Yes, the rumors are true – consumers do trust user-generated content (UGC) and reviews more than branded content. Actually, UGC has been around for a long time, but new media platforms have made it more accessible, giving rise to a new digital form of word-of-mouth marketing.
User-generated content is content created by consumers and that advocates for a particular brand. It comes in many forms, such as photos, videos, testimonials and everything in between. UGC is extremely powerful because it builds on the authenticity and trustworthiness of your brand – two elements that are essential for connecting with today’s consumers.
So, yes it works. But, before you start brainstorming ideas for cultivating UGC, there are a few things you should know about post-campaign tactics. Starting with a plan for how you can reuse user-generated content in your other marketing efforts will help you launch a UGC campaign designed for high return on investment.
Even once a campaign has ended, you can use it to continue building community, driving traffic and boosting sales. Here’s five ways to keep seeing results from your content post-campaign.
1. Repost on social media
User-generated content is most commonly found on Instagram, where brands can easily repost their followers’ content. And it’s beneficial for brands to repost UGC, as study shows 76% of individuals trust content shared by average people more than by brands.
One well-known brand that uses this tactic is the camera and technology company GoPro. Every day they feature a photo and video taken by a consumer with a GoPro camera. It’s a great way to show followers there are endless possibilities for capturing life’s moments.
2. Create an online catalog for your website.
In one study, sites that featured UGC saw a 20% increase in return visitors and an up to 90% increase in time spent on site. A powerful way to integrate UGC content into your existing website structure is to build it into your online catalog. Ask your customers to submit content that shows how they user a specific content. You can then use these submissions as the images in a shoppable online catalog.
Skincare and beauty brand Vanity Planet, shares shoppable user-generated content from Instagram on their website. And by adding their hashtag #vpbeauty, they inspire more UGC, as fans will want to snap their own photos to get featured on the website. Vanity Planet compared product pages with and without customer-sourced Instagram photos, and found that the page with UGC increased check-outs by 24%, nearly 9,000 in additional sales over a ten-day period.
3. Compile user-generated videos into an ad.
UGC-based ads get 4x higher click-through rates and show a 50% drop in cost-per-click. If you run a video contest that asks people to submit a video, compile snippets of the best videos to create an ad that you can share across all platforms and devices.
In 2010, Target launched a UGC contest that asked customers to submit videos of themselves opening college acceptance letters. The best videos were used in a new TV commercial, which helped draw attention to Target. The company pledged to donate $500 million to education and double contributions in the future.
4. Turn it into a blog post.
Showcase your biggest fans on your blog. You can embed tweets or posts in your blog posts as visual aids for a tutorial, share and inspire new ways to use a product and much more.
Every week Instagram shares a new photo or video and a story from a pet account on their blog. Any tagged photo or video taken with the hashtag #WeeklyFluff, is eligible to get featured in this series.
5. Add user-generated content to your email marketing.
Exceptional email marketing campaigns need to be well-thought-out to attract attention in busy inboxes. Adding UGC to your email marketing will give you that extra push you need to stand out.
Studio DIY, a creative lifestyle company that shares DIY projects, uses photos of happy customers, instead of models, in their email newsletters. They make sure to include their hashtag, #cantclutchthis, and they give credit where credit is due.
Do you have any ideas for repurposing your user-generated content? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
Published on August 28, 2017