58% of B2C brand marketers struggle to create regular content and 55% are challenged with creating quality content according to a 2015 research by Hubspot and Smart Insights. So, at this year’s Festival of Marketing, Olapic’s co-founder Jose de Cabo, asked senior brand marketers and ecommerce professionals from Adidas, Oasis and Miss Selfridge what they do to get scalable, relevant and regular content.
In introducing the panel, Jose de Cabo, co-founder at Olapic, said – “Traditionally, brands have leveraged owned and paid content, but with the surge of social media and social engagement a new content pillar is taking the stand – earned content – which refers to all the information, photography and videos created by others, mainly consumers, ambassadors and influencers that, in some way, relate to the brands they love or have an interest in.”
The development of earned content was significantly influenced by the growth in mobile usage over recent years and the surge of applications such as Instagram that incentivised people to photograph everything – from the moments with friends, to the places they travel, the hotels they stay in, their new dress, the great dinner experience, and so much more… And what’s great is while people are photographing all of this, they mention and hashtag the places, brands and products involved in that photo. This is the moment fans start initiating a conversation with the brands and it’s those brands that are listening that benefit the most. Such is the case with Adidas, Oasis and Miss Selfridge that are leveraging user generated content to showcase the real experiences customers have with their brands and products, and here’s how they are doing it:
Earned Content Syndication
As an enterprise with more than a thousand distribution channels across hundreds of products, Adidas needs to provide partners with relevant content across all products regularly. To respond to this challenge, Michael Jedamski, Manager of Digital Products and Services at Adidas, says that to make this process more efficient, Adidas is feeding relevant user-generated content through a direct feed that syndicates the content from Adidas’ Olapic library directly into the associated product pages in partners’ websites.
Denise Fender, Director of Multichannel at Miss Selfridge says it is important to talk with the customer consistently through every touch point across their brand experience. So, when the brand launched their hashtag #MissSelfie incentivising customers to share their ‘Miss Selfridge look’ this, alongside related user-generated content, was communicated in-store, on the website, via email, social networks, and in-app. As a result, customers not only felt inspired to purchase new items but also to publish more photography showcasing their personal look.
“Content connects our brand with the consumers who increasingly expect a seamless consumer experience across all digital touchpoints. Therefore our content must support all these channels accordingly”, says Michael Jedamski who refers to the importance of taking an omni-channel approach to their user generated content distribution.
“As a widely internationalised brand, our central marketing team needs to ensure global brand consistency whilst keeping content relevant to the different markets and local preferences. Through Olapic we have created a large media library of curated brand-approved and rights-approved earned content from where our regional offices are able to select those that appeal the most to local consumers.” Said Michael Jedamski.
According to Tina Cramp, Ecommerce Manager at Oasis, delivering a great shopping experience both in-store and online is very important, so the brand wants to ensure they are helping customers make the right purchase decision even if they are unable to try on the items during an online purchase. Implementing user-generated content across the website showcasing how real consumers are wearing the products, right from the homepage and the ‘Oasis My Way’ gallery through to specific product pages, helps visitors get inspiration and a better understanding of how each piece of clothing will look. The distribution of earned content across the site, not only leads to increased interaction and time on site, but also helps visitors make more confident purchases.
All panellists referred to specific campaigns from competitions to product launches where earned content helped activate and support their communication and enhance social engagement. A good example came from Tina Cramp who referred to Oasis recent V&A collection that was socially promoted with the #MyLifeInPrint and leveraged consumers’ photographs from the moment they tried on the new collection in-store to showcase how the various items can look like for different personal styles.
Miss Selfridge started leveraging user-generated content across some of their ads alongside staged photography. Not only does this type of photography looks more authentic, helping to grab the attention and appeal of new customers, but is also a way to get more diversified visual content across their ads.
Obtaining the rights to use this photography is essential and Olapic helps each brand achieve that quickly to ensure the content is available at a relevant time. To find out more about obtaining user-generated content photo rights, download the Rights Management guide.
There are still more ways that these brands are looking to explore the use of visual content in the future but the overall opinion is that earned content has enabled them to obtain scalable, quality and regular content they can implement across their marketing in a variety of ways whilst improving their engagement levels with their community of fans and new consumers.