Before you buy a new vehicle, piece of clothing, book, game or anything you have no experience with yet, many of us dive into the reviews. We trust the word of other people more than we trust the word of the brand who is just trying to get their product sold. This is why many businesses have come to realize the importance of User Generated Content (UGC).
User-generated content is about getting customers to create content for you, for free! It is when customers and brand loyalists create brand-specific content and publish it on social media, simply because they love your product, and are motivated to share their experience with it through reviews, images, videos, blog posts, live streams, and just about any other form that can be used on social media. This is exactly the kind of exposure you want for you business. The question is, how can you encourage customers to put out UGC content for your brand? This is what we will talk about in today’s blog. However, let’s first take a closer look at the different ways UGC benefits your business.
How UGC Works to Benefit Your Brand
User-generated content is created by many different individuals for many different emotional reasons, some of which will have nothing to do with encouraging people to buy your product, but may result in that very outcome, regardless. That being said, here are some of the ways UGC works positively for your brand.
Its a Win-Win Strategy
Let your customers do the talking for you! Brand-generated content will bring attention to your company, product or service; but exposure can be limited to the social media channels you’ve chosen, the number of people in your marketing team and, in some cases, your finances. No such restrictions exist with UGC. An unlimited number of customers can take their experience with your brand, and broadcast it to followers across multiple different platforms using multiple forms of media. A chain reaction will ensue when followers of your customers take a chance on your brand based on UGC content consumed, and share their experience with their followers as well. Therefore, UGC is a powerful tool for accelerating exposure to your brand without your business having to lift a finger.
Increases Your Brand’s Authenticity
With so many brands vying against each other to prove themselves the best among the competition, it’s difficult for customers to know whom they can trust. However, UGC content helps you to stand out among the competition as the most genuine and trustworthy, when potential customers see other buyers harping on about your product or service all over social media.
Influences Purchasing Decisions
You may have potential buyers on the brink of making a decision to purchase your brand. UGC can speed up that process and push them to the buy! Before buying something new, customers will often look to reviews and content from other people not associated with your brand to help them make their decision. People will trust the honesty of paying customers more than branded content to decide if they product is worth buying or not.
How to Get Customers Involved in Your business Through UGC
We’ve seen how beneficial user-generated content can be to your business. However, unless you’re actually getting your customers involved in your business and giving them something to talk about, your business will be unable to reap the benefits of UGC. Therefore, your business must develop strategies that will encourage and significantly increase UGC content.
One way to do this is by developing a hashtag strategy. Encourage current customers and brand loyalists to post about your brand by creating designated, easy-to-remember hashtags that they can use to share their experience with your product. You can also make your hashtags specific so that you get your customers to highlight the parts of your product that you want your audience to know more about. For example, a supermarket can use the hashtag #whatscooking to encourage current customers to share recipes they have made using your products. Hashtags also make it easier for other consumers to find your brand’s UGC content.
You can also encourage UGC through hosting a giveaway. Get your customers excited about winning something from your brand that you know will provide them value. Create an ENTER TO WIN strategy where customers participate by sharing a picture or video of themselves using your product on their social feed, with the hashtag you designate. Generate more engagement by turning it into a contest where the best picture or video wins. People will get into a frenzy and share all over social media just for the chance to win the prize. This will draw even more attention to your brand and help your business to bring in new new customers.
Finally, tapping into the power of relevant influencers in your community is a great way to generate both UGC content and new followers of your business. When fans see their favourite influencers using your product or service on social media, they will be encouraged to buy the same product and flaunt it across their own social platforms. It may even turn some followers into loyal supporters of your brand.
Why Your Customers Win When You Succeed in getting More UGC from them
User-generated content is the perfect advertising strategy for your business because it presents a win-win situation for both you and your customers. Your customers enjoy it because they get to share with the world, the positive feelings your products or service brings them, and maybe even win some recognition in the process. Your brand enjoys it because it brings more attention to your business, increases authenticity and encourages higher conversion rates.
What strategies are you using to encourage user-generated content for your business? If you’re not sure how to even start, I am always happy to help. Book a call with me here for a free consultation.