📦 - UGC is like Onions… They Have Layers
May 21, 2023
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Saturday, July 9, 2022

Twitter beef makes the world go ‘round. 🌎

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Crossrope’s Srdjan Popovic on scaling your brand with creative content

📦 Finding the perfect influencers for your brand’s TikTok marketing with #paid

📦 The three layers to consider when sourcing UGC

📦 The tools you need for successful creator collaborations and frameworks with Cohley’s TikTok Creative Brief Template

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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How Ecommerce Brands Can Scale their Creative Content with UGC

Welcome back to the DTC Boardroom series, where we ask our podcast guests to dive into their personal picks for the most exciting strategies and tactics to help brands WIN BIG! 🙌

Today’s guest is Srdjan (Serge) Popovic. Let’s dive in 👇

Hi everyone, I’m Srdjan Popovic (aka Serge), the Chief Marketing Officer at Crossrope. Crossrope is a fast-growing fitness brand on a mission to inspire millions of people to get fit in a fun, different, and affordable way. How? A unique jump rope system.

In my spare time, I love being a dad, writing about ecommerce and marketing, and making homemade pizzas.

Today, we’re jumping (no jump rope pun intended 😉) into how ecommerce brands can use UGC to scale creative content. 💪

As DTC brands look to diversify their marketing mix, more marketers are tapping into the power of influencer marketing.

However, most of them are going about it the wrong way.

They’re focusing on finding influencers and paying for sponsored posts instead of finding and building relationships with good content creators.

Today I want to show you a simple strategy for how to build an army of creators and source amazing UGC that you can use across your marketing funnel.

👊 Build an army of creators, not influencers

The typical marketer mindset is:

  • Find the best influencers with the largest followings.
  • Pay them a good chunk of change to post something about a product.

Sure, this can work for some brands (we’ve done it too), but it’s risky.

You don’t know if the influencer’s audience will resonate with your product. You don’t know if the timing is right. And you can’t do much with the content after the fact.

The alternative?

🎞 Focus on the content, not the influencer

The goal is to find and build relationships with a broad mix of content creators. These creators should be able to regularly create a wide variety of engaging content for you to repurpose in your marketing mix.

How do you do this?

First, forget about the follower count. Instead, focus on finding creators (of any following) who can create engaging content and can speak genuinely about a product.

This may sound counteractive, but place less emphasis on the ‘quality’ of content. Yes, it has to pass some basic filters and be on-brand, but otherwise, you really don’t know what’s going to work (especially top of funnel) until you test.

High production value doesn’t always mean best performance.

Keep reading, and let me show you how we build a strong pipeline of content and content creators. 👇


Your Brand Is Not Focusing On What Matters Most

Using TikTok influencers for your retail campaign can be great, but monitoring all that data can be painful. 😫

Streamlining performance tracking, log invoices, and communicate with the creators all at the same time?!

Sounds like a lot... Especially when you're hopping from platform to platform, leaving you no time to focus on what matters most—growing your audience.

#paid is your way to find the perfect influencers for your brand's TikTok marketing. You can choose from vetted creators, so your brand's next TikTok is a conversion goldmine.

#paid has everything simplified down so you can communicate with your influencers directly through your #paid inbox.

💊 Click here to relieve your TikTok campaign problems.


🤝 How to source UGC from content creators

How you source your user generated content (UGC) will depend on what stage your brand is in. Your approach will be different if you’re just getting started vs. if you’re an established brand.

I like to think of UGC sourcing in three layers.

1️⃣ Tap into customer content

If you're an existing brand, you want to start at layer one: your customer content.

If you’ve been around for some time, you likely already have customers posting content using your product. This is the easiest place to start building your creator and content pipeline.

To start, go to various social platforms and search for your brand. 👀

At Crossrope, it’s as simple as going into any social platform and searching ‘Crossrope’ (or any of our branded hashtags).

Reach out to every content creator (that fits the profile you’re looking for) and ask them if you can repurpose their content for your marketing needs. Most will be excited and eager to share.

I recommend focusing on short-form vertical videos at the outset because these seem to be working best right now. You’ll find those primarily on TikTok and Instagram. Later, you can expand into YouTube and play a similar game.

As you grow and you get more products out there, you’ll be able to tap into layer one content more frequently. Do this search at least once a week.

Tool tip. You can use a free Shopify app called Archive App  to aggregate and download all the content you’re being tagged in all from one place. It’s a huge time saver, especially if you’re getting tagged in a lot of content. It also helps you spot new creators.

2️⃣ Product seeding with niche content

If you’re a newer brand (or you've exhausted layer one), you can take advantage of layer two: niche content. This is where you can start your product seeding.

Go to the same social platforms and search for your niche category using various keyword combinations. Make a list of every (good*) creator that posts content for those niche keywords.

Reach out and see if they're interested in trying your product. The worst they can say is no! 🤷‍♂️

*Reminder… good creators don’t necessarily need to have large followings. They need to be on brand and know how to create engaging content.

At Crossrope, I would search for terms like ‘jump rope’, ‘jump rope workouts’, ‘jump rope tips’, etc., and find creators who post good jump rope content. I’d reach out to see which creators are interested in trying our ropes and send them samples to try out.

Of course, the goal is to get creators to actually post content using your product and give you permission to repurpose it for ads and other marketing touch points on your end.

You can either:

  • Lay this expectation out in your initial outreach message
  • Ask them after the fact (once they’ve tried the product)

If you do the former, you’ll reduce the number of samples you send out while increasing your posting rate. If you wait to ask after the fact, you’ll send more samples out, but your closing rate will likely be lower.

Consider your capacity and costs to send out samples, but ultimately it’s worth it to test both methods if you can do so!

Tool tip. Once you get to product seeding, a CRM of some sort will be helpful. You want a place where you can organize all the creators you’re connecting with and sending samples to. A Google sheet can work or you can use a tool like Dovetale  (free Shopify app) to manage your creators.

Keep scrolling for step 3 and beyond! 👇


The Ultimate TikTok Creation Guide

TikTok users spend, on average, 89 minutes on the app each day! 🤯

Standing out as a brand in the massive TikTok ecosystem can be challenging but highly rewarding. So how do you hit that content jackpot?

Start by using Cohley's TikTok Creative Brief Template.

Their template gives you the tools for successful creator collaborations and frameworks - all based on thousands of real TikTok campaigns executed by brands like Imperfect Foods, InstaCart, Nespresso, and Coach.

Cohley's just updated their template with new insights and pro tips to make crafting high-powered TikTok campaigns simpler than ever.

👉 Click here to start creating TikToks for your brand that people actually want to watch.


3️⃣ Product seeding with category content

If you have a sufficient pipeline of new creators and new content from the first two layers, you may not need layer three.

However, if you want to expand on your list of content creators, this is where category content comes into play. As you can see, we're getting broader with each layer.

Go back to your social platforms and start broadening your search terms. Start with keywords that roughly define the category you’re playing in, and then expand from there.

For Crossrope, I'd go in and search for terms like ‘home workouts’, ‘portable workouts’, ‘weight loss workouts’, etc. and find creators who post really good workout related content.

Then, again, I’d reach out to see which creators are interested in trying our ropes and send them samples.

There’s a lot more product seeding you can do in layer three, so you may want to tighten up the restrictions and filters for the type of creators you’re looking for.

This is how you build a massive pipeline of creators and content to feed into your marketing mix.

For this to be successful, your outreach game needs to be strong. You’ll need to experiment with different outreach templates for each layer and each platform to find the combinations that work. As always, keep testing.

It does take a bit of time to ramp up this type of program (especially if you don’t have layer one content to tap into), so here are some ways to supplement your UGC sourcing:

  • Tap into your customer database. Send an email to your customer list or FB group and see if there’s anyone who is already creating content or would be interested in doing so!
  • Create content in-house. Is there someone on your team who has the capacity and ability to create short-form content? Let them create some stuff in-house.
  • Ask your paid media agency. As media buying is becoming a commodity, more agencies are required to offer creative services. Talk to your agency about helping you source or create short-form vertical format UGC.

As you can see, there are plenty of methods at your disposal to build a great pipeline of creators and fresh and engaging content to feed into your marketing mix.

I hope you found this brief playbook helpful. Feel free to connect with me if you have questions or need help in setting any of it up. 👋


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💸 Ridge Wallet CEO Sean Frank's Hot Takes After $100 Million+ In Sales.

☕️ Death Wish Coffee's Will Critcher Spills The Beans.

🕯 Making Memories of NYC into Candles (and Killing it on TikTok) with Erica Werber from Literie Candle.

🍪 AdRoll Bakes Up A Solution to the 3rd Party Cookie-pocalypse.

🧴 Growing 20-30% Month Over Month with Stem Cell Skincare Brand CLEARSTEM.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast  on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Srdjan Popovic and Rebecca Knight. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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