User-generated content refers to unpaid or unsponsored social posts about a product or service shared by the public. An example of UGC is when your friends post a fantastic experience they had at a vacation spot. When your favorite brands repost Instagram Stories from customers at an event they host, that’s called UGC.
Why is it important?
Customer-oriented businesses are on the rise, as companies constantly have to keep up with the changing trends of the audience. In this fast-paced world, companies need to serve customers quickly, so they don’t look for other brands. Online users are becoming increasingly savvy in knowing which companies use marketing tactics and which are authentic and transparent.
The average consumer is no longer impressed by pushy sales tactics. Instead, they want real stories from other fellow consumers. People are more likely to trust recommendations from others than branded content. Consumers tend to be more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to business-generated ones. It also plays a role in increasing the credibility of the business.
Showing brand loyalty
Building brand loyalty is all about cultivating long-term relationships that generate lots of sales over time. The people who create and share user-generated content are likely to be one of your biggest fans. User-generated content is one tool that allows you to foster a sense of ongoing loyalty to people who may not be familiar with your brand.
User generated content optimization strategy
The key to this strategy is trust. Hardly anyone will buy a product or service from a company they don’t trust. Getting new customers requires a way to earn people’s trust.
Please don’t use it carelessly
However, on the one hand, businesses should not use UGC without asking the original owner. Don’t just take a picture that’s shared online without giving it proper credit or making an agreement with the creator. Make it a habit to reach out, ask permission, and receive user consent before sharing their content. Whether it’s a regular screenshot or your work, it’s unfair for the person behind the content to use it in any context where you don’t have permission. After all, building that trust is how you foster the kind of two-way relationship that benefits both brands and consumers. UGC can be any content, usually in images, videos, social media posts, reviews, or testimonials.
Optimize the power of hashtags
One of the most powerful things about social media is hashtags. Hashtags can be used as ‘labels’, which make your consumer posts easier to find. When someone posts an image or video, answers one of your questions, and includes your relevant hashtag, their followers can then click on that hashtag and see all the other posts. You have quickly introduced your product and business to new prospects.
Here are some tips to help you create the best hashtags:
- Use a hashtag generator – There are several tools out there that will automatically generate hashtags. This can help to spur ideas.
- Research your audience and competitors -. The key here is, of course, not to plagiarize. But use your audience and competitors as a reference in finding ideas.
- Explore related hashtags – Trends in your industry is another great place to find hashtag ideas. This will not only give you ideas but can also help you brainstorm other content campaigns.
Rewarding or acknowledging your fans for their contributions is also an excellent way to encourage them to make more UGC. This doesn’t mean you always have to pay for cash prizes or discount coupons, a little reward like sharing their content on social media will also make them feel appreciated.
Show testimonials on the website
No matter what you’re promoting on your website, customer testimonials (in any format) help confirm your credibility as a business. Customers want to hear from individuals with the same focus. Ask for testimonials from people who have used your product or service. It doesn’t need to be too many. Three to five strong testimonials will go a long way.
User-generated content presents a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. Maximize your marketing activities with the strategies above and build a strong content marketing campaign.