How to use Instagram user-generated content for marketing your business
UGC or user-generated content on Instagram can be a powerful force that helps your marketing efforts. But first, let’s discover what is it: user-generated content is the one created by consumers or end-users of a product that’s publicly available for anyone to see. George Mathew, writer at Kamayobloggers.com shared with us some tips on how and why you should use UGC on Instagram.
The product photos you see on Instagram posted by users are one example, reviews on Yelp are another. Time and again UGC has proven to be more influential than brand-created media. UGC content on product pages and other places can improve conversion rates.
User-generated campaigns have many more benefits that we will describe below. However, one of the main things is that UGC automates content creation.
- With UGC the biggest benefit is— you need not spend hours and hours creating content on your own. Use the time you save for other brand-building activities.
- You get to channel the creative energy of your consumers and boost engagement on your brand’s social media pages. UGC generates better engagement than any other form of content.
- UGC strategy almost always helps secure brand loyalty and bolster the relationship a person has with a brand.
This strategy works by elevating the voice of customers. It’s a simple two-step process. First, ask people to capture the situations they use the product in. Then ask them to post these photos and videos to social media tagging you. To understand how UGC fits inside your marketing strategy start by answering a few questions. Like what makes your brand unique and what’s your company culture. Ask yourself how you would like for others to see your brand.
In addition, figure out why someone would spend the time and money to share UGC content. What’s in it for them? This helps you discover the light in which to show your brand. This is the unique angle you should use so that both you and the users benefit. This will help you discover the stories you need to bring to the surface about your brand that will appeal to your audience.
Let’s discover some tips on how to use UGC on Instagram.
Create an ambassador program
An ambassador program is for customers who you deem to be the most loyal to your brand. With the ambassador program what you need to do is give your most loyal customers free products. The only thing they need to agree to is post photos with these products and tag the brand when sharing these pictures.
This gives you access to a steady stream of high-quality content in the form of user-generated videos and images. This keeps your feed buzzing with activity that’s bound to improve conversions. For example, “Enjoy Leggings” is a small brand with an ambassador program. If you look at their ambassador page, you see all the different benefits they highlight:
- free leggings
- exclusive access to new launches
- a chance to feature on their social media pages
Instead of saying that you’re going to have to feature products on social media, they present it as an opportunity for your shot at fame. To drive home the idea, there’s a picture on the right side too.
This is how you should sell your Instagram ambassador program. If unsure which points to use, consider conducting some customer research. With the ambassador program for your brand, you will get some excellent UGC for your brand day in a day all without even lifting a finger.
Source of the image: https://paperform.co/blog/
Encourage a hashtag trend
When you ask followers to post UGC content encourage them to tag you with a branded hashtag. Here’s an example:
For example, Vanity Planet launched a hashtag campaign with the hashtag #VPBeauty. Through this, they asked customers to tag pictures of themselves with VP products. Know what happened next? VP featured these products on product pages and the conversions skyrocketed. The conversions went up by 23%. It resulted in $8900 additional sales in just 10 days.
Why did this work?
Customer photos build brand awareness because they encourage customers to engage directly with a brand. This engagement isn’t private. Everyone sees this and it spills over creating more engagement as more and more people participate. This is a good way to highlight your brand and strengthen the relationship you have with your followers. Ultimately this improves sales.
Another example is Wayfair that lets customers show off what they bought on Wayfair through the hashtag #Wayfairathome. This improves the brand’s reach. It gives Wayfair content to share on their social media channels for free.
Here’s another example. Cosmetics brand “Lush” is another brand that uses UGC to weave a web of inspiring photography that encourages buying. Photos of selfies with Lush products and bath bombs are examples of user-generated content that routinely find a place on the brand’s Instagram page. This grid of beautiful images acts as a recommendation engine for followers. They even get influencers to participate.
By making UGC such a big aspect of their content plan Lush inspires followers to share more UGC pictures. Some of them end up going viral generating word-of-mouth and plenty of traffic. ECommerce brands have a great opportunity to generate trust for their brand with these product marketing tactics. The reason? A little nudge can send a flood of UGC to their social media pages.
Encourage customer testimonials
Before referring to customer testimonials, let’s discover some statistics. It is said that Millennials will have more spending power than any other generation in the next few years. They’re fast replacing the generations before them. What’s more, is 84% of Millennials say that user-generated content influences what they buy and where they buy it from. As a brand not targeting millennials by embracing the values can lead to the undoing of a brand.
And what are these values? Millennials and GenX are the most socially dependent generation. Millennials and GenX are more socially dependent than any other generation before them. User-generated content can inspire the actions you want. When it comes to testimonials people love reading the reviews that other people like them, and who used the product.
For example, Adobe uses the hashtag #Adobe_Perspective to let regular users of the product show off what they created using Adobe. It harbors a small community that shares new content.
As marketers and business owners we do plenty of things to gain the attention of customers. We create branding materials, invest in ads, and in content. Still, customers don’t trust you. They don’t buy from you. This is where UGC content can help. UGC will help you build trust in your brand. To source, UGC finds people who have used your products.
Use UGC on Instagram Ads
Instagram social ads that use UGC content have 400% higher conversion rates. An ads company ran a test pitting UGC images against stock photos. The experiments for brands Zara and Nike. For Nike, the UGC ads on Instagram generated 3 times as many clicks. Zara ads that used UGC got 2.5 times as many clicks with a much lower cost per click.
They extended the experiment to product landing pages testing product pages with just a stock photo versus with someone wearing the shoe. They wanted to see if more people clicked the add to cart button with the UGC images or with the stock photos. The UGC landing page generated 4 times as many clicks.
One more example is Gymshark that encourages customers to share photos of them with their workout clothes while training. They pick the best images from this set to show customers how these clothes look like in the real world. They are both high quality and relatable and go in customer’s social media feeds.
The goal of Instagram UGC is to express the personality of the brand. The best way to do this is by using real and authentic images. Moreover, user-generated content is free to create.
Here are some advantages of the user-generated content on Instagram.
- Instagram UGC gives you an opportunity to celebrate the most passionate customers you have.
- It’s authentic content for the brand.
- UGC campaigns mean customers tag friends. This has the outsized impact of the post reaching more people. You get more followers.
- UGC content also gives you access to customer feedback and real-time opinion that helps you with insights that can improve products.