This Valentine’s Day, you deserve to have your customers shower you with love and praise. You should use their excitement to supercharge your content marketing efforts.
User generated content (UGC) is an extremely valuable resource for marketers in practically any industry. After all, 70% of consumers value peer recommendations and reviews more than professionally written content, and 84% of millennials say that UGC on company websites has some influence on their purchases. Whether you sell chocolates or enterprise software (like us!) you can use this sometimes-sappy holiday to accelerate your UGC strategy. Here’s how…
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Do something special for them
Valentine’s Day is often a last-minute celebration–nearly ? Americans don’t start planning for the holiday until a week or less beforehand. If you sell goods or services that people might use as V-Day gifts (anything from jewelry to sweatpants, really), you should send targeted emails with a short list of gift suggestions for sweethearts. Keep in mind that last year, men spent nearly twice as much as women. Then, offer free expedited shipping.
This is also a big time for engagements, so if you sell anything that could be related to weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties, or honeymoons, now is a great time to promote yourself. Once again, consider some sort of discount or promotion. You can pair big-ticket items with referrals–if a couple refers their newly engaged friends to your business, offer a share and save or refer a friend discount, or loyalty points.
And don’t forget your single customers! Run a promotion that shows them you care, and that they deserve to treat themselves. Or, suggest to your female customers that they celebrate Galentine’s Day by buying gifts for their female friends.
Even if your customers aren’t buying from you for the holiday, do something nice for them! Maybe offer a small discount, extra loyalty points, or free samples with their next order. Make sure to tell them you love them!
Leverage that gesture to solicit content for your visual commerce and ratings platforms
Luckily, many of the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like chocolate, jewelry, or lingerie are photo-friendly. Ask your customers to take and share a photo of their beloved enjoying their new gift.
If you run a promotion like free shipping, ask customers to contribute content in return for the favor. Send post-purchase emails soliciting reviews and visual content as a thank you. Even better, run a contest for video submissions of significant others opening their gifts! This also works if you’re in the restaurant, travel, or any other experiential industries. If you sell beauty products or clothing, ask customers to record themselves getting ready for their hot dates.
You could also run a photo contest in which you send customers Sweethearts candy and then ask them to submit a photo of your products with a saccharine message of love.
Plan for next year
All of this UGC, whether it’s photos, videos, or reviews, should be the centerpiece of your content marketing strategy in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day 2017. If you have the available data, you can filter the content by the posters’ ages, genders, geographic locations, and so on. That way, you can offer the most relevant suggestions and inspiration to browsers.
It’s easiest to do this sort of targeting with reviews content, since you can create fields for these different variables in your review templates. However, if you have a social login solution, you can cross reference your open graph data from that with your visual commerce contributors in order to learn who they are.
You can even display your UGC in-store on print or digital screens! That way, you can remind brick-and-mortar shoppers of how they can and should use your business for this romantic holiday.
Finally, stay sweet! Remind your customers that you love and appreciate them all year round. Your content marketing team will thank you.