Have you ever wondered why companies ask you to go and review their companies? Why do fashion houses love to promote posts by their clients?
Paid ads and influencer’s campaign can get sales conversions but the audience wants authenticity and transparency. In the age where social media is more powerful than print media, it is critically essential to give the audience what they want. Generating organic content is one way to go.
One of the emerging marketing strategies is to give power to the customer to generate content for them that will give an authentic view of their collection and customer experience. This type of content that is generated by the user, in form of viral hashtags, videos, live casting, blogs, pictures, Discussion boards, Location tagging, audios, Social curation, testimonials, reviews, etc., is known as User Generated Content.
In 2016, Calvin Klein ran a hugely successful campaign on social media with a hashtag #mycalvin. This digital campaign asked people, influencers, and celebrities to tag a picture of them wearing Calvin Klein apparel with the punch line that was open for interpretation: I __________ in #mycalvin. People came up with interesting taglines such as I feel free in #mycalvins or I pledge in #mycalvins. This campaign got Calvin Klein 3.6 million additional followers across all its social media platform.
This campaign only goes to prove that if a campaign successfully engages its audience it can help make a lasting memory and build organic brand loyalty.
Fashion Brands Leveraging On UGC
In September 2017, Dior launched a campaign called #DiorLoveChain that asks “And You, what You Do For Love?” Dior donates $1 for every post that uses the hashtag to a charity dedicated to education, food, healthcare, financial independence, and clean water known as We Movement. This campaign proved to be a great way of connecting with the audience and start a positive conversation between the brand and their existing customer base while being socially responsible.
Some brands like to bring attention to the real social issues while engaging the audience. Loreal started a campaign called #worthsaying to show that women can speak beyond superficial beauty. This campaign gained a lot of attention with thousands of posts where women are speaking their mind using the hashtag.
Lately music festival such as Coachella has gained the interest of the fashion world and other corporations. Clothing line H&M comes out with their own line of festival clothing and promote it with the hashtag #HMLovesCoachella. People, celebrities, and influencers get to show their style using the hashtag creating a memory page of sorts for others to see.
Urban Decay, a cosmetic company, uses the power and creativity of people to create boards on Pinterest to promote their brand. They are also very active in conducting a contest for product giveaways which is a great way to keep the audience engaged. In a recent spring 2017 content, Urban Decay asked its audience to create the best recreation of makeup fit for festivals using their Nocturnal Collection on Pinterest.
What Makes User Generated Content So Great?
According to 86% of millennials, User-generated content is a good source of information about a product’s quality. Also, 68% of social media users (age group 18-24) take user-generated content into consideration while making a purchase.
User-generated content provides a visual proof for the customers. Social sharing of experiences builds trust in the brand and give first-hand information on how the product is working so well for others. Simultaneously, it builds up a brand’s name resulting in customers who trust in the brand. By giving voice to people, brands show their desire and willingness to be transparent and confident of their product.
Brands have also realized the potential of harnessing the power of loyalty amongst customers. There is no greater source of authentic content than loyal customers themselves. 70% of users like user-clicked images than company-uploaded images.
Sabyasachi started a bridal campaign in 2016 by using the hashtag #sabyasachibride. In this long-running campaign, a new bride tags her Sabyasachi outfit. Till date, 13,000+ photos have been uploaded on his Instagram account. Similar campaigns are launched by the likes of Manish Malhotra and Ritu Beri.
It is not the campaign that makes the marketing strategy successful, it is the content that a user gets to generate that helps a brand reach a larger audience, making UGC a cost-effective and authentic.
Why Should Your Fashion Brand Use UGC?
UGC is everywhere. Fashion brands can leverage from its customer’s experience of wearing their clothes or accessories. Here are some facts to show you how powerful UGC is as a marketing tool.
- Brands experience 28% increase in sales when exposed to professional as well as user-generated video. (comScore)
- According to 84% of millennials, user-generated content on a company website influences their purchases. (Bazaarvoice)
- UGC in the form of photos on Facebook or Instagram campaigns increases click-through rate by 50%. Also, the brand created images yield 5X return on Ad spend. (Instagram partners)
- UGC can improve conversion rates for clothing by 6.4%, 1.7x for footwear, 2.4x for jewelry, and 1.6x for products in beauty and consumer electronics verticals. (Clickz)
- 69% of consumers trust user-generated reviews about clothing, household goods, and personal care products. (Adweek)
Things To Keep In Mind While Asking For UGC
To make sharing of user-generated content engaging and fun, a brand should keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind.
1. Build Anticipation
Building anticipation helps in building excitement for the big day. This also helps in getting the hashtag trending.
2. Don’t Spam
Spamming is never good. Period.
3. Keep It Simple
The user shouldn’t be jumping through hoops to take part in your campaign. Use simple hashtags or contest rules to make it as easy for the user as possible.
4. Dedicate Gallery To Curate
The audience participates in a campaign for a reason. Dedicate a gallery to curate the content that you receive. This will also help in keeping the website fresh and keep the audience engaged. The audience should be encouraged to indulge in social sharing.
5. Reflect, Don’t Show
The content on the website won’t be able to connect with the audience if the brand asks them to just upload a pic. The content is effective if the user gets to share their experience of using the product. Your audience should be able to reflect their lifestyle on social media.
For example, Frye, a leather shoes and handbag company, started a hashtag #InMyFrye where customers upload pictures of them using their product.
6. Exclusive Perspective
User-generated content doesn’t necessarily need to come from customers or followers. Nowadays, celebrities, influencers, bloggers, all are social influencers. A brand can give an inside access to their events to their fans.
Social media is all about democracy. They have the right to speak their mind. A business can grow exponentially by giving some power to the people that it serves.