How To Turn Your Customers Into Best Influencers
Influencers are around us every day- an industry leader on LinkedIn, a talented content creator on Instagram, your peer telling you about a product, or an associate vouching for a tool they absolutely love.
Before the internet broke, marketers didn't have a lot of ways through which they could reach out to the masses, except for a limited amount of impact generated by word-of-mouth marketing. But, with social media booming, creating brand awareness got a lot easier. As various channels of content marketing came to light, influencer marketing being a potential one of them.
Over the last 5 years, brands have collaborated with social media influencers across channels to create brand recognition, helping influencer marketing to grow from an accessorized marketing tactic to a $5-10B industry.
But, with changes in the users' behavior and the need for more authenticity, 'Influencer Marketing' got a turnaround. To know more, keep reading.
Influencer Marketing Redefined
To say that paid influencer marketing is the only kind of influencer marketing would be an understatement. It is important to draw a line between the digital celebrities collectively known as influencers and the true influencers who are actually creating trustworthy content not to influence but to inspire out of the bright light.
This becomes more important because of the shift in users' behavior and the emergence of user platforms enabling them to easily share unadulterated reviews and opinions about their experiences with peers.
This content created by users of brands became the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing and was looked up to as more authentic and credible.
In fact, 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by people more than content created by brands.
So, how can you source more of this real Content?
Why Are Customers Your Best Influencer Marketers?
They Help In Improving Your Brand's Credibility
Close to 72% of the brands believe that User Generated Content helps them connect with customers and build their trust in the products and services offered.
Any existing customer sharing genuine reviews is far more effective than seeing an ad to convince someone, which is why influencer marketing is popular in the first place. But, when your customers are your marketers, the authenticity gets multiplied.
Further, it is important to realize that brand glamorized Content will always perform less than Content that feels organic, natural, and authentic. This is why platforms like TikTok have been outperforming. You might come across an ad and not even know it is an ad.
Reach Users Beyond Their Mobile Phones
Dinner table conversations, hanging out with family or friends, or ringing casually to people- it is rather difficult for businesses to tap into these offline conversations.
But, when you get your customers intrigued to a level they are talking about your product offline, it is when you reach out to more people and garner a different kind of attention than other brands running promotions on screens.
They Are Your Target Market
When you collaborate with an influencer catering to or close to your niche, you consider their audience to be your target market. But, with UGC and your customer being your brand advocate, they have already shown that they are your target.
Further, the chances that the people they interact with, through online or offline channels, will be too. Since consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content, spreading the word of your brand like wildfire won't be any difficult.
Imagine you come across a video featuring a real consumer talking about real experiences of their tried products and services; wouldn't that engage you more than a celebrity-endorsed-branded-ad?
This is why more and more brands are opening up to leveraging the masses of people with authentic influence. In addition, they are strategically increasing efforts and resources into collaborating with relatable influencers, their fans, customers, and employees to build trust and engagement.
How Can You Turn Customers Into True Influencer Marketers?
At this time when everybody is an influencer with their smartphones cranked to 11, leveraging the impact that the content generated by them imparts on the business, is critical.
Guide Your Customers, Supporters & Employees Into Content Creation
50% of the users want brands to steer them to the kind of Content they must create and share. Most brands do not realize this fact, but those who define what content to create when to create it, and how to share it are able to turn their users into real advocates.
Inspire customers to create UGC by asking them to share unboxing, usage, product review videos or visuals on their active social media channels and use your brand-exclusive hashtag. But, do not forget to get the legal rights of the content to avoid any legal compliances.
Another way to do this is by making sure that you add CTA in your emails, receipts, notifications, etc., leading your customers to share their feedback in any form.
Incentivize Users To Create Content For Your Brand
Another promising way to obtain more UGC is by running contests and campaigns that incentivize the stakeholders to create and share the best Content.
If your brand is not under public attention, and you do not have any examples of UGC to show them, create your own so that your customers know your requirements.
In fact, by featuring UGC across your marketing channels, you will be able to inspire users to create content following the format you seek.
Marketers, in order to grow, need to understand that people connect with people and their contribution to culture. Hence having your customers be your PR reps has a wider scope of brand awareness and recognition.
Consider Loyalty Programs
There are various loyalty programs that you can leverage to encourage customers and their peers to promote content creation. When choosing a loyalty program, look out for ones that allow you to:
- Have a scheme to refer
- Let you track your referrers
- Enables giving points for sharing Content
Moreover, you can go live on social media channels like Instagram and Facebook and announce the referral codes, giveaways, and hashtag contests to inspire users to create the most authentic marketing content.
Who Else Apart From Customers Is Your Best Brand Marketer?
According to stats, brand messages are reshared up to 24 times more when shared by employees than brands.
Brands like Cisco and Chipotle rely on this Content created by employees to amp up and simplify recruiting efforts and build company culture.
Chipotle, for instance, uses employee-generated content on its career page to recruit talent, highlight the work culture, and display what it is like to work on the premises from an employee's perspective.
By promoting internal influencers and distributing the content created by them internally and externally, brands can lure talented professionals to work with them.
How Can You Leverage This Influential, Authentic Content To Enhance Your Marketing Efforts?
Just gathering UGC in itself isn't enough! You need to resource it to your marketing channels to derive stand-out results. Here is what you can do.
Repost It On Social Media Channels
Reposting makes for a great way to make your customers feel valued for their contributions while also enhancing the credibility of your brand.
Brands like Nike, Coke-a-cola, Oreo, GoPro, etc., have been leveraging users' potential as true influencers of their brand. Again, it is important to keep the content creator's rights intact and ask for permission before posting them on the brand's social media handle.
Embed It On Your Website
UGC is authentic, unique, and vibrant; adding UGC your website can alter the impact the website generates on the minds of the visitors. A staggering 84% of millennial consumers claim that UGC on any company's website has influenced the way they shop online to some extent.
The true influencers of your brand can help you in enhancing brand awareness, trust, and conversions. But since social media hosts a plethora of Content, it gets difficult for brands to collect, curate, and publish the most relevant ones on the web pages. Here, Taggbox Widget can potentially tone your labor down.
It can help you discover and collect content from more than 15 social media channels, moderate the Content, customize the feed to enhance its appeal, and publish it across multiple marketing touchpoints.
Additionally, you can also analyze the performance of your widget and tweak the content so that it performs better.
Display It On Multiple Digital Screens
There is nothing like users being your marketers. Display the Content generated by them on any screen, anywhere with Taggbox Display.
The tool can help you garner the attention of the spectators seamlessly while also inspiring them to create Content to get featured on digital screens.
Any better way to keep your audience entertained? We doubt!
Make It Shoppable
By making UGC shoppable, brands can enhance users' experience by curtailing their purchase journey into a few simple steps.
This has become the need of the hour because buyers are looking out for faster and efficient processes. Add product tags to the visual content and make the Content shoppable effortlessly with Taggbox Commerce.
Further, the emergence of social commerce has been motivating people to explore more products that they can incorporate into their lives, and with UGC made shoppable, brands can easily turn users' points of attraction into sales.
Let's Call It A Wrap!
Brands can benefit from true influencer marketing by creating and delivering experiences where the customers want to participate.
These influencers, your employees, fans, and users, are average people without an army of followers, a blue checkmark on their handle, or a package rate for their promotional services.
If this still didn't convince you, think of that aspired figure of sales and ROI!