How To Make User-Generated Content Work For Your Brand
Friday, January 19, 2024
By: Josh Young
In an online world that is ruled by content, it can be challenging for brands to keep up with the pace needed to consistently produce fresh and interesting assets to showcase to their audience. Even when you have an in-house content production team, you are often limited to only showing your product from the brand’s perspective. While this is a great way to shape the way your brand and products are perceived, it often doesn’t account for the value that many consumers place on hearing the opinions of real people. This is where User-Generated Content comes into play. In addition to giving you a great source of fresh content, it can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers, and build your brand’s identity and credibility.
What Is User-Generated Content?
User-Generated Content, or UGC, is any brand-related content that is created by your customers and brand-advocates, as opposed to content made by the brand itself. This can be anything from a photo of your product posted on a customer's Instagram, an unboxing video posted to Youtube, or even customer reviews left on your website. You can find UGC by searching for hashtags or posts your brand is tagged in on social media, or by giving your audience a call to action to send you their content.
The Benefits Of Utilizing User-Generated Content
Apart from the amount of fresh content that you can accumulate by tapping into your brand's user base, there are multiple benefits to utilizing UGC in your marketing.
- Increased Engagement: By utilizing UGC, you can give your customers an opportunity to play an active role in the brands they love. This can help you build a stronger relationship with your loyal customers by letting them know that their input and opinions are valuable to you and your brand. Additionally, seeing featured content made by users can encourage other customers to take a more active role as a fan, and make them excited to share and talk about your products.
- Authenticity: Perhaps the biggest benefit of utilizing UGC is that it allows you to showcase your product from a perspective that traditional marketing can’t, the perspective of the customer. By letting potential customers see and hear from the real people that are using your product, you are providing the social proof needed to build consumer confidence in your brand.
- It’s Effective: The bottom line is that UGC works. As consumers, we are constantly being marketed to, and it can be difficult to determine which brands can back up the claims they make about their products. For many potential customers, seeing these products in the hands of real people who are giving real opinions and reactions is what it takes for them to see your brand as credible and trustworthy.
How To Encourage Customers To Create Content
For many brand loyalists, being featured by their favorite brands is exciting enough on its own. However, to get the most out of your user base, here are some ways you can encourage your customers to create content for your brand.
- Offer Incentives: Something as simple as offering a small discount on future purchases in exchange for creating content is a great way to encourage fans to get involved and become returning customers.
- Run Contests: Giving your customers a chance to show off their creativity and compete against each other is a great way to generate excitement from your audience, and may provide you with new kinds of content and ideas that you haven’t previously explored.
- Form Partnerships With Key Influencers: Getting influencers and tastemakers involved in your brand’s messaging is another great way to build trust and credibility with your audience. These are the voices that people listen to when it comes to what’s good, popular, and worth their hard-earned money, and building relationships with these influencers can create another great source of third-party content.
When it comes to digital marketing, you can never have too much content, and by sourcing and utilizing UGC, you can help ensure that your brand will always have fresh assets to share with your audience. Whether it’s used in paid advertisements, or organic posts on your social media pages, User-Generated Content is a great way to connect with your customers and build your brand’s identity.