Social media is getting more and more prevalent. It keeps consumers updated with each other: on their latest wins, losses, scores, and experiences, making it an endless resource that any marketer would be wise to make use of.
This is the heart of UGC or user-generated content. Wikipedia defines user-generated content (UGC), alternatively known as user-created content (UCC), as “any form of content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms such as social media and wikis.” As a junior marketer, you already know its limitless potential…but does your management know? In this article, we are going to discuss how to build a business plan for a premium UGC solution and how to pitch it properly so that it gets approved.
This article can also prove helpful to solopreneurs who are looking for viable marketing options and shows some key elements of business plan. You can always apply for various personal loans online in order to fund your next marketing campaign, but why do you need to spend if you there’s a similarly efficient way with fewer resources needed?
Developing a Solid Business Case
Most people already have an idea of how to prepare a business plan…but do you know how to build a business case? It is very different from your business strategy. In a nutshell, it is a case that you create when you’re trying to pitch a new investment opportunity and define its financial and non-financial benefits. In this case, we’re going to present UGC.
Present the Opportunity
The first thing that you need to do in order to build a compelling business case is to confirm the opportunity. Is your company launching a new product or service? Is it nearing a particular event? You can leverage these milestones and turn them into an opening to launch your UGC campaign.
Do: Lead your conversation with the need.
Along with presenting this opportunity, you must grab the attention of your audience by stating why the company needs to invest in your campaign. Remember to emphasize the corporate goals that your campaign will help fulfill. If there’s any burden that your campaign will help relieve, then don’t forget to emphasize those too.
Do Your Homework
Work out your implementation strategy. This includes the medium that you will use to advertise your UGC campaign, the main hashtag, the social media sites that you will focus on, and more. Create actionable steps. Present the analytical tools that you will use to measure the campaign’s success. Show them that you have already laid the groundwork. All that’s left is to put the plan into motion.
Don’t: Overwhelm them with useless details.
It can be easy to get carried away with facts and statistics to support your case, but they can prolong your presentation and fill it with unnecessary information.
Tell a Compelling Story
Fjällräven was already a known brand, and their Kanken is already an iconic piece, but why did it suddenly blow up recently? #Kanken, for instance, has 750,000 posts on Instagram alone. It’s all because of their UGC campaign. There are a lot of other UGC success stories online, and the next one could be your brand.
To dig a little deeper, show that your UGC campaign offers a strong human connection. Show them that your UGC campaign is more than just a marketing ploy. That it will be enough to move people to empathize with your brand, promote it, and that everything will be in the company’s best interests.
Do: Sweeten the deal.
Don’t just focus on practicality. Add some indirect and intangible, yet very appealing benefits that your campaign will bring. For instance, UGC doesn’t just benefit the company, it can benefit its employees too. It can boost employee morale and reduce turnover rates. It’s always nice to work in a company that its employees can take pride in, after all.
Pitch Like a Boss
Act as if you’re a lawyer and your management is your jury. Remember, you’re trying to win them over and they can’t put their trust in something that even you are not confident in. You can always create an engaging PowerPoint presentation, but don’t just read your slides. Use them as they are meant to be used: as supporting tools to get your message across.
Don’t: Gloss over your management’s concerns.
In fact, plan how you are going to address them in advance. It will show that you have looked at the campaign from all angles.
For example, one major concern is rights management.
UGC sounds like it’s almost too good to be true, right? It creates a personalized experience. It is highly relatable. It offers unlimited leads that ultimately leads to higher conversions. But there is one single consequence. Since your users had created these content, then you have limited rights to them. You can’t use them as freely as you would a brand-launched campaign.
So, is there a light at the end of this tunnel?
Fortunately, there are more consumers who appreciate brands (especially big ones) taking notice of their posts. It makes them feel that the love they devoted to the brand is heard and reciprocated.
Hence, we advise you to come up with clear terms and conditions on how you plan to use your user’s materials and get their consent beforehand. Having a UGC platform can help you with that and can make your experience legal-issue-free.
Another concern is the cost.
The best thing about user-generated content is that it is almost free. It is significantly cheaper than launching a traditional marketing campaign. However, it can also start excruciatingly slow as well. The most efficient way to get it out there as soon as possible is to ask for the help of social media influencers—and that, in turn, can cost you.
The good thing is, you can always barter. Come up with deals and perks that your target influencers will find hard to resist in exchange for a post or two. Remember, a single post can blow-up and start trending overnight if you’ve partnered up with the right influencer. Include your ideas in your presentation, or better yet, have an influencer sign up and be ready already.
Have Two Scripts Ready
Finally, in connection with the previous step, have two scripts ready for your pitch: a long one and a short one. Things can happen and there really is no way in telling how much time you have in presenting your business case. Hence, we advise you to prepare a five-minute presentation just in case.
Don’t worry, if your presentation is interesting enough, we’re sure that your management leaders will ask questions, giving you ample opportunity to discuss any aspect that may have been left out of your concise script.
Do: Explore interesting video presentations and other activities.
You will never get to convince them if they’re bored out of their wits. For that, you can create a short, yet high-quality video of your case. In fact, you can even come up with a quick (yet relevant) game that they can participate in, excite them, and help put your message across. There’s always room for creativity in business presentations.
The Bottom Line
In the end, we believe we can all agree on one thing: UGC is a very powerful marketing tool. It can definitely work wonders for you and your company. The real challenge lies in the question of whether or not the management will see its potential as a sword, that if wielded with finesse, can help you defeat your competition and establish your brand’s name, not just as a trend, but as an industry leader. A household name. And that’s just what any of us want from our brands at the end of the day, right? Good luck!
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