How to get your customers to do some of the hard work for you

Building and retaining a strong relationship is never easy. It takes time, commitment and, most importantly, trust. Trust between your brand and your customer.

In today’s increasingly competitive and fast-paced marketing landscape, marketers understand that time is of the essence and they only have a short window of opportunity to make an impact on the audience they want to capture.

So how can marketers efficiently and effectively create trust for a brand with such limited chances to engage consumers?

One of the solutions is user generated content (UGC). By creating campaigns based around consumer participation – for example, a competition or a ‘home try-on service’ – the focus is on consumers, who need to actively respond. Through this engagement, consumers produce authentic and original content that acts as valuable data, potentially giving you new insights into your audience, as well as validating the brand.

As marketers, we must remember that emotion needs to be at the heart of our content to build trust with our brand. Creating emotion means creating a piece of content that users can relate to and are more likely to share. Bingo! When UGC is successfully utilised in this way, brands effortlessly reach new markets and strengthen existing relationships.

Before you develop a strategy for utilising UGC, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. What are your objectives? What information do your customers have that would be valuable for you to know?
  2. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. For them to spend time with your brand and participate in a UGC campaign, there must be a clear value exchange in the form of them gaining new knowledge, receiving a special offer, earning bonus points in a loyalty program or simply being entertained.
  3. Make sure you have the capability, including resources and software, to be able to collect and analyse the data from the content produced.
  4. Try to automate data processing and analysis. Make the process able to be replicated for future campaigns – avoid reinventing the wheel.
  5. Plan how you will represent the data collected. Net-A-Porter came up with great campaign in which they asked their readers to design a cover for their new interactive magazine, Porter. The best covers were published in the next issue of Porter.

Need some inspiration? We’d love to hear from you to talk about your next UGC marketing campaign.