You probably have started creating your own content for your TikTok shop, but wonder why you are not getting your expectation of likes, comments, and shares. You are pretty sure you are releasing quality content in terms of message and form but these do not translate to great engagement, much more in sales. Although you might have a social media plan for your TikTok shop content, some of these tried and tested forms have limitations in terms of engagement and overall audience boost.
Alongside our own produced content for our brands, we have to take into account that TikTok is a social media platform with billions of users and content creators abound. When we learn how to wield the power of a solid, trusted, and loyal brand community, only then can we unlock the potential of what user-generated content can do.
User-generated content has an edge over self-produced content in the sense that it engages more, creates a community, exposes your brand to audiences unknown before, supplements your measly marketing budget, and increases trust in your brand by providing social proof from your customers themselves. In this article, we delve deeper into what constitutes user-generated content and how developing strategies for them can help your business in the long run.
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content is defined as any content that is developed by contributors on a certain platform. Imagine the old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing employed by companies in older times but turning it into digital content on social media. That’s how user-generated content works. It harnesses the power and employs the help of customers themselves, some of them established influencers in the platform, to highlight and showcase the benefits and values of the products sold by a certain enterprise.
When a brand maximizes user-generated content, they treat its customers as partners in establishing its business. There are times when the brands sponsor some promotional kits to entice the audience to participate, or it can be in the form of a contest wherein those who participate will get the chance to win prizes. In whatever form it may be, user-generated content adds a dimension to your marketing strategy and provides social proof. This, in turn, helps your other customers to look at the product holistically and imagine how your product will factor into their daily lives. No marketing content can actually beat a satisfied customer telling their fellow customers that your product impacted their lives and that others should go out and try it too.
In today’s TikTok landscape, there are several ways to engage user-generated content on the platform. Here we list some of those ways.
Hashtags are a good tool to increase brand awareness. Branded hashtags are a good head start when you are searching for ways to get a glimpse of customer feedback about your products. They also serve as anchors for your marketing campaigns.
For example, if you sell organic products, you can start a hashtag campaign where users can share a video of them eating their favorite organic produce. Though not a direct promotion of your products, when the challenge becomes trending, you can connect with those who participated and offer the best lot among your products to them.
Consider in your marketing budget a portion that you can allot for giveaways. Giveaway campaigns build excitement and boost engagement. Just set the rules and instructions on how to participate and see the increasing number of people interacting with your TikTok shop.
Giveaways can be in the form of a contest where some “lucky winners” can get a premium prize by participating. It can also be used in a promotional campaign wherein buyers can get another item of the same kind by buying two or more. Customers love freebies, and they will love you if you give them the chance to get some. Of course, they would have to post a TikTok testimonial in exchange. Don’t forget to remind them.
Duets are TikTok engagements that go beyond the normal like, share, and comment. Here, there is video-to-video interaction. It can be pretty neat when you have an interesting activity that you want customers to participate in. You can combine the duet campaign with giveaways as the main method of participating in the contest.
For example, if you sell microphones, you can ask TikTok singers to harmonize and duet with a video of a TikTok famous singer, and they will get a chance to win one of your microphone products so they can record clearer audio for their TikTok videos. From then on, when viewers hear clear audio on the winner’s TikTok feed, they will attribute the audio quality to your product. A neat way of sustained marketing.
TikTok users love a challenge. It is a bit of a TikTok culture to try out and prove the efficiency of different things that are the topic of discussion on the platform. They want to see if your paint is the blackest of black. Or if your adhesive can hold up the heaviest of items on their wall. Challenges can be in the form of visual demonstrations, aiming to either prove or debunk claims about the quality of products. If you’re confident about your product’s quality, challenges are a good way of getting lots of social proof content. If you sell knives, you can begin a challenge wherein customers can test the sharpness and durability of the knives by using them on different food products with varying degrees of difficulty to slice or cut.
In engaging with influencers to promote and lead your marketing campaigns, you have to make sure that they align with your brand values and message. If that works, you should now be on your way to creating stronger relationships as they will serve as your brand ambassadors. They can feature your products in their videos, demonstrating how they fare in actual use. You could also have them host your live selling session as some sort of the main event that culminates periods of your marketing campaign.
Benefits of user-generated content
User-generated content is a must for every social media marketer for a variety of reasons. They are a great way of making your product well-known, and well-trusted. Here are some reasons why you should consider employing this strategy with your brand.
User-generated content is basically a win-win situation because you get virtually free promotion and it provides your customers’ venue and empowers them to express using their own voice and platform about the products that matter to them, and have impacted their daily lives. When we employ a user-generated content strategy, we let the customers we have satisfied help us in gathering more customers through their testimonials and help them shape the brand into what it will become in the future. A satisfied customer base that actively engages with your business, and its dedicated marketing feeds such as your TikTok account can expand your customer base to a level that cannot be achieved solely by releasing brand-produced content. With user-generated content, you create a movement in which your vision, message, and ultimately, your products come front and center.
Enhancing and developing user-generated content for your products means you rely on your customers, and make them your partners in building your brand’s community. The success of any business depends on the level it strengthens its customer base. With digital marketing options becoming more social media-dependent and community-centered, it is important that one engages, entertains, and even incentivizes the most active members of the community. After all, a community is built on mutual respect and mutual trust. Consistently interacting with your customers and treating them as human beings whose lives are made better by your product and brand, rather than just some one-sided buyer bases, can do your marketing efforts a great deal. You can ask them for honest feedback, which can guide you to produce better content and increase your brand awareness.
Increased brand exposure
Successful branded hashtag campaigns, contests, challenges, trending viral content, duets, and others, are a good investment. You have to plan these content and activities well to maximize the number of TikTok users your content and your online business can reach. What’s good is that even research by digital marketing experts has found that users find user-generated content more trustworthy than branded content. They find that the testimonials and demonstrations conducted by their fellow TikTok users and content creators are way more unbiased and objective than branded content, which they find as too curated by the brand’s marketing team.
In short, user-generated content adds that more human, and more community-driven dimension to your overall marketing strategy. It approximates a friend wearing the newest shirt from your store, which then recommends it to their other friends because they find it fashionable and comfortable to wear. It just is more effective for your close friends to tell you to buy a certain product, than a poster or a television ad.
You are sure that your product is of high quality, and you are very confident that it is one of the best products in the market today. But how do you cut through the noise, and go from a general claim (that by the way all marketers do!) and make your product walk the talk? With trial demonstrations by influencers and TikTok users, you can put your product to the test and consistently build higher trust rates for your product and brand. If you say that the rope product that you’re selling can withstand a few hundred kilograms without breaking, putting it to the test will prove that you are true to your word. This will also dispel fears that your brand is doing false advertising and taking advantage of your customers’ money. Social proof in the form of product testimonials by satisfied customers is an important aspect of increasing trust. Consumers just love brands that deliver on their promises.
Supplement for your tight marketing budget
Especially when you are a small business, you might find it a difficult task to come by with a hefty marketing budget. Most of the time, we can only allot a small portion of our profit for promotion. But we know that marketing and promotional activities are integral to expanding our customer base and garnering more solid sales. Thankfully, mastering the art of harnessing user-generated content can augment your limited budget. If your customers are enjoying your product, they are instantly prompted to share their experience with it with their friends and family. And with the advent of social media, famous TikTok influencers can share with their most loyal followers the good points of their experience of using your product.
Branded content and user-generated content go hand-in-hand. You still need branded content to set the general tone of your messaging and branding, which your followers can pick up from when starting to create their own user-generated content. Research data has proven that the combination of well-curated brand content, and an opportunity for your customers to engage and interact via user-generated content, have brought about the best results in expanding the content reach and increasing brand awareness.
Get your audience excited
The crux of user-generated content is to draw out enthusiasm and transform it into a powerful force. When you keep your customers satisfied, you are building a strong base of supporters who will go out of their way in promoting your product in every way that they can. Making your customers feel that they are part of the conversation, that they are your partners and ambassadors, and that their content matters to you and to many more people – these things are important things to remember in applying the user-generated content strategy in your marketing. So if you truly want your store, your brand, and your products to stand out, make sure you talk to the people and convince them to do more talking for you. So, build on that excitement, and good luck with your next branded TikTok dance craze!