During economic downturns, businesses must make tough decisions about where to allocate their limited resources. Sadly, the first budgets cut or reduced are those in marketing. That makes it challenging to reach new customers and maintain sales at a time your business needs it most.
There is one marketing strategy, however, that can help businesses get the most out of their limited resources: Investing in user-generated content (UGC) from your brand’s own community of customers.
When brands tap into their own customers, fans and followers on social media, and others already connected to it online, they discover a world of micro-influencers at the ready to create content, or even share content, about the brand.
Micro-influencers are real people with a following of 1,000 to 100,000. They are experts in their niche and can have a powerful impact on their community.
Ask yourself: Are you more inclined to buy based on a friend’s recommendation or from a celebrity paid handsomely to endorse a product they have no connection to? I thought so.
One of the biggest advantages of working with micro-influencers is they can help businesses acquire a large volume of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is any content created by real people on social networks. This can be social media posts, photos, videos and even product reviews. This type of content is precious because it is more authentic and relatable than the same manufactured by the business or professional production company acting on its behalf.
Some food for thought:
79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions (Stackla)
Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say user-generated content is authentic than brand-created content (Stackla)
Although 92% of marketers think they're creating genuine content, 51% of consumers believe their favorite brands offer authenticity. (Stackla)
Acquiring UGC from micro-influencers in an incredibly cost-effective way to create a large volume of high-quality content. Your brand can then use that content to fuel paid advertising campaigns, organic social media content and beyond.
To illustrate the value of investing in micro-influencers and acquiring UGC during an economic downturn, let's look at the story of a Cotopaxi.
In 2020, the outdoor apparel brand Cotopaxi launched a "Questival " campaign to promote its products and encourage people to get outdoors during the pandemic.
Cotopaxi partnered with a group of micro-influencers who were passionate about the outdoors and shared their values of sustainability and social responsibility. The micro-influencers created content promoting the Questival challenges on their social media channels, encouraging their followers to participate and use Cotopaxi products.
The Questival campaign generated buzz on social media and helped Cotopaxi reach new audiences. But the campaign's real value was the UGC sourced from their community. Participants in the Questival challenges shared many photos and videos of themselves using Cotopaxi products in the great outdoors, which created authentic and inspiring content.
The stats from the Questival campaign, according to our friends at ASPIRE IQ:
Generated over 7,500 pieces of UGC
Reached over 3 million people on social media
36% increase in website traffic
9% increase in online sales
When brands invest in micro-influencers and user-generated content, they’re spending less to create the content which also performs better. In an uncertain economic market, making more while spending less is critical to your brand’s survival.
CIPIO.ai helps you activate your community of influencers (micro-influencers) and acquire UGC at scale. Schedule some time to chat with me and I can show you how we do it.