If you want great customer engagement in 2021, then you'll have to feed the social media beast, right? It is almost impossible to succeed at content marketing without creating regular blog posts and the same is true today of video content.
Content marketing relies on a fresh supply of relevant copy written by experts that provides real insight, value and expertise for your customers. This way you build trust as a brand. User-generated video is now the easiest way to create compelling video for social media and customer engagement - if you know how.
Social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Hubspot have made the feeding easier, with automated content calendars linked to distribution platforms. But the creation of relevant content is still a headache for most marketers. Freelance writers have never been in as much demand as now, with blog posts, white papers and web pages all necessary in the content marketing arms race. The same is true about influencers creating imagery, with brands paying an average of US$3000 per post.
As the world moves to episodic video for regular customer engagement, many marketers are now realising that regular episodes of consistent video blogs are even more important than written blog posts. In fact, of the three main mediums of content marketing, each has its own place in the decision making cycle. In fact, 87% of marketers create content for different customer journey stages.
- Images to entice customers. A well-curated page on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are the shop window of the digital world. Casual browsers see something from your brand that they like. Images are a classic example of TOFU (top of the funnel) content, as the goal os to attract their attention. Click tracking and affiliate marketing tools like CommisisonFactory can help brands monetise content created by influencers.
- Words to educate customers. Written content is crucial to moving customers through the middle of the funnel (MOFU). How-to guides, eBooks, checklists and infographics are all primarily written content designed to build trust with your customers. MOFU content is measured by conversion rate on to a transactional page of your website.
- Video to convert customers. The conversion power of video is around 9.2 times that of images. What you show customers at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is crucial as this content needs to position your brand, build trust and accelerate the purchase. This is where you need to have product success stories in video form.
User-generated content drives customer engagement
The best content marketing for conversion is customer success stories. User-generated content and case studies are some of the most effective types to convince a person to make a purchase. The most common forms of customer-success content are: product overviews, customer reviews, case studies, use cases and success stories.
This kind of content convinces the more reluctant purchase that people like them have used your product and it has boosted their sales or lead to more enquiries. Do your best to supply all the info needed to support the purchasing decision of your potential customer.
This bottom-of-the-funnel has also been the part most neglected by marketers in terms of video content. In fact, despite the fact that user-generated content has four times the conversion power of advertising, only 16 of brands have a user-generated content strategy for 2021. Even fewer have a dedicated user-generated video content strategy.
As a leader in user-generated video campaigns, we surveyed over 100 marketers to find out why. User-generated video may be marketing’s holy grail, but it is incredibly hard to do well. While 95% of marketing executives we surveyed said they wanted to do more customer-sourced videos, the complexity and cost of campaigns was prohibitive. In fact, to run your own user-generated campaign used to include around ten steps, before user-generated video campaign platforms like Vloggi Studio came onto the scene.
Luckily, Vloggi makes user-generated video campaigns easy. While the tool can be used for many kinds of marketing, from real estate to destination marketing, one of the most powerful uses of user-generated video is in customer engagement and success videos for brands.
If you have a product that people love, here are five ways to harness that love to create compelling video content for your marketing.
1. Find your most loyal customers to upload user-generated video
The number one method of running user-generated content campaigns in 2020 was the repurposing of content uploaded via hashtags. Brands spent over US$40 billion on social media adverts in 2020, much of it promoting hashtags campaigns. But only 5% of all content produced through hashtag campaigns is video. Plus of that 5%, much of it is in Stories form, which is temporary, requiring daily scraping and downloading of all content via tools like Stackla or CrowdRiff.
But two in three consumers trust user-generated video content more than advertising and seven in ten consumers want to see people like them reviewing products.
Post-COVID authenticity is even more highly-prized. Some 78% of brands plan more UGC campaigns in 2021.
Where brands have cult following or high brand loyalty (think Apple, Nike or Chick Fil-A) have customers who feel a sense of self-ownership or vested interest in the brand's popularity and success. These cult brands find it hard to do marketing that runs contrary to their followers' perceived view of the brand. Conversely, they are exactly the kind of company that finds it easy to source user-generated video from customers.
What Is a Cult Brand? A cult brand refers to a product or service that has a relatively small but loyal customer base that verges on fanaticism. A cult brand, unlike more traditional brands, has customers who feel a sense of self-ownership or vested interest in the brand's popularity and success. Adam Hayes, Investopedia
Instead, the challenge for cult brands is in managing the flow of content. Monitoring hashtag campaigns across multiple social media platforms is a very time-consuming operation for brands. Contacting and securing IP rights for that content is more onerous and then converting the video into usable video files is another challenge.
Instead, brands like JAX Tyres uses Vloggi to both source video from its passionate fans and also compile into social media videos using the Vloggi all-in-one user-generated video campaign manager platform.
2. Empower your customers to leave video reviews
51% of marketers believe that product reviews work well at the bottom of the marketing funnel. Online reviews are a powerful way to enhance a business’s reputation and gain credibility. Some 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. A staggering 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Our own research shows that 90% of marketers would get customer reviews in video form if there was an easy way to do so. This is principally to do with the power of social proof to consumers. Seven in ten consumers want to see people like them reviewing products.
Noticeably, the type of social content matters; consumer-created photos are 1.8 x more likely to interest people in travel than images from a celebrity or social influencer. This is particularly true post-COVID. The power of UCG is a real person, having a real experience, with a real smile — we can relate to this more than a staged photo or video created by a brand.
Of the six types of social proof, referrals from existing customers of a product comes first, followed closely by the advice of experts and referrals from friends.
In fact, user-generated content like customer reviews is trusted seven times more than paid content. TripAdvsior led the way in reviews, but today YouTube videos are now more trusted than TripAdvisor reviews, due to the authenticity of customer engagement.
A major upside to reviews is that often the reward is non-monetary. Unlike paid influencers, 87% of TripAdvisor reviewers “just want to share good experiences”
According to HubSpot, marketers who make video reviewing easy are 13 times more likely to get a positive return on investment. This has led to companies Tyre Review integrating Vloggi's open API into its review cycle, to automatically format video reviews into finished social media videos.
The beauty of templated video is that all the user-inputted data, such as name, location and product reviewed can be overlaid on top of the final video. For ongoing video reviews, you can create one link per product and have an endless supply of customer reviews coming in to feed the social media beast.
Easy integration of ratings make it even easier for customers to upload their videos and give a quick review, without having to write any words.
3. Create a regular stream of vide content for social media
The importance of customer engagement and especially the use of video in online marketing and social media has exploded in recent years. Facebook is reportedly "obsessed" with video — getting users to both upload and consume it. The strategy is to move from the current 500 million people a day watching videos on Facebook to closer than 2 billion.
In fact, in 2016, a Facebook executive predicted that by 2021 the platform would be 100% video. That looks unlikely, because compiling user-generated videos from multiple sources is still problematic. What Facebook likes is episodic content. Regular content created in consistent branding and uploaded at the same time every week. Kind of like a blog content schedule.
Video is the best way to tell stories in this world. It helps us to digest much more information.
Nicola Mendelssohn, Facebook
Facebook is not alone, YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine and second most visited site after Google. It is also the second-most popular social media platform with 2bn users.
But some of the top channels are those with regular episodes of shows that viewers can tune into at a set time each week, or twice per week. Both platforms love regular video because they engage audiences more, meaning more potential ad clicks. Studies show that people have the ability to recall 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later.
Facebook groups are harnessing easy video uploader tools like Vloggi Upload to effectively crowdsource footage from their community. Eastern Suburbs Mums, a Sydney Facebook community reaches out to its Mummy Vloggers to upload video clips from playgrounds around eastern Sydney, which are then formatted into episodes of its community video series, Playground Reviews.
The benefit of templated video is the ability create episodic social media videos at scale. Set your branding elements once and then re-use the same template endlessly with content created by your community or customers.
4. Show you're COVID-safe by filming remotely
Everything has changed. Your product may have changed due to health restrictions and your target market has changed due to a desire to stay closer to home. Crucially, the ability to send film crews to customer locations has been severely diminished due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
But your marketing assets were all carefully planned and created pre-COVID. So how to rapidly recreate a library of updated collateral that reflects the new reality?
The good news for marketers is that customers are now more likely to trust the recommendations of “micro-influencers” such as previous customers. This means you can use your user-generated video contests as part of your content marketing for customer engagement.
After COVID, potential customers will be increasingly looking for social proof for inspiration. The impact social media has had on the marketing industry is transformational.
Customers in all age groups look to user-generated content (UCG) for guidance and ideas on whether places are safe, with social distancing and hand sanitiser. Photos and videos posted by friends, family or peers on social media are the best inspirations.
Consumers want to talk to people who have real experience of the products they will be using. Your existing customers simply need an easy way to upload their video clips and images for you to use in marketing. Vloggi is a platform that sources user-generated video to create branded micro-content that can then be manipulated in the cloud and stored and managed for publication or sharing. It combines a crowdsourcing system, a video production tool and a dynamic video assembler.
5. Use vox pops videos to relay the emotions of real customers
If you have a more emotional product or a campaign, you can engage your stakeholders to post simple video messages. Although capturing your product in action is the best way to showcase a physical product, for political campaigns, customer engagement or customer testimonials, you need talking heads.
For example, the New South Wales Education Standards Authority was looking for a way to source acceptance speeches from the top students in the state. Usually an awards function invited all top students up on stage to accept their awards. The agency used Vloggi to remotely source video clips recorded on student's own phones.
Similarly, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents used Vloggi to power its advocacy campaign around Coronavirus stimulus. Agents recorded their own message at home and uploaded it to the platform for the marketers to pull together into a preset template. The federation said no other online tool would have permitted them to gather video footage from their disparate members based all around Australia.
Why is user-generated content so important?