One of the most important aspects of a digital marketing strategy in the cannabis industry is leveraging user-generated content, which is content created by your customers or people that use your brand. 92% of today’s empowered buyers are more likely to trust organic user-generated content than traditional ads put out by brands because it acts as social proof that can be used to promote your brand’s message without saying anything about yourself.
User-generated content can come in many different shapes and forms, including reviews, images, social media posts, comments, reviews, or anything else someone uploads to the internet that tells other people just how awesome your cannabis brand or business is. Here are some of the most effective ways to use user-generated content in your marketing.
1. Get user-generated reviews
If you shop online, there’s a chance that you’re one of over 70% of people who check user reviews before making a purchase. Collecting ratings or reviews from your customers can help you build dependability, which can help you boost your conversion rates and get more traffic on your website.
Encourage your customers to leave a review wherever possible, including your website. By having a good amount of reviews on-site and off-site you’re more likely to increase your conversion rate and make more sales. It helps to incentivize them by providing them offering a reward for reviews, such as discounts, coupons, rewards points, etc.
You’re going to end up with a few bad reviews, too. Don’t let them discourage you. Use the negative reviews as an opportunity to reply publicly in a courteous and respectful manner so you can earn the trust from the prospective customers who can also see those negative reviews on their search for your services. Be humble in your victories and gracious in your defeats, because a good mix of reviews builds brand authenticity.
2. Run holiday promotions and events that can generate user content
The holiday season is the biggest shopping season of the year for pretty much everyone, and you can capitalize on that fact by using the holidays to humanize your brand and engage with your customers on a more emotional level.
Start by selecting your target audience and figure out what you want to accomplish with user-generated content during the holidays. These decisions will help you determine which platforms are most suitable for spreading your message. Ask your audience to share images or submit videos, use your custom hashtags, participate in a survey, contest or giveaway, and share the joy with their friends.
For example, Starbucks does the red cup contest in December for their followers to upload an image of their decorated red cup to social media for the chance to win a gift card. As a cannabis brand, you too can create a movement that is similar in design, but more near and dear to your audience’s interests and values.
3. Use custom hashtags and run hashtag contests
Your customers need a place to submit their content, and one of the best ways to do that is with a custom hashtag on social media that they can contribute to. With a hashtag, you can run user-generated hashtag contests that encourage people to share their content (like photos and videos) with a specific hashtag in order to win a prize or other incentive.
Many cannabis brands have many different hashtags for users to share that cover a variety of products, services, and contests. Your hashtag should be short, simple, and easy to spell while also referencing your brand if possible. It should also be included in all of your posts. By using these hashtags and making them popular, your audience can push the hashtag to trend which helps enhance engagement as well as build brand awareness to increase sales.
4. User-generated videos are viewed more than official videos.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, but videos are worth a million, and people are 10 times more likely to watch user-generated video content than video content you put out yourself.
User-generated video content is more likely to be shared, which increases your likelihood of having the reach of a viral video. That’s because user-generated videos offer real insight and perspectives about your products or services which gives your company credibility because audiences trust people before they trust brands. Ask your customers to share some videos of them using your products so you can combine this content into a video that can be used as an ad that resonates with what’s important to your audience.
User-generated content will help you build a stronger online presence.
While there is no cookie-cutter approach for gathering user-generated content, your brand can still use these effective methods to give proper direction to your digital marketing strategy. By utilizing these tips you can expect to see more user-generated content which can lead to more sales, better relationships with your customer base, and a better reputation.
As the top cannabis marketing firm in Denver, the cannabis marketing professionals at Team Maryjane offer the whole enchilada when it comes to creating running and maintaining effective content marketing strategies. Shoot us a chat or give us a call today to get started on your very own audience of hungry readers!