Most small businesses (and even large corporations) rely heavily on the online reviews and opinions of their consumers. Aside from that, they also rely on maintaining their online presence to help increase conversions for the products and services they offer. When you share user-generated content, you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. You are sharing the opinions of real-life people while targeting your online audience and promoting your digital presence. Plus, including user-generated content in your marketing efforts is a great way to increase brand awareness and engage with consumers with little to no creative effort of your own.
If you are looking to connect with loyal customers while increasing brand sentiment and reaching more users, employing a user-generated content marketing strategy is the way to go. In this blog post, our social media marketing team here at Kiopi will further explain the meaning of user-generated content and how it can benefit your small business.
As you might have already guessed from the title of this post, UGC stands for user-generated content. You may also hear it referred to as “consumer-generated content.” Either way, UGC campaigns are a type of business marketing strategy that utilizes content generated by consumers and redistributes it to the masses. This type of content may be anything from personal testimonials in the form of online reviews to images and videos posted to social media platforms.
Consider this: in the digital age of the marketing world, word of mouth has less of an impact than verified online reviews do, and traditional advertising takes a back seat to digital advertising. As such, using content created by consumers allows businesses to get the best of both worlds. When a business’s customers share photos and user-generated videos or leave comments or reviews on a product or service, companies can benefit from sharing this authentic form of content along with their own content to up their social media advertising game.
We are all able to see the incredible pull that influencer marketing has on today’s society. We are all also aware that you can’t always put your trust in brands to give the honest truth about their product or service. Brands are always biased toward their own product, which is why consumers trust content created by people like them. They want to see themselves represented in the products and services they put their money into, and perhaps the best way to do that is by including user-generated content into your marketing strategy.
There are many benefits to utilizing user-generated content. Like most of the other social media strategies we’ve covered, UGC can help build brand awareness, direct potential consumers to landing pages, increase conversions, and improve your brand’s authenticity. Plus, when your online following sees that they might have a chance to be featured on your page, other consumers are more likely to create their own content featuring your product or service, which then gives you even more marketing content to use later on. It’s a win-win for everyone!
User-generated content marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It is when brands incorporate user-generated content into their marketing strategy by taking photos, videos, or reviews posted by consumers and regenerating them into marketable content to support their own advertising efforts. This is usually done via social media posts published across one or more social platforms. By involving user-generated content in marketing campaigns, businesses can appeal to the online community and lead potential customers down the marketing funnel.
The thing about a UGC strategy, as previously mentioned, is that it takes virtually no creative effort of your own (or of your marketing manager, depending on who handles the advertising campaign and content creation for your brand). As such, you don’t necessarily have to create user-generated content, as it’s already created for you. You can take user-generated content and create a deliverable that better aligns with the look or theme of your brand (while still giving proper credit, of course), but you should never create content from a “consumer’s” perspective from scratch.
For example, you could take an online Google review and create a social graphic that features the user’s review, but you should never make up your own reviews and pretend they came from actual customers. Remember, creating UGC campaigns is all about keeping it authentic and real for your audience, and if your audience can tell the sentiment is fake, your business’s reputation can take a big hit. So, your main goal when developing a user-generated content strategy is not to create content, but to utilize the content that’s been created for you to raise awareness for your brand.
A good marketing manager knows valuable user-generated content when they see it. Whether it’s video clips taken from a YouTube channel or TikTok account unboxing your product, online reviews on your Facebook page, or photos posted by consumers using or wearing your product on Instagram or other social media platforms, all can be used to create UGC content campaigns.
Authentic user-generated content can be created by loyal customers, brand ambassadors, or even your business’s own employees. A testimonial from a previous customer converted into an aesthetic social post, reposted photos from brand advocates, and sharing employee-generated content are all common forms of visual UGC we see across all the different social media channels.
Throughout this post, we’ve included a few examples of some of the best user-generated content from brands that have mastered the art of turning UGC into engaging, promotional content.
Sharing user-generated content has never been easier with the help of social media management applications like Kiopi. Kiopi allows you to schedule your deliverables ahead of time as well as track your social media analytics across different social channels. If you’re looking for ways to improve your digital marketing strategy and post engaging content and you haven’t considered making user-generated content a part of your social media strategy, what are you waiting for?