Of the customer, by the customer, and for the customer- in 2023, this is the philosophy that most marketers out there are holding sacred. In the current climate, user experience matters as much as the quality of your products and services. Hence, the more customer-centric your email campaigns are, the better your chances of increasing your interaction and engagement. And what better way of realizing that than leveraging user-generated content?
Forging a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with their audience is every business’ primary concern. Utilizing user-generated content lets you achieve this objective with ease. The effectiveness of email as a communication channel is not lost on anyone. Throw user-generated content campaigns into the mix, and you stand to amplify its impact by leaps and bounds. There’s solid data backing this claim, too; a mind-boggling 92% of customers place greater trust in user-generated content than traditional advertising. These numbers aren’t particularly surprising when one takes into account the fact that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as their friends. These numbers represent an immense scope, that of propelling your brand awareness and presence through the roof.
Need some inspiration with weaving user-generated content into your custom email marketing templates? We’ve got you covered. Today, we discuss a host of techniques with which you can take your user-generated content marketing game to the next level. Curious to see what we have in store? Read on!
Ways to Collect User-generated Content
Before sitting down to craft user-generated campaigns, you first need to focus on the various ways using which you can mine content for the same. Listed below are a couple of suggestions from our end. Take a look:
- Run a contest: This is both, a reliable as well as an incredibly engaging way to collect user-generated content. Any credible email marketing management services will suggest you this route. Usually, brands run contests during holidays and other high-traffic periods as a means to set themselves apart from their competitors. The rules of these contests are pretty straightforward- your customers need to share moments of them using your products on their social media feeds. Typically, such campaigns are accompanied by a dedicated hashtag as well to help them fetch more visibility. Customers love contests. Why? It gives them an opportunity to receive recognition and rewards from their favorite brands (all without putting in any serious effort!). From the business’ perspective, it is beneficial because, by virtue of participating in the contest, your buyers market your products to their circle, thereby helping you gain new customers in the process.
- To ensure that there’s sufficient awareness surrounding your campaign, consider designing a dedicated promotional campaign around it. Set up a sequence, determine the frequency between successive emails, and carefully curate the content for each. The trick is not to sound repetitive. Sure, you’ll be talking about the same contest in all these emails, but you always have different aspects to shed the spotlight on. Strive to thoroughly familiarize your audience with the rules and rewards of the contest via these campaigns.
- Request your customers to leave reviews: This is an extremely straightforward way of collecting user-generated content. What brands usually do is set up a dedicated space on their websites (arguably a user’s first point of contact with the brand) where buyers can drop off their reviews. Some businesses make it possible for the user to add pictures, too (something that you can routinely see in Google reviews, for instance). Asking reviews of customers is a great means of making them feel heard and telling them you care about their experience. Not to mention how these reviews catalyze the decision-making processes of new visitors on your page. Many brands nudge their buyers toward leaving a review by offering exciting incentives. Another common practice is seeking the customer’s feedback during a post-purchase flow. Besides generating content, this technique also makes you wise to pressing chinks in your armor, enabling you to fix them at the earliest.
How To Ace Your User-generated Content Campaigns
Building a solid content library is important. However, it is equally vital to know how to process it. Possessing volumes of insightful information is effective so long you understand how to present it. Only then will you be able to create an impact using it. All the best user-generated content examples out there epitomize these principles. Want your campaigns to be in the same league? Here’s what you should do:
1. Promote Your Social Media Accounts
The rise of social media over the last couple of decades has been dizzying, to say the least. So much so, that it is no longer JUST an avenue for people to stay in touch with loved ones. At present, social media also serves as a platform where businesses get to consolidate their digital presence and peddle their offerings to a wider audience.
Remember we talked about running contests earlier? Brands usually execute them over social media. Why? Because these platforms foster the ideal environment to initiate a casual, more friendlier dialogue with your customers. Wondering how social media contests are relevant to your email campaigns? They are, once you integrate them. Sharing your social media happenings with your email list gives you a great shot at creating interest among those subscribers who aren’t following you on these platforms. Listed below are a few more tips for combining your email and social media strategies:
- Upload your contact list to social media platforms: It’s convenient, lets you put a face against your customers’ names, and helps you obtain great insights regarding their profile. No reason, really, to NOT do it. While Twitter and LinkedIn assist your business in building a formidable professional network, Facebook lets you create “Custom Audience” segments and craft targeted ads for them.
- Add social media links in your emails: Seen brands place social media icons in their marketing emails and newsletters? They do so with the aim of increasing the visibility of their social handles. As an additional measure, you can always talk every now and then by sharing with your email subscribers the content that generally goes up on your social feeds.
- Keep your tone consistent: One of the foremost reasons why brands integrate email and social media marketing is to craft cross-channel opportunities. However, that ploy might fail to take ground should your tone appear inconsistent. Therefore, make certain that your content and design language is uniform across your emails as well as social posts.
2. Amplify Personalization
Marketers spend copious amounts of time perfecting their email personalization game because they are well aware of the rich dividends it can fetch them. User-generated content gives them the scope of bolstering their personalization strategies. After all, what’s a better way of connecting with your audience than by offering content that is personally generated by them?
As it is, businesses possess sophisticated customer profiles. With user-generated content, their job of curating unique campaigns for every segment becomes much easier. Imagine receiving an email and spotting something you said or wrote about the brand in its subject line. Wouldn’t that catch your attention? So, if you are looking to dial up your clicks and opens, you know what to do.
3. Share Customer Testimonials
We’ve said this many times in the past, we’ll say it again- no marketing pitch will be able to sway your customer’s opinions the way a glowing review from another fellow customer does. Hence, never, ever shy away from sharing customer testimonials with your subscribers.
To sharpen their edge, add a visual component to them. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. You read two testimonials- one is a text-only review, the kind that you commonly spot on websites and under eCommerce listings and the other review contains an image of the person who has written it. Let’s say both are verified reviews. Yet, wouldn’t you be inclined to feel that the second one is MORE legit than the first one? All because of the photo. Guess what would be even more effective? You probably guessed it; a video testimonial.
4. Build a Content Community
This helps you meet two objectives at once- collecting user-generated content and leveraging it to drive further engagement. How? Allow me to explain. Brands are not disconnected from the society in which they operate, agree? This makes it essential for them to work toward building a community revolving around their products or services. Doing so allows them to generate a continuous conversation around their activities, thereby keeping them relevant in the collective consciousness. Goes without saying, large volumes of user-generated content are generated from such communities. Now, the onus shifts to you to leverage them effectively. For starters, consider featuring them in their newsletters. Give new subscribers an idea of what your community members are up to, and what they stand to gain by signing up. Tell them which of your products are loved the most (and how fast they are selling out!). Tell them how you reward your most loyal customers. You get the drift, don’t you?
Wrapping your head around the limitless possibilities user-generated content offers can take a while, but once you get the hang of it, there is no stopping you from crafting engaging and stirring campaigns. We hope the insights shared above have left you brimming with ideas. We can’t wait to see how you put them into action!