A new powerful marketing tool has formed alongside the emergence of social media and social internet technologies. This tool has allowed brands to interact with their audience, build a relatable image, and use that to grow their sales dramatically. It is called User Generated Content, or UGC for short.
UGC takes advantage of many internet technologies that have emerged to turn content created by customers into a powerful marketing tool. By leveraging UGC, brands have seen their customer base grow more loyal and become more willing to make repeat purchases. So how does it work and how can you use it in your marketing?
What is User Generated Content?
User generated content marketing takes advantage of any content created by your customers online. It generally involves brands repurposing content about themselves, that customers have posted, into marketing materials. There are many reasons why this strategy is as powerful as it is.
Increasingly, consumers have grown distrustful with brands. They are always wary of being “sold to”, the over saturation of poorly created branded content on social media has not helped this. UGC on the other hand lets the consumers who purchased the product tell the story, instead of the brand.
UGC pushes honesty to the forefront, showing your customers real life applications of your products or services. Customers will get a peek into the way your brand has impacted their lives, showcased in an honest, seemingly non-curated way.
Types of UGC
There are many different types of UGC, each useful in different parts of your marketing strategy. Some of these UGC types will be must haves for your brand, others may not apply to your industry, but at least one could transform your marketing if done correctly. Here are some of the types you should consider:
- Reviews – User reviews could be a powerful tool when implemented into your marketing strategy. They offer the perfect way to prove the worth of your products to potential customers. Often, they act as the final tipping point between whether a customer will buy your product or not.
- Photos and videos – Social media can be awash with images and videos that your customers post, showcasing your brand. There are so many methods you can use to curate this content and re-use it for your brand. If there isn’t enough content for your liking, competitions or other showcases are excellent ways to both drum up hype for your products and build your UGC catalogue.
- Social comments – The comment section on social media can either be a dangerous mine field or a fantastic marketing opportunity depending on how it is used. Utilising social media comments in a creative way in your marketing builds a connection with your audience, making them feel like you value their feedback. Use it to connect and engage with your audience, building a long-lasting customer relationship.
- Testimonials – Customer testimonials can speak loudly, acting as references to persuade potential customers into buying. They work in a similar way to ratings or reviews, however, tend to be more geared towards B2B brands.
How to Build a Great UGC Strategy for Your Marketing
Creating a strong UGC marketing strategy involves a combination of curation, creativity, and incentive. Ensuring that each campaign has an abundance of each will ensure that it is at its most effective. Here are some tips for each:
If your customers have no incentive to create this content for you then why will they? A lack of UGC will certainly put a stop to your entire campaign. So, you need to incentivise your customers to create this content.
Sometimes, all you need to do is ask. Ask your customers to review your brand on Facebook, Google, or Trip Advisor. If you struggle to get reviews chuck in an incentive, maybe a small discount for each review. You will find the reviews will come flying in, all for you to promote.
For content like photos or videos you can run competitions, providing a range of images you can showcase to your customers. These images can be used on social media to show real life use cases of your products, and the faces of your happy customers.
Branding is all about doing something different from your competition and uniquely you, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Try creating unique competitions or showcases for your brands products. The sky really is the limit, just remember to stay on brand.
Often the content you receive will not be aligned with the aesthetics of the brand. It is important to remain on brand, keeping your identity, and message consistent. To avoid any clashes, you can set up a curation or editing process to keep the content your brand reproduces consistent with your image.
UGC is an incredibly powerful tool that can help in building trust and loyalty to your brand faster and easier. It allows customers to seek validation on your products from beyond your brand. Building trust is difficult, so using your customers to build it for you can help improve the entire process.
User generated content marketing allows your brand to harness the power of word-of-mouth to accelerate your brand presence and sales.
If you want to take advantage of user generated content marketing but are unsure on where to start, have a chat today with our specialists at Link Pixel!
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