When you’re running a business or trying to advertise a brand, you need to create a successful content marketing strategy. Reaching your audience and making sure they stick around should be your number one priority. Marketers and business owners know how important it is to find a way to build strong relationships with your audience. They also know how much it takes to get to that point. Luckily, user-generated content (UGC) can help you speed things up.
Content created by other users is highly beneficial and effective. It can help you reach your goals faster and communicate with your audience better.
What Is User Generated Content?
Before we dive into the benefits of using UGC, let’s try and define what it actually is. User-generated content is any type of content that is created and posted by users and consumers about a brand or product.
In other words, UGC implies any information, images, videos, text, or other type of content produced by actual users.
People who’ve already tried your product or received your services have the right to share their opinion. By using their actual feedback as shareable content, you’re using UGC.
But, how does UGC improve your reputation? And, can it help you acquire more loyal customers?
Not made by marketers
Advertising is everywhere. It pops up on our social media news feed while watching YouTube videos or our favorite TV show. By now, most of your average consumers are sick of having to process all that advertisement you’re trying to serve them. Not even influencer marketing is as strong as it used to be since most people realize that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
This is why UGC performs brilliantly among your audience members:
- It’s real
- It’s relatable
- It’s not staged
- It’s trustworthy
- It’s reliable
UGC is not designed by marketers trying to make you buy something. It’s created by real-life users, just like yourself, who’ve had the chance to give the product a go. And, with nearly 3 billion active social media users worldwide, the message can spread quickly.
This makes UGC powerful and helps you gain the trust of your audience.
Provides valuable feedback
As an advertiser or a business owner, it’s important that you never stop learning. Your audience is a great source of information and can help you improve.
In fact, UGC is a great source of valuable feedback that you can use as guidance for our future efforts. So, whenever a customer tags you in their post, Instagram story, video, or comment, make sure that you read what they’re saying.
- what they’re happy with
- what needs improvement
- what’s missing
- how they feel
- their suggestions
Read, learn, and adapt to your audience’s opinions and ideas. It will help you work on improvement and give them exactly what they’re looking for.
Provides social proof
People who are thinking about buying something online need some kind of evidence they’re doing the right thing. That’s why, most of the time, they’ll search for online reviews and testimonials to get the bigger picture.
In fact, a survey showed that 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The great news is that UGC can serve as a product review or a recommendation your audience will trust.
By checking out the UGC about your brand, product, or service, your potential customers will see:
- how other customers feel about the product
- should they trust you or not
- how popular your product is
- how satisfied are the previous users
Once they see this, they’ll be more prepared to trust you and go through with their purchase. The UGC will be building trust with your potential clients for you.
Effective and low-cost advertising
A marketing campaign may be quite costly and could affect your budget significantly. Content production, publishing, sharing, and promoting requires you to invest a significant amount of money.
But, that’s not the case with UGC. This marketing tactic provides advertisement that is highly effective, yet absolutely low-cost.
Here’s a couple of examples:
- Giveaways: Organize a giveaway and offer a prize to a person who makes the best social media post using your product. Require the contestants to tag a couple of friends, like or follow your profile. This way, they’re doing the advertising for you. All you have to do is reward one person at the end.
- Reposting: People who appreciate your business will feel special if you repost their post or story to your own profile. This will also inspire other members of your audience to create UGC, hoping you’ll repost their posts as well.
Once again, they’re sharing your brand with their friends and followers, doing all the work for you. All of this helps build your reputation and make even more people trust your brand.
Creates a sense of belonging
Finally, UGC provides another hugely important advantage that is the core of long-lasting relationships with your customers. Social media is designed to help people connect with each other. If you add your brand to the story, you get a strong brand community that is not easy to disconnect.
Your brand community implies that all the members:
- connect on social media
- advocate certain ideas and social issues
- have the same interests
- enjoy the same things
- create UGC to stay active within the community
For example, the Zero Waste Store gathers a community of people who care about the environment and want to be eco-friendly in their everyday activities. They share the same attitudes and have the same mindset. This inspires them to create UGC and let everyone know they’re a proud member of this community.
As a result, the brand gets awareness and advertisement and reaches a wider audience.
Consider Adding UGC to Your Online Strategy
As you can see, user-generated content can work wonders in numerous fields of your content marketing strategy. It can attract new customers, create strong relationships, and grow your online reputation.
Use the advice above as guidance for crafting a new UGC strategy. Invest your energy into motivating your audience to produce UGC. Then, use it to slowly expand your reach and improve your business.
This guest post was written by Kristin Savage. She nourishes, sparks, and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin is gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at Studicus and GrabMyEssay. Kristin also does some editing work at SupremeDissertations and runs her own FlyWriting blog.