If you’ve watched someone recreate Hailey Beiber's donut glaze with her brand's Peptide Glazing Fluid, or seen the billboard images from Apple's #ShotoniPhone campaign—that’s user-generated content, and it’s one of the most effective ways to convert customers.
Nearly 80% of consumers say that user-generated content impacts their purchase decisions. Because UGC is authentic social proof that your product is worth buying. And when used with an engagement powerhouse like SMS, it’s a match made in marketing heaven. Here’s how to incorporate UGC into your SMS marketing strategy to build trust, encourage brand loyalty, and drive sales.
User-generated content is content about your brand—including pictures, videos, testimonials, and reviews—that consumers create and publish on marketing channels like social media, and even SMS. It’s word-of-mouth advertising for the digital age and one of the most effective ways to convert shoppers into buyers.
It’s word-of-mouth advertising for the digital age and one of the most effective ways to convert shoppers into buyers.
Consumers turn to UGC the same way they’d ask their friends and family for an opinion. In fact, 85 percent of consumers think UGC is more influential than content made by brands. And social posts containing UGC have a 35% higher engagement rate than other posts. The authenticity of UGC hits differently, especially in the final stages of the sales funnel. When a customer sees people like them using your product, they’re more likely to make a purchase.
To build brand trust in 2023, you have to show consumers who you are as a company. And nothing demonstrates this more effectively than social proof. UGC instills trust, humanizes your brand, and builds community.
Not to mention, creating UGC draws customers into your brand and makes them feel like they’re part of your journey. According to Hootsuite, “UGC gives customers a unique opportunity to participate in a brand’s growth instead of being a spectator. This influences brand loyalty and affinity in a big way because people thrive off being part of something greater than themselves, and creating UGC allows them to be part of a brand’s community.”
People thrive off being part of something greater than themselves, and creating UGC allows them to be part of a brand’s community.
UGC and SMS marketing are uniquely suited for each other. A personal channel with one of the highest open rates of any medium, UGC is more impactful through text. It instantly bridges the gap between a browse on a website, or a 20-minute deep-dive on a brand’s tagged photos on Instagram, and it doesn’t have to cut through the noise of an overloaded email inbox. And it gives brands an easy way to collect user-generated photos, videos, and reviews.
Invite your subscribers to submit content by running interactive campaigns that encourage participation. Take our merchant, MYOS Pet, for example. They encourage SMS subscribers to submit photos and product testimonials of their dogs, and then they feature one pet each month via text. It’s a way to delight customers with cute photos and share user testimonials that showcase the benefits of MYOS’ supplements. These campaigns also drive connection and deepen the relationship between the consumer and the brand.
Don’t underestimate the power of 1:1 text conversations with your subscribers. Send recent customers a follow up text for feedback, and maybe even a glowing review that you can turn into marketing magic. A positive user review could be the proof a consumer needs to become a brand loyalist.
The real magic lies in the way you use the reviews you collect. Imagine a coffee brand with a couple of flavor options. You can use your goldmine of reviews to reassure the customer and ensure the sale. Plus, human reactions will feel distinct in tone, brevity, and spontaneity compared to a corporately-sourced FAQ base.
Consumers might be hesitant to order the chocolate latte because they haven't tried it before. But pinging a customer review that says, “It tastes just like a lazy Sunday morning should...perfect” might be just what the customer needs to complete their purchase.