The rise of Consumer Generated Content (CGC) over the past few years has been a marketing game-changer – for brands who know how to harness its power, that is. In a world where paid advertisements are plastered across every website and social media platform, CGC gives your company the ability to use your happy customers as your very own spokespeople.
Today, we’re looking at 5 things you need to think about in order to nail your CGC strategy…
Encourage and incentivise your audience
You can’t just sit there and expect your customers to post about your products… you need to ask for what you want! Think of some creative ways to engage your audience on the appropriate platform and encourage them to create branded content!
A great way to get the ball rolling is by offering some sort of incentive – for example, you could say that for every branded photo and hashtag combination, your company will donate 5cents to a specific charity. You could even give one lucky consumer a discount code for your online store every month. Getting the ball rolling is often the hard part; from then on, you’ll be able to reach more and more people with every post.
Have a plan
Like any marketing strategy, it’s important to work out a realistic, workable plan that will help you reach your goals. This means sitting down and asking yourself a few questions, such as:
What am I trying to achieve with consumer generated marketing?
What budget – if any – do I have to put towards this campaign?
What type of consumer content do I want?
How am I going to encourage consumers to provide it?
At the heart of consumer generated content is a recognisable, seamlessly executed brand image. These questions will provide the foundation upon which this can be built. If you don’t take the time to answer them and set out a detailed, practical plan, it’s easy to end up with a mess of a campaign that may never get off the ground.
Choose your social platforms wisely
There is no shortage of platforms on which you can encourage CGC – the trick is finding the right one to focus your efforts on. Not only do you need to consider which of your current platforms has the most engagement and customer conversion success, but you need to tailor your CGC campaign to the platform you’re using it on.
For example, if you have 20k followers on Twitter, a photo-based campaign isn’t likely to work as well as it would on Instagram. Similarly, if you’re sharing 5-star customer reviews of your business, this campaign would be far more suited to a discussion and community-focused platform such as Facebook. To excel in your CGC marketing, you need to make sure you are seamlessly integrating your campaign with the platform you’re using.
Tell your audience what you want
As we mentioned earlier, all the best CGC marketing is identifiable in a second. Calvin Klein shows people laying in their underwear; Tom’s shoes get their customers to post shots of their bare feet with a unique hashtag. These are images that most consumers within these brands’ targeted demographics recognise instantly, whether they have bought the product or not.
The only way to get your consumers to start talking about your brand online is to tell them what exactly you want to see from them. Be specific, but make it convenient and something that anyone with your product can do with their smartphone. Simple yet clear-cut is always the way to go.
Refresh your content – constantly
If you are executing your CGC campaign correctly, you will have an endless amount of content to share to your target audience. This is amazing for marketing purposes, as information quickly becomes old in the age of the internet.
Regularly repost photos from your customers, share them across all your social accounts, add them to your website… Keeping things fresh and regularly updated is the best way to keep people as interested and engaged as possible.