“There seems to be tectonic shifts with marketing formats that have taken an interesting shape. We used to categorize these efforts as either “above the line” or “below the line.” The scenario, Sally told Jane, we called word of mouth marketing. Then, consumers didn’t want to be sold to, so we called it content. Now, Sally makes a YouTube video, Jane tweets it and Buzzfeed picks it up … The consumer conversation is a living beast in building any brand, the marketing lanes aren’t that clear, and the outcomes are harder to predict and measure.” – Nancy Go, VP of Brand Marketing, Wayfair
With consumer-generated content meticulously optimized in Amazon and Facebook feeds alike, influencer-generated and user-generated content is the great equalizer. In the moment it takes for a thumb to scroll, consumers can be inspired to buy, knowledgable about product attributes, validated in their decision and make the purchase.
But given that 3.2bn images shared and 3.27m blog posts published on average every day, the value of influencer-generated and user-generated content, as well as the ability to seamlessly adapt to today’s rapidly evolving landscape of new technologies and consumer behaviors isn’t more content. But rather, it lies in delivering influencer-generated and user-generated content on demand when consumers seek it, which accelerates their confidence in making a purchase decision.
The impact of an influencer-led marketing strategy that integrates influencer, advocate, referrer, and loyalist content across touchpoints becomes exponentially more powerful when those dimensions of social proof are combined together.
While ratings and reviews or an influencer-generated photo alone can improve the efficacy of any single touchpoint – it doesn’t compare to the compounded impact of when that influencer testimonial and advocate product review are paired together and then amplified across touchpoints. Influencer-generated and user-generated content, together, works to inspire demand, affirm need and desire, motivate consumers to buy and validate your customer experience.
Accelerating the Path-to-Purchase with Influencer-Generated & User-Generated Content
Executed in this way, the value of influencer-generated and user-generated content lies in how it reinforces the path-to-purchase, inspiring trust, instilling confidence, and validating purchase decisions as a transparent, authentic account of other consumers’ experiences.
As such, where consumers are seeking out content and signals that give them the confidence to buy and make purchase decisions in the moment, influencer- and user-generated content needs to reflect and empower consumers to do that. This includes activating influencers to create content on Instagram and write a review, but also, creating opportunities to integrate influencer-generated and user-generated content within a single touchpoint – like advocate reviews with influencer videos.
Communicating value in a way that is meaningful to consumers now demands that you start thinking beyond point solutions in order to leverage influencers, advocates, referrers, and loyalists to create and engage with cohesive content experiences that accelerate brand trust. Detailed in the next playbook of our Influencer Marketing & Relations in 2018 series – Accelerating Trust & Transparency in the Customer Journey Using Influencer-Generated Content – here are three things you can do today to align your current marketing strategies to better create, inspire, and leverage influencer-generated and user-generated content, as well as adapt to today’s shortened path-to-purchase:
- Develop an Influence-led Communications Roadmap and Editorial Calendar
- Determine Influencer-Generated Content Criteria & Create an Integrated Content Mini Brief
- Give Influencers Brand and Campaign Onboarding Guides that Deliver Omni-Channel Content