UGC (user-generated content) is an original content created by the audience of the brand. This content can be just anything: from reviews and comments to photos and videos. UGC is often more effective than regular content when it comes to promoting a personal brand or company on social networks.
Due to UGC, the company receives a lot of creative content from the users themselves. Advertisers would spend a huge amount of money and time on generating so many ideas if they acted independently. However, in the case of UGC, its use is beneficial both to the audience and to the company itself.
What are the benefits to users, you may ask? They get a unique opportunity to interact with their favorite brand, realize their creative ideas and get different “things” in the form of promotions, bonuses, discounts, and small prizes.
Unlike regular sales-oriented advertising campaigns, user-generated content campaigns are based on honesty and sincerity. In any case, it is the right impression they make on people.
1. Trust to the company
User trust is what every company strives for. It is user-generated content that allows you to speak the same language with your audience.
When you show interest in thoughts, ideas, feelings, show your openness, attention, and respect, you will inspire great confidence in people.
2. Reaching new users
Word of mouth has not been canceled yet. Information about your company will be transmitted like a virus from one user to another. This is where the phenomenon of social evidence comes into play. According to Crowdtap and Ipsos MediaCT, about 50% of millennials trust UGC more than traditional media. 35% of them rated user-generated content as the most memorable.
The phenomenon of social proof proves that the trust of an audience can be earned by interacting with it. Thus, UGC allows not only to strengthen relations with existing customers but also to get more coverage.
3. The viral potential
UGC’s virality will be greater, as people tend to share their creativity with friends, family, and acquaintances.
4. Positive SEO Impact
Custom content also has a positive effect on SEO. It allows you to increase traffic and unique links, and these are important ranking factors.
5. Motivation for the purchase
The biggest challenge for brands is getting people to buy their products. And according to the Stackla report, 60% of respondents say that user-generated content influences the purchase decision, and is the most truthful form of content.
Types of user content
And now let’s take a look at the main types of UGC content that we encounter on the web every day:
Comments are the most important indicator of brand attractiveness in the market. The presence of comments indicates the interest of the audience in your content. Often, the more comments there are under a post, video or product on a company’s website, the faster your brand’s recognition on the market grows.
Let’s recall what we pay attention to when choosing, for example, a new smartphone. That’s right – to the comments of living people, who have already acquired the same. Feedback is extremely important for the image of the company – if people leave comments, it means that they are passionate about your work, and they have something to say in response.
Besides, users describe their experience with the company in their reviews. It will be useful not only to ordinary people visiting the resource of your company, but also to the brand itself, because due to comments and criticism, you yourself become better.
Customers can be rewarded in every possible way for the reviews left, for example, with a discount on their next purchase, and other bonuses.
Surveys are similar to reviews, but they are more detailed and contain a large evidence base. Most often, detailed surveys of products are used as this type of content – in text or video format (they are especially common in online stores of electronic equipment).
You can use the standard text format, or you can come up with something more original – ask clients to take a video survey, take photos, compose a poem or write a song dedicated to your product, etc. Do not forget about the gift to thank them.
Design and drawings
A great way to attract new customers to your brand is to hold a competition to create the best design or drawing on a given topic. This, on the one hand, attracts many creative people to the brand, and, on the other hand, motivates brand fans to new activities. And, of course, this is very beneficial for the company, since it does not need to spend money on expensive designers.
Photos are one of the most common types of content. Therefore, they are very beneficial to use.
An excellent example of the use of photographs taken by users was an advertising campaign by Coca Cola – “Share a coke”.
Customers took pictures with their “own” bottle and posted photos on social networks with the hashtag #shareacoke, and even could make a Coca-Cola bottle with their text (many used it as birthdays greeting or to make an offer).
Video is also a very popular type of user-generated content. The choice of topics for the video is huge: you can ask your customers to make a creative video with the products of your brand, do some trick, take a moment from your life, a video about the company itself or come up with another unusual task for your audience. If you decide to make a contest, do not forget to say about the rules for selecting the best videos and a prize for the winner.
Despite the fact that podcasts are inferior in popularity to many types of content, they can also be used as UGC. You can ask users to share their opinions on any relevant issue or come up with their own program.
Making strategy for a UGC campaign
Come up with an interesting idea that suits your target audience and select the type of content
Think of what you would like to ask your customers about (for example, create a website design, come up with a slogan, take a video of your morning jog in sneakers from your brand, write a review about your product, take a thematic photo with your products, etc.) .
You can hold a contest, or simply publish content on the site or on social networks. When conducting contests, remember that the more complex the task you are setting your audience, the more likely it is that you will receive much less content than you expected.
Think about rewards
Think about the reward that users, who create the best content will receive (it can be an exclusive gift, discount, placement of content on the site or in advertising, etc.). Prepare gifts.
Compose a message to call for participation in the action
Think up a text for an appeal to participation, add a photo or video, specify a deadline and rules of carrying out the action. Choose the ways to place the call (it can be done on the company’s website, on social networks, via email or advertising).
Choose a platform for users to post content
Social networks are the most popular place to publish UGC. In this case, content is created for the sake of content – so that customers express their sympathy for the brand and share it with others. With it, you can increase brand loyalty and attract new customers.
To launch UGC on social networks, ask your clients to create this or that type of content and share it, noting the selected hashtag.
When choosing a social network, you need to remember which content is the most popular, and what restrictions apply to publishing in them. So, it would be logical to upload a photo and a short video to Instagram, and if you ask to write a voluminous text (more than 140 characters), then Twitter as a platform for UGC distribution will disappear for you right away.
You can also ask users to send completed tasks to your email, this option is suitable for serious contests.
Pay attention to the selection of content and the selection of winners
When choosing winners or selecting content for publications, you need to remember that the material you have chosen will characterize your company. It should be of high quality and as relevant to the brand as possible.
Thank your audience!
Reward your winners (if you are holding a contest) or simply thank your users for great ideas and great content!
Analyze your UGC campaign
Collect statistics on new subscribers, leads, sales during the UGC campaign. Find out exactly what you’ve achieved with UGC. It will give you a real understanding of how your brand is developing.