Want to build brand awareness online or turn first time buyers into loyal customers? User Generated Content campaigns can help.
User-generated content or UGC is a fantastic marketing tool for businesses looking to expand their online presence. Why? Because it is the social media equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation. User-generated content is trusted by 55 percent of consumers more than any other form of marketing, making it a surefire way to increase brand recognition and sales organically.
Furthermore, if done correctly, user generated content will provide your company with a lot of high-quality brand content for almost nothing!
What is User Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content (photograph, video, reviews, slide deck, and so on) about a brand that is created and published by users themselves.
User generated content is known to be the most reliable, and authentic form of content when compared to brand-pushed marketing content because it is honest and experience-driven.
The Importance of User Generated Content Marketing
Online users in this fast-paced, digitally-run world have seen it all and are frequently unimpressed by traditional marketing messages. As a result, more than ever, consumers are relying on what other users say about a brand to make purchasing decisions.
This presents a huge opportunity for brands because user participation in any of your marketing campaigns will help you meet their marketing goals quickly and effectively. In essence, user generated content gives brands superpowers in the form of unpaid loyal brand advocates.
By posting content about their experience with your brand's services and products, they provide valuable social proof for your audience.
Now comes the difficult part: how do you capture your customers' attention and convert them into fans who will actively promote your brand?
How To Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates
It all starts with developing an emotional engagement user generated content strategy for your target audience. Aside from that, you'll need a strategy for converting positive customer feedback into measurable business results.
Here are a few strategies that have proven successful:
1.Develop a Customer-First Culture
The experience you provide your customers when they interact with your brand is the most important factor in determining whether they become your harshest critic or a word-of-mouth marketer and ardent supporter of your brand.
Don't just take our word for it, though. According to research, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service if the company has a customer-first culture.
Create a company culture in which customer issues are prioritized and everyone is committed to providing the most memorable customer experience ever.
2. Give Them Something to Talk About By Offering Exclusivity
Even though it might seem contradictory, exclusivity is such a powerful tool. It's that funny thing where we desire something we can’t have. We like exclusive things. We want what others covet. We want things that signal to the world that we are one of a select few. It’s in our nature as consumers.
The Ivy Park and Adidas campaign is a great example of how exclusivity can be used to drive user generated content. Following first look images of the limited edition collection, a handful of celebrities and influencers were sent boxes of the collection ahead of the release date.
Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Rowland, Kylie Jenner, Reese Witherspoon, Janelle Monae, and a slew of other celebrities took to social media to share videos of themselves unboxing the massive orange special box they had received. It was a huge success!
For weeks Instagram was dominated by videos and images posted by those who received a "big orange box" and Twitter was awash with conversation around the collection. By the time the collection officially launched, it was reported that everything was sold out on the first day except for some socks, and even those were sold out by the end of the weekend.
So, what if you don't have Beyonce's star power or Adidas marketing budget? You can build exclusivity around your product or service by offering limited-time discounts and exclusive sneak peeks to your fans first. Hold special "fans only" shopping events where they can get exclusive access to limited edition products. It will increase demand and, more importantly, it will get people talking!
3. Show Your Customers That They are Appreciated
When a customer does business with you, they should feel like a VIP. This begins with delivering exceptional service at every opportunity, from optimizing the user experience on your website to providing helpful support via phone or chat when they encounter a problem.
You can also make your customers feel appreciated by offering special perks and rewards as a way to demonstrate that your relationship with them isn't just transactional. Another way to get your customers excited is to offer referral rewards whenever they successfully get someone in their network to buy from you.
4. Be Active on Social Media
No, the odd post here and there just won't cut it.
Your most loyal customers will often be the most active people on your social media profiles and you need to keep that interaction going. Furthermore, social media is an excellent platform for developing an authentic brand voice and making your brand more personable to your target audience.
Your brand does not need to be present on every channel; only the ones that your customers and target audience use.
Create valuable, immersive content on each channel that encourages your fans to create user generated content. Immersing your fans in your content will make them feel like they are a part of your brand and will help you gain their loyalty.
One Last Thing
Given the enormous impact that user generated content can have on your brand, there are numerous reasons to incorporate user generated content into your marketing. Just don't forget to provide your audience with juicy content and experiences that they can share so that you can begin leveraging their content.
By strategically utilizing user generated content, you’ll be able to better understand and cater to your potential and existing customers.