CEO and Founder of Social Native, David Shadpour, shares strategies to extend the life of your brand’s creator content and further an authentic connection with customers.
Working with creators
This article is part of a series of articles from the WARC Guide to working with creators.
In today’s influencer landscape, user-generated content is one of the most authentic and powerful forms of marketing. As more consumers are becoming creators in their own right, brands are eager to find new ways to leverage creator content that is entertaining, influential and effective.
With the right strategies in place, brands can position creator content to drive awareness, build trust, and translate video views into sales. Here are three best practices brands should be aware of to supercharge creator strategies and extend the value of high-performing creator content.
1. Empower everyday consumers to create authentic content
People are drawn to stories that feel human. This is also why 85% of consumers say they find user-generated content (UGC) more influential than brand-created content.
For top real-estate site Zillow, empowering everyday consumers to be creators by documenting their home-buying experiences completely transformed their content strategy and humanized their messaging.
In a unique UGC campaign, Zillow partnered with Social Native to find 250 real families to create genuine videos centered around ‘home-buying moments’. Zillow wanted to navigate away from traditional ads to build emotional connections with consumers and engage their community. In addition to leveraging the standalone UGC assets, Zillow decided to create two heart-warming TV commercials compiling the authentic moments.
By personalizing the TV commercial with lo-fi creator content, the feeling of the ad wasn’t just ‘celebratory’ but became uniting, motivating and relatable. Zillow understood the move-in process is not just about receiving keys to a new home, it’s introducing your pet to their new home, sharing pizza with friends on an empty floor, and the emotional roller coaster of it all.
Zillow was able to feature creators of all different family units, ages, production capabilities, ethnicities, home types and living environments, which furthered the campaign’s appeal to a wide net of consumer personas. Further, by partnering with everyday creators, Zillow was able to cut through the noise of the high-gloss, high-production aesthetic typically found in TV commercials to increase audience connection and humanize their storytelling.
2. Repurpose creator content across the entire customer journey
Influencer and creator content boosts brand advocacy and credibility beyond social media. More and more brands are shortening the buying cycle by bridging the influencing power of social media to e-comm by repurposing high-performing creator content across emails, product pages, homepages and more. Using creator content across various channels, including paid media and other touchpoints, helps maintain genuine and unfiltered storytelling throughout the customer journey. In fact, consumers who end up on an e-comm site through a user-generated video are 184% more likely to purchase, and spend 45% more. Further, UGC-based ads even get 4x the clicks for 50% less ad spend.
Brands can tap into the full value of creator content for e-comm by prioritizing product-focused content like tutorials, reviews, unboxings and explainer videos, all which are instrumental in sparking purchase decisions.
In the example above, fashion retailer Aerie features a UGC shoppable gallery on their site with the social hashtag #AerieREAL to showcase real-life product environments, on different body types, with various stylings, lighting and angles. Incorporating creator content into your ecommerce strategy is one of the most powerful ways your business can personalize the buying journey for consumers, improve product coverage and increase purchase confidence during a crucial stage of the funnel.
Similarly, furniture retail giant IKEA was able to achieve a 2.7x higher engagement by implementing creator content across their homepage and recorded a 3.54x higher conversion rate when a user interacted with UGC!
3. Encourage creativity to build communities
A creator collaboration works best when the brand has control over the messaging but gives the creator the freedom to convey the message in a way that appeals to their audience. For example, in a product unboxing, one creator might highlight something about the product’s quality, another creator may praise a product for its convenience or sustainability etc…
By encouraging creativity, brands can unlock authenticity that appeals to a larger range of people, and when it comes to succeeding on trend-driven social platforms like TikTok, authenticity is key!
Popular skin and body care brand Nivea partnered with 13 diverse TikTok creators through Social Native to create engaging videos showcasing product features. By entrusting the creators to follow native TikTok trends and film what works best for their audience, Nivea received a range of different product-focused videos from skincare education and fun transition videos to GRWM and vlog-style content.
By embracing the influence of individuality, Nivea reached their intended audience with a strong engagement rate of 6.5% and received over 3.5m likes.
Creator content that is unposed and unscripted can effectively communicate brand messaging to individuals of shared relevance through a ‘word-of-mouth style’. This approach is invaluable and cost-effective for testing new markets or breaking through to hard-to-reach audiences.
- By encouraging everyday consumers to create and share content about their experiences with your brand or product, you can build an emotional bond with customers that will boost engagement and trust in your brand. Additionally, you can give your existing followers a platform to show off their creativity by sharing how they use your products in unique ways.
- Another way for brands to maximize the impact of creator content is to repurpose it across the entire customer journey. By implementing user-generated content on different channels (such as email, website pages or even TV ads) you can increase personalization.
- Finally, brands should encourage creativity among their creators in order to build a strong sense of community around the brand. Rather than focusing solely on demographics or individual needs, brands should target communities with similar interests and values.
Ultimately, these strategies will help extend the life of your brand’s creator content and further an authentic connection with customers.
Read more articles from the WARC Guide to working with creators.
How digital commerce adoption influences the way brands partner with creators in Asia
Wing Lee, Korakan Yamasattham and Shodai Fujita
From endorsement to co-creation: Why APAC brands need to partner with creators and not just celebrities
Creating your influencer marketing strategy
Brands: treat creators like valued customers to get more from partnerships
‘Community building is a con’: An attempt to reconcile community building with marketing science
Creator synergy – best practice in using celebrities or influencers to improve your distinctiveness levels
What the creator commerce landscape in the Middle East could humbly learn from the Far East
Measuring the value of KOLs: Real-life vs. virtual
The future is GORJS: How NYX Professional Makeup is celebrating diversity in the metaverse
Three ways brands can get the most out of creator content
Measuring creator marketing activities: Four key key dimensions for portfolio management
Salvatore De Angelis
Nielsen Sports & Entertainment
Creator Packaged Goods: A new business model leveraging the facets of fame
In the battle for attention, content is everything
Listen + Learn Research
The four kinds of creators: India’s new entrepreneurs
DDB Mudra Group
How brands and creators benefit from long-term partnerships