Are you ready to take your user-generated marketing campaign to the next level with influencers?
Influencers have powerful reputations, clout, and large, curated audiences that know, like, and trust them. This makes them invaluable advocates brands can leverage to scale their user-generated content (UGC) efforts in record time.
In fact, according to a new Ad Age and The Harris Poll survey, nearly half of consumers in the US consider influencer input when looking to buy a product or service. This is especially true for Gen Z shoppers.
If you’ve been looking to drum up some UGC and want to lock arms with influencers to do so, stick around to learn how to do that — step-by-step.
1. Outline your UGC marketing campaign objectives
Before reaching out to influencers, get clear on your UGC marketing campaign objectives.
Start with your end goal and create mini-milestone goals that can help you reach your final destination.
Set your key performance indicators and any other metrics you’ll be measuring to ensure your campaign stays on track toward hitting your goals.
Use specific language when mapping out your vision and metrics so your marketing team is on the same page.
Here’s an example:
“We’d like to drive sales for our latest line of colored contact lenses. We’d like our target market to know our new lenses block out blue light, seamlessly adapt in response to changing light conditions, and come in 10 new color shades.
Our goal is to create a Summer campaign that focuses on selling a thousand boxes of lenses by the end of May, two thousand boxes by the end of June, and four thousand boxes by the end of July. We’d like a healthy production and marketing ROI (see our ROI health guidelines here). We’d also like to initiate win-back campaigns for promising leads that abandoned their carts.
To track our sales goals, we’ll be monitoring:
- The number of product returns compared to the number of purchases
- The number of product purchases compared to our production and marketing investment
- Abandoned cart activity
- Win-back campaign and retargeting ads activity
- End-of-month product sales after product return periods have expired
To help us meet our goals, we’ll be hiring 20 influencers to help us scale our UGC campaign. To ensure their content is compliant with our guidelines, we’ll create a detailed content policy and terms of sharing.”
2. Create a content policy and terms of sharing before entering a partnership
Create a policy that outlines your content expectations, guidelines, and any non-negotiables you’d like your influencers to agree to.
You’ll also need to consider how much production freedom you’d like influencers to have. This can be tricky because audiences follow influencers for their authentic, no-nonsense approach to marketing, but you also have your own standards and brand reputation to uphold.
A simple way to bridge the gap? Include a specific statement in your agreement and then add a do’s and don’ts section to make it actionable.
Here’s an example:
“Our brand ambassadors have the freedom to use their own creative inspiration when producing content as long as the published end-product doesn’t violate our content policy, style guide, or company values. All content must adhere to national and state laws as well as social media platform regulations.
When in doubt, follow these do’s and don’ts:
Do: Use language and images tailored to your audience. (Brief profanity is okay within reason.)
Don’t: Violate our content policy, style guide, or company values when producing content.
Do: Choose video marketing, reviews, carousel and Instagram collaborative posts, and Stories over still images.
Don’t: Use graphic content, such as nude photos, erotic connotations, or violent images in your content.
Do: Share yourself using our product in a lifestyle setting, preferably outdoors in morning or afternoon light.
Don’t: Violate laws or YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook community standards when producing content.”
You’ll also need to include terms of sharing so influencers understand you’ll be repurposing the content they created for your UGC campaign as needed across your marketing channels. Be sure to also lay out how you plan on giving credit to the influencer when resharing their content.
Note: Keep in mind that established influencers may have their own policies and standards that you’ll need to adhere to as well. Get on the same page before partnering with them for the best possible campaign results and partnership experience.
3. Find and partner with the right influencers in your niche
Aligned influencers are worth their weight in gold. You don’t have to work hard to get on the same page with them. You swear their words and images could’ve been generated by someone on your marketing team. And communicating with them feels virtually effortless.
That’s why it’s essential to be choosy when looking to partner with brand ambassadors.
It’s also important to look for influencers with curated audiences in your specific niche.
For instance, if you’re looking to promote your latest line of linen suits, you’ll likely have more success partnering with fashion influencers over tech influencers — bonus points if they have experience advocating for suits and formal wear brands.
If you want to capitalize on user-generated content for your restaurant website, focus on finding food influencers that align with your restaurant culture.
When meeting with potential influencers, lay out your partnership goals and expectations. Be sure to highlight the value and exposure they’ll receive from the partnership, too. It’s also important to emphasize how vital their work is in helping you scale your UGC efforts.
Pro-Tip: To scale your UGC efforts even faster (and remove some of the pressure off your influencers), consider using a platform like Crowdtap which offers users gifts in exchange for their feedback on specific products. Crowdtap members aren’t influencers — they’re brand enthusiasts who regularly take part in brand storytelling. In other words, they’re UGC creators!
4. Outline strategies influencers should use to generate UGC at scale
Brainstorm UGC stimulation ideas with the influencers you’ve partnered with. Invite them to share previous UGC campaigns they worked on that saw success and what they did to achieve company objectives.
By genuinely caring about their feedback, you can not only work to build meaningful relationships with your brand ambassadors, but you can also give them the opportunity to get excited about content creation — a crucial pillar in creating authentically.
After you’ve brainstormed how to incorporate their ideas, ask them to apply the following strategies when crafting content for your UGC campaign:
Ask for product reviews and testimonials
Invite influencers to try your product or service and share their honest feedback with their followers. Reply to their feedback and tag them in your comments.
Encourage influencers to ask their audience to give your product or service a try, too, and to share their experiences on social media or in messaging forums.
Ask influencers to use Instagram Story stickers to encourage UGC
Boost audience participation and encourage more UGC by asking influencers to use engagement stickers in Instagram Stories.
For instance, influencers can use the “Question” or “Quiz” sticker to ask questions like “Which NewWorld running shoe purchase has been your favorite?”.
Or they can use the “Add Yours” sticker to encourage their followers to post visuals in Stories — think: “Check out my new polarized RayB sunnies! Post yours, too!”
Have influencers run a UGC hashtag giveaway
Have influencers run a classic UGC hashtag giveaway where they ask their audiences to share images and content on social media using a branded hashtag. The content they share might include a product review, video, image, or any relevant brand use.
For instance, beauty brand Glossier asks users and influencers to share their personal experiences using their products, with the hashtag #glossier.
5. Build up your media assets and reshare content
Create a UGC content folder in your Work OS or dedicated content planning platform. In it, be sure to add brand mentions, visual product, reviews, and other UGC created by online users, brand enthusiasts, and influencers. Your media assets need to be of high-quality and sometimes you might need to hire visual designers, who reinforce your brand’s voice through visual touchpoints.
Consider converting content snippets, such as brand mentions, into vector images to have ready-to-use visuals across your marketing platforms. This is a genius way to build up your media assets, reshare influencer and UGC content, and create shareable content.
Next, strategize a content marketing plan to help you show off your UGC media. Remember to adhere to all laws, standards, and regulations when resharing content — especially when resharing assets made by online users you don’t have a professional relationship with.
And that’s it!
From here, you’ll just need to measure influencer performance and make strategic campaign adjustments going forward.
Are you ready to optimize your user-generated marketing campaign with influencers? Be sure to bookmark this article to refer to later.
To your success!