You read our recent article on why you need user-generated content in your email marketing, right? If you’re anything like us, when you first heard about user-generated content, you thought it would be great to implement in your marketing if only you actually had pre-existing user-generated content to work with. Below are a few simple steps you can take to start an engine of user-generated content.
Create a Hashtag
Start by coming up with a catchy hashtag for your brand. Make sure it’s easy to read and understand, doesn’t already exist in large volumes on Instagram and Twitter, and isn’t too long. Say it out loud, test it with some friends and family, and finally, make sure it fits your brand. If you’re a fun and quirky brand, a fun and quirky hashtag makes sense, whereas it may not be the best fit for a corporate brand.
Engage with your Customers
Find every Tweet, Instagram post, and Facebook post mentioning or tagging your brand, and make sure to comment and thank them for sharing (don’t forget to use your hashtag). For even more brownie points, ask for permission to repost their photos. Free “press” is often a great incentive for customers to continue posting about and hashtagging your product.
Market the Hashtag and Reward Customers Who Use it
Are your free reposts and comments not garnering enough attention? Run a cross-platform campaign promoting the use of your new hashtag via all social networks, email, and a banner on your website. Got some dough to spend? A photo contest is a great way to get high-quality submissions with your hashtag. Reward the winner(s) with free product or gift cards.
Create a Micro-Site
There are many tools you can use that will automatically repost photos with your hashtag to a microsite (small website within your website). A great example is Olapic.
Ask For Reviews
If you’re looking for testimonials, sometimes all you need to do is ask. However, rewarding customers who leave reviews with a small discount off their next order functions as a great incentive and a way to re-engage existing customers.
Send Product to Influencers
While sponsoring content on blogs and social media is a great option, it can get expensive quickly. A better bet is sending free product to as many influencers, large and small, as you can, along with some reading material about your company and the hashtag. While you can’t expect everyone to create content about your offerings, you can expect some, and that’s a great starting point.
Still not sure what you’re doing with user-generated content? We’ve got you covered.