When a new iPhone comes out these days, what do you see on the billboards? A list of its features? Close-ups of the phone from five different angles?

No – you see beautiful photos taken by real iPhone users.

Sure, these “Shot on iPhone” ads are partly about showing off what a great camera the phone has. But there’s more to it than that.

They’re about giving the passer-by a window into an inspiring lifestyle. iPhone users are cool and outgoing – so they go on adventures to ice caves, of course!

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They’re also about showing that iPhone users are awesome photographers with great taste and a great eye.

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OK, so Apple hired professional photographers for this campaign. But still – it’s inspiring user-generated content (UGC) created by real people, not dreamed up by an ad agency.

Consumers don’t want to hear about the nuts and bolts of products anymore. Specs and features are basically the same across competitors anyway.

They want to be inspired — to see how products would fit into their lives, and enhance them.

The power of inspiring UGC

User-generated content is a great way of achieving this. Real customers, real experiences, real validation.

We’re all suspicious of glossy advertising, but customers’ own photos and videos can create a powerful emotional connection.

People trust each other when it comes to buying things. Not many people would buy a product these days without getting some validation from ‘someone like them’.

They’d want to read customer reviews, of course, but they’d also look at customer photos, stories or videos if any were available. And it’s this visual, emotional, lifestyle-based material that can be the most persuasive.

Content like this makes itself useful further up the purchase journey, too. Maybe even before someone’s thinking about your product. Let me explain.

You can do it too – no matter what you sell

Whether you’re selling cars, holidays, computers or even insurance, you can also harness the power of UGC to create inspiring lifestyle-driven content.

You don’t need an Apple-sized marketing budget to do this. And we don’t suggest you trawl your customers’ social media. That’s laborious, and let’s face it, a little bit creepy.

All you need to do is go out and ask for it — or get Reevoo to do it for you.

Here is some of the content we’ve collected on behalf of our clients, simply by proactively getting in touch with their customers in the right way.

You get lifestyle-based content by asking lifestyle-based questions. LV= is asking insurance customers about what or who they’re protecting. Mazda is asking drivers about their best road trips.

These brands collecting content that’s not only interesting and convincing – but filling in content gaps in the purchase journey. They’re also being found for a whole new range of search queries.

(In fact, Titan Travel have told us that they’re already ranking for a bunch of new keywords after embedding our Experiences product.)

It works

People spend more time on your site if it features inspiring content from your real customers. And they’ll be more likely to click through too.

Our travel client Titan has seen a 34% uplift in time on site since it started using Experiences, and a 7.7% rise in clickthrough to its product pages.

Meanwhile BA Holidays has seen people spend 37% longer on the site, an a 10% rise in click-throughs.

So next time you think, “How can I possibly inspire people?”

Remember, it’s easy. Let your customers do it for you.

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The one thing keeping brands from collecting inspiring UGC