User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content created, published, or submitted by a brand’s users. For many brands, it’s the most influential content they have available. It is also a great way for businesses to get more reach, engage the audience, and draw in more traffic.
In short, UGC is an authentic recommendation shared by the fans. And in recent times it has become a major topic in the whole digital marketing scenario.
Over 55% of consumers rely on user-generated content over any other form of advertising. As a result, it is sure to increase sales and brand loyalty.
As consumers value connections more than ever, creating authentic content is vital for today’s brands. Think of UGC as the internet’s version of personal recommendations. And use it as a cost-effective way to share captivating content that generates sales for your brand.
These are some of the reasons why UGC is useful:
Consumers Trust People
Consumers are getting smarter about spotting trustworthy companies. Usually, they use the UGC as a point of reference and check if the company is reliable or not.
In fact, 79% of shoppers say user-generated content marketing influences their purchase decisions. As a result, customer-orientated businesses are on the rise. Businesses, therefore, have a responsibility to embrace UGC and begin focusing on it on a larger scale. This will help boost sales, as well as foster credibility and authority.
UGC is Authentic
In today’s world, customers have become less open to traditional marketing strategies. They prefer to buy from brands they know and connect with. This makes authenticity all the more important.
In fact, a Cohn & Wolfe study found that 63% of consumers would rather buy from a company they consider authentic than from a competitor.
How do they choose who to buy from? Simple, they look for brands that share their values. They usually figure this out through the help of UGCs.
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Helps Create a Community
By using UGC, brands can now bring their audiences together. Besides, consumers tend to feel more connected when they become a part of brand communities. This results in people becoming more involved with the brand, increasing word-of-mouth conversions.
In fact, UGC is the chief influencer of brand value for 86% of millennials, according to Tint Marketing. As a result, communities help consumers point out flaws and provide valuable insights to help the company grow and increase brand value.
User-Generated Content is Cost-Effective
In some cases, it’s cheaper to source UGC than it is to create a piece of content in-house. With UGC, your customers help create the content, which is then shared among their audiences. This makes it highly cost-effective too. Some people do this to share their experiences, build connections, or win prizes.
What makes UGC so great is that the users are in charge. Furthermore, marketers don’t need to pour thousands of dollars into campaigns that are likely to fail.
UGC Promotes Social Media Growth
A social media platform paired with a powerful UGC campaign makes the ideal pairing. Together, these two elements create a magical force. Moreover, a great UGC campaign on social media can boost your brand and enhance customer relationships.
Therefore, craft mind-blowing strategies and respond positively to user content. Interactions like these benefit both brands and customers.
Sprout Social reports that “75% of people will share a positive experience with their network.” This increases engagement and encourages others to contribute content as well.
Ways to Encourage UGC
It’s been basic stuff up until now. But the fun part begins now. We will discuss tips and hacks you can use to boost UGC submissions. Read on, to know more:
UGC requires a strong online presence in order to be successful. However, brands with fewer followers may want to start by finding their audience’s favorite social media sites.
Additionally, you need to know what kind of content performs best on each social media platform. You can follow Buffer’s recommendations as a basic roadmap:
- Videos and curated content on Facebook
- High-resolution photos, quotes, and Stories for Instagram
- Blogposts, news, and GIFs on Twitter
- Professional content for LinkedIn
- Infographics and photo guides on Pinterest
Collect Customer Feedback
It goes without saying that customer feedback and reviews are an essential part of a successful UGC campaign.
In fact, a BrightLocal survey found that 68% of consumers must see at least four reviews to make up their minds about a brand.
As a result, it is imperative that businesses pay more attention to customer reviews. This will prove to your customers that you are a reliable and trustworthy source.
Reviews also help your customers make an informed purchasing decision. Though some companies do censor negative reviews, it is a practice that needs to be avoided. We recommend that you use negative reviews to improve on your shortcomings.
Running contests is one of the best ways to generate UGC. Contests help increase the number of submissions as well as their quality. Additionally, it aids in creating a buzz about your brand.
However, make sure that your contests and prizes are enticing enough that they encourage participation. Be as specific and clear as possible about what kind of content you need.
Consider simplifying the contest as much as possible. You want more people to join in the fun, not get scared off by you, right?
Create Content Campaigns
Content creation for social media can be challenging. It’s also hard to keep it fresh and engaging. The user-generated content campaigns are a great way to build up your content library, so you have always got relevant content to share. This creates a win-win situation. As they’ll be delighted to contribute to your website. Besides, you will receive regularly updated content. Additionally, it will increase your reach as the users will be more willing to share their write-ups with family and friends.
Support a Cause
Having an appealing UGC campaign will encourage people to participate, and help improves engagement. Nowadays, consumer trends have shifted as they are just as interested in a company’s cause as its products or services.
Studies indicate that posts with links to corporate responsibility usually perform great on social media.
Therefore, when choosing a cause, make sure that it aligns somehow with your brand’s values. This creates a more natural connection with your fans. It also makes your brand more memorable to them. It also highlights that you care about a larger cause and not just money.
And Don’t Forget to Engage
And finally, the most important aspect of gaining UGC is engagement. Engaging with your audience regularly demonstrates your brand’s personality. You can’t expect followers to suddenly submit content without first engaging with them, can you?
Therefore, it may be wise to engage with your fans in discussions, reply to their questions, and interact with feedback.
And ultimately, make sure you thank your followers after each campaign, update your website with regular fresh content, and see the magic happen.
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