Discover What User Generated Content Is And How It Can Do Your Marketing For You…

Are you struggling to produce new and relevant content for use across your marketing channels? If you aren’t already exploiting your user generated content, now is the time.

User Generated Content (UGC) refers to any content created by a member of the public as opposed to an employee of your business, this could be anyone from a consumer to a social media follower.

UGC could be a post on LinkedIn, a Tweet, a blog post, reviews on an e-commerce site, the list goes on! As with many marketing methods, there are both positives and negatives… To help you decide if it’s right for your business, we’ve outlined the key factors below.

How can UGC benefit my business?

  • It’s cost effective. User generated content is extremely cost and time effective for your business. The responsibility of creating the campaigns is put in the hands of the consumer, all that’s left for you to do is collate the content and find a suitable use for it across your marketing.
  • It builds trust and loyalty. When users share content with you it is the perfect opportunity to engage and build a strong relationship. When you create a bond between yourself and your consumer it strengthens their brand loyalty and the user begins to see your brand as being more ‘human’ which increases your authenticity.
  • It helps purchase decisions. UGC helps consumers to feel confident in using your services and returning to your business in the future. According to a Bazaarvoice report, 51% of millennials look to UGC when making a purchase and are 3x as likely to search Social Media to gather consumer opinions.
  • It encourages engagement. Ultimately, UGC drives users to engage with your brand. It prompts them to visit your website and follow you on social media, generating interest and increasing reach for your business.

Are there any negatives to think about?

  • Content can be out of your control. Some platforms don’t allow you to manage what other users say so you should be prepared for the content to not always be what you’re looking for. Despite this, if you want to create a buzz around a campaign and the users aren’t able to share and discuss their content with each other, then it may not be as successful.
  • Be ready for criticism. Users who have negative opinions of your brand could use this as their chance to voice their complaints. If this happens, simply try to solve any issues as you would any other.

Getting customers to interact with your brand is all part of their journey with you. So when it comes to UGC, the only thing stopping you is your imagination in creating exciting, engaging content.

Here are some examples of campaigns we love…

  • Starbucks ‘White Cup Contest’. Customers were asked to draw on their Starbucks cups and submit pictures to enter the competition. With nearly 4,000 entries in the space of three weeks, the contest proved highly successful.
  • Hootsuite ‘I Work From Here’ Campaign. Hootsuite asked users to post images to Instagram using #IWorkFromHere to show how easy it is to work using the Hootsuite app no matter your location. A prize of a trip for two to a destination of the winner’s choice was on offer as a thank you to those who entered.
  • National Geographic ‘Wanderlust Contest’. National Geographic asked users to upload images taken across the world to Instagram using #WanderlustContest. In exchange for sharing the images, the users were entered into draw for the chance to win a National Geographic Photo Expedition to Yosemite National Park.

To summarise, it’s important to…

  • Choose the appropriate platform for your business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your website? Wherever you choose to gather your content, make it relevant for what you are seeking. If you’re looking for users to submit images featuring your products, Instagram may be the most suitable. If you would like users to submit reviews for products, a form on your website would be reasonable.
  • Tell your users what you want from them. Make sure what you are looking for is clear and explicit to ensure there’s no confusion. If you’re using Twitter and can’t fit it into 140 characters, include a link to a page on your website with more information.
  • Give credit where credit is due. When you use somebody’s review, or an image, be sure to tag them in your post, this is your way of saying “thanks!” to the user, and it’s a great way to build a strong relationship with them.
  • Measure measure measure! As with any other campaign, measure your data and how it is impacting on your brand. Did it increase traffic to your site? By what percentage? Did your social media following increase? Create a report and analyse your findings to help shape future campaigns.

If a major campaign on social media seems daunting, why not start small instead?

Consider enabling reviews on the product pages of your website, or think about allowing comments on your blog posts to kick things off… And if you are thinking of utilising user generated content but not sure of the best method for you, let’s talk it over!

Simply call me on 01256 335622 or email

Until next time, remember… Content is King, so make the most of what your users generate for you!

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