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Imagine having something that irks you.
It can be something you can point to – like lacking a proper pair of running shoes.
Or, it can be something you can’t point to yet, but see the causes, like a complete mess in your pots and pans kitchen shelf.
A few decades back, seeing an ad about running trainers or rotating kitchen shelves would have produced that “a-ha!” spark in your brain.
Things look somewhat different today.
First, people started searching for ads on Google.
After that, they started using social media as search engines.
Then, their ad-related skepticism pushed influencers to the forefront.
Now, it’s UGC Instagram marketing taking the lead thanks to its highly authentic and pervasive nature.
Imagine coming home after a rough day, opening your Instagram to unwind, and suddenly seeing the solution to the problem that’s been bothering you lately.
And it would be right there, at the top of your feed.
That’s the power of UGC Instagram, and this guide teaches you how it works, the benefits, and how to build a strategy that works.
There will also be plenty of examples, so keep reading below.
Benefits of UGC in Marketing
How to Create a Successful Instagram UGC Campaign
Instagram UGC Best Practices
Weighing Your Options
First, what is user-generated content?
User-generated content is a self-explanatory concept: any form of content created by your brand’s users, aka your customers. These regular people post things about your company which you can then incorporate into your content strategies.
This authentic content includes:
Instagram UGC is any type of UGC shared on this social media channel.
Basically, you take your customers' – or even prospects and general audience – social media posts, repackage the very best, and then repost it on your Instagram account.
Sharing these original posts will increase your credibility because–and here’s a real shocker–people haven’t been trusting brand-created ads for a long time.
That brings us to the following point.
User-generated content has several benefits you probably already intuit:
Here are some UGC statistics proving those points:
Take these fantastic posts about REI.
Purchasing high-quality hiking products is a hassle. Many people are worried about size, fit, and functionality.
But seeing a slew of people vouching for REI products will dispel some of those worries; seeing a constant stream of these visual customer testimonials creates social proof, increasing product sales. Furthermore, UGC can be shared widely on social media platforms, which can increase brand awareness and attract new followers who are interested in your products or services. As a result, UGC can be a powerful tool for increasing overall engagement and driving business growth.
Plus, REI knows which images to hand-pick for their Instagram account to associate their brand/products with a particular feeling of freedom that only hikers can understand.
Remember: That’s the basis of creating a tight-knit community. But, you'll need awesome products and customer service to keep your customers loyal.
What can you do with this information?
Leverage Instagram UGC in your UGC marketing campaigns to harness those benefits and more:
Ultimately, that will bring you more recognition, awareness, and sales. According to StatusBrew, UGC on Instagram:
Now that you understand what Instagram UGC is and the benefits of incorporating it into your marketing campaign, let’s review some examples of companies doing it right:
Whole Foods has this exceptional #WholeFoodsHaul campaign that encourages people to post photos of their shopping carts. The brand then uses this aggregate UGC to stay top of mind.
Branded hashtag campaigns are great for Instagram UGC and content marketing in general.
This social media strategy is brilliant because:
Bluehouse Salmon is an excellent example because it bases its content calendar mostly on UGC, much like the famous GoPro that everyone is citing.
And it’s one of the companies we worked with, so we’re biased.
But back to them.
Bluehouse Salmon retails organic salmon, and they’re a DTC brand. Besides, you can agree that organic salmon is not in the sexy products category like makeup or clothes.
Remember: The solution is always going back to the roots – meaning your customers’ needs.
In this case, the need isn’t just eating healthily; it’s finding an array of recipes for all tastes and needs.
That’s why Bluehouse Salmon reposts its customers’ content, thus:
Look at those mouthwatering dishes.
This babywearing company leverages UGC on all fronts:
Creating a successful Instagram UGC campaign isn’t as easy as copying what worked for other brands. You will have to strategize your content plans, starting from your goals and finding a way to incorporate into your content strategies.
Setting a budget is important because it keeps you in check. It also forces you to choose the most effective strategies that help you reach those goals.
Who are you talking to? Options include, but are not limited to:
It’s important to figure out who you are addressing because that will help you craft your message. For example, you don’t have to build awareness with existing loyal customers through Instagram UGC; instead, you may use this tactic for upselling.
Pro tip: Use the right social listening tools to analyze different potential audiences.
What is your audience like?
Include all their characteristics, focusing on wants and needs. That way of thinking helps you figure out how to be persuasive and insightful when showcasing your products through Instagram UGC.
How do they engage with Instagram?
How do they engage with Instagram UGC?
Let’s start with this: you need a UGC strategy.
You can’t simply rummage through your tags or search by your brand keywords to maybe find some relevant content you can repurpose.
You need to be intentional about your Instagram UGC strategy, just like you learned in school about any kind of product marketing strategy out there.
So, you need to:
Once you get that user-generated content on Instagram, you must organize it carefully. Sure, UGC gives regular people a lot of freedom, but that doesn’t mean you can let your campaign unfold by itself.
That’s why you need a content calendar.
Repurposing content is an excellent idea because it’s an affordable way of attracting your target audience.
Also, use every little tool that Instagram has to offer, such as Tagembed Instagram Widget for website is a great all in one Instagram feed for website owners:
Pro tip: Add a quick button to allow people to buy your products immediately–you’ll see those conversions skyrocketing.
Keep track of your campaign, ensuring you’re achieving the desired results. If not, ask yourself what you can adapt, remove, or include to make things work your way.
Remember that you don't have to push your products to people; you have to attract your audience to your brand.
Once you have a UGC library on Instagram, you can scale up your content campaigns. Remember that this awesome content is free, and you can repurpose it any way you need to.
For example, you can leverage UGC in your email marketing campaign.
E-mail marketing has a lot of holes:
Here’s how you can use Instagram UGC as a complimentary tool for your e-mail marketing:
“#Overtone and show us your creations” is an excellent e-mail marketing example because the brand encourages people to connect to the Instagram community after using Overtone products.
Basically, the brand doesn’t promise a good product; it promises a connection. Of course, people must purchase conditioners to become part of that community and show off.
Many other brands use e-mail marketing to promote specific Instagram contests that will bring loyal customers together.
Remember: You can also use this strategy because it allows you to connect authentically with your customers and makes content curation easy.
MeUndies has the #meundiesfam, under which people can post their photos, reviews, and videos over many social media platforms. The company can repurpose some of these photos in their e-mails, giving credit to those who originally posted those pics.
This strategy works for MeUndies because it’s a breath of fresh air:
People are self-conscious about buying lingerie, and they know most models in lingerie ads are heavily edited. That’s why an e-mail posting regular people having fun and looking beautifully natural in their underwear can increase conversions.
You can scale your Instagram UGC campaign on other media, not just email campaigns. Consider adding the content you get from your happy customers to your:
Leveraging Instagram UGC in your marketing campaign helps you gain more recognition and awareness, creates loyalty, and improves product consideration. All that leads to increased sales.
As you already figured out, the problem is knowing which strategy to use.
You will have to be very intentional in assessing your options.
Then, you’ll have to use your UGC using the right Instagram tools. For example, some people respond well to Instagram Stories, while others prefer Instagram Shopping & Feed.
You’ll have to understand very clearly what makes your audience tick.
Of course, you can and should scale up your Instagram campaign once you begin producing results.
If you’re new to this, inBeat can help. Our UGC platform saves you hundreds of hours you would otherwise spend with content discovery and curation.
Instead, we’ll give you access to our platform of 30,000+ creators plus a dedicated campaign strategist.
You will get access to your content library with one click and unlimited copyrights to that content.
Want to learn more about how inBeat can help?
Schedule a call here.