We’ve all heard the line ‘word of mouth being the best form of marketing’. Well, it’s not wrong! Brand advocacy and support from it’s community is so contagious it spreads like wildfire.
So what is user-generated content?
User-generated content is exactly what it sounds like. It’s content generated by your audience or users. This can be things such as tweets saying how great your product is, pictures of your product live in action or even reviews left that you can turn into content for social media.
Many companies utilise user-generated content because it’s a sure way to get new customers on board. You can shout about how great your products and services are until you’re blue in the face. However, it’s way more effective when a customer shares a little review or photo.
Why use UGC?
UGC can be a huge asset to content marketers if leveraged properly. Smart marketers have recognised it as hot, with good reason. According to recent research, 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.
Social media platforms and UGC campaigns go together like peanut butter and jelly! The strengths of each create something amazing when combined. Making use of a UGC campaign on social media is an excellent strategy to strengthen your brand and build customer relationships.
Here we cover some of the other benefits of using this content marketing strategy.
Today consumers are looking for a human brand. They don’t always want clean and glossy photos but they want a human touch to their content. They want to know there is a human person behind the brand and that’s why people buy more into company stories and ethics. For some products or services, high-end photos, lights, studios and actors don’t quite have the same appeal it once did. Don’t worry about the images that you receive not looking great – this will only add to the amateur effect of it all.
When we shop online, we automatically check for reviews, and if we don’t it’s because we already trust the brand or have been told to trust it. Imagine if you’ve got tonnes of people reviewing your product videos, talking about how great your product is on Twitter and Instagram.
It goes without saying: having someone outside of your company support you and advocate for your brand will only encourage others to try your products and services. Building on this community spirit and having more people share your brand can only result in a positive.
You wouldn’t believe how many people want to be involved in a community. Especially if it’s a popular active community. There are many people out there who will be more inclined to purchase from you based upon whether or not they can wrangle a shout-out on your Instagram of a feature on your stories. People are looking to be part of the bigger idea when it comes to making a purchase.
A great example of this is @takeiteasylab on Instagram. They’re a film processing company that is really active on social media and has a thriving community. They have created a great buzz around people sharing what they receive and obviously, if you have an interest in film photography, you would love to enjoy and consume examples of what other people have been creating.
How can you get your audience to create user generated content?
It is easier if you have a product. If people are getting things delivered, if it has nice packaging, if it’s something to flex about, then people will just naturally want to share it. And that’s part of the exchange. You need to deliver something worth sharing. You need to create something worth sharing. Either aesthetically or through having a fantastic product or service. (Ideally you’d have both).
However, service businesses can have great UGC too, they just need to get creativing with it, which is all part of the fun! Most people want something back. They want to be featured in your content online, they want you to know they’re happy and impressed with their goods or services and in return you share it in your story.
If you’re looking to encourage people to share content with you, look at adding in a little card into your packages that just says ‘share with us @_____’ keeping your handle in there so people know where to contact you. A little nudge will go a long way.
If you’re looking to step it up even further, a lot of companies will offer rewards or run competitions to help build the content. Strategies that encourage user-generated content on social include:
- Create a custom hashtag or photo contest on Instagram
- Ask a question or create a challenge on Twitter or Facebook
- Launch a video contest
Additionally, designing a social media-based UGC campaign increases social traffic, which results in:
- A higher follower base
- Extended reach
- Increased brand awareness
- Boosted social metrics such as likes, shares, comments, retweets
- Greater web traffic/page views
UGC is a gold mine of data too – an advantage that’s often overlooked. Analysing the content your audience shares can generate key insights, helping you better understand your audience and what they find engaging. And when applying the principles of a data-driven content marketing strategy, these insights help generate leads and increase sales.
Need some ideas and inspiration to give your social media a boost? Make sure to reach out to us, we love a good brainstorming session!
Also make sure to check out all our topics in our blogs related to social media advice