This blog was written by Bridgette Hernandez of IsAccurate.com
Brands have been inviting their followers to share their pictures, videos, ideas, and stories for quite some time. For some businesses, user-generated content is a core part of their marketing strategy. Well-executed UGC campaigns can really help a brand create a lot of traction.
What is User Generated Content? It’s content that you share on your social media channels, blog, or website that is created by people who aren’t part of your company. It includes content that is directly provided to you to use as you want but can also include content that is shared on channels that you don’t own. Instagram posts tagging your brand are an example of the latter.
Because UGC is generally earned, the traffic and engagement it creates are very desirable. Still on the fence? Check out these seven great reasons why you should integrate UGC into your social media marketing efforts.
User Generated Content Can Help Your Brand Build Credibility
You can and should speak the praises of your products. Still, your own words will never carry the same weight as those of your fans. If you earn a steady stream of tags and mentions from satisfied customers, that content will go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
It Helps You Maintain a Robust Selection of Content
Unless you have a team dedicated to creating it full time, keeping a steady flow of engaging and visual content can be a real struggle. This is one area where user-generated content can really come to the rescue. Simply search through your own collection of fan provided content, and search various social media platforms for tags mentioning your brand. Then, repost and share that content.
Of course, it goes without saying that you must provide appropriate credit and obtain the necessary permissions. In many cases, a tag or mention will suffice.
UGC Builds Trust
Some user-generated content helps you to build trust directly. Positive reviews, written testimonials, and video testimonials are examples of this. As people consider products, they often seek out the opinions of their peers, so these endorsements are quite powerful.
In addition to this, simply seeing your products or reading about them in real life situations creates believability. It strips away the manufactured element of professionally taken images and writing and exposes a sincere, human side that people can relate to.
It Allows You to Build a Sense of Community Among Your Followers
User-generated content campaigns can really tap into the voyeuristic nature of people. They want to see what others are sharing. This leads to conversation, shares, and even more content contributions. Your role in all of this is to create a welcoming and supportive space for your audience to share that content, and to encourage engagement that’s healthy and fun.
Audiences Find UGC to be Relatable
Content that brands publish themselves often depicts ideal situations and is very carefully curated. It’s beautiful, but not particularly relatable. According to Ethan Dunwill, a writer at Hot Essay Service, “User-generated content is more organic. It’s imperfect, and therefore more relatable. Someone may not be able to relate to a sweater worn by a fashion model, but they can picture themselves wearing the same garment if they see their neighbor wearing it.”
One thing you can do to boost this benefit is to create a consistent tone in the content surrounding your UGC campaigns. To maintain this, use tools and resources to help with your writing and other content offerings. These include Pick The Writer, Grammarly, Grab my Essay, Whitesmoke.
It Boosts Conversions
Social media platforms and shopping platforms are no longer entirely separate entities. There are now shoppable posts on Instagram and shop the look pins on Pinterest. These are just a couple of examples of the blurred line between e-commerce and social. With user-generated content, you can bridge the gap between these worlds even more.
Let content inspire your followers to make a purchase, then provide them with an easy way to do that. Of course, all of that is in addition to the simple increase in traffic that you’ll likely realize thanks to the engagement created by your UGC campaigns.
Your UGC Campaign Can Increase Your Social Media Reach
All of the new followers you gain, the engagement you earn and mentions that result from your user-generated content campaign can truly help your brand make its mark on social media channels.
Tips for Putting User Generated Content to Work for Your Brand
Now that you know the benefits of integrating user-generated content into your social media marketing, it’s time to figure out how to use it. Neightan White, a content creation specialist at Supreme Dissertations says, “For nearly every brand you can find that’s implementing user-generated content, you’ll find a slightly different approach. That’s because a successful UGC campaign will make sense for your brand. Look to other brands for inspiration, then design a UGC content campaign that works for your business.”
Here are some other tips:
- Create a catchy, branded hashtag for your followers to use when they share content related to your brand.
- Develop a contest to gamify user-generated content. Offer recognition or a tangible reward. Give your audience the chance to vote on a winner.
- Manage your engagement actively. Acknowledge followers who share, and encourage positive conversations around user-generated content. Take action to divert or put the kibosh on any unproductive or negative interactions.
- Respond to content related to your brand, even if it isn’t on your owned channels.
- Be clear about the types of content you want your followers to share.
There are many great reasons for launching a user-generated content marketing campaign. This is a great way to spread the word about your brand and to create a great bond with your audience. Use the reasons listed here to get the buy-in you need, then apply the tips provided as best practices to ensure that your campaign gets you the ROI you want.
Bridgette Hernandez is an experienced content creator and constant contributor at IsAccurate.com. Bridgette writes texts based on deep research but still in a creative manner which makes them pleasant to read. She finished her study last year and is planning to publish her first book in the nearest future.