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Ingredients Of A Successful Marketing Strategy and How To Craft One

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Authenticity is rare when it comes to marketing on the digital edge. What customers are looking for and what they believe in is authenticity.

People don’t always trust what a brand has to say but they’ll trust their friends. 

Micro-influencer marketing is one of the best ways to cultivate that trust and reach your customers – when done right. So how to create the perfect influencer strategy and increase your brand loyalty?

That was the main topic of the podcast in conversation with Lacey Miller, Head of Marketing at LoudCrowd.

The evolution of marketing trends

Google analytics computer screen

Over the past decade, marketing roles have changed drastically. In 2008 the world of social media started. With the rapid growth and continuous popularity of social media, smart marketers have seized the opportunities created by social platforms to establish their brands and connect with customers worldwide. Businesses have found a new way to connect with customers through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. 

Consumers have come to expect their brands to be active on social media – responding quickly to issues, providing personalized service or having the possibility to enter any hashtag and find social media posts or mentions related to the product that was searched.

We’re currently in the midst of an information-rich environment and a data-driven world. Almost everyone is leveraging influencer marketing in one way or another, and the results speak for themselves with its authentic message to consumers. 

Forbes reported that brands are expected to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing in 2022. That’s an incredible growth rate – and surely, there must be a return on that investment. One more recent survey is telling us that digital ads spend has been climbing steadily – 35% up since last year. This is the highest yearly growth since 2006. Marketing has to grow and your strategy has to change the same as people’s behavior changes, as technology changes.

Today it’s not only more cost effective than traditional forms of advertising, but tracking ROI has been easier by using influencers, while brand awareness and engagement are built at a much higher level.

A perfect marketing strategy. How to start?

Instagram screen

When the Internet first started, companies could get away with making product pages and landing pages that had little to no personality or firm direction. However, nowadays, you need more than just a product page to capture someone’s attention – especially if they’re not an immediate buyer. 

So how should a brand begin building its marketing strategy from scratch? 

  • A good solution for this can be to start with checking the ‘tagged’ section on your Instagram. Very often micro-influencers (those who have an organic following of 500 to 10,000 like-minded people) create posts or tag products they are using to describe their personal authenticity. In this way, they are sharing opinions with their audience, and last but not least – they want to be seen and acknowledged!

In the era of digital information overload, brands have access to multiple forms of online data, social listening on your customers is the best way to learn about your customer insights and join in on their conversations to create an engaging relationship with them.

  • UGC is a foundation for where brands can go next with their marketing strategy. Using social listening to your advantage, you can see what your customers are posting, tagging you in, what these real customers are saying and the language they are using to put into new brand copy ideas. When you see what your customer and prospects are sayings you can then learn how to interact with them and talk back to them.

Media plans have evolved and are now conversation strategies. Brands used to talk at customers but now they talk with them. Your audience is a community, sharing content is the new way to send messages, you don’t target consumers, you invite people to join and continue the cycle of collaboration. Shifting social media budgets that focus on talking and directly engaging with your brand community is the most effective way to build a relationship with customers. 

UGC is word of mouth marketing that builds online communities that are powered by influence, who will continue sharing and creating content together. 

Brands who start with scratch must focus on creating an excellent first experience with their customers – whether that’s by providing top-notch customer service or by taking advantage of social media channels’ engagement potential.

That’s what LoudCrowd supports with – create ideas to build the marketing strategy for products on any stages, launch the most effective brand ambassador programs, provide analytics tools to measure the value of your ongoing program, or fill the gap between owned social and paid social.

LoudCrowd also provides a free trial period or demo-presentation where you can get more information about all the products and solutions suitable for you.

UGC is Authentic Engagement

man taking selfie on iphone

UGC looks at 4 things: Impressions, post volume, how people are engaging, and the earned media value it brings. This can be tracked through ambassador programs.

When it comes to influencer programs versus UGC ambassador programs, it’s the nano influencers who have the highest average engagement rate (4%) – more than double the average engagement rate of influencers at 1.9%.

“UGC is the only social content with exponential impact that the big platforms can’t touch. There is no platform without it. If brands can learn to yield this wildly powerful digital channel, they can create and control their own ad stream. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all run off organic, free content from their user base.” 

Lacey Miller, Head of Marketing, LoudCrowd continued, “We looked at our most successful customers, about 80 of which scaled to a total of 8 billion impressions. It showed what kind of marketing spend is working and saved brands $250M in marketing dollars on influencers. With Loudcrowd you can add a dollar sign to what’s being shared and created.”

UGC Loop

At LoudCrowd, we believe that to be successful, brands should focus on the three R’s of User Generated Content. It is also named UGC Loop and incorporates these R’s into their strategy: Reach, Reward, and Retain. This loop truly considers all parts of the business of the organization.

The 3 R’s approach to content marketing (Reach, Reward and Retain) tells us that putting UGC at the forefront of your digital marketing strategy is a smart way to present yourself online.

  • The first R is Reaching your audience. You can do it at different stages of the product life cycle, depending on the marketing goal. This can be about establishing contact with your current audience or engaging new people to join.
  • After the audience is reached, we go to the next R – Rewards. In this step, brands should have an interaction with their audience. Being noticed is important to people. They are posting something and tagging products because they want to be seen and acknowledged. Therefore on this step brands should recognize their best followers for posting in their social media information about the product. This is what we call a UGC, or User Generated Content, and nowadays it is one of the most effective marketing strategies, meanwhile, being one of the most cost-effective for brands. Why is it so important?
    • When someone else recommends a product, it carries more weight than if you hear the same message coming directly from the brand. The main strategy in the Reward stage is to motivate people and encourage them to get more involved in speaking about your brand’s product. It can be done by giving them discounts, freebies, sending a personal thank-you note, or any other recognition.
  • And the last R in the UGC loop is Retain. The brand started a conversation with interested people. Then the brand rewarded them. In the retain stage they have a chance to make something more accustomed, like segmenting all these people and keep the conversation going.

Customers should be a part of your product story! They will praise your products more when they feel a connection to what you do — and are more likely to share more and more content that’s been personally customized. There’s no better way to foster an ongoing relationship with your followers than by making them feel special!

Find more about the importance of 3 R’s strategy in our recent blog post: Beyond Influencers, Prioritizing UGC in Social Media Strategy

Why does UGC matter for organizations?

User Generated Content is an inescapable part of our online lives and social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

When UGC is done right, this type of content can help drive sales and conversions.

No matter the industry, it can be a big boon for brands because it’s engaging, authentic, trustworthy, and unique – every user has their way of putting out opinions and experiences with any brand’s products or services. A simple post can go viral, which means that if you’re the brand it’s associated with, you’ll reap the benefits. Instagram and Facebook ads are especially good channels for emotional marketing — they combine visual content, short copy, and social sharing potential in a single place.

UGC is self-funded campaigns with unique one-of-a-kind creative made by people who have their finger on cultural and social trends in the digital space.

The buying process also isn’t linear anymore either, paid ads are no longer the first thing customers are seeing that drives attention, purchases, and brand loyalty. Instead, it’s reviews, a story post from a friend they follow, a blog article, or a pin on Pinterest. Brands can only afford so much paid media, but with online earned media within the content ecosystem brands are being shared everywhere their targeted community posts.

Today LoudCrowd is mainly focused on building digital marketing strategies in Instagram and Tiktok and there are also thoughts about YouTube since these platforms are growing and the impact of it is really incredible.

Loudcrowd helps brands to increase their organic content in social media – choose the right ambassadors, launch rewards programs, help reach the right audience and measure the results – everything that’s needed to build the brand’s authenticity and personality on social platforms.

Thanks to the large amount of free organic content, small and big businesses are able to take on giants and create amazing results for themselves at a very low cost. Try LoudCrowd to leverage value out of the social platforms and boost your brand awareness now.

You can listen to the full version of the conversation with Lacey Miller here.

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