Connect with email subscribers through user-generated content.
User-generated content and influencer marketing are two great ways to show customers what your brand is all about. Using content from real people who use your products helps add a realistic and personal feel to your marketing — and lets people get involved with your company.
Before we get too far into it, let’s quickly catch anyone up who is not familiar with the concept of user-generated content. User-generated content is exactly what it sounds like: content created and produced by customers.
Why user-generated content is so important? People want to see and have a human connection with a brand. The more people can relate, the more likely they are to connect with a brand, we’ll get into that in more detail throughout this article.
Here’s a look at the different ways you can utilize user-generated content in your email marketing.
- The importance of incorporating user-generated content in your email marketing strategy
- Sharing customer reviews and ratings to promote products and services
- Leveraging your social media to gather and share user-generated content
- Partnering with influencers to share your products and expand your reach
Incorporating User-Generated Content in Your Email Marketing
The number of ways that you can incorporate user-generated content into your email marketing is endless. The more creative you get with gathering and sharing user-generated content within your email, the more chances you have to appeal to customers.
Sharing stories of how current customers use and love your products can help encourage customers with similar interests to make purchases.
User-generated content is one of the most trusted sources for many shoppers. Knowing that other users have used the products and are sharing their experiences helps to reassure potential customers of the quality of the product and company. Image courtesy of Awario.
For example, if someone is shopping for a new dress and sees a photo of someone who has the same body build and hair color as them, they are much more likely to see themselves in the dress. This may encourage them to purchase the product because they have a realistic vision of what the dress will look like on them.
Millennials are interacting with user-generated content every single day. If you’re marketing to the younger generations and looking for a way to connect through your email marketing, user-generated content is the way to go. Image courtesy of Mashable.
Still not sure if you buy into the user-generated content hype? Let these stats around user-generated content change your mind.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews written by other consumers just as much as they trust recommendations from their close network
- 68% of Millennials believe user-generated content is a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service
- Millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than content created by companies
- 71% of Millennials engage with user-generated content daily
Not only is user-generated content good for connecting with and getting in front of new customers through email, but it also helps influence more purchases than other media types. That makes user-generated content a win-win, gaining both loyal customers and increasing sales. Image courtesy of Mashable.
Now that you know why user-generated content is important and why it works, let’s take a look at a few different ways that you can incorporate it into your email marketing practice.
3 Ways to Include User-Generated Content In Emails
1. Sharing Real Customer Reviews
Let your customers do the talking for you.
If you have the ability to collect and share ratings and reviews, you already have powerful user-generated content at your hands. You can use positive reviews that are already on your website in your emails to help promote popular products. These reviews can also encourage people to make a purchase straight from the email.
Why are user-generated reviews so important?
Well, reviews help customers know that a product or services are reliable and that the brand is trustworthy. In fact, 97% of users read reviews for local businesses, and 93% have said that online reviews have impacted their purchasing decision.
Online reviews are very important for building your eCommerce site. Sharing and promoting positive reviews to your email subscribers will help get the positive details of your company in front of customers and make it even easier for them to complete a sale. Image courtesy of Pixelpoynt.
The great thing about using email as an avenue for sharing your ratings and reviews? You don’t need to spend tons of time and money on developing enticing content about the products. Simply pull a few of your favorite reviews, include an image of the product, and send the email.
Having products with five-star ratings are a great thing to include in your email promotions. This example boasts the five-stars and includes multiple glowing reviews from real users. Image courtesy of Marketingsherpa.
This email is a great example of how ratings and reviews can be easily used in your email marketing. There was no need to get content-heavy or incorporate a ton of design work, the five-star rating, and reviews do the talking for them.
2. Leveraging Social Media
Social media is another great place to encourage and collect user-generated content that you can use in your email marketing. Not only is this a great way to gain content for your email marketing, but it also creates buzz on social media around your brand. From there, you can take the real content your users shared and build it into your next email campaign.
Since social media is such a wildly used form of media, it’s a great place to gather and encourage user-generated content. Incorporating your social media and email marketing into one comprehensive campaign will help customers see your brand from the eyes of their peers. Image courtesy of Business2Community.
How do you encourage people to share the content you’re looking for on social media?
Start a conversation on social media using hashtags related to your brand and products. From there, your loyal customers will quickly join the conversation and others will start to notice. The more users you can get to interact, the more user-generated content you can take out of the campaign.
This is a great example of using a hashtag to create a conversation around a brand. Once the submissions were in and the company selected the winning photo, it was shared through email, and they have a stockpile of other user-generated images to use in the future. Promoting the campaign and social interaction ahead of this email was likely part of their marketing campaign as well. Image courtesy of Pinterest.
The best part about these types of campaigns, you can incorporate email from the start. Let your current subscribers in on the conversation and join them to share with you on their social media channels. This will help encourage current customers and spread the word about your campaign.
Still not sold on the idea of using social media and email to promote user-generated content around your brand? Here are a few more stats that will help solidify the idea of using social media as part of your user-generated campaign.
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to help make their purchasing decisions
- 65% of users between 18-24 use information that is shared on social media to help make purchasing decisions
Make your social media channels work for you and build out a unique experience for your customers using content from their peers.
3. Working with Influencers
Last but not least, working with influencers can help boost your user-generated content and get your brand out to new customers. While influencer marketing is still a little biased, you can work with influencers and make the content a genuine experience.
Influencer marketing is a great way to reach targeted audiences and see a higher ROI. People who follow influencers are looking to learn more about their honest opinions on what products they love and see their experience. It’s a great way to get a broader reach for promoting your products and services. Image courtesy of Online Marketing Institute.
Promoting the partnership and sharing their experiences through your email marketing platform will allow you to gain more exposure in a more realistic experience. You can share the experience of the influencer and your brand through your emails and continue to promote the products that they endorse.
The additional benefit of working with an influencer is that you will also acquire new subscribers through their network. In many cases, influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers who engage with their content on a frequent basis. That means you’ll be opening up an entirely new network — one that will have a vested interest in signing up for your emails to hear more about their favorite influencer.
Why not join forces and create an influencer email marketing campaign? Share the experience of the influencer learning more about your brands and their real reviews of the products you carry — it’s a great way to put a creative twist on a new partnership.
Start Collecting Your User-Generated Content
There’s no better time to start collecting and using user-generated content for your email marketing. From starting small by sharing product reviews to building an entire campaign using the content your customers are share — the possibilities are endless.
Get out there and start interacting with your customers. Once you start seeing the amazing things they are willing to share with you, you won’t regret spending the time to get this program up and running.
Good luck, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for some new and innovative ideas around user-generated content in the coming years!