When Burberry launched their “The Art of the Trench” site in 2009, allowing users to upload pictures of themselves wearing the company’s products (or just interact with them), they saw a 50% increase in ecommerce sales. At the time, this was a revolutionary marketing move; now, using earned content in your marketing is a necessity.
User generated content is considered the most authentic form of marketing by the same audiences wary of blatantly promotional content– digital natives. The effect of this perception is tangible; even clearly sponsored content that features UGC gets an average of 4x more clicks and a 50% reduction in ad costs than those that don’t use UGC.
Featuring your earned content can take a number of different forms. We’re going to look at 5 ways to weave your earned user generated content into your marketing mix.
Place UGC On Your Site
If you have it, earned content should always be featured on your site. Place social feeds that showcase customer photos on the home page of your website. This gives new customers an instant look at what your customers are saying and shows them that they care enough to actively engage with your brand.
You can also display UGC on relevant product pages; this has been proven to significantly drive conversions.
No matter where you have UGC on your site, make sure it’s accompanied by a CTA meant to drive more users to share their content, as Old Navy does flawlessly in the example above.
Share Customer Stories in Emails
Sharing customer stories in your email marketing can drive sales and build brand rapport. Since UGC is seen as trustworthy, it can make traditional marketing content (including “Buy one get one!” emails) more persuasive.
You can feature earned content and even purely textual reviews in your emails. Pixlee’s email marketing solution even lets you feature shoppable UGC in your email campaigns as does Muchkin below. It’s a dynamic email solution, so that each time it’s opened, new UGC can show up on your user’s email, giving them more incentive to convert.
Share on Social Media
Share your UGC on social media as part of your brand lifestyle. Share amazing content both on the platform that it’s received and cross-post it together platforms. Amazing customer photos from Instagram, for example, can be regrammed on the platform and adapted to be shared on Facebook, too.
Get creative with how you showcase earned content on social media. You can use your Instagram stories, for example, to share a stream of incredible customer photos in a significant and highly visible way.
Feature it In-Store
UGC doesn’t have to stay online—and it shouldn’t.
You can use digital in-store displays to showcase customer stories, bringing the persuasion of online reviews to your brick-and-mortar location. Since a random fellow customer is more persuasive than even the most talented salesperson in your store, this can carry a lot of weight.
For best results, place displays next to relevant products, and feature as much diverse UGC (from as many users) as you can.
Ask Customers to Share
When you want to weave customer stories into your marketing, ask your social followers to share them on Facebook or Instagram. Doing this can get you tons of responses that you don’t even need to promote; it’s right there for others to see, acting as powerful social proof.
Asking users to share their thoughts or how they’ve been impacted by something can give you both valuable insight and automatic testimonials. Kickboxing studio 9round asks customers to share their “why” or how the workout makes them feel. These questions can carry a lot of emotion and sentimentality, and the answers they get reflect that—and are extremely motivational to anyone reading them.
When in doubt, you can prompt more engagement with incentives like social contests and potential prizes.
User generated content is earned content, and by retelling customer stories (with permission), you can get more leads, increase sales, and build a loyal following around your brand. Incorporate UGC into your overall marketing strategy for best results and most loyal customers.
Want to learn more about how to incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy and how we can help you? Check out our free guide below!