In the world of marketing, nothing speaks louder than social proof. The majority of consumers are more likely to trust their fellow customers than they are the brands looking to make a necessary profit. Because of this, brands can and should capitalize on user-generated content.
What is UGC?
User-generated content is any media made and posted by social media users. You can view it when people share photos to win a new phone or when your friend posts a tutorial of themselves raving about a makeup product. UGC content can be formal or informal. The first is an agreed-upon promotion between the brand and consumer; the second demonstrates the consumer’s freedom to post their opinions and experiences with a brand’s product.
With the power of social media, users are not simply consumers. They are active creators. Marketers cannot ignore their role in generating content that has the potential to uplift their brands. They can repurpose content for official marketing campaigns.
Benefits of UGC
User-generated content is accessible, and it comes with a large host of benefits for you and your customers. It allows customers to gain authentic insights into how others view your products and gives you cost-efficient, high-quality content to include in your marketing strategy.
Customers know it’s your job to sell your product. Most won’t buy your product solely based on a clickable ad. They want to see the proof in the pudding. Do your customers’ experiences align with your promises? Just as customers trust a product recommended by their friends, they also value content posted by real users.
Most customers won’t commit to a purchase without reading customer reviews. When they see their peers authentically reacting to a food item you just launched or playing your new video game, they’ll likely trust your brand and want to experience the products themselves.
Besides increasing sales, user-generated content does the all-important job of boosting customer engagement. All brands are looking to improve their social media metrics to increase visibility and establish a loyal customer base. Having your customers interact with your content through likes, comments, and shares is just as important as the volume of followers you have on your social media platforms.
You’ve probably heard the adage, “You have to spend money to make money.” It seems to hold for many forms of advertising. However, utilizing user-generated content can be a budget-friendly way to increase brand awareness.
Ideally, user-generated content is authentic and organic, unlike PPC advertisements. While influencer marketing is an appealing option, not all brands can afford the promotions of an echelon influencer with a massive following. Sharing positive customer reviews and social media posts or striking deals with micro-influencers can save you money while granting you access to high-quality content that appeals to your audience.
You might consider creating a brand ambassador agreement. With this method, you can connect with your customers with sufficient reach on social media and offer them discounts and products in exchange for promoting your brand on their feeds. It’s a cost-efficient strategy that allows you to receive content that meets your brand guidelines.
Improves Your Marketing Approach
UGC also helps you determine what marketing techniques resonate with your target audience. You can test which platforms are most popular, which calls to action increase conversion rates, and what information your audience wants to know. Based on the insights you gain from the results, you can hone your approach to sharing content, increasing sales and customer satisfaction.
How to Use UGC
Whether you partner with an agency or find brand ambassadors, there are a few non-negotiables for user-generated content.
UGC must be high quality. If you’re reposting a user’s video on Instagram, ensure the lighting and audio are clear (including subtitles is also beneficial for boosting accessibility). Both the user and the product should be evident from all angles.
Great UGC tells a story that’s honest and authentic to the user. They should also include a compelling hook. Social media users have uninhibited access to brand promotions, but they can’t give their attention to all of them. The faster content piques their interest, the better. Additionally, you want your UGC to be up-to-date and provide relevant information to your target audience.
You can make the most of UGC by giving creators content briefs so they can understand your objectives and elements you’d like included in the content. Build a relationship with your content creators; clear communication is key to mutually beneficial marketing.