Have you ever thought about capitalizing on your audience’s experiences and opinions about your brand? It’s an innovative way that brands are already using for their marketing. How? It’s not a mystery really, here is all you should know about UGC in this short guide.
What is UGC?
User-generated content is any content created by a brand’s customers or even employees. It is the most genuine content as users share their experience with the brand’s product or service. UGC is not paid by the brand’s and the users share it willingly.
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UGC can be in the form of text, video, pictures, reviews, or a combination of these. In a nutshell, you can say user-generated content is the content created and shared by a brand’s users.
For example, let’s take a use case of Canon. It promotes UGC on its social media platforms aggressively, more than any other marketing messages. The wonderfully captured photographs by Canon’s users are loved in the community.
Why use UGC in Marketing?
User-generated content is the tool to bring the humanization angle to your marketing campaigns. Here are the main benefits of capitalizing on user-generated content in marketing:
1. Your Audience Trusts UGC more than other Marketing Material
Nothing can beat the real-life experiences shared by your users. Your target audience knows what they are looking for when buying from a brand. Your promises don’t appeal to them as much as your loyal customer’s reviews will do. 93% of the customers rely on UGC when making their buying decisions. So using UGC for promoting your brand will help you win over your target audience’s trust.
2. UGC is more effective than paid ads
Most of the brands today are now realizing the importance of using UGC for marketing purposes. They have seen their UGC led campaigns being more effective as compared to the paid ads. It also helps cut down costs of marketing to a great extent.
3. Drive conversions
UGC is nothing less than an effective conversion tool. Because people are more likely to buy products after they see them with their peers or influencers. It’s a human tendency that people wish to buy products that they have seen with their peers. So when you show UGC, your target audience will be more interested in buying from you, thus increasing your conversion rate.
4. Engage your audience and build a community
With numerous brands selling similar products, it’s difficult to cut through the competition and become the top sellers in the market. But leveraging UGC means creating a memorable impact on your audience. By promoting UGC, you can actively build a community of like minded consumers. You can give them a platform to engage and share their experiences.
How to collect UGC for marketing?
Now that you know how UGC is great, you are probably thinking: how do I get this user-generated content for my brand? Here is a list of ideas for you which will help you collect UGC.
1. Run hashtag contests
You can run a contest on social media and create a hashtag for it, so when the participants share their entries, they will use your hashtag. Then using this hashtag, you can keep track of all the content created during the contest and use it for your brand marketing.
There are many review platforms to find reviews from your customers/employees. Like Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook reviews, Airbnb, etc., are the platforms from which you can collect UGC.
3. Collect UGC from social media
If your brand is already popular on social media and your customers have shared their experiences with your brand, then you can easily find UGC. Search for hashtags around your brand and products, and you will find posts from your customers.
Best Practices for Marketers
1. Use a UGC platform
A UGC platform will help you collect, manage, present, and analyze your UGC for marketing purposes. You can make your work easy and hassle-free with a UGC platform.
2. Credit the creator
Whenever you are using any form of UGC, it is always important to credit the creator. It helps build trust and a loyal customer base.
3. Be clear with your purpose for using UGC
Understand what you are looking for when selecting UGC because once you start going through it, you will find a lot of raw content. A lot of it might not be good enough to be displayed on your marketing front. Also, keep in mind that your UGC should be helpful to your customers and authentic, not fake or made up.
4. Show entertaining UGC
When people are continuously browsing online, the best way to hold their attention is to show them engaging content, so when selecting UGC, select the engaging ones.
Now that you have an idea about the user-generated content. Get ready to capitalize on it. Start collecting UGC, then you can add it to different marketing touchpoints. Like you can add it to your website, display screen, email campaign, etc.
Authentic UGC will take your brand positioning to the next level.
I’m Leo! I am a social media manager, formerly worked at Fifty & Five in LA. I have done my bachelor’s from Stanford and worked on many great projects, making me more proficient in analyzing the structure of various niches of businesses.