How User Generated Content will Propel Your Content Strategy in 2016
Marketing has never been more challenging than it is today, because there are so many places that brands must have a presence. With a myriad of marketing platforms and channels, brands are producing more content than ever; but with so many brands trying to do the same thing, there is a tendency for consumers to experience advertisement blindness.
Advertisement blindness occurs when consumers are so overwhelmed by the sheer number of advertisements that they’re being bombarded with, that they tend to overlook all branded content. Unless content is specific to a consumer’s interests, it’s not going to stand out and resonate with them.
The best way to combat advertisement blindness and help your brand stick out in a sea of social media ads: User generated content.
User Generated Content Cuts Through Advertising Clutter
User generated content isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming one of the most powerful tools that marketers have at their disposal.
Your fans are generating a flood of content on their social networks every day. It comes in the form of tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook comments, website reviews and blog posts. Much of this content directly contributes to conversations regarding your brand. With more channels demanding the attention of digital marketers, it makes sense to take advantage of the content that your fans are already producing.
Not only is user generated content abundant, but customers, especially Millennials, are eager for their opinions to be heard. A study conducted by Bazaar Voice reports that 64 percent of Millennials feel that companies should provide more ways for them to share their opinions online.
User generated content is more likely to be remembered by your consumers because it’s naturally authentic. It’s content produced by real people in real situations, and there’s no better testament to a company than a strong recommendation from an actual customer.
User Generated Content Builds Trust
The authenticity of user generated content helps brands gain trust with potential customers. A study conducted by Nielsen states that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over all other forms of advertising. This proves that consumers are more interested in hearing the views of their peers than reading a cleverly written sales message. In fact, 84 percent of Millennials say that user generated content influences their purchasing decisions.
Tap into your customers’ large, trusting audiences. Your customers’ social reach is always going to be wider and more diverse than your own, so let them tell your brand’s story. Incorporate their content into your strategy and you’ll reach a far larger audience than you could on your own.
Take Control of User Generated Content
In addition to cutting through advertising clutter, an increase in rich content, building trust and extending your brand’s reach, user generated content boosts social media engagement rates, improves your search engine presence and lowers your overall marketing spend.
Incorporating user generated content into your own marketing strategy without creating fake reviews can be as simple as creating a branded hashtag. Fashion retailer Express has done this by encouraging their fans to post photos of themselves wearing the brand with the hashtag, “#GiveStyle.” Once fans have posted the image and hashtag to their social feeds, Express accumulates the images on their website and on their own social media channels.
Those participating in the campaign see their content posted on Express’ website and social media platforms, and this keeps them engaged with the brand and advocating on the brand’s behalf. Other consumers see this positive interaction between Express and its consumers and they want to get involved, further extending the brand’s reach and strengthening it as a whole.
Brands that struggle to receive user generated content should consider running a social media contest where they offer a prize or incentive in return for consumers’ participation. As you plan your promotion, remember the following tips:
- Match your promotion type to your audience
If you’re target audience is men, don’t create a promotion on Pinterest (Pinterest’s primary audience is women). If you’re target audience is the elderly, don’t require them to submit a video. You have to find the best fit for the audience you’re trying to reach.
- Make the effort required to enter, commensurate with the prize
If you’re offering a grand prize, it’s okay to ask participants to submit a video. If you’re prize is more basic, don’t make your fans jump through hoops.
- Eliminate red tape
Instructions for the contest should be clear and the submission process should be easy for consumers to navigate.
- Straighten out legal issues
Before launching your campaign, consult legal counsel on the rights you’ll have to using the submitted content.
By engaging your fans and encouraging them to create content around your brand, you’re empowering your community to become brand ambassadors. This is the social proof that will help make your content marketing strategy successful.
Let us help you create a user generated content strategy that will leave your customers talking about you long after their initial purchase.