Customer photos are the purest form of earned media. When real customers endorse your brand by posting photos of your products online, they're recommending your brand to their peers.
It's simple, customers prefer and trust visual content that comes from real people over other forms of advertisements. It's a no-brainer to use customer photos to scale content creation and build more authentic marketing.
But there are a couple of pitfalls to avoid when implementing user-generated content into your marketing strategy - here are 3 user generated content mistakes you need to stay away from.
1. Don't Forget to Permission Content
There's been a lot of dialogue around if hashtags are an implicit indicator of consent for brands to collect customer photos, particularly if photos are culled around a social campaign hashtag that's promoted by the brand itself.
Play it safe and protect your brand experience by receiving explicit permission to use customer content. More likely than not, customers will be excited to hear from you and will love being featured by your business.
2. Don't Feature Only a Subset of your Customers
User-generated content provides a reference point for potential customers which can help them to assess look, feel, and size online. If you display photos of only a subset of your customers, you're limiting the power of this asset.
User-generated content drives sales because it helps browsers to better relate to your brand and your products. Stay on-brand, but showcase an assortment of customers where possible.
3. Don't Close Off Conversations
The process of marketing with user-generated content creates the opportunity to open a dialogue between your brand and your customers. Be sure to 'like,' 'comment,' and share the photos customers post about your brand on social media. When customers see a brand genuinely engaging with customer content on social, it helps to humanize and validate the brand's online presence.
There are numerous benefits for incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy. If you promote customer photos efficiently, those benefits are tenfold. Stay away from the above user-generated content pitfalls and your brand is bound to see results.