While there are many content marketing strategies, user-generated content is the most potent. Businesses are increasingly starting to understand how vital user-generated content has become.
So, what is user-generated content (UGC)? User or fan-generated content refers to the content created by a consumer of a brand. It can be any type of feedback, including texts, images, or even blog posts. UGC is the social proof of a brand’s content that attracts and engages other potential users. Let us look at some benefits of using user-generated content.
Benefits of User-Generated Content
Promotes Trust and Authenticity
One of the main features of user-generated content is its clear and compelling nature. People are more prone to trust your brand if other people attest to its greatness.
Some companies use branded content instead of UGC. At first, it may grab attention and encourage engagement with consumers. But, most people believe that most brands get such content from professional writing services like EssayService. In turn, it may lack authenticity, leading to reduced engagement with your consumers.
Instagram photos influence 72% of shoppers. Similarly, user-generated content gets ten times more views on YouTube than branded content. Thus, it is a fact that consumers trust UGC more. It works as social proof of your brand’s authenticity in delivering quality service. As a result, it offers the brand a credibility boost among consumers.
Impacts Buying Decisions
UGC has the power to take your brand up a notch or two. When potential consumers trust your brand is of premium quality, they are more likely to buy. Almost 80% of consumers report that user-generated content positively drives their purchasing decisions.
For instance, brands can use Instagram stories or pictures to influence potential customers’ purchasing decisions. As a result, you can create a lasting album to allow your visitors to view. It also keeps them interested in visiting your website when looking to buy.
It Puts the Consumer at the Center of Your Brand
By using UGC, you are allowing your consumers to tell the story of your brand to others. Since these messages come from valid consumers, the strategy changes from marketing at them to marketing with them. As a result, you highlight the people who aid in shaping your brand.
UGC also shows that the brand wants to create a long-lasting and authentic relationship with the consumer. According to a Bazaarvoice study, 53% of baby boomers and 64% of millennials want more ways to vocalize their opinions about brands. Sharing UGC on various brands’ social channels makes the consumer feel heard, seen, and appreciated.
3 Tips on How to Leverage User-Generated Content
1. Stir Up Desire in Your Consumers
Envy is a normal human emotion that often influences many actions and decisions. By sharing user-generated content, brands are creating real desirability. They are engaging their consumers and creating value for them by making them brand champions.
If you are a tourism brand, showcasing your destination through one of your visitors’ eyes is a powerful marketing strategy. You can post photos of the beautiful scenery on various social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram. In turn, this sparks up a desire in your viewers to take a trip to the destination and have a personal experience.
2. Encourage Brand Loyalty
Brand desire influences your buyers’ purchasing decisions. Brand loyalty encourages a long-term relationship between a business and its customers. It is the positive association that consumers attach to a specific brand or company. In turn, consumers make repeat purchases despite the efforts of the brand’s competitors.
Customers who create and share user-generated content are likely to be the most loyal. They are likely to have made a purchase from you more than once. If it is a first-time buy, it surpassed their expectations. By sharing UGC, you foster ongoing loyalty and build up brand excitement in consumers. With this marketing strategy, you show that you care and are dedicated to ensuring the best user experience.
3. Create a Content Library
Making your social media pages more compelling to your viewers is a continuously challenging task. Brands always have to maintain a new, fresh, and visually appealing page to keep consumers interested. Luckily, you can use user-generated campaigns to create a content library, giving you plenty of content to share.
A content library helps consumers become more conversant with your products. It prevents them from becoming too overwhelmed with all your products by giving them a systematic means to view and sort through to what they need. Find out what products your consumers enjoy most from your brand, categorize them in an easy-to-find manner, and provide a short description about each of them.
Best Practices for Sharing User-Generated Content
1. Always Seek Permission
It is always good practice for a brand to seek permission from a user before sharing a post that includes them on their social media platform. Some consumers use a branded hashtag to bring attention to their posts online, not knowing that it is part of a user-generated campaign.
Before re-sharing the post, ensure that you have explicit permission to do so. Not only does this show appreciation to the original poster, but it also harnesses brand excitement as they share their content with your audience. Seeking permission is also a sure way to kill copyright concerns.
2. State the Original Content Creator
Tagging the original poster directly when posting their content is another good practice when sharing user-generated content. Always ensure that you give credit where it is due. You must also ascertain the extent to which the original poster wants a mention on various social media platforms. For instance, you can ask them for their Facebook or Instagram pages to tag them when posting on these platforms.
By crediting the original poster, you show that you recognize their content, which, in turn, maintains their excitement about using and posting your brand. It also aids followers and other fans to verify that your brand is legitimate and of premium quality.
3. Offer Your Fans and Followers Something of Value
If you want to motivate your consumers to provide user-generated content, you can give them something of value in return. For example, you can create a social media contest and reward the winner who generates the most UGC.
However, you have to be careful when using social media contests, as many people may share UGC to win the prize. Alternatively, consumers can create and share UGC to have their content featured by a major brand and gain more exposure. In turn, this can result in yearlong user-generated content for your brand as long as you regularly share the best content and appropriately credit the content creators.
Over the years, user-generated content has become a hot topic in digital marketing. With the growing popularity of social media presence, more and more brands are embracing UGC. Gone are the days that you had to spend money on advertisements and other marketing strategies. User-generated content has proved to build trust and loyalty among consumers, as well as boost sales.