Crowdsourced visual content is any type of content that’s created by your customers about your brand or product. Unlike a form of sponsorship, consumers do not get paid to post their content. Having users independently post this content makes the promotion feel more authentic and convincing to other buyers. Make sure you are in the game!
Users can post their content about brands and products on any social platform. The most common platforms are:
- 76% of consumers say reviews and photos from past buyers influence their purchasing decisions
- 77% of consumers admit authentic customer photos have a bigger impact on their purchasing decisions than polished images created by marketing departments
- Facebook ads with reviews see a 50% lower CPA and a 50% lower CPC
Why Is Crowdsourced Content So Important?
When it comes time to make a purchasing decision, who are you more likely to trust – a brand, or a fellow consumer who uses the product?
The e-commerce brands with the most Instagram success aren’t just selling a product. They are selling a lifestyle, a culture, often even an idea. They do so because they managed that brand story to come off in line with their audiences’ preferences, widely with right visual content marketing strategy.
With the right imagery and crowdsourcing strategies, you can create a robust Instagram presence.
User-generated or crowdsourced content can generate more engagement on Instagram and engagement is the only metric you should be focusing on. Generating crowdsourced content means getting more comments and likes on your posts. Engagement rate is critically essential to brands’ advance on the platform, simply because the more users engage with your visual content and messaging, the higher your posts are in the Instagram feed, and the more likely it is that new users will find your content on the Explore tab. Need to say more?
Why Do People Trust Other People So Much?
The most credible form of advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust.
Buyers are highly driven by other people’s experiences. 85% of buyers said that they find crowdsourced content more powerful than brand-created content. With the power of social proof, people are more likely to acquire from your online business if they see others promoting your brand. Others should be their friends, peers, celebrities they follow or brands that share prevalent values with.
Crowdsourced Content Is Automatically Sending The Right Visual Message
The visual element of custom content is truly powerful. Typically a photo or video, user-generated content is image-based. Our brains gravitate towards these visuals—90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and we process images 60,000 times faster than text. With this natural inclination, the photos and videos that come from crowdsourcing resonate with your targeted buyers.
Social Media Is An Obsession
People love using social media. Nearly 70% of adults in the U.S. use social media, the medium for sharing original content. This wide usage makes crowdsourcing an effective way to spread awareness around your brand and products.
Crowdsourcing Is Cost-effective
It’s an inexpensive cost form of promotion. With crowdsourcing, you do not have to spend a penny to engage your past buyers to give a shout about your brand while preserving the authenticity of your brand’s visual content. You only have to manage your social media to promote crowdsourced content — a small cost for such a powerful form of promotion.
Here are some great examples to learn from!
1. Aerie #AerieREAL
Women’s clothing company Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign is even called #UGCgoals. The campaign is simple, but powerful.
Women’s clothing company #AerieReal campaign is all about engaging the public in your UGC goals. The campaign is simple, but powerful. Aerie made a pledge to stop retouching photos of models in its bathing suits. And for every Instagram user that posted an unedited photo of themselves in a bathing suit (using the hashtag #AerieReal, of course), Aerie now donates $1 to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Take-away for You: Give people a reason to get involved in your campaign that’s bigger than Instagram itself. Be that an awareness campaign or a donation-oriented one, customers want to buy from companies that support important causes.
Try to find and co-operate with a cause or charity organization your brand message is in line with to get Instagrammers excited about your crowdsourcing campaign. Not only will you make a right contribution to the world the GenZ will love you for, but you will also raise engagement, and more people will come across your brand via WOMM (world-of-mouh marketing).
2. Toyota’s “Feeling the Street” campaign
Toyota’s annual “Feeling the Street” campaign is a great example of a brand doing unique things with UGC in Facebook ads.
Over a period of six weeks, Toyota crowdsourced the best user-created content from Instagram and integrated it into engaging Facebook ads.
By resorting to their actual users’ content and sharing the most engaging user-generated content, Toyota got more than 1.2 million likes, comments, and shares across the campaign. Without spending an extra penny from their budget, they managed to land a 440% increase year-over-year in ad engagement. Pretty awesome.
3. GoPro – Nailed It With Contest-Driven Content
GoPro decided to go for hashtag contests and customer photos as means of starting their own unique giveaways and contests. It is a well-known engaging tactic for raising the engagement of your followers, and leveraging contests usually requires less workforce or resources than usual campaigns.
Once you have enough followers, a “Photo of the Day” campaign is pretty much unbeatable, solid solution to encourage your fans to share their crowdsourced content or earned content (as it is for you as a brand) with you. The viral nature of GoPro’s content proves once again that brands shouldn’t be afraid to simply ask for content from their followers, because all parties are happy to engage in doing so.
4. Urban Outfitters – Showing your Customers some #love
Brand loyalty is crucial to your millennial customers; however, are you really obsessed to provide them ways to engage in doing so? As noted by Forbes, 62% of millennials want to get in touch with their favorite brands via social and 60% cite brand loyalty as a factor influencing purchasing decisions.
Fashion brands know that, unlike in any other industry their customers treat a part of their social identity as a sum of labels worn. Featuring customer photos is more than just a way to say “thank you.” Urban Outfitters’ feed quite often shows unique, elegant and still mostly model-like photos of fans to help establish their brand’s identity and show their customers and social media followers some love. Do that!
MAC, a high-end beauty & cosmetic brand, did the right thing to nail their Halloween Instagram marketing campaign. They had a stellar Instagram campaign idea where their senior artists – John Stapleton & Regan Rabanal worked on the #SeniorArtistsSlayHalloweenInstagram visual stream to encourage and engage a global community of beauty and make-up artists to share their works they did for others to rock their Halloween costume & their scary makeup dress-ups.
People genuinely like celebrating Halloween by sharing their spooky Halloween costumes & overall look. Ultimately with this campaign, MAC Cosmetics boasted success. This marketing venture proved to be an exciting user-generated content campaign for the brand that securd them organic promotion, vast traffic as well as engagement received by global artists & makeup enthusiasts.
What To Remember About Crowdsourced Content
Planning a successful Instagram marketing campaign is neither easy or always a win. Make sure you and your team have a clear idea of your goals, objectives and deliverables, set in accordance with your resources and budget. Before you start, make a strategy – think over and over all possible outcomes and schemes and gor for one that is simple and easy for your public to engage with. Make sure you play the social media opportunites right.
Instagram and Facebook offer new scope of effective marketing possibilities and since their unstoppable growth of active users and more budgets spend on advertising there by both the small and big brands, it’s becoming tough to attract and absorb your audience’s attention.
Your visual brand identity is more important than ever. Learn more about the elements that make up a brand identity, and most importantly how to find yours.