Learn Digital Marketing - The Smart Way
You don't need crazy tech skills, stacks of cash, or huge staff to market your business. You don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART. Sign up + join thousands of entrepreneurs getting SMART with digital marketing.
User-Generated Content: How to Unlock This Social Proof Powerhouse
Are you an entrepreneur that wants to leverage User Generated Content (UGC) to boost your marketing efforts?
UGC is a powerful tool to engage with customers and increase brand awareness. In this article, we’ll cover tips for collecting UGC as well as tools that can help you gather and use customer-created content.
Table of Contents
- What is User-Generated Content
- Types of User-generated content
- UGC Benefits to Businesses
- How to Create a UGC Strategy
- Using Social Media Platforms for User-Generated Content
- What To Do With Your User-Generated Content
- Tips for Collecting User-Generated Content
- Tools for Gather and Using User-Generated Content
- User-Generated Content Success Stories
What is User Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a type of content that is created and published by end-users on online platforms. It is typically associated with social media but also applies to blogs, websites, wikis, and any other platform where users can create content.
UGC plays an important role in marketing and promotion as it gives customers a chance to express their opinion on products or services – companies see them as a valuable source of feedback that helps inform the development of their brand.
Let’s look into the different types of user-generated content.
Types of User-Generated Content
User-generated content comes in many forms – from reviews and surveys to blog posts and social media posts.
Popular UGC examples include
Social Media Posts
Users may post about brands on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.
Customers often leave online reviews for products/services on websites like Amazon or Yelp.
Photos & Videos
These are popular among users who take photos or video content of their experiences with a product or service.
Users may leave comments on blogs, social media platforms, or news articles related to a product/service.
By leveraging your best user-generated content, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer attitudes towards their product or service which can help inform their marketing strategy.
UGC Benefits to Businesses
User-generated content offers several benefits to businesses such as:
UGC can help boost engagement levels on social media platforms, as customers will be more likely to interact with content if they see that it was posted by real people.
Higher Conversion Rates
Customers are more likely to purchase a product when they see positive reviews from other customers. It’s one of the superpowers of Social Proof. Incorporating UGC into your website or social media campaigns can help increase sales.
Improved Brand Awareness
UGC helps create brand loyalty as it humanizes your brand and creates an emotional connection with potential customers.
How to Create a UGC Strategy
Creating an effective user-generated content strategy involves several steps. Let’s review how you can get started with a UGC strategy for your business.
Identifying Content Opportunities
Analyze existing channels for opportunities to leverage user-generated content. Social listening tools can be used here to determine which topics work well for achieving maximum engagement with potential customers.
Develop creative campaigns to inspire users to share their experiences with your products/services on social media channels. Promotions are often used here as incentives for participating in campaigns such as giveaways, discounts, and other events.
Monitoring & Responding
Keep track of any conversations around your brand and respond promptly if there is negative feedback regarding your products/services.
Using Social Media Platforms for UGC
Social media is a great way to collect user-generated content. It allows businesses to interact with customers in real time and create meaningful conversations.
Here are some tips for using social media to effectively gather user-generated content:
- Make sure your posts invite responses and feedback from users. If you don’t ask for engagement, most people will not respond or engage.
- Use engaging visuals such as photos, videos, or GIFs on your posts to capture attention. Think of visuals that will stop the scroll and get your target audience’s attention.
- Utilize hashtags to get more engagement from users who are searching for specific topics.
- Respond quickly to comments and questions on your social media pages. You can even use autoresponders for some of these responses.
What To Do With Your User-Generated Content
Once you’ve collected user-generated content, it’s important to know what to do with it. Here are some ideas for leveraging UGC
Share Your UGC Across Different Platforms
One of the best ways to get mileage out of your user-generated content is to share it across different digital platforms. This could include your corporate website, blog, and social media pages. By sharing UGC on multiple channels, you’ll be able to reach a broader audience and generate more leads.
Utilize Customer Stories or Reviews in Ads
Customer stories and reviews are a great way to show potential customers what your product or service can do for them. If you have positive customer reviews, consider using them in ads or other marketing materials. This is a great way to build trust with potential customers and turn them into paying customers.
Create a Customer Appreciation Page
Another great way to leverage UGC is to create a customer appreciation page on your website. This is a page where you can showcase user-generated content, such as photos, videos, or written testimonials. This is a great way to build goodwill with your customers and shows that you appreciate their business.
Use UGC in Email Campaigns
User-generated content can also be used in email campaigns to showcase how people are using your products or services. This is a great way to engage with your customers and keep them updated on what’s new with your company.
Tips for Collecting User-Generated Content
Collecting and using UGC doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some tips to keep in mind when collecting UGC:
Make it Easy
Make sure your process for collecting UGC is easy to use and understand, or else people won’t bother. Most social media users are used to seeing requests for UGC so don’t overcomplicate or overthink the process.
Determine what you want to achieve with user-generated content and set measurable goals that will help you measure the success of your campaigns.
Quality over Quantity
Focus on quality rather than quantity; make sure the content being shared is relevant and interesting, otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
Encourage people to engage with each other’s content, such as commenting and sharing posts – this will help increase engagement with your brand.
Monitor & Respond
Regularly monitor conversations around your brand and respond to any negative feedback as quickly as possible.
Tools to Gather and Use User-Generated Content
There are many tools available to help businesses collect and use user-generated content. Here are some of the most popular:
Markerly allows marketers to collect UGC from influencers or customers and monitor performance metrics such as likes, shares, etc.
Hashtagify helps you find relevant hashtags and tracks conversations taking place around them on social media channels.
SocialStudio helps brands manage their presence on social media by providing reports, analytics, and insights into customer behavior.
PostBeyond is used to create employee advocacy programs that allow employees to share content from company profiles across social networks.
Zoho Social can be used to manage a business’s presence across multiple social networks as well as provide analytics about engagement levels for different types of posts.
User-Generated Content Success Stories
Successful implementations of UGC strategies have yielded great results for businesses across various industries. Here are some user-generated content examples.
Coca-Cola’s UGC Success
#ShareACoke campaign achieved tremendous success by encouraging fans to buy personalized bottles of Coke branded with different names – this campaign saw over 6 million shares on Instagram alone!
REI’s UGC Success
REI encouraged its followers to post pictures outdoors using the hashtag #OptOutside during Black Friday weekend – this campaign resulted in 1 million+ uses of the hashtag during the first 24 hours!
By seeing how others have successfully implemented UGC strategies, companies can gain insights into what works best for them when creating their own strategies.
Collecting and using user-generated content is a great way to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and increase engagement. By leveraging the right tools and strategies, businesses can effectively use UGC to boost their marketing efforts.
Make sure to monitor conversations and posts regularly so you can respond quickly to feedback or questions from customers.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
*Posts may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost.
Get Smart AF
DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
from your Digital Marketing Coach Torie Mathis!
Let's get SMART!