People help shape a brand. It’s not just the C-suite level execs who have all he power as more and more customers take to social media and other avenues to natter away about products they like, and the ones they can’t stand.
While some brands are just chuffed to see the happy tweets or posts regaling them, some are putting those happy thoughts to their advantage.
There’s no denying consumers trust word-of-mouth. Research behemoth Nielsen, in its 2015 Global Advertising Trust report, tells us around 83 per cent trust information coming from their friends, branded websites were second with 70 per cent and 66 per cent trust consumer opinions – which just goes to show how crucial user generated content is for a brand.
The Content Marketing Institute said earlier this year user generated content should be “front and centre in your content strategy”.
“For brands that don’t traditionally collect user reviews, consider obtaining a few testimonials from notable or loyal clients,” Jessica Ann from the Content Marketing Institute wrote.
Forrester Research recently noted a brand’s webpage is where consumers head towards to find out information before buying, and the more interesting and dynamic sites are usually more effective.
“Social content plays a critical role on these sites since many B2C marketers realise that they can provide a more immersive experience by curating social content and creating online communities,” said the report from June, called The Forrester Wave: Social Depth Platforms Q2 2015.
“And many buyers will spend more time on web pages that have social content than those that don’t.”
One of the biggest sporting events in Australia is arguably the AFL Finals. Seeing Hawks smash the West Coast Eagles this year had many a social media user either in a meltdown or emitting a gleeful squeal.
To make the most of all the social media hype around the game, AFL pulled together a heap of image posts from the event for fans to see who was supporting who, who was there and to generally join in the fun.
In a slightly different way the Rugby World Cup has also collated all the social media posts from the teams for fans to see all in one place. It’s bringing the teams competing closer to the anxious people watching.
And more on the food side, baked goods enthusiasts were treated to a special behind-the-scenes social media experience for Foxtel’s The Great Australian Bake Off where fans could see all the social content around the cakey series.
While it may have brought good coverage for the AFL, Rugby World Cup and The Bake Off, getting permission to use the content for marketing and advertising purposes is critical.
There’s no shortage of information to wade through, so social advertising and real-time marketing company Livefyre has pulled together a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to what brands are allowed to use.
And marketers better get up to speed on permission seeking, as being able to bottle up user generated content for us in a marketing strategy is becoming more and more popular, with brands reaping the benefits.
Here are five steps you can take to bottle word-of-mouth and leverage it in your content strategy:
Actually find content about your brand. Hashtags work well in this, but also think outside the square to try and find what people are saying. Social curation tools are a way for brands to see what people are saying about them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like.
Select a platform that will enable you to easily rate and categorise which pieces of content you like, filter out the ones you don’t, and keep on file to use for just the right moment for your brand.
3. Get permission!
We can’t stress this strongly enough. It’s important to ensure the legalities are met with the person whose content you’re using.
Once you’ve secured permission, and have an idea about the perfect moment to use a certain piece of content you can use a social depth platform to instantly publish it to your website, campaign microsites or mobile apps.
Just posting social content to your owned digital properties isn’t enough to drive engagement. Encourage users to rate, like, reply, share and interact with the various posts to increase your likeability, and fingers crossed grab some new customers
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