All the copy you can write, all the photos and videos you can produce and edit will always be less valuable than the kind of content you receive from others: your customers and social media followers. User generated content is not only free, it is also more effective in attracting leads and persuading them to buy your products and services.
There are many types of user generated content which you are able to collect on your website and social media accounts:
- Great product reviews
- User experience videos (unboxing the product)
- Photos of customers using your products
- Inspirational quotes about your brand
All this content, under certain conditions, is yours to use in your marketing campaigns. Please note the reference to certain conditions of use. The first and foremost is asking for permission. If you are about to use somebody’s name and image for your ads and on your website testimonial page, they have to give their consent for such an use of their identity.
However, most of the people won’t mind giving you their consent. After all, they did decide to share their feelings and shopping experience with other people, by commenting on your product page or social media accounts.
These being said, here are the top ways to incorporate user generated content in your marketing efforts:
- Share Instagram Photos Next to Professional Product Photos
Professional product photos help you showcase the way a product looks and focus on its features and details. Photos taken by users with their new purchase add an emotional side to the experience of getting familiar with the product.
The genuine feeling of happiness emanating from these photos cannot be created by any professional photographer. Each person has their own way of showing how great it is to own the product, to make their life easier by using it and to brag about it to friends. Product photos show prospects what the product looks like. Customer photos give them reasons to buy it, too.
- Social Media Comments – The New Product Testimonials
Various widgets allow you to connect your social media accounts to your website and to share your followers’ comments either as a selection or in real time. A clever placement of these widgets, next to product pages or the About Us sections represents the best type of testimonial supporting your claims.
Screen captures of these comments can also be included in ads next to the CTA button with the same effect.
- Put Your Brand Value to the Test
Social media or email polls are one of the most efficient tools to find out how your customers feel about your company and its products. Some of these answers will be true gems and you should do your best to get the author’s permission to use it for further marketing purposes.
Some of these uses are:
- In online ads
- On landing pages for special promotions
- On product pages
Another positive impact of these poll answers is the increase of your online brand reputation. However, be aware that not everyone is a happy camper – some customers may leave negative answers, as well.
- Vamp Up Your Social Media Posts
Out of inspiration? The social media schedule is in front of you, but you just cannot come up with anything brilliant or inspirational to share with your followers? Well then…challenge them to create the content for your pages. Launch a contest, a challenge, etc. and persuade your followers to promote your hashtags and products through photos, videos and comments.
With the promise of a prize for the best user generated content, your social media accounts will certainly overflow with original content.
- Reinvent Testimonials
Some companies, such as Cluse Watches, offer their customers the incentive of being featured on their website, modelling their products. This represents the proverbial 15 minutes of fame for the customer, and a very valuable testimonial for the company.
It is all about the approach: instead of asking them for a testimonial, you give them the chance to be a star for a day, or more.