Welcome to your weekly dose of all things content marketing from your friends at Scripted! Spring is here, and there's no better time to embrace the spirit of fresh new ideas and possibly plant some seeds to reap a harvest later on. (Of course, we all hope the harvest comes immediately, but content marketing is a long-term game that takes care, consistency, and patience—not unlike your spring garden.)
This week we're mixing it up and talking about different ways to build and leverage strategic relationships, all while serving the goal of creating authentic connections with your audience.
This year, we've given a good amount of attention to authentic connections with your audiences. One of the most powerful ways of doing that is through leveraging user-generated content (UGC). UGC is anything created by your audience that sheds your brand in a positive light. Examples include:
- A testimonial is posted on your Facebook page or sent through your DMs.
- A video of a thrilled customer using your product and posting it to their IG stories.
- A tweet talking about how excited they are to work with you.
UGC is influential because:
- Actual customers candidly talking about you is more relatable and convincing than most "professional" marketing (going back to that whole authenticity thing).
72% of consumers say that customer testimonials are more trustworthy than brands talking about themselves.
- UGC increases engagement (which algorithms tend to favor).
- Consumers are 62% more likely to click on consumer content than brand content.
- 76% of people have purchased because of someone's recommendation.
How to ask your audience to create UGC
With numbers like the ones mentioned above, why isn't every company in the world-hopping on this marketing trend? Small and new businesses tend to think it's too much to ask of their audiences, thus getting a little gun-shy. It also doesn't feel too chic to say, "can you please tell everyone how much you love me." Don't worry, though. You don't have to give off desperate vibes. There are ways to have your audience generate content that is incentivizing for them.
- Posting reviews in exchange for loyalty points, discounts off future purchases, or a chance to win a prize.
- Tagged photos; incentivize your audience to tag you through beautiful packaging, appealing backgrounds, or photo of the month contests.
- Creative challenges: what problem does your product or service solve? Engage your audience by turning that challenge into part of your mission by running a contest that serves your mission, vision, and values.
- Unboxing: one of the highest-watched types of videos on YouTube is... people taking things out of boxes. If your product is sent in boxes, make sure the packaging is beautiful and invite your customers to post a video and tag your brand in it.
Remember: people want to create content. Make it fun for your audience, and you'll be building a deeper and more meaningful relationship with them, which is a base fundamental of content marketing.
Joint-venture marketing (JV marketing) is a form of leveraging another person or brand's platform to reach a new audience. In return, it's typical that you would reciprocate and give them access to your platform, so they have a chance to engage your audience.
Things you want to consider when seeking a JV partnership:
- The brand should not be your direct competitor but a business that complements your product or service. For example, if you're a life coach who helps people heal from anxiety, a good JV partnership might be a meditation app or an organic herbal tea.
- The brand should have similar or aligned values as your own regarding business. The values don't have to be identical, but you don't want to put yourself on a platform that embodies values you disagree with. If you're passionate about a social cause, they should at least be conscientious of it, if not an advocate as well.
- If your audience is small, you might want to reach out to a fellow brand with about the same audience size. It's okay if you're starting small; remember the idea of planting seeds for later harvest.
- Successful JV marketing requires networking. You can certainly slide into a prospective brand's DMs, but it's much easier to form a partnership with other businesses who already know, like, and trust you... kinda like customers. (More on that next week.)
So, once you work out what you're looking for in a JV relationship, here are some ideas on leveraging a complementary brand's platform.
Public speaking at live events, seminars, webinars, or online conferences. This is a great way to offer massive value and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Podcasting: not unlike speaking, the right podcast gives you a chance to showcase your personality, brand values, and insight on how to solve problems that a specific audience might be experiencing.
YouTube: inviting another YouTuber onto your channel and having them promote the video to their audience automatically exposes you to a whole new group of people.
Social media guest posts or appearances: Whether you go live with a JV on Instagram or do a "takeover" of a JV partner's account, this is a creative way to get your name out there.
Email marketing: if your JV partner has an engaged email list, why not have them email some promos about your opt-in or any upcoming events?
Next week we'll talk about networking as marketing because building a successful business is much easier when you connect with other entrepreneurs while still offering massive value to your audience.
Ready to plant some content marketing seeds? Allow our network of fully-vetted professional content writers to help you grow that garden by starting your free 30-day business trial today!
Writer: Erin Vazquez