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4 Tips for Leveraging User-Generated Content

We all love real content from real people. Seeing products in action, real-life users sharing experiences, and authentic experiences make a huge difference when we’re considering making a purchase. This style of content is called user-generated content, also known as UGC. It’s the content, videos, images, reviews, etc. we see that is created by consumers rather than the brands who are sharing it. You can learn more about the basics of UGC in this blog.

This post is all about executing and getting started leveraging user-generated content Why? More than 79% of people say User Generated Content (UGC) highly impacts their purchasing decisions.  This style of content engages audiences by incorporating their comments, pictures, and videos into active marketing or promotional material. UGC tells a story from multiple perspectives of your audience base. This content paints a more genuine illustration of who you are as a company.

How Does User-Generated Content Work?

To put it simply, UGC is all about building relationships. When UGC is used in marketing efforts, the audience converts at twice the rate they do otherwise. This is a result of the shift in consumer behavior over the past decade. People want to trust the brands they are supporting. What better way to show them you’re worth trusting than through your current audience? The emotional connection you build with your audience through this type of content will set you apart. UGC makes your brand sparkle. The unique perspective of your audience is much more fun - and authentic - than basic stock photography. People would much rather see your brand in action than it sitting on the sidelines.

4 Tips for Effectively Using User-Generated Content

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your audience is full of content creators. User-generated content campaigns thrive on an engaged audience and their ability to deliver unique content. Creating fun ways to encourage your audience to provide you with quality content is key to getting people involved and invested in your campaigns.

  1. Build the Hype

    If you want to surround your campaigns with as much engagement as possible, anticipation is crucial. Getting your audience excited about what’s next will help your engagement level and submissions of UGC. It’s easy to end up stretching out your user-generated content campaigns for months, but pinpointing a timeframe helps focus your efforts. Consider leveraging a strategy that launches a campaign on a specific day. Successfully building anticipation results in a flood of content in those 24 hours, as opposed to the slow, but not always steady, trickle of content that a month-long campaign would see. People will push your campaign to the backburner and oftentimes forget about it if it doesn't require immediate action. When you successfully hype up your campaign, your business will see a burst of awareness. High levels of audience engagement create a way for your business to go viral and create a rising trend of branded content.

  2. Add Unique Caveats

    Make it fun for your audience to participate in your campaign efforts. Adding a specific hashtag is a great way to collect content and push for more lead generation. Some of the more advanced ways to leverage unique campaign elements are through special filters, events, locations, and on your website or mobile app. Making your campaign an experience of your brand will provide your audience with a chance to understand your company. It’s important that your clients create content that resonates with them because it connects not only the individual but also your business to the rest of the audience that sees the content. Creating specific campaign elements helps ensure that the unique look of the content will lead interested viewers back to your campaign.

  3. Don’t Overcomplicate Things

    Creating an easy way for your audience to engage with your campaign will drastically increase the level of UGC that results in a campaign. If you overwhelm your audience with too many caveats they just won’t do it. Be clear and concise with your campaign goals. You don’t want to miss out because people are confused and overwhelmed so make sure your campaign doesn’t require the completion of too many steps. Clear and concise campaigns will see better conversion and lead generation because they effectively increase awareness of your campaign and the influence of your business as a whole.

  4. React with Responses

Interacting with the UGC that your clients post furthers the relationship that you are developing with them. Commenting on their posts, reposting or re-sharing them, and even running a contest are all great lead-nurturing techniques to leverage inside of your campaigns. If you can successfully make your audience feel a part of the experience you subsequently will make them feel a sense of belonging within your business.

Amplifying your UGC Efforts

UGC is fresh-style content that puts your customers in the spotlight, which sparks excitement. Incorporating it into as many platforms as you can is a good idea. But make sure you aren’t just using the same things on every channel. Incorporating unique elements within your sharing of UGC across platforms will keep people on their toes. From assembling a gallery of UGC content on your website to hosting a contest on your social platforms to setting up a photo booth at a company event, the possibilities are endless. User-generated content allows companies to leverage the power of word-of-mouth on a more digital scale. Companies can use the power of the conversations the audience is having online by encouraging UGC. When your audience posts about your company, it generates and nurtures leads. Clients who interact with customer photos spend an average of 120% more time on the site. People who spend more time on a site tend to convert better because they browse your offerings and are more likely to connect with you.

It’s important to remember that implementing UGC isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. But capitalizing on the opportunity UGC provides allows for increases in revenue, decreases in content costs, and more connections with your audience. The use of UGC within your social media, website, email, and experiential marketing efforts creates a seamless experience for clients. This omnichannel experience fosters a unique relationship with your company that is sure to increase loyalty and trust.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing