What is User-Generated Content & Why it's important for your Brand.
If you've seen the abbreviation UGC and wondered what it is, we are here to give you the basic walk through of everything you need to know about user-generated content.
What is (UGC) User-Generated Content?
Any content that is shared by followers, customers or fans that recommends, features or highlights the brand is called user-generated content.
Why is UGC important?
User-generated content is your brand's ticket to reaching a larger audience. It is a collection of genuine and honest reviews of your brand and your products that are created and put out there by people that use, try or love what you sell. Aka. it is real.
Are there any benefits? Of course, there are!
First, it helps in building a loyal base and community of your own surrounding your brand.
Second, it drives visitors with an intent to purchase to your website.
Third, and most importantly, it increases your sales, because personal recommendations are the top-tier motivators that influence buying decisions (especially if your user demographic is targeted towards a younger section).
What kind of UGC should you post?
Product Reviews - persuasive and honest content that will be helpful and valuable to you as well as your audience.
Contests - consider hosting monthly contests that can encourage your followers to share their experience or some content that revolves around your brand, and make it interesting by including a good prize.
Branded Hashtags - with a branded hashtag, you can ask your users to include the hashtag in their posts, and then you’ll easily be able to search and find content that you’d like to share.
Influencer partnerships and takeovers - another great way to generate UGC is by hosting channel or social media takeovers or setting up partnerships with influencers. You can partner up with an influencer to have them run your Instagram Stories posts, host a Facebook Live session, or respond to Tweets and even have them give their honest opinions on your brand to drive purchase persuasion and engagement.
What do you do now that you know this?
#1 - Be strategic and purposeful when using UGC within your feed. Use it as a valuable piece of content that can benefit your audience.
#2 - Analyse your competition and set appropriate goals for your brand's UGC depending on which areas you would like to focus on, like driving sales, solidifying brand loyalty and serving your audience.
#3 - Be unique but Be real, and show your originality through the honest reviews of your customers through UGC. Try to balance out your brand content and UGC for an optimal result.
#4 - Celebrate the diversity of your users, share a variety of content created by different people. This allows you to reach a larger audience and help your brand be more accessible to people.
#5 - Share good and valuable UGC that is entertaining, can be easily shared and that will leave a lasting impression on your existing and potential customer's minds and remember that and not all UGC has to be product-related.
#6 - This last bit goes without saying - ask for permission before you share UGC, always credit the original source and also tag the creator so others can view the original creator's profile.
With User-Generated Content there are various possibilities and you need to begin exploring it to know what works best for your company. As long as you stay on brand, keep it real and focus more on pleasing your audience, you are sure to be on your way to successfully using User-Generated Content in your marketing strategy.
Ruth is the Content Writer & Media Executive at Social Donut 101 based in India.
She is a writing, design, and pizza enthusiast and has a hard time resisting cake.