Social media and the internet are where we spend most of our time – scrolling, clicking, liking, and commenting. Seeing as 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram alone per day, there is always something new for us to see. One large part of each of our social media feeds is taken up by brands, who use it to advertise their products. One of the latest marketing trends for 2022 that brands have started incorporating into their feeds is Consumer Generated Content.
But what is Consumer Generated Content?
Put simply, it is a form of marketing that puts your customers at the forefront. Also known as User Generated Content, this new marketing must-have has grown in recent years, due to its simplicity and effectiveness. It is a great method for engaging with customers in a different way. However, it can come in many forms, and there are things you should consider before embarking on this journey.
This blog will detail all the things you need to know when it comes to using Consumer Generated Content. It will also show you how to overcome the pitfalls so that you can fully master it.
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There are various types of Consumer Generated Content. This section will examine how they differ from each other and assessing their pros and cons.
When thinking about Consumer Generated Content one of the main examples that comes to mind is social media content. Due to high levels of social media usage, it is the one we see most commonly.
Let’s look at some examples and see how brands use Consumer Generated Content to enhance their marketing strategy.
Dutch fashion watch brand CLUSE, wanted to honour their customers through their social media efforts. They thought Consumer Generated Content would be the best way to increase engagement whilst paying tribute to their pre-established customer base.
Through promoting their #CLUSE and #CLUSEwatches hashtags on social media, CLUSE gathered tonnes of content generated by the customers. This content taken in real-life environments could then be used on their social media feeds and website.
This authentic content is a great way of building a larger customer base as new consumers can see how stylish and reliable your products are. Furthermore, this strategy allowed CLUSE to honour their customers and promote more brand loyalty. It worked too, as through doing so CLUSE managed a 19% conversion rate increase.
World-renowned clothing brand United Colors of Benetton is known for having a strong brand community. However, they knew it could be built by adopting a Consumer Generated Content based strategy. They enlisted the help of Flowbox to create a stellar content strategy that would guarantee results.
As you can see by CLUSE’s Consumer Generated Content, it looks great, engages well, and ultimately increases conversion. However, it isn’t always perfect. As with all things on social media, they rely on others. Sadly a statistic from a recent study showed that 66% of internet users have experienced online harassment. With that, it is important that brands are aware of the risks.
For example, when brands like CLUSE or United Colors of Benetton promote hashtags, they risk the possibility of trolls tagging irrelevant, inappropriate, and dangerous content. Unless this is managed it could end up on your online store.
Luckily at Flowbox our platform has the solution. We allow brands like United Colors of Benetton to filter through and moderate their 294k collected images and videos. By doing so they share only the most relevant and authentic Consumer Generated Content. A platform like Flowbox reduces the associated risks and makes the strategy foolproof. It also means that a brand can include visually pleasing galleries such as this on your website.
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For some brands using pictures isn’t enough to encourage social proof. Therefore brands also opt to incorporate videos to hammer home their message. Video content can include live streaming and the use of AR lenses and filters.
A great example is the skiing brand, Faction which uses both hashtagged videos and photos. In their content, they are able to demonstrate the durability and reliability of Faction products. In the videos, new customers see current customers doing awesome tricks and stunts. Therefore more budding skiers are encouraged to join in on the fun with Faction.
The pros and cons of video content are very similar to those of social media content.
However, another aspect of video content is live streaming. Mainly used by influencers and celebrities on Instagram, brands have started to see its potential on various platforms.
A live stream is a perfect way to interact with your customers in real-time. They help to build a stronger relationship with viewers and strengthen brand loyalty.
Take online fitness brand Gymshark. They use both Instagram and Youtube to create live streams and other video content. In their content they engage with their customers, answering questions about the brand. It helps to give an insight into what it’s like behind the scenes.
However, one of the main problems with social media streams is that because they are live you do not always have the highest engagement. Coupled with this is that due to the constant influx of new viewers, they can become repetitive. To overcome this we suggest promoting giveaways and other exclusive content that make the live streams worth your viewers’ time.
According to one study, the use of customer testimonials can help brands generate 62% more revenue. They are a great way of creating social proof. When potential customers are looking at a brand’s product, they can see it raved about, good quality, and exactly what they want.
Reviews and Testimonials can come in many forms. Most eCommerce brands, they will use a platform like Trustpilot. It allows customers to make good or bad reviews on products through a star rating. It can also be done through social media content in which your customers hashtagged content can act as a review. It’s a great way as they show both your product in use as well as someone’s comments on it.
Reviews and Testimonials have so many perks. Customers love hearing from other customers, something furniture brand Kave Home realized. They decided to maximize their customer reviews and testimonials.
Kave Home integrated the Trustpilot widget from the Flowbox platform. They used Social Media content and Reviews in union to make some killer Consumer Generated Content. It has enhanced the shopping journey as customers are able to imagine what this product will look like in their homes. Alongside this they see that other customers have taken time to review this product; and as shown this product is highly recommended. It removes the doubt for the customer, and so they are more likely to convert.
Whilst this feature is excellent, it presents risks. For example, through encouraging customer reviews, much like with social media content, brands can suffer from trolls. These trolls can target the brand with reviews that are not true, thus affecting their ratings. By managing these comments through filters, brands can ensure that only relevant comments both positive and negative make the page. Despite the minor flaws, this type of Consumer Generated Content works well in tandem with other types so it’s really a must-have.
A style of Consumer Generated Content that we love is Case Studies. As you can see on our website, we use them to show off all our clients and all of their success! For example, have you seen our case study with Karl Lagerfeld?
Through this Case Study, we are able to show potential clients what Karl Lagerfeld was looking for when they came to us, and how our product has helped them. We added statistics and also reviews from the team at Karl Lagerfeld to really highlight our point.
On our website, we have collated a large number of them now too. So when future clients come to look at our website, we are certain they will find a case study that will be relevant for them and their industry.
Although we love using them, there are some negatives. Most notably they are not as easy to create as other forms of Consumer Generated Content. To create this content we need to interview the brand, as well as research and plan.
Case studies take time, something marketing managers do not always have. Therefore we advise that you use this strategy in parallel with other forms of Consumer Generated Content. It will make your content varied and interesting. It will also mean you can focus on making each case study as effective as possible!
Q&A forums are a great way to generate a community feel to your brand. Whether it be on a forum platform or in the comments on your recent Instagram post. A strategy that creates conversations between customers is always great.
Through a brand using Q&A forums or comments sections, they generate a conversation with the customers which makes them feel involved in your brand. Therefore it creates a sense of loyalty and so encourages customers to share more vocally about your brand. This can range from tagging you in their posts or sharing your content. Furthermore, conversations can be achieved easily through Instagram story polls. They help to make people feel involved in the decision-making process of the brand and that their opinions are being heard.
Another way is like Cosmetics brand Lush, which finishes each comment with who has written it. A simple but effective touch that encourages customers to engage in conversation with the brand.
Q&A forums and conversations are only effective when coupled with other forms of the Consumer Generated Content suggested above. For example, 85% of people say Consumer Generated Content is more influential than content made by brands directly. Therefore it will mean they are more likely to interact with it. We suggest coupling some Social Media Content with a killer caption as well as promoting a giveaway which will always drive interaction.
For example retro fashion brand Top Vintage. The brand’s captions encourage conversation whilst also being coupled with fun and authentic images made by their stylish customers.
Right about now, the integration of Consumer Generated Content is seeming like a good idea. As outlined in the article there are so many awesome positives to integrating it. However, at the same time, there are some risks.
These challenges easily can be overcome with a clear strategy. For example, brands should create giveaways to draw attention and write creative and compelling captions to encourage engagement.
However, a Consumer Generated Content platform is a great way to manage all facets of a successful strategy. With a platform, a brand can filter through their images and videos to ensure that only relevant content makes their feed. Furthermore, they can gain an awesome way to combine that content with customer reviews and testimonials. All this will take your marketing to the next level.
Consumer Generated Content is becoming increasingly popular on most eCommerce websites. However, some of our favorite examples have to be:
Although this is not an extensive list, each brand demonstrates the power of UGC. They combine many aspects mentioned in this blog to make a solid Consumer Generated Content strategy.
There are countless advantages to integrating Consumer Generated Content. It can showcase your products in a new and interesting way and create a more authentic brand image and loyal customer base. Furthermore, it is cost-effective.
It’s a true no-brainer strategy that can revolutionize your social media and website in the long term!
Consumer Generated Content is great, there’s no doubt, however when you invite any and all people to share images, videos, and reviews with your brand, there’s always the risk of trolls.
This is why content moderation is so important. Once your brand has established a Consumer Generated Content strategy it is wise to incorporate a platform such as the Onespace, Taggbox, or Flowbox. They allow you to filter through content so that you see only the most relevant, authentic, and awesome content.
Influencer marketing is a huge part of many brand’s marketing strategies, with a study suggesting that 83% of companies take their influencer marketing spending from their marketing budget. In addition with more than 240 influencer marketing-focused agencies, it’s clear that it’s here to stay.
But how does it differ from Consumer Generated Content? Although influencers brand themselves as normal people, their content creation costs money. Consumer Generated Content is centered around the free and voluntary sharing of customer admiration for a brand.
Furthermore, influencer marketing tends to be based around brands aligning themselves with people who match their image and aesthetic, much like a celebrity endorsement. The beauty of Consumer Generated Content, is that it is authentic and natural, nothing fancy and unachievable for the everyday consumer. It allows them to become a part of a brand they love and feel part of a community.