State destination marketing organizations in the United States are slow to adopt user-generated content in their Facebook advertising, with the majority relying on stock imagery in posts.
According to a new study from content marketing platform CrowdRiff, which examined more than 500 Facebook ads from 50 state DMOs in America, just 5% of DMOs incorporate user-generated content into their Facebook ads compared to 94% that exclusively use commissioned or stock visuals.
“Most state DMOs are advertising using traditional, professional imagery of people and landscapes,” says Amrita Gurney, vice president of marketing at CrowdRiff.
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“We found this particularly interesting because studies show that today’s travelers are highly influenced by authentic imagery taken by their peers; people who reflect their diverse backgrounds and interest. User-generated content has been shown to dramatically increase ad conversions, but so few state DMOs are using it.”
Further, most DMOs - 86% - are targeting only one country through their Facebook ads (typically the U.S., followed by Canada), while 10% of organizations direct their efforts toward two countries and 4% target three.
Of the formats used, 67% of DMOs prefer single image, 22% use video and 11% opt for carousel ads.
The report also revealed the majority of state DMOs utilize calls to action to promote brand awareness, with 77% of Facebook ads including a website link. About 4% of ads include calls to action to “like” a Facebook page, while 3% point to newsletter sign-up; 15% of ads include no calls to action.