User Generated Content – The Beginners Guide

What is user generated content?

User generated content (UGC) is any content that is created by other people, rather than brands.  It can include images, videos, and reviews just to mention a few. UGC isn’t paid for or sponsored, which makes it authentic content.

Promoting user generated content shows people that you aren’t the only one that thinks your company is fantastic. Studies have shown that as people, we’re much more likely to take recommendations from friends & family over brands when it comes to purchasing decisions.

You will often see businesses sharing UGC on their social media platforms and website.  This is because it’s an extremely effective way to connect with your customers and followers.  Almost 80% of consumers say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.

This kind of content allows brands to utilise the public trust in other consumers and their opinions.  For example, sharing testimonials and reviews about your product on Instagram can help to boost followers’ trust in both your product and brand.

The 3 top selling points of user generated content are as follows:

Focuses on the customer experience

We’ve already written an article on why customer experience is so important.  Putting the customer first is never a bad business decision!

Sharing user generated content shows your audience a couple of important things.  Firstly, you are creating a great customer experience that your customers clearly want to share.  Secondly, it shows that you value the opinions of your customers by reposting and using their content.

To customers, repurposing UGC says, “We love it when you create content based around our product or service.” This messaging adds to an excellent customer experience.

People Trust People

In recent years, public trust in marketing has fallen.  Pushy and over the top sales tactics just don’t work in the digital age.  Consumers are said to be 2.4 times more likely to think user generated content is authentic compared to content that is created by a brand.

Furthermore, AdWeek found that 76% of people were more likely to trust the average person and that nearly 100% of consumers trust other consumer recommendations.

Create a sense of community

User generated content helps bring your audience together and creates a sense of community.  People like when they feel a part of something!

Use UGC to prompt a conversation between your brand & your customers.  This in turn, leads to a sense of community.  Highlighting content created by customers gives brands the opportunity to build a deep and authentic relationship with their audience.

You will no doubt already have customers who feel connected to your business.  UGC is a fun way to make the most of this connection and strengthen it.

How do I get people to create user generated content?

You will need to have an effective system in place to gather user generated content.  This system usually involves finding the UGC on social media or creating a direct opportunity where customers can send content to your business during competitions and campaigns.

A good way to encourage UGC is running competitions on social media.  You can create a hashtag that allow your followers to share content with you in a way that’s easily accessible.  Encouraging your followers to share content as part of the contest helps you make the most of the competition.

Create a shareable experience, space or event that is so cool you make people want to share it.  Or it could be as simple as running a content competition where the best photo or video wins a prize.

How should I use user generated content?

Repurpose content across multiple platforms.  A shout out on Twitter can become a testimony on your website.  A tagged Instagram post can become a photo that you also share on your Facebook account.  Once you have collected your user generated content, ensure you make the most of it!

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