Imagine you’re going online to buy a product. What is the first thing you do? You subconsciously scroll to see if there are any reviews and ratings for the product. How often have we asked for assistance from our peers while choosing any product? And, we know how far the peer reviews and suggestions guide us in making a decision.
Since we view and buy products/services online, there isn’t much proof of what we ask for.
There isn’t an entity to measure how the product feels or how long it would last. There have also been cases where you expect one thing but get something else.
People have started to lose faith in traditional marketing techniques. Here, User Generated Content serves as a way to build the bridge between the users and the trust in your products. This guide will help you understand what user-generated content marketing is, why it is important, and how other brands leveraged UGC to their advantage.
What is User-Generated Content Marketing?
User-generated content or UGC is a type of content in which the users themselves or someone other than the brand’s officials help in your product’s marketing.
UGC can be comments, reviews, images, hashtags, and shares. Anything the user or people do which helps showcase your brand is called User Generated Content Marketing.
Benefits of User-Generated Content Marketing
The word “marketing” itself has become repulsive, and over 76% of people believe that marketing is exaggerated. People think marketing is just boasting about your brand, and as a means to sell.
Your responsibility is to make people believe in your products and services as a brand. And, what more do they want when they get to know about your product from someone who uses it. This power of the UGC makes people accept your product with all their hearts.
Here are some benefits of incorporating user-generated content in your marketing strategy:
1. Helps Increase Your Brand’s Credibility
UGC lets your customer’s feelings be the voice of your marketing strategy. Users want more original content rather than attractive ads.
UGC helps customers understand your product’s credibility and the passion people have for your brand. Interacting with customers, working on their reviews, and being on good terms with the customers help your brand stand out from the crowd.
2. Helps Grow a Loyal Community
Customer loyalty is priceless in today’s market world. It is only a matter of time till your customer finds a better brand prospect than you. So, it is necessary to maintain a loyal community.
Your brand might be one of the many brands out there so posting content and connecting with people help your community grow.
3. Escalate Conversion Rates
The main aim of a product, service, or marketing is to generate revenue. This happens with the increase in conversion rates. People usually read the reviews and reports before proceeding to buy your product. Based on your UGC, there is a much higher possibility of converting leads to potential clients.
4. Saves Time and Budget
Time and money are critical factors when creating content. Especially for small businesses and startups, these are big constraints. Finding and analyzing UGC helps save your time and is more cost-effective than influencer marketing. Letting your customers be the patron for your products enables you to cull your time and money invested.
5. Builds Trust
UGC serves as social proof. The results and reviews given by the users themselves serve as an example of the efficiency of your products. Also, interacting regularly, communicating with your clients, and satisfying their needs build trust between the users and the business.
Dos and Don’ts for User-Generated Content
User-generated content is more than just getting the inputs from the users and marketing yourselves. Keep in mind some of the dos and don’ts that help you mitigate the risk factors and improve the efficiency of your marketing strategy.
1. Have a clear expectation from your users
Knowing what type of content you want will be helpful for the users to curate content accordingly. You can ask them to promote themselves on social media via a post, a tweet, or make videos. Make use of the trend factors and social media to get the content from the user.
2. Learn from your mistakes and exhibit your achievements
There will always be admirers and critics. Positive comments pave the way to building credibility and confidence in your product. And, Negative comments from unsatisfied customers can be a source of learning and help us improve our products or services.
3. Integrate the content marketing funnel strategies
The influence of content can be different. Some content will help grab the user’s attention, and some might influence the user’s decision and make conversions. Integrating UGC in every stage of the marketing funnel increases your conversions and facilitates higher ROI.
1. Do not use others’ content without permission
UGC allows you to share the content and help promote your brand. Make sure you always credit the original creator to avoid plagiarism issues. Moreover, it is ethically correct. Always get permission and consent from the user before using their content.
2. Do not Spam
We can connect with the audience for reviews and suggestions to improve our products as a brand. But, make sure not to spam the user for your brand’s promotions. Give the users time to review your product after using them.
3. Do not let the user’s reviews go unwatched
Always keep an eye on the user-generated content like reviews and comments that go live. Some unsatisfied user comments that go unwatched might bring down the reputation that took you years to build. Address them in person and provide help in resolving the conflict.
Types of Content in User-Generated Content Marketing
The UGC predominantly falls under three major categories – images, videos, and text. They are further divided into the following types of content.
1. Social Media Content
Social media is the place most people used to market themselves. In some cases, they help you promote your product. Millions of people post photos and videos of their day-to-day activities. If they genuinely believe in your product, they definitely will engage with your product in their social platform and indirectly market for your brand.
2. Video Content
Ranging from YouTube videos to TikTok short videos and live streams video content is a great exhibit to market your product. People get to see your product live, and they will be more convinced when a user showcases your product.
3. Reviews/ Testimonials
Reviews and Testimonials are one of the most sought and beneficial forms of UGC. They help in influencing the user’s decision and bring about an increase in conversion rate.
Gamification is another exciting and interactive way to engage with the users to help generate UGC. It involves posing a challenge to the users and rewarding them. For example, Google Pay rewards you earn for every transaction you make. Also, you can earn badges and share them on your profile or use their product and market it.
Keep an eye on the queries your users or customers put forth. Chances are that some of them might be recurring. Incorporate them into your blog or articles to ease the audience and users’ search for answers.
7. Hashtag Content
Remember the #icebucketchallenge or the #10yearschallenge that made people and brands go viral on the internet?
Hashtags help categorize your content and reach the audience more effectively. They pave the way for your content to appear to the users when searching for relevant content.
How brands used UGC to their Advantage:
The key to creating a successful UGC campaign is to grab the audience’s attention. The content should serve the purpose of promoting them and help market your brand. Many established organizations leveraged this concept and increased their marketing campaigns several-fold.
We live in a society where some brands are more than just a name. Brands are perceived as symbols of social status, and some are considered exhibits of true value and authenticity.
People owning an Apple iPhone seldom take regular selfies. They prefer mirror selfies and Apple utilized this opportunity and asked the users to use the tagline “Shot on iPhone” movement. Judges evaluated every picture, and the top ones made it to billboards and official posts. Thereby, people help to market the brand all by themselves.
Most people infuse their lifestyle and brands into daily activities and upload them on their social handles with a hashtag. Some even review your products, saving your time and budget to promote your product.
GoPro created one of the most incredible ideas for UGC. It all started when the founder wanted to capture high-quality images of racers and daredevils. Initially, this product was a failure, but with the help of UGC, it reached fame. They also created a challenge that made the users post their stunts on social media and rewarded them for their feats.
Many brands launched hashtags campaigns with innovation and personalization. One such example was Coca-cola’s #shareacoke. The canisters were categorized as a father, sister, brother, and mother, and this trend went viral on the internet. People started posting their pictures with the hashtags and with their coke canisters.
Then came along the concept of limited edition products. Brands and companies created customized products that are different from the rest. This made people buy products for their uniqueness.
Calvin-Klein also leveraged the content generated by users from their #mycalvins campaign. They collaborated with celebrities to kick-start their UGC campaign. Where people, irrespective of color, race, or sexuality took pictures of themselves being proud of themselves.
People show more involvement when they can customize your product according to their liking. Crocs made use of this idea and rolled out “Jibbitz charms”. These collectibles are used to style your Crocs. People started collecting different badges and started exhibiting their collections on social media.
UGC is a hidden gem when it comes to content marketing. And almost every business, from startups to established firms, can leverage this type of content to upgrade their marketing efforts.
User-generated content helps spread awareness for your brand and build authenticity from the user’s point of view. Primarily, they help companies and brands save a lot of time and effort in marketing.
There isn’t just one approach to gathering UGC, and indeed, there isn’t just only one type of content. Gather a lot of ideas, initiate trends, engage and build a rapport with the audience.
So, why wait after knowing the potential of the UGC? Word of mouth and the impact of social media. Give people the authority to empower your brand. Start now and drive your brand’s success with user-generated content marketing.
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