROI as a result. When you take photos of your customer with intent and share those photos through custom-branded website pages, you keep your brand name top of mind for both past customers and new referrals. 

For example, here at Fotaflo our innovative platform enables tour and activity providers to provide each of their customers with a private URL to a photo album, where they can view and share all of the photos from their experience.

Photos on this page are permanently branded with the company logo, so guests never forget the experience or your business. 

How your tour or activity business can benefit from a photo marketing service that focuses on owned media

For tour and activity businesses, past customers are the most valuable revenue stream. Not only can you motivate them to make repeat bookings, but you can also use them to gain new referral bookings to your business.

That’s why owned media is so important - and it’s often used in email remarketing campaigns to achieve great results. By remarketing to your past customers with photo memories on important dates, whether it be the anniversary they had the experience with your brand or their birthday, you can remind past customers of their experience and take further action.

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By sharing a custom-branded photo album with past customers, you’ll encourage them to share the page with their friends and family through their social media channels, emails, text and even review websites.

In turn, more people are driven to your brand’s website with the desire to have the same experience as the person who shared the photo album. The best thing about owned media is that customers share their experience for years after it even happened, meaning your brand can benefit from referral bookings from owned media for years to come.

Interested in learning more about how the Fotaflo platform can help you? Book a free demo today and learn how our software can help you enhance the guest experience, drive repeat bookings and gain new referral business.


Topics: Photo Marketing

Ryan O'Grady

Written by Ryan O'Grady

Ryan specializes in assessing the photo and video solution needs of clients and has worked with hundreds of businesses around the world to maximize their marketing impact through photos and videos. As a pioneer in the adventure photo and video industry, Ryan loves to share his knowledge and is a presenter at many adventure conferences throughout the year.

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