In the past year, we have seen a large shift in the world of digital marketing. As the internet has become more crowded and competitive, the focus has shifted from “me” to “we”. Meaning businesses are no longer using their success to fuel their sales. Rather they are focusing on how they can position themselves to show the consumer benefits.
Think about it this way: when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed or Tiktok timeline, what types of content stop you in your tracks? Chances are, it’s not a post from a business talking about themselves. Rather, It’s probably something fun or interesting that a friend, family member, or influencer that you follow shared. So how can businesses tap into this? Here are two ways: user-generated content and value-driven content.
User Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is exactly what it sounds like: content that is created by users, instead of businesses. This could be anything from a review of your product or service to a social media post about your brand. UGC is incredibly valuable because it provides potential customers with an unbiased look at your business.
Many types of UGC content can be created through non-partnership and partnerships. Partnerships are where businesses will pay influencers to create UGC content that can be used for the brand and the influencer to promote. Before partnering up with an influencer, it is important to choose one who truly enjoys your product or service, so they can show authentic value to their audience base. This approach has the same potential as organic when it comes to reach and engagement. Along with the extra benefits of being able to control the content creation. As well as being able to reuse the content for your own social media accounts. While most importantly, making your accounts more personal with the face of an influencer.
The beauty of non-partnership UGC is that it’s a win-win for both businesses and consumers. Consumers get to see real-life examples of how a product or service is being used. While businesses get a free opportunity to increase their exposure and get their product or service in front of their key audience.
We have seen UGC skyrocket in popularity in the last year due to the rise of short-form video, where creators will share their opinion on products and services. It has become a huge resource for consumers who want a raw review of a product. “A significant 70% of consumers will consider UGC reviews or ratings before making a purchasing decision”. This isn’t surprising, as we have always relied on trusting word of mouth when it comes to purchasing decisions. The digital world has just made it easier to share.
Value Driven Content
Another trend that is always gaining more popularity in digital marketing is value-driven content marketing, also known as just content marketing or inbound marketing. This type of content is designed to provide consumers with something of value (teach / help). Rather than trying to sell them something outright. Value-driven content is not a straightforward path to increase sales. It’s rather the end goal that we have to think of when implementing this strategy. The goal of value-driven content is to establish yourself as a trusted resource in your industry. When people are ready to buy, they think of your business first.
For example, let’s say you own a pet store. A traditional marketing campaign might focus on an offer like “Dog food for sale”. A value-driven content campaign might provide dog owners with tips on how to potty train their puppy or what type of dog food is best for different breeds.
By aligning your marketing activities with the needs and wants of your target audience, you can create loyalty and find evangelists who will help grow your business.
There are several key benefits that make it an essential part of any business’s growth strategy:
- Increased Customer Loyalty: When you focus on providing value to your customers, they become more loyal and engaged with your brand. This loyalty leads to higher customer retention rates and repeat business down the road.
- Improved Customer Acquisition Costs: It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. Therefore, by focusing on creating value for your current customers, you can decrease acquisition costs while also growing your customer base through word-of-mouth referrals.
- Improved Customer Lifetime Value: Customers who have a positive experience with your brand are more likely to remain loyal throughout their lifetime. This loyalty leads to increased revenue and profit margins over time.
Learning to Stand Out
Value-driven marketing comes in many different forms: it can be in a video format, blog post, social media post, gamifying your campaigns, etc. At SAHARA, we saw an excellent opportunity to “gamify” our Digital Marketing Festival campaign. We created a spin-the-wheel game to give away prizes and tickets to users. By making it an engaging and valuable experience, we were able to double the click-through rate and decrease the cost per click by half from our static ads. Overall, the campaign was extremely successful. We were able to actually save money from the advertisement, while also generating more ticket sales than the previous year.
In today’s noisy and crowded digital landscape, businesses need to stand out and focus on creating content that provides value to users. That means producing user-generated content or value-driven content instead of focusing only on traditional marketing messages.
By mixing these types of content and applying them where they are most relevant, you’ll not only better connect with potential customers but also position yourself as a trusted resource in your industry that will hopefully lead to more sales. If you’re not already on board with this new way of doing things, now is the time to jump on board and reap the rewards.
About the author
Sigurdur Svansson, Co-Founder of SAHARA Digital Marketing Agency, has helped build a remarkable success story over the past six years. Founded in 2016, SAHARA focused on Social Media Management and Advertising, and then developed their agency into one of Iceland’s leading full stack digital marketing firms with 40 expert employees operating from Reykjavik as well as in Orlando following his move there this year.