Melissa Salas is the global brand development & marketing director at Indi.com. She hosted a product review TV show and is a PR and product marketing expert.
86% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising, and 70% of millennials prefer endorsements from peers over celebrities; transform your customers into your top influencers.
HOW TO: Start a brand advocate program to boost your marketing with user-generated video content
1. Shares are crucial in reaching followers organically; invest in many micro influencers vs. a few macro influencers
Big influencers may have a lot of followers, but engagement is what counts. Offering a 10% off coupon to loyal customers for a social share lets you access networks of highly-engaged friends and family.
Unboosted posts only reach 0.25% of your followers; give them a head start →
2. Engage with your customers on their preferred social platforms to make tagging easy
Your fans on IG and Snapchat want to tag you in their stories and videos; step 1 is meeting them where they’re at and making it easy for them to do so.
Make it easy to share links to your website on multiple platforms →
3. Send new customers an immediate welcome email encouraging them to share a video about your product
Suggest that they record an unboxing video, and let them know what benefits they’ll receive for sharing their experience with your brand.
Automate an email campaign to gather user reviews →
4. Include a disclaimer that you will own any submitted content in the submission form
Pay users for their efforts in cash, gift cards or products, but be sure the content is ultimately yours so you can broadcast the best videos across your various platforms.
Generate a terms & conditions form and use the “submissions” clause as your content disclaimer →
5. Guide user-submitted content by telling them exactly what type of video you’re looking for
Post instructions on your website, create a social story calling for videos, or send an email to your top customers. Just be specific about the content you want so you’re not flooded with uninspired selfies.
Once the submissions start rolling in, upload them in a single social display on your site →
6. Use giveaways to re-engage advocates and reach new customers
Whoever gets the most likes and shares for their post wins. It’s easy to track, and you stir up a lot of engagement with only 1 prize.
Customize, launch, and manage a social video competition in minutes →
7. Send top advocates your product BEFORE the release and let them make videos to build the hype
Your top fans will be excited about receiving the product pre-release and create your advertising campaign for you. Add top advocates to your CRM, earmarking them for pre-releases.
Find your top advocates across platforms and send them a direct message →
8. Apply all these tips to a digital product by reframing it around a user’s app/site experience
You don’t need a physical product to make a video about it. People still want to see how to use a digital product before they buy it.
Let customers “unbox” your product and record it on their own screens →