If content is the ‘king’ of digital marketing – then user-generated content is the queen!
User-generated content (UGC) is, quite simply, any form of content that has been produced by users of an online system, service or brand. The type of content can be anything from tweets and reviews to video and audio files. If your audience, fans or customers are creating something about your products or services, then you’ve got user-generated content at your fingertips!
Although UGC means you may need to loosen the reigns that your business has on the content being produced and shared, it is not something that should send you running for the hills! Far from being a logistical nightmare, user-generated content can provide your business with free, creative and engaging promotional material for your brand. The key to successfully integrating UGC into your digital marketing strategy is to become part of the conversation and make the most of these valuable resources!
Here’s 4 key ways you can utilise and benefit from user-generated content
Involve your audience
The most important reason why user-generated content should be part of your online marketing strategy is that it opens up dialogue with your customers and develops an active relationship with your brand. Encourage your customers to share their photos, videos, blogs, reviews and podcasts with you or ask them to tag you in their social media posts. By keeping up-to-date with the content your customers are sharing, you will have better awareness of how and where your customers are talking about your business. The way you engage with your audience could be include commenting on their review blogs, retweeting their content, or asking to post their content on your website.
Add that all-important authentic edge
Authenticity is important to consumers in an increasingly digital world. Promoting the user-generated content that is being shared around your products, services and brand can help to act as an online ‘word-of-mouth’ tool. Photos, videos and reviews can help to create a level of trust with new customers as this provides social proof from existing customers, as well as demonstrating advocates for the quality and value of your brand’s products or services.
Create UGC competitions
If your customers aren’t already engaging in creating their own content, you can encourage them to get involved by running a UGC-focused competition. The competition could be something as simple as sharing a photo of themselves with your product and a dedicated hashtag, or something more adventurous such as creating a 30-second funny clip using your service. Think outside the box and this content could create a buzz online!
Get consumers involved in your creative process
Another innovative way to get your customers engaged with your business is to offer the opportunity for them to help design a product or shape a service. Not only will this give you a new, creative take on your brand’s offerings but your customers know best what they want! Get your audience to submit their entries and then encourage other users to vote for their favourites. This is an imaginative way to engage your audience, as well as an innovative take on market research.
These tips are just a handful of ways that your business can make the most of user-generated content to engage with customers, develop trust, and creatively promote your products or services!