7 Tips to Drive More UGC with Product Sampling Campaigns

May 22, 2020

By now, most business understand that User Generated Content (UGC) and reviews are a powerful tool to drive traffic, conversion and insights. One effective way to quickly collect more of this powerful content is seeding your products in your target audience through sampling programs. Product sampling campaigns are a quick and effective way for brands to increase consumers’ endorsement in social media and review content for both new and existing products. They allow brands to collect a large amount of review content in a short amount of time and are practical for products of any size – even products as large as luggage and mattresses.

At PJdaren, we have found that brands using product sampling campaigns see an 86% content generation rate, on average, with some clients seeing completion rates as high as 99%. Read on to learn seven tips that can help you get the most from your product sampling campaigns.

1- Know what you are trying to accomplish

Maybe you are looking to generate a high volume of UGCs for a particular product on a givem social media, or perhaps you are hoping to increase your brand’s presence across multiple social platforms. Either way, it’s important to understand your end goal in order to run a successful product sampling campaign.Some brands opt to send out a low volume of samples for a wide range of products in order to achieve high coverage – the number of products that have consumer’s endorsement (UGC) on a given social platform. This is important because it allows you to appeal to a larger audience and to promote multiple items form your product catalog. Additionally, At PJdaren we have found that items endorsed by consumers in targeted social platforms can achieve a lift in e-commerce traffic as high as 117% and up to 63% lift in conversion. 

Some businesses set out to generate a high volume of UGCs for one particular product across various social channels. This strategy can be used to generate a high volume of content prior to product launches. The resulting UGCs give customers the confidence to convert and provide insights to help brands identify and fix any product flaws before the launch.

2- Know your target audience

Make sure the people who receive your samples are part of your ideal audience. This will ensure you are sending to more engaged recipients, and in turn, you will see higher content generation rates. Here are a couple of ways to do this:

Send Pre-surveys

Always validate the your potential sampling recepients with targeted questions about your products. For example, if you are running a sampling program for a baby wipes, you might ask if the recipient has any children between the ages of 0 to 24 months. And make sure you send new surveys for each campaign. This ensures you are sending your samples to people who are engaged and active, leading to higher content generation rates.

Cultivate your database

It’s beneficial to work with a KOC community or a sampling provide that has a database of customer with many different backgrounds. For example, the PJdaren KOCs and sampling database has been cultivated over the last 4 years to ensure that all potential demographics can be targeted by our customers. As a result, PJdaren can target specific client personas for different campaigns. For each campaign,we screen our database with qualifying questions and then only distribute the samples to the respondents who meet our client’s specific criteria. We also gather residential data points and verify contact information for every campaign.

3- Understand which products lend themselves to the most successful campaigns

At PJdaren, we have found that product sampling programs are especially effective for these three types of products:

Products launches

Consumers are much less likely to purchase a product that doesn’t have social endorsement. In fact, a recent survey conducted by PJdaren found that 78% of consumers will not purchase a product that does not have any UGC on social media or does not have reviews in the given marketplace. Prior to launching new products, execute a product sampling campaign to ensure you have significant UGCs in the right social channels. 

Seasonal promotions

For product with a short shelf life, such as valentine-themed items, it’s key to generate UGCs quickly. A pre-season sampling campaign will make sure your seasonal product has enough visibility (UGCs) in the right social media when consumers start actively searching for it.

Targeted products

Most likely, there are other products in your catalog that are in need of additional buzz. One good example is that product that have great reviews in the marketplace but low conversion. Run a sampling campaign for that targeted product to lift awareness – and in turn, give customers that are in need of a product like yours a reason to visit your product page and convert with confidence.

4- Time your product sampling campaign right

A common misconception is that you need to wait for a product to be live on your store before running a sampling program – but that’s not the case. Instead, run these campaigns before the product is live in order to launch with significant social media advocacy (UGCs).

On average, a sampling campaign last 5-8 weeks, and we start seeing UGCs at the end of the second week. At PJdaren, we recommend that brands or their agencies complete a product sampling campaign prior to the product being live on your Mini Program or on a retailer’s marketplace. This give you time to collect review content to build up your product page and fix any product issues that could pop-up.

5- Provide simple guidelines for content creation to the recepients of your samples 

Some brands require to the participants of their sampling programs to follow complicated guidelines when creating content for their products. Some others require their KOCs or standard consumers to produce KOL’s like content on their behalf. Over-complicated guidelines and requirements are engagement killers and lead to low content generation rates. In fact, at PJdaren we have found that sampling programs with simple guidelines record up to 34% higher content generation rates than those with over-elaborated guidelines.

6- Equip the participants of your sampling program only with relevant information about your brand and product

A common mistake some brands make is to provide irrelevant information to their samples recipients. For example,  a foreign brand that won a not well-known award in its home country, should rather focus on its products’ key features and advantages than in such award when conveying information to the participants of its sampling program.

It is important to provide only relevant information about your brand and product to your content creators – and in turn, to give them enough space to put their creativity to work and to create honest, real content that drive engagement and conversion.

7- Follow up closely with your participants after they receive their samples

Send completion reminders to the recipients once they have gotten their samples, encouraging them to create quality content for your product. Make it easy for them to submit their content for revision and provide timely feedback. With PJdaren, we send a push notification telling the participants the product has been shipped (with the corresponding tracking number included). We also provide them with easy to access tips to guide their brand/product experience. Then, we send a series of follow-up notifications and SMSs to maximize collection rates.

PJdaren clients can customize when the completion reminders are sent. For example, a toy brand might want to collect UGCs within the second week after sending a children’s toy, but a mattress company would want to wait a couple months to give the recipients time to experience the new mattress.

About 评价达人 – PJdaren:

评价达人 – PJdaren helps some of the world’s largest brands to engage Key Opinion Consumers (KOC) with end-to-end solutions to build trust and drive sales in China. 评价达人 provides brands with a powerful engagement platform to inspire sub-segments of its community of Key Opinion Consumers to create authentic content and conversations in the places that matter most and at scale. 评价达人 leverage the power of human interaction to help brands build trust, collect valuable market insights, and boost sales.