If you’re in the Amusement Industry, you see it every day.

Guests stop by the snack counter, snapping a pic before they take their first bite. They pose by your mascot, they stream themselves waiting in line, and they capture a majestic angle of your star attraction on a particularly beautiful sunlit day.

Content Marketing for Family Entertainment Centers, Amusement Parks, and all other entertainment destinations is something our blog has broadly touched on before – but now, we want to focus your attention on a ripe resource your business needs to be leveraging for quality content: your guests.

Amplifying Authentic Experiences

90% of Millennials, and 86% of people in general, say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they want to support.

Constantly bombarded with ads across every platform, too savvy to fall for old-school paid endorsements, and inundated with endorsements by “influencers” – today’s consumers trust authentic content from real people because that content is earned rather than bought.

The above post from @zerolatencyvr is a sterling example of Guest-Generated Content utilized effectively. A business like Zero Latency VR can hire photographers and actors, shut down their location for a day, and invest significant marketing capital in generating content that tells their brand story, but the ROI on that kind of Content Marketing for VR businesses is far from optimal.

User @maddison_lownds (a real guest with only a few hundred followers) posted a genuine pic with her friends at Zero Latency VR, and she wrote a conversationally funny caption to go with it. If left untapped, this post definitely would have impacted @maddison_lownds’ small network, but since Zero Latency VR repurposed her content for their feed, its positive reach was drastically increased.

Instead of BUYING an inauthentic brand story, Zero Latency EARNED an authentic brand story through their product… and then took a critical next step: they LOCATED and AMPLIFIED that authentic brand story.

EARNING Authentic Brand Stories

The best way to earn authentic, effective Guest-Generated Content is to provide a product that people want to share about. Most amusement parks and FECs already have this covered, since your spaces are based around providing spectacular experiences beyond the norm.

However, there are a few steps you can take to further encourage guests to generate content for you:

Create Physical Prompts

Guests will find their own opportunities for photos (sometimes even excellent ideas you never would have imagined on your own), but it never hurts to give a little encouragement or nudge them in a brand-positive creative direction.

For example, at the recent IAAPA 2018 conference in Orlando, Oneail FX Studios created a realistic lunging dragon with accompanying shield and sword for photo ops. Despite knowing full well that this was a content marketing ploy, WDD and various other conference attendees couldn’t help but engage.  Who doesn’t want a pic of themselves battling a realistic dragon?

If you’re one of the many locations that doesn’t want to invest in a realistic dragon, don’t worry. There are simpler and more cost-effective ways to prompt photo ops from your guests if you get creative, and the ROI in authentic content creation is real.

Interact With Guests Online

As with any social sphere, you can’t be a robot on social media. Not putting the effort in to respond to and interact with your guests online is the equivalent of going to a party and staring at your phone all night. You’re not going to make a lot of friends, let alone people who want to spread the word about you.

Like and respond to comments on your posts, be conversational and personable, and put in the time to make your guests feel like they know you on social media BEFORE you start asking them to post about you.

The more authentically you interact with your audience, the more likely they are to feel enthused about contributing to your online presence.

Offer Incentives Your Guests Care About

As any creator will tell you, crafting quality content takes time and effort. If your guests are investing their time and effort into signal boosting your brand and taking over part of your marketing mix, you’re going to want to show them appreciation. Not just to compensate them for their work, but to encourage them (and other guests) to continue.

Here are some effective Guest-Generated Content incentives for Amusement and Entertainment businesses:

  • Special Event Invitations – If you’re holding some kind of event, be sure to invite your guest content creators. It makes them feel recognized and encourages them to publicize your event too.
  • Insider Info and Previews – Bringing something new to your location? Invite your guest content creators to be the first to try it. Like a press pass, they can come in early to enjoy your new attraction (and work on generating buzz about it on their channels).
  • Free Gifts – This one is pretty straightforward. From discount tickets, to complimentary concessions, to special deals… who doesn’t like free stuff? It’s the costliest incentive you can offer, but it’s still a lot less expensive than hiring photographers and videographers to create your marketing content.

Make Your Account a Destination for Featured Posts

Being “featured” on a social media account or website that they enjoy is enough of an incentive for most guests to work on creating some brand-relevant content for you.

You can offer rewards or other financial incentives like tickets or specials to guests who post positively about your business, but again it’s important to consider the ROI. By working on cultivating a follower base and feed of quality branded content that your guests want to get a piece of, you’ll not only boost your general online visibility – you’ll pay for guests’ content with clout.

They’ll want to post about you just for the chance to be featured on your feed.

Need a little assistance organizing your Content Strategy or cultivating a feed that baits Guest-Generated Content? WDD is here to help you leverage authentic brand stories for your FEC or Amusement location. Or fight dragons. Whatever you need.