What is User-Generated Content and How to Maximise it for your Brand
What is ‘User-generated’ content?
From posts on Instagram to customer reviews on Facebook, happy customers are your best advocates and can actually produce the content you need to increase your website traffic, boost your sales and increase repeat customers. But are you taking advantage of it?
Check out our latest blog post to discover how user-generated content will entice your customers to choose you over your competitors.
What is user-generated content and why is it effective?
Any content created by your customers that can be used by your brand adds a sense of authenticity and reliability. It could be social media post, a product review on a website, a rating on Trip Advisor… if it involves your brand and has been created by a customer, it is user-generated content.
Unlike influencer marketing - which is a different type of user-generated content where influencers are paid to promote products in some form - user-generated content is organic and reliable content that promotes your high-quality product or service and the trustworthiness of your brand.
Our jobs as marketers and advertisers is to sell things to your consumers, usually by making things sound more appealing than they actually are. Fast-food adverts for example - have you ever wondered why the burgers look so much better in professional photos than in real life? (Check out this video to find out why!)
Therefore it makes sense that 90% of consumers are more influenced by user-generated content then any other form of marketing.
What are some examples?
Do you remember Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign with limited edition bottles that had customers’ names printed on the label? Did you spend ages trying to find your name like I did? Customers were asked to share pictures of their coke bottles around the world. This is one of the best examples of user-generated content we have seen as not only did it increase brand awareness by the user-generated content exposure on social media, it encouraged people to “Share a Coke” which skyrocketed their sales.
One of the places where user-generated content has the most impact is on your product pages. Most websites have a built in Instagram feed, however, many are not utilising user-generated content effectively. Dune London discovered that if you add customer curated content to your website through Instagram, which features real customers wearing real products, customers will have the confidence to purchase.
Starbucks’ famous #WhiteCupContest is probably one of the most famous examples of user-generated content. In 2014, Starbucks asked their customers to draw on their white cups, creating unique and custom designs. The winner had their design turned into a limited-edition cup. This generated almost 4,000 entries in three weeks, all of which raised awareness of the brand and encouraged consumers to purchase coffee!
How to generate user content?
Step 1: Choose the social media platforms that work best for you
By now you must know which social media platform works best for your brand as the platform you choose to promote your brand and convert should be based on your targets and goals. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or a mix of all of them, this is where your potential advocates will be. Try testing which social channels will provide you with the most user-generated content. Find out what other brands in your industry are doing and on which channel.
Step 2: Create specific goals
Just like with any type of content or marketing strategy, your user-generated content plan must have specific goals to perform successful. Some common goals are to:
Increase brand engagement
Saving time on content creation
Step 3: Ask your audience for content
If you want your audience to generate content for you, you have to ask for it. Make it clear what type of content you are looking for. Whether it’s reviews or photos of your products, both will increase engagement and boost trust, which will help consumers make purchasing-decisions.
Here are some of our favourite types of user-generated content that will increase trust, boost engagement and generate sales:
Contests - to create them you need a fun idea to get customers interested and conceive some form of prize for generating the content. It could be merchandise, free service or even recognition - all of the entries can be used as extra content!
Hashtag campaigns - engage customers on an ongoing basis with your brand’s #. Encourage customers to tag your brand when they post a picture of your products or services.
Customer reviews - are you asking your customers to leave reviews when they purchase your product or service? Are you checking in on them after 6-months to get reviews on how well the product lasted? You should be! These are all useful ways to generate extra content and can be used as testimonials on all your media platforms.
Don’t miss out on all of this great additional content by following the advice above. Take this opportunity to engage more with your customers and increase the trustworthiness of your brand. But remember, don’t take your customers graphics or photos without asking! Make sure you always give credit to the creator.
If you are interested in discussing how our marketing services can assist your business, get in touch with a member of our team today.