Are you Instagrammable? The truth about User-Generated Content
Social Media – the tool of a generation. A tool used by an experience-driven consumer economy.
If your business has survived within this rapidly changing environment until now, then you must be aware of its disruptive and influential powers. We probably do not need to tell you why social media should be of general interest to you when you aim to generate traffic and sell online.
You have already established your social media channels, and you are probably doing a great deal in creating content aimed to draw customers in – but have you given enough thought to how and if you appear in their content? Are you aware of why it is so essential for you to be mentioned? Have you thought about whether or not you are Instagrammable?
Yes, Instagrammable. You read right.
But I am sure it is not the first time you and your business have stumbled upon this phrase. Generation Z is practically throwing it around, but you might still wonder what really hides behind it.
So, let us fill you in about what being Instagrammable exactly means and why it is so essential to be included in your customers' online content.
The urban dictionary defines the word Instagrammable as a place or an image worthy of uploading it on Instagram. This evaluation, however, is of subjective nature driven by social convention. Just as trends usually are.
Generally speaking, Instagrammable places are locations that are suited for digital sharing because, in the users' eyes, they are beautiful or exciting, and they are worthy of humble bragging.
And Instagrammability is key to us because?
This one is easy to answer: because it creates a great deal of User-Generated Content!
Photos, reviews, likes, shares, tweets, comments - everything created by the individuals is User- Generated Content (UGC).
Many studies conducted within this field, deliver us with great reasoning why UGC is so valuable to any actor within the e-commerce world.
To name just a few:
1. Authenticity & Trust
One of the main findings crucial for you is the value customers put in the authenticity of this content. A study summarised by Social Media Today, clearly shows that consumer-created content wins by far, to be exact: 3-TIMES as much, on an authenticity scale compared to content created by organisations themselves.
And that is not all: a vast majority of consumers participating in these studies also said that they found UGC to be extremely helpful when making a purchasing decision online.
Next up, studies also found a definite increase in engagement with such content. This heightened engagement will, in turn, drive traffic to your website, and consequently, also to your offers.
3. Cost-effectiveness & access to data
Last but not least, not only is this is a very cost-effective way of marketing when leveraged in accurate ways - we will get to that in just a bit – it is also a wide-open door to a large amount of data.
Data you can use to get to know your customers better and better.
It can help you, or us, to determine real-time pricing and personalised targeting and designing. That sounds inducing. We know!
Related: ARE YOU SELLING AT YOUR OPTIMAL PRICE? Why you should be using dynamic pricing & machine learning systems to increase your revenue.
What does that mean for you in particular?
Well, especially for travel, leisure time activities, and online booking, UGC, in terms of reviews and first, as well as lasting impressions, were found to be the main motivator among millennials and generation Z's.
So, this should be reason enough to be looking for ways to engage your customers in creating UGC, or?
Here are 3 basic points you want to pay attention to when trying to facilitate UGC:
1. Involve everyone
Of course, attracting influencers should be on your mind; they will heighten your chance of going viral and create much more traffic. However, you should nudge all of your customers to create content.
Each customer has their own reasoning for sharing; some want to let family in friends be part of the experience, others might want to act as referrals and inform known as well as unknown people about their experience, and some might do it because they want to become instafamous.
Although, all reasonings are interesting to explore in order to generate even more personalised UGC, and studying those will be key if this is a step you want to take, but generally speaking, you need to ensure you create an environment I which all of your customers feel as if there is something to share. All customers inclined to share are vital to you.
2. Let your environments call for action – visually!
A beautiful sight is, of course, likely to be visually appealing and photographed.
However, not only the design of your environment should be solemnly visual-oriented, but also the UGC it will leverage. Visual content is currently, by far, the most favoured content on the market, and leveraging such is, therefore, crucial.
This can be done by creating particular spots, which are worth capturing because they play into the customers’ humour, sense of beauty or create an emotional connection (to name just a few ideas). This visual-orientation should be incorporated from the tickets, no matter if they are physical or digital on the customers’ mobile devices, up until the review follow-up email sent after their visit.
Not to forget! A good step to take is also to propose and expose certain hashtags that will guide and nudge your customers to share their content in connection to you.
Another tool you should have in your repertoire is offering incentives for shared content. Incentives can range from discounts to free tickets, or recognition by responding, reposting, and sharing a users' content!
You can be creative in what you believe is the most interesting to your customers.
1. Instagrammable means a place or photograph is suited for digital sharing.
2. Being Instagrammable matters because it generates a significant amount of User-Generated Content.
3. User-Generated Content is crucial to you because it inherits a great deal of authenticity and trust, it generates heightened engagement of potential and existing customers, leading a very cost-effective method to generate exposure and it allows you go get access to a lot of data.
4. Leveraging UGC can be done by involving and addressing every customer in your initiatives, focusing on eliciting appealing visual content, and recognising the content created by offering incentives in creative ways.
We hope this post will act as a starting point to get your inspiration for your own UGC strategy going.
So, go ahead! Scribble your ideas down. Develop them and experiment with them!
What comes next?
After asking for it, you have to monitor and use the content and data you receive. It will allow you to get to know your customers better step by step.
But this calls for a follow-up post – stay tuned – or better, stay tuned in with your UGC!