Peanut butter and jelly. Mac and cheese. Email and Instagram? You betcha—it’s another match made in (digital marketing) heaven. A consumer-centric digital marketing heaven, to be exact.
Today’s e-commerce space is largely influenced by consumers. They’re leading the conversation through user-generated content (UGC) and impacting the purchasing decisions of others. And savvy brands have been quick to react. Encouraging and repurposing content shared by users can be an effective tactic that builds trust with consumers while establishing your brand within a lifestyle community.
And it makes sense: If consumers are already programmed to share everything, why not help your brand benefit from the “show & tell” mentality? Here, a cheat sheet for how you can enhance email marketing with the sharing power of Instagram to drive results for your brand.
Empower Consumers to Post
In order to share UGC through email, you will to need to build up your arsenal of campaign-ready images.
These days it’s not enough to show a few social icons and a hashtag in your email footer. Brands like Gap know that, to be successful, they need to mirror the social experience within the email. In their #nothingbutdenim campaign, Gap empowers consumers to share on social with a clear call-to-action and a mini-feed of authentic images. These images—a combination of UGC and select campaign imagery—serve as an unwritten impetus for others to share their own images. The more UGC you can incorporate in your content strategy, the more you can inspire and connect, which will result in more UGC to perpetuate the cycle.
Amplify the Conversation
In addition to supporting intangibles like fostering a community or building brand affinity, UGC-based content strategies are rooted in hard numbers. Results. Profits. Consumers are more likely to buy a product from your brand if they’re able to see how that product impacts the lives of people like them. In fact, Crowdtap reports that 53% of millennials say user-generated content directly influences whether they make a purchase.
Warby Parker’s “Oh, the Places They Went” campaign is a great example of amplifying the conversation through email. By placing curated UGC within the campaign, consumers can see how their peers interact with the brand.
Make It Shoppable
Time to cash in on all that great UGC. We already know consumers look to social media when making a purchase decision, and brands can take advantage of this captive audience by prompting them to take an immediate action.
Furbish Studio sends a dedicated campaign featuring UGC from real consumers who “dare to mix” their favorite Furbish products. To close the deal, they include the featured products so consumers can easily recreate the look or put their own spin on it.
The Final Word? Integration Is Good for You—and for Them
The days of siloed marketing initiatives are behind us. By integrating social content and email, brands create a cohesive experience across channels, streamlining the user’s journey along the path to conversion. Achieving these goals with the help of UGC keeps your content fresh while engaging the consumer and adding value to their experience. It’s all part of today’s balanced marketing diet.