To create authentic shopping experiences, now is the time for marketers to capitalize on user-generated reviews and user-generated content to deepen customer journeys, Damien Mahoney, co-founder and CEO of Stackla comments on some of the best content marketing tips needed in today’s B2B marketplace:
Welcome to this chat from the MarTech Damien series, we would like to know your background over the years… what inspired the story of Stackla and since its inception, how has the platform evolved?
My co-founder and I were journalists and producers by trade, and perfected our profession on digital platforms. Ten years ago, we saw the advent and spectacular growth of social media, combined with the proliferation of smartphones, and alas, a perfect storm was created. The power of content creation was in the hands of billions of people (smartphones), and they had the social platforms to share their stories and amplify their voices. Then, brands were forced to become publishers and content creators, and many struggled to meet the demands of producing quality content on a daily basis. So rather than creating content, we came up with the idea of harnessing the wealth of consumer-produced content to feed the content hungry beast. And that’s how Stackla was born.
While our value proposition and technology have evolved significantly to fuel a range of diverse use cases, the core benefits we provide to our customers have not evolved. Content remains king in the digital age and remains the key ingredient in grabbing consumers’ attention and driving intention. Adding AI to our product ensures that we can add scale and relevance to the most trusted and authentic source of content: consumer-created content.
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How do you see content marketing trends evolving in today’s B2C and B2B marketplace around the world?
we see brands mature in their understanding of data insights, which empowers them to create more targeted strategies for specific buyer segments and personas. However, as campaigns become more targeted and the number of online touchpoints continues to proliferate, it is increasingly difficult for brands to produce enough content to support their marketing activities.
To keep pace with digital content without breaking the bank, brands today have started looking beyond traditional content creation methods, like professional photoshoots and archival photography, and instead, tap into all of the customer-created organic content featuring brands on social platforms.
As more brands place these types of trusty visuals at the heart of their marketing, the next big trend will see brands start cultivating their own designer communities where they actively work with customers to create the content needed for campaigns. marketing.
Can you tell us about some of the more high-end / high-impact visual content experiences you’ve seen the biggest brands create in recent times?
There is a fairly wide range of premium visual experiences that brands have produced over the years. Brands like Apple and Nike are well known for the impact of their content experiences. I thought Nike was new ‘The announcement of You Can’t Stop Us was particularly impressive.
We’ve seen Ikea invest in augmented reality (AR) application technology to help people virtually test what its products would look like in their homes.
In terms of branded physical experiences, Heineken pretty much set the bar when they built their Heineken Experience interactive tasting room for people to visit and take photos, making it completely immersive for their fans.
How can brands today create a more meaningful shopping experience and interaction with their customers, using different content marketing techniques?
Stackla recently conducted a global consumer survey which found that 72% of people say real customer photos and videos are the content they more want to see on e-commerce sites when making purchasing decisions.
People are looking for unvarnished and authentic images from other customers. User Generated Content (UGC) shows what a product looks like in real life and therefore is more relevant and trustworthy for the average consumer.
The data also revealed that today’s shoppers expect brands to deliver more personalized experiences to them. Brands that can effectively deliver more authentic and personalized experiences will not only give people what they want, but also create more meaningful connections with online shoppers.
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Can you highlight some of the most impactful ways ecommerce providers can use visual content marketing to create better experiences – what tips / best practices should they follow?
Visuals can be very effective in grabbing buyers’ attention and showcasing product features, but they should also help bring products to life for online shoppers who cannot physically see, touch, or try them out for them. themselves.
Offering a mix of third-party social proof with professional product images as well as a variety of photos and videos can help remove barriers to buying online.
It’s also important to continually improve your customer journeys. A great way to shorten the buying paths and potentially drive more product discoveries is to make the compelling visuals on your ecommerce website actionable. By adding click-to-buy buttons to images, you can get people from point of inspiration to point of purchase faster.
We’d like to know some of the ways that platforms like Stackla have made for better content marketing experiences for brands?
Because Stackla is truly an omnichannel platform, we help the brands we work with extend their user-generated content strategies beyond social media to all the customer touchpoints where they want to create meaningful experiences. .
Lush Cosmetics, for example, wanted to offer authentic content and large-scale personalization. To do this, they use our platform to collect, manage rights and publish the content of their passionate community of customers on their own marketing channels. This not only helped the brand to develop closer ties with its loyal supporters, but it also created a more personal experience for other shoppers who were inspired by seeing people like them use the products.
We’ve even helped them make these inspirational images purchasable by allowing them to add “Buy Now” buttons to UGC, which effectively connects content to commerce.
As content marketing trends evolve, what is the best advice you would give to marketers and business owners?
I think brands need to remember to try to lead their customers and not just their products. User-generated content opens doors for brands, delivering content at the scale and speed needed for today’s busy marketing landscape.
There are a myriad of ways to make customer content an integral part of any marketing strategy. Invite customers to showcase the products they buy from you and reward them when they promote your brand. Provide them with easy ways to get involved, like uploading content directly to your site or posting a photo with a branded hashtag to display in your marketing materials. Host an online contest where winners are chosen by other subscribers and customers. You can even try organizing TikTok and Instagram videos of customers to create a fun and engaging video ad for your brand.
That’s the key: whatever strategy you choose, remember to get permission from content creators before using their content to promote your brand.
Some final thoughts and takeaways for CEOs and CEOs of startups to keep in mind?
Stay optimistic, but practice discipline and keep it real. Build a business that you can be proud of, but most importantly think about the legacy you want to leave behind and how your team, supporters and customers will perceive you when all is said and done. They don’t need to like you, but I hope they respect you and that you have somehow made a positive contribution to their personal journey. It is one of the sometimes overlooked privileges and responsibilities of being the leader of an organization, start-up or otherwise.
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