User-generated content (UGC) is the wave of the future for content marketing. Customers and fans are ready, willing, and able to provide content such as reviews, status updates, social shares, videos, and photos, aka social proof, for products or brands they like and respect. And they are more than ready, willing, and able to seek out social proof before making a purchase.
Indeed, 78% of consumers report that social media from their favorite companies has an impact on their purchases. So it’s obvious that some form of social proof is a necessity these days. The companies that harness the power of customer-generated content are ahead of the curve in turning selfies into sales.
For brands, user-generated content is a tremendous way to build a connection with existing customers, engage potential customers, and drive sales.
Enter the selfie. Consumers take over one million photos of themselves every day.
That’s a lot of pictures. And it’s a power that wise brands are harnessing.
So…exactly how do you turn pictures your fans take of themselves into sales? Here are four tips to enable you to turn those selfies into sales.
Selfies Into Sales Tip 1: Ask fans/customers to share content
Ask for help! First step, engage your audience by asking them to send you their selfies via social media.
Start with your social media followers and other existing communities of customers. These are your most loyal and committed fans. They already love you and are engaged with your brand. Ask members of this community to share pictures of themselves interacting with your product. In addition to providing you with content to use in your marketing efforts, it’s a way to reward these customers for their loyalty.
Make sure you ask them to use hashtags so you can find the content from wherever users post it. As long as customers use the hashtag, you can find their content online. To encourage submissions, don’t forget to offer an incentive of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a prize or a discount, but something your users would value.
One thing to remember about asking consumers for selfies: You don’t own the content just because someone uses the hashtag or sends you an image. You need to get permission to use the photos in your marketing efforts, and it’s your job to make sure you get that consent.
Make it easy for them to do this automatically. Most users will give you permission. But you don’t want to outrage the small percentage of those who won’t.
Selfies into sales Tip 2: Figure out how you’ll integrate the content
Selfies are only valuable for driving sales if you can connect them to your products.
To make that process easier, ask your users to tag their own photos as appropriate for your product. If you are a consumer brand, this works especially well with your loyalty club members. For other customers, it may require some form of moderation to make sure images are tagged properly. In any case, putting the task of tagging into the hands of your customers saves you hours of staff time to moderate and tag photos.
To make this part of the process work, brands need to integrate the concept of user-generated content and selfies into their core merchandising strategy and ecommerce platform. It can’t be an afterthought; this could be one of the primary ways that you drive sales to your site.
Some ways to integrate selfies into your ecommerce platform:
1) Provide a direct connection between the image and the SKU on your website.
2) Provide one-click access from the selfie to the shopping cart.
3) Use the same data event structure for photo tagging as the rest of your website. This enables you to track sales that come from selfies and to understand what is working best in terms of social media source, quality of photos, etc.
Selfies into sales Tip 3: Determine where you’ll feature the content
Now that you know what you need to do to motivate your customers to submit content, what hashtag and tag info is needed, where should you use all the selfies that come flooding in?
In a word: Everywhere.
- Your website. Include them anywhere on your site you expect your users to be window shopping, such as standard product pages, search results, or promotions on your home page.
- Your mobile website and/or application.
- Think beyond your own web and mobile presence, such as:
- In-store media walls
- Digital endcaps in your online advertising
- Social channels
- Digital billboards, like ballpark big screens or Times Square
The benefit to using this content everywhere is twofold—driving sales and encouraging others to join your community or contribute to your user-generated content.
Selfies into sales Tip 4: Decide how to best manage the process
This sounds great. How do you make it happen?
Using selfies to generate sales is all about using the right technology to manage the process. Brands that do this successfully use technology that:
- Enables users to submit selfies with ease
- Supports submissions from multiple platforms and devices
- Manages permissions
- Facilitates choosing the proper images to post
- Supports global audiences
- Tracks and measures performance
Step four is likely the trickiest of all, unless you have the proper software to help you manage the process. And as it happens, Content Cloud by Thismoment, expertly handles all of this process, and more. If this sounds like something you’d like to look into, check out this video for more information on how the product works, or request a demo.
People take more than one million selfies every day around the world. And they are potent images. They empower your users and provide brands with a unique form of social proof. Wise marketers understand the power of this type of user-generated content—to build connections, influence and engage customers, and drive sales.
To ream more on social shopping and turning selfies into sales, click here.