In a world where ‘influence’ is everything, any Insta influencer worth their weight in skinny tea will let you know that more followers doesn’t necessarily mean audience engagement.
In fact, followers are a dime a dozen in some cases, literally! Any company could invest in purchasing followers and the public wouldn’t be any wiser.
But more followers won’t necessarily mean more success.
Why UGC Will Mean More in 2020
Here at Impressive Digital, we can appreciate a brand with 1 million followers. That’s a big number. But if those numbers aren’t translating into sales, what’s the point of it all?
In fact, did you know when someone is keen to buy a new product, they’ll most likely rely on the feedback of friends and family rather experiences/opinions of complete strangers. Not only that, but 92% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on the opinions of those peers than a sponsored ad prior to making their decision.
With this in mind, how does this help with your online marketing campaign?
Social proofing is a psychological phenomenon that’s helped businesses on social media in invaluable ways. For example, if we see a family member we follow (or even close peers) uploading pictures and positive reviews of a product of service, we’re more likely to believe it’s a reliable product based on opinions of people we trust. In fact, 81 percent of consumers trust the advice of friends and family over businesses.
This trust is amplified when a celebrity or influencer endorses something, as we hold their opinion in high regard. After all, they have to be successful for a reason! When it comes to them choosing and reviewing products of services, we are more trusting due to the pedestal we all put them on. That’s the crux behind the success of user generated content (UGC) on social media.
On top of this, UGC also has an underlying aspect of FOMO (fear of missing out) that is invaluable in securing conversions. With a sleugh of online users promoting something new online, more and more people will have a desire to get their hands on it so as not to miss out. Who wants to be on the outside looking in when everyone else seems to be having so much fun as it is? UGC is a powerful weapon in any marketer’s arsenal.
UGC’s Role in 2020
In terms of marketing content, UGC usually comes in the form of content created by consumers, influencers, basically, anyone who isn’t a part of your business. These creators are the wider public who have come into contact with your brand, thus excluding any of your staff.
The content they produce for you can be in the form of images, videos, Instagram stories, anything! The purpose of this content is to organically expose wider audiences to your business’ products, hopefully in a favourable light. This can be featured on their pages or yours, depending on the arrangement. The content is likened to a positive review or a word of mouth recommendation via social media.
So why bother to invest in a UGC plan at all for 2020? Well, the benefits aren’t too shabby to say the least…
Saves You Time
One of the biggest upsides to UGC is that it hugely frees up your time. The hours and manpower you would have spent on creating your marketing collateral will now be the responsibility of external creations. You’ll just need to provide the guidelines and approval for their work. Creators are usually very happy to work within guidelines, so be sure to be clear about what you’re after well in advance. Leave it to them and you’ll be freeing up your time exponentially to do whatever else you need done for the year ahead.
As previously mentioned, UGC will be an excellent means of promoting trust in your offering, which is the main strength and purpose of this marketing method. By engaging with trusted influencers in a bid for them to promote your brand, their community will see their endorsement and be more encouraged to trust your business.
This will be especially helpful if you’re a new business that’s hoping to build trust in your offering faster. With a million and one businesses cropping up this year, building trust will be crucial in securing your business’ longevity.
Get’s Better Engagement
Influencers who have built up their accounts often have a whole host of real followers who have fallen in love with their brand. By having posts and promotional content created by a user, their followers will get a better idea of what it would be like for them to engage with your products/services.
Scrap the manicured product photographs done by a professional photographer. Get your UGC partner to create raw and real imagery that’ll really speak to your audience based on what they’ve seen work. You’ll have more people sharing, commenting and truly engaging with your offering.
Examples of Great UGC
Need some inspiration to help you get your UGC campaigns started? Here are some of our favourite campaigns that we felt showed a great use of UGC.
Like most budding retail businesses, ASOS wanted to solidify their position as one of the most personalised and style savvy brands online. They wanted to be the “everyman’s” brand, and managed to do this through their #AsSeenOnMe campaign, which invited buyers to share their outfits and signature style with the ASOS community.
This led to thousands and thousands of entries that they’ve used on their social media channels, saving them time, money and gaining them a whole lot of support customers who loved their brand (and the possibility of being showcased on their platform).
It’s one thing to showcase that your product is better than your competitor’s. It’s another thing when the public does it for you.
That’s exactly what started happening when Apple started inviting the public (with iPhones) to contribute to the #ShotOniPhone campaign. Anyone with the phone was invited to send in their photos taken with their companies low light cameras to showcase just how superior they were.
Now their Instagram is largely comprised of UGC, saving their resources, showcasing their effective product and celebrating the works of art sent in by the public.
Adobe Creative Cloud
If you’ve ever attempted to use Photoshop as a beginner, it can all be pretty daunting. With so much to know, potential designers may not feel the investment is worthwhile. However, that all changes as soon as you download creative cloud.
Throughout all the programs (whether Photoshop or Illustrator) Adobe showcases work created by real artists using that particular program. Check these out for size.
Starbucks and The Unwitting UGC
Our favourite UGC campaign was one where the contributors had no idea they were contributing. Starbucks, famous for misspelling or illegibly writing the names of their customers on their cups, began doing so ON PURPOSE in a bid to confound customers and encourage them to post the “scrawl” on social media.
This sneaky plan resulted in thousands of hilarious Starbucks posts that encouraged people in their feed to visit the chain and see what they’d get. This was essentially free marketing and content creation that blew up their brand and showcased their products simultaneously.
UGC at its most diabolically effective.