As many as 70% of millennials will buy from one brand over another based on the diversity that’s represented in its ad content. Inclusivity needs to be not only a goal in marketing but a priority. One of the most effective ways to diversify your content organically is through user-generated content (UGC). UGC is a powerful, free marketing tool available already at your fingertips if you know how to find it. A vast number of brands are now incorporating UGC into their marketing strategies, knocking their sales and conversion rates out of the park.
Take a look at five great examples of how harnessing the power of content created by real customers has paid off:
Denim super brand Guess partnered with video-sharing platform TikTok in 2018, launching its #InMyDenim viral campaign. Specifically targeted at Millennials and Gen Z, the promotion directed TikTok users to the #InMyDenim challenge as soon as they opened the app. From there, individuals were encouraged to post videos of themselves in their Guess apparel, a strategy aimed at representing all skin, hair, and body types. The challenge only ran for six days, but it produced more than 5,500 user-generated videos, more than 12,000 new followers on the Guess TikTok account, and a 14.3% engagement rate – which are all good reasons to build organic video challenges into marketing strategies.
Yoga apparel and activewear brand KiraGrace collaborated with Pixlee to create a gallery of shoppable UGC on their site to drive online sales, but more so to showcase the diverse individuals in the brand’s community. After collecting and curating content via the hashtag #KiraGrace, the brand saw a massive uptick in customer engagement and brand loyalty.
KiraGrace’s Social Media Marketing Manager Shelby Comito echoed the brand’s dedication to highlighting its audience authentically; “We believe in the power of our customers’ voice. They have the ability to create a more powerful story than anything we could ever hope to craft.
”Not only has KiraGrace launched this inclusive UGC-driven initiative; the brand also organized its Rising Together campaign to connect women worldwide through online meditation and yoga classes.
Alo Yoga’s mission is to “bring yoga to the world,” and its UGC strategy is helping the brand do just that. The curriculum at the Colorado-based studio is based on body positivity, religious acceptance, and eliminating cultural appropriation.
Thanks to this focus, the brand has a diverse community actively committed to including individuals of every shape, size, religion, ethnicity, and background. The digital team recognized that Alo already had an engaged customer base and decided that a UGC campaign would provide the best Return on Investment (ROI) for their advertising spend.Before encouraging user postings on their platforms, Alo saw about 100 people add products to their shopping carts a day. Then UGC was introduced, and customers were encouraged to share their yoga photographs online. Focusing on poses and healthy yoga practices, this implementation brought together a diverse group of customers excited to share their experiences with the product. As soon as the uploading started, shoppers increased by almost 15x.By building customer relationships and fostering the feeling of being part of a community, Alo boosted brand engagement, leading to increased sales.
Digitally native cosmetics brand Morphe is hugely popular among makeup artists and influencers – so much so that the brand has amassed 7.5 million followers on Instagram. Morphe’s UGC game plan was to harness their Instagram engagement rate and turn followers into frequent buyers.
To do this, they sought out user photographs that showcased their products. Any customer who wanted to be featured on their Instagram account wearing the brand’s makeup could upload a photo on Instagram and tag the brand. The photographs highlighted the vast range of looks Morphe products celebrate and reflected the individual tastes, sizes, and skin tones of their diverse audience. The brand also curated items they wanted to surround each of their customer pictures with.
This level of inclusivity and customization ensured that they retained the brand experience while encouraging sharing. The result was a 33% climb in overall conversion rates, and while any increase is a win, that’s a bona fide success story!
Old Navy goes above and beyond to keep their audience deeply connected to the brand. Old Navy highlights customers wearing their products front and center on the homepage so that new site visitors can see how products look on people who they relate to. And customers shopping from the brand can also rest assured that their values align with those of the brand, as Old Navy highlights their deep commitment to transparency, diversity, and inclusion on their parent site. What's more – Old Navy encourages employees to support their communities by paying them to work at election polls in the U.S.A. in November.
Ultimately, these examples are just the start. Brands who prioritize incorporating UGC into their marketing strategies stand to benefit by featuring real people and their authentic experiences. After all, who doesn’t prefer real referrals from an enthusiastic customer community?Kristie Wright is an experienced freelance writer for Legal Zoom, where she covers various topics on the divorce process and life after divorce. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, Kristie enjoys roasting her own coffee and is an avid tabletop gamer.
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