Marketing to Millennials – utilizing user generated content

In case you’re not familiar with the term… ‘Millennials’ refers to the largest generation since the Baby Boom, covering anyone born between 1982 and 2002. Millennials are a big deal because they’re about to enter their prime purchasing years. Not only that, but Millennials have been brought up in a generation where technology has been heavily on the rise, and most are therefore tech savvy and hence prefer to shop online.

User generated content is all about exactly what it says – getting your users i.e. your customers and users of your products, to create content for you. Why is this important? Because Millennials trust this type of content 50% more than other advertising.* Again why you might ask? Because sometimes customers just need to see your products in action and reading and seeing reviews from real people who have used it before can help push them to making that final step and purchasing.

Now obviously asking your customers to share their experiences isn’t always going to be a quick or easy task, but there are certainly a few different ways to encourage it. And once you have some workable content you can look at repurposing that content for your marketing campaigns.

Doing it right

Let’s take a look at a company who have ran a recent successful user generated content campaign – Coca Cola.

Not so long ago the fizzy drink giant brought out personalized coke bottles, and unless you were living under a rock you could see that the world went crazy for them! Dubbed the “Share a Coke” campaign, photos of people across the world were being posted on social channels with their named bottle.

So why did this work so well? Because people not only like personalized goods but Millennials in particular are quick to pick up on social trends, and this after all was a fun and engaging campaign. The result? Coca Cola’s customers were advertising for them!

Now let’s check out 2 popular channels to get started with for user generated content; YouTube and Instagram.

YouTube

Did you know that Millennials are now watching more video content on YouTube and other streaming platforms than they are on TV?

This huge cultural shift means that video is a top priority when it comes to user generated content. Video after all is a great way for an audience to see and decide if they want to purchase your product or not. They will be able to check out practical details such as size, colors, quality and hearing a review from a real person can actually have a huge influence over how your products are perceived.

So how can you encourage customers to create this sort of content for you? Well, Millennials are the generation that have always got a camera phone at hand, ready to snap or shoot at a moment’s notice. What they need is a prompt or incentive to start doing this.

By investing in your product’s packaging and shouting about it on social media, you may be able to hop on the ‘unboxing video’ trend. Unboxing videos are essentially users filming themselves unboxing a product for the first time and then talking about their initial impressions and experience. Unboxing videos have become an important part of the decision-making process for online purchases with 62% of Millennials watching them while researching a purchase.**

What you need to do is create an experience for your customer just as Coca Cola did. Be it a well thought-out hashtag or incentive to take a selfie, these are all things that can encourage users to share their unboxing experience with the world.

Instagram

In the age of the selfie and hashtag it isn’t surprising that more than half of Instagram’s users are Millennials. The main appeal of course is that it is a highly visual platform, which is perfect for capturing your customers’ attention.

A great way to start with Instagram and encourage engagement is to post your own product photos. Introducing a short and snappy hashtag or even running a competition is also a great way to gain more followers and help encourage that all important user generated content.

Once content comes trickling in the best way to take advantage of user generated content is by acknowledging and engaging with it. A simple like and comment can make a customer feel appreciated for going through the effort of featuring your brand and will most likely lead to repeat activity in the future.

Reposting customers’ photos not only engages your customer but is mutually beneficial as customers have the thrill of seeing their photo on your feed and get more exposure for their own account, where as you are seen to be connecting with your customers on a personal level. Regularly reposting customer posts will soon turn them into your brand advocates and help grow your online influence.

Remember user generated content is going to be a gradual and sometimes unfruitful process at the start, but by sticking with it and following these tips you are sure to gain some traction in no time. Look out for more tips on marketing to Millennials from us in the near future as well. Good luck!

* http://corp.crowdtap.com/socialinfluence
** https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/youtube-insights-stats-data-trends-vol7.html

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