How did one particular supplement business skyrocket sales by 181% over a recent 5-year period?
Such success means they’ve done a lot of things right. However, one particular strategy stands out: user-generated content (UGC) marketing.
One company’s strategy is a blueprint for supplement marketing.
Why does it work?
According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of customers trust organic UGC more than they trust traditional advertising.
This means old-timey “word-of-mouth” marketing.
It isn’t something you can manufacture. The whole point is that it’s authentic and trustworthy.
The question becomes: How can other supplement businesses also leverage this powerful marketing strategy?
Answering it requires looking under the hood of the company to see how they are doing it.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF UGC
The company, Jigsaw Health, started in 2005. As with most new companies, they initially struggled just to have a positive ROI at all.
Nevertheless, over time they became one of the fastest growing companies in the supplement marketplace.
Along the way they discovered UGC, stumbling across it more or less by serendipity.
Their experience began in 2006 when they were advertising on a nationally syndicated radio talk show.
Without being asked, a handful of listeners taking their products began sending emails to the host, thanking him for telling them about the company’s lead product.
When the host began reading these on air, and talking about how the product made him feel more energized, the advertising ROI doubled.
This is UGC at its finest.
Fast-forward to the present. Jigsaw Health has now put their UGC marketing on a fast track. They use multiple strategies for harnessing the power of consumer input.
For starters, their UGC has been sprinkled throughout the company website and social media. They creatively call these entries “customer spotlights.”
Customer spotlights are brief and to the point.
Bobbie says she’s found the Holy Grail for good sleep.
Lance reports he sleeps longer and wakes up feeling rested and no longer experiences nighttime leg cramps.
Consumers talking to consumers.
In addition, and perhaps best of all, their YouTube channel is replete with brief videos of customers extolling their products.
Peeling back the curtain a little further also reveals that their initial lead product currently has 1,000 five-star Amazon reviews – all from verified purchasers.
That’s over five times more than the second-closest brand.
UGC doesn’t get any better than that.
And it continues to bolster company growth.
According to CEO and Co-Founder, Patrick Sullivan Jr., in 2020 their average monthly revenue grew from $750K to more than $1 million.
UGC FOR ALL SIZES
The authenticity and trustworthiness of UGC works well for any business regardless of size.
Jigsaw Health shows how it works for a multimillion-dollar company.
My own weight loss business is tiny in comparison. Nevertheless, some of the same strategies that worked for Jigsaw Health have also worked for my company.
UGC drove up my revenues by fourfold within a year.
It began with word of mouth endorsements between friends.
In fact, in one small town in Tennessee personal referrals spread like wildfire. Ultimately it resulted in thousands of dollars in revenue.
No advertising. No email marketing. No website SEO.
THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE UGC
The concept is simple: get people talking, saying good things about your products.
This is the beating heart of UGC.
Making it happen boils down to a few steps that any company can take.
Whether you boost revenues by 181% as Jigsaw Health did depends on how you generate UGC for your supplements.
Since UGC is so powerful, online services have sprung up whose sole purpose helping businesses capitalize on it. Hiring one is an option, although that may be expensive.
Applying the following three action steps will do nicely instead.
1) Enable and encourage feedback from all customers.
The most active venues for customer comments are social media and blog posts on a company website. This is where you can most easily encourage customers to post pictures and comments. People love to talk and show off!
Then interact with them. As you do so, acknowledge their value to you. And show some personality. Make it clear there is another human being on your end.
Just taking this one action step will distinguish your company from the crowd. As noted by Forbes, 62% of millennials want to get in touch with their favorite brands via social media. People want that human connection.
Even though the value of such interaction is clear, surveys still reveal that 5 out of 6 internet-wide communications from customers in need of a response are never answered.
2) Ask for reviews. Getting reviews is as simple as that. Drive up responses with a little customer appreciation – incentives, coupons, eBooks (which should act as long sales letters), reports – any kind of truly valuable reward.
The more incentive you give, the more responses you get.
3) The first two steps are the more obvious ones. Step 3 not so much.
We’ll go back to what Jigsaw Health is doing to see how this step works.
As described by the CEO, it entails what he calls finding a “tribe.”
In this case, the tribe is Pickleball players.
Yes, it’s a real sport! There are actually Pickleball professionals. And there are even professional Pickleball tours.
Jigsaw Health discovered a product need for Pickleballers and created one to meet it.
Now the company sponsors several individual pros and two professional tours. The company even became the title sponsor for a championship tournament.
It’s now THE name brand in the Pickleball community. The tribe loves it.
Finding a tribe takes some creativity. It requires finding a target audience and cultivating it.
Bottom line: finding and catering to your tribe is magical for generating UGC.
If UGC is like an unstoppable ball rolling downhill, getting it going means climbing the hill in the first place.
The foundation for that uphill nudge is marketing persuasive materials driving customer participation and positive responses.
In terms of influence, this means writing that invokes one or more of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seven principles of persuasion.
UGC already harnesses the power of two of his principles – social proof and unity.
Capitalizing on social proof and unity rests on applying the other five principles – reciprocity, scarcity, authority, commitment/consistency, liking/consensus – in persuasive marketing copy.
That’s is where I come in. That’s the writing I do.
I’m an experienced freelance writer in the alternative health niche, a published research scientist, and 30-year university professor. I leverage my expertise and skills for writing persuasive copy for nutraceutical marketing.
Would you like to explore what I can do for you? Then let’s talk.