How Dell India created relatable and relevant content by appreciating its customers

Case study by Dell India where it planned user generated campaign to appreciate positive feedback shared by customers, submitted under the category: ‘Best Use of User-Generated Content’ for LI Content Marketing Awards 2017

The Brand

Dell India: Customers are at the core of everything we do. We listen carefully to their needs and desires and collaborate to find new ways to make technology work harder for them.

We are focused on delivering solutions to enable smarter decisions and more effective outcomes so our customers in India can overcome obstacles, bring their ideas to life and pursue their dreams. Above all, we are committed to the superior long-term value they need to grow and thrive.

Problem Statement

The new-age customer wants content that is relatable and relevant to them in contrast to overtly branded content.

For technology brands, the social media space is mostly used to share negative feedback with customers.

Dell wanted to appreciate the customers who shared positive sentiments about their Dell laptops.

As a brand that’s quite active on social media, Dell wanted their customers to come to them with positive content.

Identified objectives

For Dell user-generated content is important, here’s why:

  1. To Build customer trust: 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands. By optimising user-generated content, Dell India’s social handles won’t be the only ones talking about the brand.
  1. To Create content that is reliable and relatable to the target audience: User-generated content is highly visible and is considered more relatable for different kinds of customers.
  1. To Reach out to different kind of segments: With the ability to reach a varied and diverse audience, fans have the ability to speak the language of that specific customer.
  1. To Target customers accurately: The reach of an industry-specific influencer or fan is often concentrated on a particular niche increasing the accuracy of targeting.

Strategy & Execution

  • User-generated content tends to be spontaneous and does not follow a set pattern for posting.
  • It is this that makes it relatable to the audience.
  • Control – something which is pivotal to any marketing campaign, is essentially in the hands of fans.
  • Beginning with looking out for user generated content across social platforms, Dell India collated the very raw and real experiences of fans into posts and videos for the world to see after seeking user permission.
  • Every post put out by a fan, was amplified two-fold. This was done by re-posting images, re-tweeting and by curating custom posts as well as videos. The approach was less preachy and more user-driven. It was the customer who was the star and not the laptop in all communication. Obviously, it all tied down to the customer’s experience of using Dell at work, home or school but in a tonality that was personal and conversational, just like the call-out post.
  • Furthermore, the call to action was seamlessly made part of the communication rather than forced for the audience without any context.
  • Dell believes that customers are the core of what we do and hence actively looked for users who used products and engaged with them, apart from just asking them to share their stories

Phase 1: Looking Out for the right UGC

Dell as a brand is focused on listening to what customers have to say by being more than open to hear feedback and see user experience come to life.

That is what the call-out content communicates in a simple, yet effective way. Both new and long-term users are targeted so as to receive diverse user-generated content.

The team actively looked out for the right user-generated content across all social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the help of the right keywords. Then the brand sought user permission to repost and share their content on social media platforms making them feel important and communicate that Dell as a brand cares about their users.

The tonality used is far from pushy – it is conversational with a direct call to action. By urging users to share a picture with #DellIndia, a direct connection to the brand is reinforced.

In addition to the link and name of the product in the caption, having a flat lay of the actual product as the image gives fans an idea of the kind of images to share.

Phase 2: Fan Content

The best pictures of authentic accounts were reposted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with concise captions and a clear call to action. The vibe of each post is very fun and aspirational with more focus on the person’s click rather than the product itself.

https://twitter.com/Dell_IN/status/902795577712398336

One thing common in all posts is the Emoji. They resonate with young and old as they’re casual and are used daily in messaging – making it relatable for all kinds of audiences that Dell target to.

Phase 3: Fan Focussed Videos

Video 1 – Kartik Abhiram HR Professional: Instead of a typical voice-overs or groovy music as the background, the video is a heartfelt talk by an avid Instagrammer, designer and HR professional, Karthik Abhiram. His tone is very practical and matter of fact, avoiding all marketing jargon. It is as though Karthik is having a normal conversation with a friend with the laptop’s plus points mentioned here and there.

Unlike ads with background music & scripted voice overs, the testimonial by Kartik Abhiram is his first-hand experience with the Dell laptop. An HR professional by day and a self-taught sketch artist by night, his experience and matter of fact opinion comes across as a genuine recommendation with a friend or family member.

Video 2 – Kunal Patil, IT Professional: We all have a creative side. We either explore that side at work or pursue it as a hobby with as much free time we have. IT expert and photography enthusiast Kunal Patil gives his take on balancing work and his love for photography by plugging in Dell very seamlessly into the conversation. The video’s style is less brand testimonial and more about his personal experience.

Video 3 – Domnic Savio, Tattoo Artist: As a tattoo artist, Dominic Savio has considerable “street cred”. His passion and genuine love for gaming are very evident in the way he speaks. The video is filled with anecdotes from his real gaming experiences over time making it more personal than brand-heavy.

Results

The customer testimonial videos garnered a whopping reach of over 2L+ organically on social media, boosting the engagement rate to over 3%.

Moreover, organic videos views are over 1 lac and counting across all our social channels.

Observations

As a brand highly active on social media, user-generated content has the potential to be both campaign-specific and spontaneous. To effectively channel its influence, a healthy mix of both is required to meet brand goals.

Fan call-outs help in encouraging the user base to share content that is more spontaneous.

A popular brand ambassador who is a celebrity, works in terms of reach and engagement.

But to build trust and credibility in the long term, genuine content that is endorsed and shared by “real” people increases the trust factor for a brand.