Maximizing the opportunities for growth that user-generated content (UGC) offers can be a great boon for your brand’s digital marketing strategy. And if you learn how to use it effectively, it can result in a positive cycle of rising engagement and more social media followers.
But wait, there’s more to this than just that.
By strategically utilizing user-generated content in your online promotions, users will do the work for you themselves – without you even having to exert much effort or additional investment.
This is because users (your potential consumers) trust the words of other users (people who’ve already purchased your products or services) – more so than what the brand itself (you) has to say. And statistics have proven this to be true.
- 79% of people, who participated in a study conducted by Stackla, say that user-generated content (UGC) significantly impacts their buying decisions online.
- According to Tintup’s 2021 State of UGC report, an overwhelming majority of marketers (93%) agree that customers place more trust in content created by other customers as opposed to ones that are generated by companies.
Taking these data into account, it’s clear as a day that user-generated content is an effective tool for attracting prospects. However, some marketers are still not leveraging it to its fullest potential.
Why? Because they don’t know how. And that changes today.
In this article, we’ll show you how to develop a winning UGC strategy to expand your audience and explode your – all according to one of the top social media management agencies in the Philippines, New Age Digital.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC for short) is any digital, creative asset created and produced by actual customers – not by the brand. They function as supplementary marketing materials and powerful social proof that has the potential to increase trust, authenticity, and sales.
Format-wise, they can be anything from written text to images, reviews, social media posts, and videos.
Why is UGC Important in Digital Marketing?
Opting out of using user-generated content for your brand’s promotional strategy is like purposely losing out on opportunities – a lot at that. As we’ve mentioned early in the blog, it acts as a strong form of advertisement. And the best part, it comes free of charge.
However, its benefits don’t stop there. It also includes:
Builds Trust and Reliability
Content created by actual people gives honest and real evaluations and remarks about a product or service. Consumers usually have more confidence in UGC compared to branded content, making it a key factor in establishing trustworthiness and reliability for a brand.
User-generated content is typically either free or quite inexpensive to produce. Companies can take advantage of this kind of content to cut down on the expenses of crafting their material while still connecting with customers and furthering their product offerings.
Allowing customers to make contributions builds up a sense of fellowship among those related to the brand. People are more likely to become attached to a brand that appreciates their opinions, resulting in heightened engagement and commitment to the company.
Content generated by users can help enhance a brand’s search engine optimization (SEO) process. New and significant UGC can boost a company’s rank in search engine results and make it more noticeable on the web.
Types of User-Generated Content
After understanding the nature and the benefits that user-generated content offers, let’s dive into its many forms.
- Social Media Posts – Social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook provide people with a chance to craft and circulate material in the form of posts, pictures, videos, and stories.
- User Reviews – Reviews or consumer evaluations are one of the most popular types of user-generated content (UGC). People can share their opinions & experiences about some commodity or service from firms on analysis portals like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Amazon.
- Video – Customers typically created this type of content and then spread it through social media outlets, YouTube, or other sites that specialize in video sharing.
- Blogging and Articles – People can share their writings on topics they are interested in via platforms such as Medium or their blogs.
- Forums and Conversation Boards – These digital forums allow users to ask questions, provide insight, and engage with one another.
- Images – Visual content such as photos can be shared on social media networks like Twitter or photo-focused sites like Flickr, Instagram, or Pinterest.
- Podcasts – Individuals can record shows focused on a wide array of topics before sharing them using services like Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
- Live Streams – Live streaming events, concerts, and other performances are possible through platforms including Twitch, Instagram Live, and Facebook Live.
How to Get User-Generated Content
Acquiring user-generated content is not as easy as you think. After all, we’re talking about people here – who have free will and differing opinions.
However, you can steer them toward the right path. Here are some of the things that you can do.
- Make a network – Develop a network where individuals can exchange their encounters with your business and associate with others. This can be done by utilizing web-based media, an online forum, or a blog.
- Hold challenges – Organize a challenge that motivates individuals to share content. For example, you could have a photo challenge where individuals submit pictures of themselves featuring your product or service.
- Request input – Ask your followers or community for their feedback on your products or services. This can be done through reviews or by encouraging clients to leave surveys.
- Utilize hashtags – Make a one-of-a-kind hashtag that individuals can use when they share content identified with your brand. This will help you discover and gather all the UGC that has been made about your product or service.
- Team up with influencers – Collaborate with influencers who support your brand to make UGC. These influencers can make content and urge their followers to make the content as well.
- Develop a relationship with your followers – Respond to questions and posts on social media. This will help build a strong rapport with your audience and motivate them to contribute user-generated content (UGC).
- Simplify the process – Make it easier for users to create and share UGC about your brand, products, or services. This can be done by providing a clear guide on how to create assets for your brand or by designing templates they can use.
How to Incorporate UGC into Your Content Marketing Strategy
Are you having difficulty getting results from your user-generated content plan? Maybe you’re at the beginning stages of creating one and feeling a bit uncertain.
No matter how far along you are in the process, it’s essential to have an accurate picture of where you want to go before launching any new marketing endeavors.
Know What You Want to Accomplish
Before you commence implementing user-generated content (UGC) into your scheme, be sure to set measurable goals for what you hope to accomplish. This can include enhancing engagement, raising brand recognition, or generating leads. Taking the time to pinpoint these objectives will help you craft a plan that is ideal for your needs.
Stimulate UGC Creation
Invite your audience to create and share material regarding your product or company. You can do this via social media campaigns, contests, or simply asking followers to comment on their encounters with your brand. To make it simple for them to pass on information create a branded hashtag or offer them clear instructions.
Ask For Permission
Before utilizing user-generated content that features your brand on social media or a website, be sure to get permission first. Without asking, you may end up upsetting even your most dedicated supporters. Moreover, by proactively reaching out for approval, you will show the user how much their content was appreciated and everyone will come out of the situation successfully.
When the UGC starts coming in curate the best of it and promote it on social media platforms/websites associated with your business. This not only displays content created by those who follow you but also bolsters credibility for your brand name too! Make sure that any content shared always acknowledges its original creator.
Interact with Your Followers
Show your appreciation for their content by liking, commenting, and sharing it. This will help to foster a feeling of togetherness around your brand and lead to higher engagement levels from the public.
Promote Your UGC
Once you have an abundance of user-generated content, it’s the perfect time to get it out there! Get creative with scheduling your photos and videos for Instagram and TikTok. Utilize those pieces of content by creating ads on Facebook. Or include customer reviews in your next email blast and add testimonials to your sales pages.
The more exposure you give to UGC, the more incentive people will have to participate. Moreover, capitalizing on UGC brings together a community feeling that connects people and helps them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Tracking the impact of your UGC tactics to make improvements for future campaigns. Try using data analytics tools to evaluate engagement, outreach, and conversions so that you can accurately assess the success of the strategy.
Here are some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to monitor:
- Total impressions
- Total Reach
- Organic Traffic
- Engagement Rate
- Volume of Posts Produced
- Conversion Rate
- Revenue Received
- Ad Spend
- Ad Click-through Rates
- Return on Investment
Many brands nowadays depend too much on their content to increase social reach. However, utilizing user-generated content not only lightens the workload for content creation but also increases trust from your followers, consequently leading to more followers.
So, don’t let those precious resources go to waste! Use it to your advantage!