Increase Sales With User Generated Content
As you scroll through social media whether it’s facebook, instagram, or LinkedIn, you’ll find sponsored ads intermingled with user posts. Many of those sponsored ads feature video testimonials of actual customers, raving about the benefits of a product or service, demonstrating how they use it, and how it has improved their life. In the past, written testimonials were a superior way to turn leads into customers and increase sales. While written testimonials are still great and have their place, the use of video testimonials can captivate people within a second or two.
The Power of Customer Video Testimonials
Ideally, customer video testimonials are candid, authentic, energetic, and are a powerful tool for your brand. While your business can tell potential customers why they need your product or service, nothing is as convincing as real people, singing the praises of your brand. Potential customers are engaged and captivated when they hear someone just like them, sharing why their day is better because of what your brand provides. While most businesses know this, there can be roadblocks for obtaining this type of innovative content.
Potential barriers for obtaining video testimonials, also known as user generated content, are:
- Customers don’t often post or submit unsolicited video testimonials with positive reviews
- Video reviews and posts don’t always tag the brand on social media so the brand is never notified which prohibits sharing
- Most people are not comfortable on camera and likely will not take the extra steps to create a video testimonial without being asked
- Customers don’t always inherently understand your objectives, or how best to communicate the integral parts of your brand
What is User Generated Content?
User Generated Content is any content – text, videos, images, and reviews which are created by people rather than brands. Business owners themselves often speak on behalf of their brand as they often feel the most adequate to communicate their message and the passion behind their product. However, consumers know that every business owner wants to increase sales and succeed long-term, so they will speak most highly of their product or service. When you compare user generated content, there is a connection that people feel with one another when they believe they are seeing and hearing the success of your brand through the eyes and words of someone who uses and loves what you’re selling.
How can you get video testimonials or User Generated Content for your brand?
There are several different approaches to obtaining user generated content:
1. Hire a marketing agency
In 1864, William James Carlton began selling advertising space in religious magazines. In 1869, Francis Ayer, at the age of 20, created the first full-service advertising agency in Philadelphia. Advertisement agencies have been around for generations and they know that in modern society, user generated content is king in the world of social media advertising. In recent years, long-standing marketing agencies have formed new divisions to connect social influencers and content creators with brands. The agency typically communicates the needs of the brand to the content creator. Once the brand approves working with a specific creator, they will send their product or service to the creator. The content creator then films themselves talking about the product and how it has been life changing for them. In most cases, the best outcome is when this is not scripted but rather the creator is able to speak genuinely and authentically about their own experience with the product.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Marketing Agency:
- Agencies connect brands with vetted talent
- Agencies often handle contracts and payment
- Agencies know how to guide and direct you for the best outcome
- Agencies typically have a team of experts working on your project
- Agencies handle deliverables such as final edit video, RAW footage, and still photos
- You will most likely end up with great content to use on sponsored posts
- Increased Budget
- Increased timeline due to working with a go-between (the agency)
- loss of direct communication between you and the creator
2. Approach social influencers on your own through direct messages
Many brands want to cut out the middleman and reach out to social media influencers through direct message on their social accounts. This approach can be effective if the influencer is checking messages themselves, or your brand organically appeals to them in some way. For example, if you’re reaching out to a fashion and beauty influencer with your skincare line, they may see value in trying your product for themselves and agree to have you send it to them with the possibility of posting a photo or review on their social media account.
Pros and Cons of Direct Messaging Influencers:
- You may receive a free shoutout or post in exchange for your product
- The influencer may have a high level of trust and engagement, thereby bringing you additional sales
- Many times, influencers with a big following and great engagement on their social accounts, are flooded with requests and you are less likely to receive a response
- You assume all the risk. You may send your product with no guarantees of a shoutout, video post, or testimonial
- The influencer may have a large following possibly beefed up by bots or buying followers, and low engagement may mean you get zero results
3. Work Directly With An Experienced Content Generator
Every business has the option of working directly with a content creator but that can seem a bit overwhelming. How do you find a creator who is able to work with you and your business to create effective video testimonials and photos? How do you retain the authenticity of the “real life” or “real user” experience when you’re working with a creator to specifically create user generated content? Won’t that come across as scripted or fake?
A talented content creator can work together with your brand to find the authentic excitement of the benefits of your product and genuinely share that with others in a variety of ways. Whether your brand needs high levels of excitement and energy, or requires a voice of warmth and maturity, an experienced content creator can deliver the authentic, user generated content that you need in order to sponsor successful ad campaigns on your social platforms and for use on your website!
The Upside of Working With a Content Creator to Produce User Generated Content:
- Budget friendly
- Contract and payment directly to the creator
- Guaranteed deliverables such as 60-second fully edited video testimonial and still photos
- Work directly with the creator for clearer communication
- Chose your level of involvement with the creative process
- Fast content delivery
- Not dependent on the creator’s social account for visibility and results although posting to their social media account can be an option
Hire An Experienced User Generated Content Creator
Dawna Stafford has been creating influencer and user generated content since 2012 which began with her brand’s social channels @fitguitargirl. Beginning at the age of 18, she started a career in radio broadcasting as an on-air host, sound board operator, and program producer. These skills have carried into her work today as Owner and Creative Media Producer at Retro Crush Media, LLC. Dawna has worked with a wide variety of brands to create highly effective user generated content, and has many happy clients who testify to her confident style, educated delivery, and authentic presence on camera that stands out.
View Dawna’s brand demo reel, learn more about the user generated content that can be created for your brand, and preview her client portfolio at: https://retrocrushmedia.com/user-generated-content/