With so much brand communication now based online it’s important to stay ahead of marketing trends. Many brands are now opting to place user-generated content (UGC) at the forefront of their promotional strategies — but what exactly is user-generated content and how can it benefit your brand?
If you’re wondering how to update your online marketing strategy but aren’t sure how UGC can work for you then this guide has all the information you need!
What is User-Generated Content?
In its most basic form, UGC is any media that customers share about a company — without the brand’s involvement. This can be anything from an entire blog post discussing your products, to a quick Instagram snap or online review — and is a great way to boost awareness of your brand.
Remember, your reviews and CX strategy should go hand in hand, not only will a great experience boost your positive feedback and brand image but your reviews can shape your future strategy, ensuring you constantly impress your customers.
In order to make the most of UGC, you need to make sure there’s a lot of positive factors for your customers to talk about online — so be prepared to make long-term investments in your client base.
How can user-generated content benefit me?
If you’re wondering why UGC is worth trying then here are just a few ways it can benefit your company:
Promote Brand Trust
Primarily, UGC promotes trust in a specific brand or service. Many consumers prefer to research their options before they commit to a specific brand, so a host of positive reviews alongside online recommendations from family, friends, and influencers is sure to put their mind at ease when shopping with your company.
Customers can also be wary of brand-driven posts that try to mimic true user-generated content. Simply allowing your products and customers to speak for themselves is far more genuine, and will have a much broader appeal.
By promoting trust in your brand you’ll naturally encourage new clients to choose your company, and even entice older customers back to make repeat purchases.
Not only this, but UGC also functions as brand exposure. Many people now discover new brands online and via , social media a post by a friend or favorite blogger can organically grow your clientele, with very little input from your team.
As the saying goes ‘the grass really is greener on the other side’. As consumers, whenever we see a specific product or service receive a lot of praise, we naturally view it as more desirable, and are more likely to switch to it ourselves.
In particular, user-generated images on sites like Instagram and Pinterest are guaranteed to promote brand desirability, especially when shared by aspirational or lifestyle-based accounts. By displaying your products in an aesthetically pleasing, but still genuine way, UGC is sure to demonstrate just how desirable your brand is.
How Can I Make the Most of User-Generated Content?
As UGC is fairly hands-off, you might be wondering how to make sure you’re encouraging the right kind of content, and how it can be incorporated into your future plans.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
Encourage Customer Reviews
Reviews are a fundamental part of UGC as they’re often what new customers will use to decide whether to choose your brand. The best way to encourage reviews is simply to remind your customers at key points in their journey, such as when they receive their order, or when they return for additional purchases.
Try to be selective with who and when you ask for reviews — this will ensure you gather as much positive feedback as possible!
Share Your Favorite Posts
When you come across a particularly good piece of UGC make sure people know about it! Re-post the content on your social media channels, website, and even include it in any email blasts. Not only does this demonstrate an appreciation for your clients, but it promotes awareness of your brand, and helps ensure your UGC is reaching the right people.
Remember, always ask the original poster for permission before you share.
Host a Competition
Nothing encourages user engagement like a competition! Try asking your customers to share a picture of them using your product, or leave a review after their next purchase , with the best post receiving a prize. This strategy is sure to get customers posting about your company, which will generate more UGC, and boost brand awareness, too!
Are You Ready to Make the Most of UGC?
UGC can certainly be powerful but it will require some investment to generate the best content possible.
As always, try to keep your customers at the heart of what you do. Developing your processes and providing an excellent customer experience at all times will ensure that UGC stays positive — and effectively promotes your brand on your behalf.