Running a well thought out campaign that leverages user generated content has the potential to put your brand in front of millions of potential customers across the world. A UGC campaign ties in three important elements which are becoming increasingly important for marketing online. Those elements are; using the social web, being differentiated from the regular noise and stimulating powerful emotions of your loyal fan base. In this post I will cover 3 different ways that you can leverage user generated content to drive more sales.
1. Instagram competitions
More and more marketers and powerful online brands are taking notice of the massive size of Instagram and experimenting with different ways to use this large social network to increase exposure and generate revenues. The main reasons why Instagram should be one of the main social networks that Storenvy users consider is because for many store owners their target market live on Instagram. Other important reasons are that the platform is based around images which have much higher engagement levels than textual content, and lastly because people love to take pictures of their stuff.
To run a successful Instagram competition which leverages user generated content follow the guidelines below.
I know this isn’t what you wanted to read because I know that many store owners find it very challenging to grow a large online social community but in order for this campaign to work you need a critical mass of Instagram followers. So how much is a critical mass? This is a tough question and it really depends on the brand and how the community has been managed. As a general guideline I would say a few thousand followers is the minimum you need to try such a campaign.
Prepare well before launch
Before launching the campaign you will need to have all the important elements in place. I recommend investing in a professionally designed landing page that will explain the competition and showoff your prize. The more impressive your incentive (AKA your prize) the more likely you are to entice your fans and others to generate content and share it with you. It is also important you have a place to host your favorite pictures and/or the finalists of your competition. You can use Pinterest for this purpose.
Once everything is in place, launch your landing page and share the news with your community. Put in the effort to answer everyone’s questions and thank everyone who submits content. If you have strong connections with bloggers in your space then send them an email about the campaign. The more early exposure you can get for your campaign the more likely it is to go viral.
2. Automate your word of mouth marketing with Yotpo
Using product reviews to instill trust and to provide valuable info to your visitors in the hope of converting them to customers is one of the best things Storenvy users can do to increase sales. Fortunately Storenvy users have direct access to a very popular product reviews service from right within their Store’s admin.
Yotpo is a plug and play social reviews solution for eCommerce sites and recently launched its integration with Storenvy. Yotpo can be added to any Storenvy store within minutes and once installed, automates the entire process of generating reviews, publishing them to your site and as an added bonus, even makes it easy to share reviews to your business’s Facebook page or Twitter account.
The magic behind Yotpo is in its mail after purchase emails that are sent automatically after a certain number of days to your customers, prompting them to write a review of one of the products they purchased. In Yotpo’s mail after purchase emails, customers have the option of writing the review right from within the email which results in between 6%-8% of customers becoming reviews which is more than double the industry standard.
The traffic that Yotpo drives to a user’s store through its social features, coupons and upselling is highly qualified and converts at a much higher rate than regular visitors. This extra boost in qualified traffic can make an instant improvement to your bottom line.
Yotpo recently released a new major feature called Campaigns which is a kind of smart dashboard that shows users a detailed breakdown of the different channels that are bringing traffic and sales to a user’s store. The Campaigns feature makes it easy for users to identify the channels which are working best and this can offer useful insights into the behavior of your average customer.
The best thing about Yotpo is it’s free.
3. Launch products designed by your fans
The 3rd user generated content strategy which can be relatively easily implemented is to launch a product fully designed by your fans. Let’s call this strategy “the user generated product launch”.
This strategy has 4 main components:
- The launch and engagement
- The decision
- The production
- Leverage for more benefits
Let’s go through each of them.
The launch and engagement
In order to run a successful user generated product launch you will need to launch the concept via a landing page (just like with the Instagram competition) and via all your marketing channels. The basic idea is to ask your fans to send you graphics or designs for a new product that you want to launch. You can leverage all the different social media channels you use to gather the different user generated content but make sure you showcase your favorites in one location (Pinterest or a minisite). Make sure you are engaging with every participant and any of fan that shows interest in the campaign. Remember, leave no engagement left behind.
By far the easiest and most enjoyable part. You need to pick the winner. Once you have a winner don’t tell anyone. It’s best to wait for…
Now that you have the winning design it’s time to visit your factory, studio or sowing machine and start producing your new product. Once you have your prototype ready then take a picture of it and share the winning design and your prototype with your community. This will bring you huge engagement and you should use this time to collect orders for the new product.
Leverage for more benefits
Once the campaign is over you should reach out to a number of bloggers and even news reporters that you can get hold of to talk to them about the recent campaign. This is a unique story and will be of interest to them. You should also contact the winner of the competition and ask if they would participate in any interviews or coverage that the competition will get. I’m sure the winner would love to.
Running a marketing campaign that leverages user generated content is not easy but has the potential to help you rise above the noise, to raise the buzz around your brand like never before and if the tips in this post are followed, should bring you a nice boost in sales. If you have tried such a campaign in the past or planning on one now let us know by sending a tweet to @Storenvy. Good luck to you all.
Justin Butlion is the Content and Social Marketing Manager of Yotpo. Justin loves to blog about e-commerce, online marketing, web development, and entrepreneurship. Check out his latest posts in the Yotpo blog or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.