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Let’s Talk About User-Generated Content

Unless you’ve been living under a rock without the internet you’ve heard the terms “UGC” or “user-generated content”. You’ve seen it appear in your feeds but what is it really?

User-generated content (UGC) is any original content – text, videos, images, etc – that’s created by people rather than brands/businesses.

 

But what makes this content so special? 

  1. Starts Conversation
  2. It’s Powerful
  3. Easy to incorporate into your Digital Marketing Strategy
  4. You can ask for it!

 

Start the conversation.

Consider it a conversation starter. A single piece of content can open the conversation between a brand and the consumer, basically putting the social back into social media. This is why we keep seeing more and more user-generated content being posted by some of our favourite brands. As such, more than 86% of brands use user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy to help build trust with potential and existing customers. 

 

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Discover the power of UGC.

Speaking from the paid advertising side, user-generated content is proving to be incredibly influential, especially in the final stages of the purchase journey –when you’re really encouraging them to follow through and purchase. Over 84% of millennials claim that user-generated content has influenced their purchase in some way. 

The amazing thing about this type of content is that it acts as a form of social proof, telling the world that your product is really great and worth purchasing – hello, nearly every skincare or haircare product I use. Not convinced? Think about it like this: how often do you check a restaurant’s Google review before heading out? User-generated content is basically doing the same thing for a brand. Data has proven that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust the recommendations of others. 

 

It’s easy to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy.

Sweet, now you know the basics and benefits of user-generated content but how do you go about getting some? Honestly, sometimes the best place to start is by asking your existing customers or followers. Best of all, it’s free! Yes, you can absolutely go down the paid route – there are some amazing content creation agencies these days. But it’s absolutely worth reaching out to your existing customers/followers for their genuine, unbiased thoughts. Invite customers to share photos or videos using your product. Why not offer a discount to those who provide you with an amazing piece of content?

 

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Have an idea of what you want.

Also, don’t be afraid to outline exactly what you want. If you want to see more testimonials with your product, why not say that? Don’t be afraid to be specific. Not only does it help the creative direction but it makes it easier to find content that’s exactly what you want. Having clear guidelines and expectations can save time for everyone involved.

 

Just remember to always ask before reposting or repurposing anyone’s content. While people may use your branded hashtags, re-posting that content without permission or credit can really rub your best brand advocates the wrong way. Remember, it’s all about maintaining and building on that relationship – not to mention avoiding any pesky potential copyright issues.

Put the social back into social media and incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy. It’s free, it actively works in your favour building trust and connecting with your audience, but it can also help to increase your sales.

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