User-Generated Content Guide: Turn Your Customers into Advocates

We have all heard success stories of brands that have leveraged user-generated content to take their marketing and content strategies to the next level. And yet, there are a lot of brands who are still not using this low-cost, high-ROI marketing tactic to their advantage.

In this post, we will discuss the various reasons why you should start using UGC for your brand’s marketing and how you can best leverage it. Read on and find out everything that you need to know about user-generated content.

User-Generated Content Guide:


The Importance of User Generated Content

Leveraging user-generated content is a brilliant marketing strategy and it has numerous benefits. Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should include UGC in your marketing and content strategy.

It Provides Social Proof

People are often tempted to buy things because they see others using them. That is the psychology of influence. People you hold in high regard can influence your buying behaviour. 

From a brand’s perspective, posting user-generated content provides social proof of how people love your brand or products. This, in turn, encourages other consumers to try your products and join the bandwagon of your brand’s happy customers.

This effect is amplified when the user promoting your product is an influencer as they have a larger and more engaged audience than regular people.

It is Authentic

60% of consumers consider UGC to be the most authentic form of content. That is a clear indication that people trust UGC more than they trust branded content. 

When real people are seen using your products it has a more potent effect than celebrities and models endorsing your brand. This is because people relate to regular people more than they can relate to celebrities and, therefore, they trust UGC more.

It Saves Time and Money Spent on Content Creation

It goes without saying that if you leverage UGC for your social media posts, website content, or any other purpose, it will save time that you would have spent on creating fresh content. 

This is a brilliant strategy to keep a regular and frequent social media content posting schedule, without spending much time and effort on it.

Shows Products in Use

Another benefit of user-generated content is that it shows your products in use and removes any doubts that a consumer may have about using the product. This is especially useful for new and innovative products as people may not know exactly what features it has or how to use it.

You can also leverage influencers for this purpose and ask them to create how-to videos showing the product features and its various applications.


Types of UGC

There are a lot of different types of user-generated content that you can find on the web. In this section, we will discuss some of the most popular types of UGC that brands use.

Reviews, Ratings, Testimonials

The feedback that you get from your current customers about your brand or a particular product is UGC. This is the most common form of user-generated content that is available for every brand. However, it is also something that you can’t control.

You can’t ask someone to give you a good rating, but you can ensure that you provide the best quality product or service and make your customers happy. And, if you do get good reviews and ratings, you can proudly display them on your website and product pages.

According to the ecommerce marketing service provider, Yotpo, adding reviews and ratings for products can lead to 4x conversions.

Comments

Comments are also a form of UGC that is easily available for most brands. If you post regularly on social media or have a comments section on your blog, you will find tons of UGC in the form of comments.

You can leverage this type of UGC by taking positive user comments and showcasing them on your website. You can also take multiple such comments and create an image carousel displaying what people are saying about you.

This form of UGC provides strong social proof and can help you get more conversions.

Social Media Posts and Mentions

A lot of your existing users may post about their recent purchase from your brand or share pictures displaying a product from your brand, without you even knowing it. 

Social media users share a lot of such content, and it can be useful for your brand. To find such content and ensure that they mention your brand in such posts, you simply need to incentivise them.

You can ask your existing users to share pictures displaying your products and tagging your brand to get a chance to get featured on your page. You can also incentivize them by offering giveaways or special promotions for the best posts. Tactics like these will generate tons of UGC for your brand

For example, Airbnb is a brand that extensively uses UGC for their social media pages. On Instagram, Airbnb’s feed is filled with pictures that their users have shared from their visits to Airbnb properties. And, all they do is ask people to tag their brand and then they repost the pictures with a new caption and give photo credit to the actual owner of the picture.

Image Source: Instagram

Videos

Videos are a bit tricky in the sense that you can’t always use user-generated home videos directly for marketing purposes. You can, however, take user-generated videos and repurpose them into an ad or promotional video for your brand.

Another way of leveraging user-generated video content is to collaborate with an influencer within your existing user base and ask them to make a paid video.

Lego is a brand that often posts fan-made pictures and videos in which their customers create something using legos. Here’s an example:

Image Source: Instagram

Influencer Content

Most of the user-generated content that we’ve discussed is unpaid. You can, however, get users to create paid content for you and it can still do the trick. Just find influential people within your network of existing customers and collaborate with them to create content. 

This will give you more creative control over the content and it will still be considered more authentic than branded content.


How to Leverage UGC for Your Brand

We have already discussed the various types of user-generated content and mentioned a few ways to use it. In this section, we will discuss how to leverage UGC in more detail.

Use UGC For Ads and Promotional Content

One brilliant way to leverage user-generated content is to create ads by repurposing UGC. You can use pictures of people using your product and create an ad by adding a specific message to it. 

You can use footage from your users’ home videos and repurpose it into a video ad. You can create an ad by repurposing any type of the above-mentioned UGC by simply adding the right message to it.

Here’s an example of how Pampers used footage from Serena Williams’ home videos with her daughter to create a promotional video for their brand.

Image Source: Instagram

Showcase Customer Reviews and Testimonials on Your Website

We mentioned this in an earlier section, when we mentioned that you can display reviews and ratings on your website. In this section, we will discuss the numerous ways in which you can do so.

You can show product ratings and reviews alongside your product listings on your website. This will help prospective customers make their buying decisions as a high-rated product is synonymous with quality. 

You can take this to another level by adding reviews as part of your product listings, as done by the cosmetics brand, Boom, in the below example.

Image Source: Boom

This strategy works because, instead of you listing your product features, you let your existing customers do it for you.

If you don’t have a lot of products and reviews for each, you can simply share customer testimonials on your website’s homepage. A lot of service providers use this tactic to instill trust in their brand.

Repost UGC as Social Media Posts

Reposting UGC is a simple, yet effective way to leverage user-generated content and is increasingly being followed by brands. A lot of brands simply repost pictures of their customers using their products and add a relevant caption. 

As there is no shortage of user-generated content on social media, this strategy can fuel your feed forever.

All you need to do is make sure that users tag your brand in their posts. You can do this by simply creating a hashtag to track all user-generated content related to your brand. You can also mention in your bio that to get their pictures reposted, all that users have to do is tag your brand.

Garmin is one such brand that reposts user pictures and adds relevant captions to create their social media posts. They also collaborate with some of their more influential users, which they call, “Garmin Ambassadors.”

Image Source: Instagram


Conclusion

Now you know everything that you need to know about UGC including its benefits, types, and ways to leverage it.

If you haven’t thought about leveraging UGC for your brand’s marketing, it’s high time that you do so now. Leverage UGC in any of the ways mentioned above and see the results yourself.


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