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Content from Customers
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Guess what? Not all content has to be created from a brand! Sure, it has to be approved by the brand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the brand is spending months ideating and weeks creating. It’s a little breather in the content creation world. Where’s the best place to get content without creating it that feels authentic to a brand message? Engaged customers, of course. More and more, retailers are finding that customers are creating content for them and quite honestly everyone else loves that more. Think about the unrealistic models that many times are used to create content. They don't really resonate with a customer. But use a real person, who’s taken a real picture and shared it with the brand? There's no arguing that this content is authentic. Of course, it’s a bit about balance; a see-saw of sorts that combines curated content from customers and content created from the brand itself. It’s the balance of these two that make brands successful in the content world and allow them to build the brand.

So this content that’s created from just anyone...does it really work? Sure does. Brands are finding that curated content from their own customers is boosting engagement with other customers more than the brand’s own styled content. It makes sense. In today’s world people want real. Real food, real brands, real images. So if content is created by someone just like them, it feels more relatable. It doesn’t feel like the brand is pushing a promotional message on them, but instead they are receiving sound advice from a trusted friend. It’s not just engagement that brands are loving, but also conversion rates. With newer systems and software, brands are seeing a higher return in actual purchases by using customer content. So, yes, that advice that felt like it was coming from a friend is turning into product sales for brands. That’s the golden ticket.

Of course this whole user-generated content world is still a bit new, so brands are taking it slow. But so far it seems that this tactic gives brands another positive tool to use when marketing products and services. It’s an outlet that feels less “salesy” to the customer and, for the brand, creates the results it wants. Brands have the opportunity to create their own content, but they also need to lean on those brand loyalists to help them create something a bit more unique.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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