What is user-generated content

What is User Generated Content, and how to get it?

What is User Generated Content? (UGC)

User-generated content or UGC is a term used for content generated by users in contrast to commercial media.

User-generated content doodle

UGC usually means posts on social media sites or comments in discussion forums when the term is applied outside of a marketing context. UGC can take many forms in marketing, including product reviews and testimonials, video and photo sharing, blogs and independent websites, and social media participation.

People love to share experiences and insights, and the best way for a business to successfully leverage that desire at scale is through UGC campaigns.

UGC campaigns engage users and introduce them to your brand in a manner that does not feel like an advertisement!

Why is user-generated content so important?

You might think of UGC as a more authentic, trustworthy source of advertising than regular ads. And you’d be right!

UGC

UGC campaigns give your customers a voice and allow them to spread their experiences with your brand.

This broadens the reach of your marketing efforts – reaching people who would not have been exposed to your product or service otherwise – and it increases brand awareness.

UGC is also more successful than regular advertising campaigns because users are exposed to it organically without feeling interrupted.

UGC is also more successful than regular advertising campaigns because users are exposed to it organically without feeling interrupted. #usergeneratedcontent Click To Tweet

As your campaign gains momentum, your customer base will spread the word about your product or service on their own, helping create new leads for you!

The different types of user-generated content.

User-generated content comes in various formats. Here are the most common ones.

1. Product reviews & testimonials

Reviews

This is the most common type of UGC.  Reviews reflect customer satisfaction, and they’re also an essential tool for online shoppers to compare products.

2. Video content

Users pick up their phones every day, take videos or selfies with your product, then upload them online. These videos are great tools for user engagement, and they boost your company’s reach by hundreds of percent.

3. Photos

Selfie photo

Another popular type of UGC is photos that users take with your product either independently or at one of your events. Photographs illustrate how customers use your product in everyday life, invaluable for your marketing efforts.

4. Blogs  

Blogger

Blogs are a great source of user-generated content, as they often include both photos and videos along with written reviews or opinions about your business.  A blog post can also link to older written reviews or testimonials, which is an excellent way to increase exposure to those documents.

5. Social media participation

Social media

The power of social media means you can harness the creativity and passion of your users to spread the word about your product, which increases brand exposure and creates new leads for you.

How to get user-generated content?

Now that you know why UGC is a valuable asset to your marketing efforts, you might be wondering how to get your hands on some.

Step 1: Define your objective

Set goals

As with any marketing campaign, before you start, define what kind of content you need to make your campaign successful.  If you’re looking for testimonials, tell customers what their feedback will be used for and ask them to mention specific things about the product or service they like.  The easier it is for people to give you the content you’re looking for. The more valuable your content will be for you.

Step 2: Make it simple.

Back to the basics

Who are you asking to complete this task?  Small children? Your grandma who doesn’t use social media? Make sure the requests are easy enough for everyone to understand.

Step 3: Make it fun!

Fun

Let’s be honest, marketing is boring!  No one wants to see a bunch of ads on their Facebook feed.  Including humor in your request for UGC is a great way to get people to engage with you – it won’t feel like an ad at all if they’re laughing while they upload their content.  Including a question in your request allows people to elaborate on their answer, creating a more dynamic post.

Step 4: Promote it!

Promote it

Once you’ve selected the content you want from your users, use it in your campaign!  Add hashtags and labels to make sure people can find what they need quickly.

Step 5: Measure your results

Analyse

Analyze the generated responses to see what works for future campaigns.

Remember, UGC is a form of marketing, so treat it that way! Track user engagement and use insights about your campaign to determine its success.  

How to use user-generated content?

After collecting your user-generated content, what’s next?  Here are some ways you can use this type of content.

1) Use testimonials on your homepage.

People are less likely to purchase products online because they’re not sure whether it’ll work for them or not. Testimonials can increase trust and decrease bounce rates by showing visitors that people just like them have bought your product and had success with it.

2) Use UGC in ads!

Showing real users of your product can help convince the undecided and show loyal customers that you’re proud of them. If someone is buying from you, chances are they value their relationship with your company – so showing off their pride in your brand is a great way to reward them for their loyalty.

3) Add UGC to social media posts

Social media has become the most effective tool for reaching customers and spreading messages – which means that social networks are now one of the best marketing channels out there. Adding user-generated content to your existing posts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter can help your audience see that other people are interested in what you’re selling.

4) Use UGC on landing pages

Don’t underestimate landing pages! These pages should be specifically designed to persuade interested website visitors into becoming concrete leads for your business – and user-generated content is the perfect tool for this job.  Adding a testimonial or two on your landing page can help reassure visitors that you’re legit, which in turn will increase conversions.

Best User-Generated Content tools

Here are some must-have tools for marketers looking to use user-generated content in their online marketing campaigns.

1)  #Tagboard

Tagboard aggregates hashtags from social networks into one search bar, making it easier than ever before to find related content that you can incorporate into your campaign.  Finding what you need has never been easier, with over 70 million hashtags on many social media platforms.

2)  Instagress

If you’re looking for actual users to upload their content to your campaign, Instagram is the place to be. Instagress lets you set up bots that will like and comment on other people’s photos to get them interested in your product or service. Another great thing about this Instagram tool is that you can select which other users your bots like and comment on – allowing you to target specific audiences instead of wasting time growing a follower base that’s not relevant to your business.

3)  Tailwind

Similarly, Tailwind lets you set up schedules for Pinterest so you can automatically schedule content. Whether it’s influencer marketing or UGC that you’re looking for, Tailwind enables you to choose the right pool of users that will best suit your needs – all without having to spend hours searching yourself.

Conclusion:

Using user-generated content can increase your online presence and build trust with consumers.

It’s crucial to use UGC because other people like their experience, which decreases the uncertainty that other consumers feel before they purchase your product.  People are more likely to buy your product if they have seen it used by others.

So the next time you’re thinking about running an ad campaign, don’t forget to incorporate user-generated content! Getting your customers involved in your business is easy to get more engagement, increase loyalty, and boost sales.