Recent technological developments have profoundly changed the way people relate to one another. There are a lot of new tools, such as e-mail, websites, blogs, video sharing to online communities, and, of course, social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Logically, this changing communication environment and technological process have also affected how businesses and brands relate to their current and potential customers. As you may have guessed, these new communication approaches, such as user-generated content marketing, help marketers create deeper customer engagement than ever and make their brands a meaningful part of consumer relationships.
- What Exactly Is User-Generated Content?
- The Importance of User-Generated Content
- Types of User-Generated Content
- Best Examples of User-Generated Content
- Ideas for Getting User-Generated Content
- How To Leverage User-Generated Content
- Final Thoughts on User Generated Content
At the same time, the latest technological approaches create relationship-building opportunities for brand owners and marketers. However, they face problems because they give consumers excellent control power. Today, consumers have more information about brands than ever. User-generated content is a perfect way to attract their attention. Let’s start by defining what we mean by it.
What Exactly Is User-Generated Content?
Whether through influencers on Instagram or celebrity endorsers, customers have seen lots of user-generated content on social networks, and the number is increasing with each passing day. Well, what exactly is UGC?
In marketing, user-generated content(also known as customer-generated content) is defined as content that has been created by someone who is a brand’s loyal user. In another saying, content is created by an unofficial brand representative. It can refer to everything, such as a social media update, a photo, a video, a review, a podcast, or a tweet. If content involves your brand but isn’t created by your workers or affiliates, it is UGC.
The Importance of User-Generated Content
Business owners should use marketing methods to make their brands visible and reach their potential customers. User-generated content is one of the best methods of marketing for communicating their target audience. Companies can provide their authenticity in the market thanks to the power of UGC, which creates brand loyalty and visibility. This marketing method, which gives customers a voice, constitutes a reliable brand perception. UGC campaign encourages people to buy, and companies carry out their advertisements with their customers with the idea they come up with. Thus, it is cost-effective for the business. Also, they can build links thanks to customers’ sharing. In other words, companies can get their customers’ backlinks, which is essential for SEO.
Types of User-Generated Content
User-generated content can be published on social media, TV, or other advertisement channels with different types, such as;
- Live streams
- Product reviews
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Best Examples of User-Generated Content
- Coca-Cola #ShareACoke: Coca-Cola introduced a hashtag that will encourage people to buy and share their products via social media and other advertisement channels. They chose the most-used 150 names and put them on the market in Coca-Cola bottles with names. People tried to find their names and shared them on social media. They gained 25 million new followers on Facebook and received 500.000 pictures.
- National Geographic #WanderlustContest: People shared nature photographs with the #WanderlustContest hashtag for the National Geographic contest in 2015. The winner is awarded a seven-day trip to the Yosemite National Park for two adults.
- Apple #ShotOnIphone: When the customers criticized the iPhone camera about night mode, Apple decided to prove its success with the camera. Then, they started a challenge in which people share their night mode photographs on social media. They got more than 15 million posts with the #ShotOnIphone hashtag.
- Starbucks #WhiteCupContest: Starbucks announced a contest. Customers decorated Starbucks cups, and they shared them on Instagram or Twitter. The design of the winner cup is printed on reusable cups. This campaign got approximately 4000 designs.
- Netflix #StrangerThings2:Netflix launched a campaign for one of the most popular series Stranger Things season 2. They encouraged people to share weird things in the world with the hashtag #StrangerThings2. Thousands of people shared photographs, and Netflix gained a 1 million audience in 2 weeks.
Ideas for Getting User-Generated Content
Each marketer wishes to attract customers’ attention to obtain UGC. In other saying, each marketer wishes to turn their customers into advocates through UGC. Now, we will talk about essential ideas to get this type of content.
Learn Who Your Customers Are
Before starting, do your homework. The most important question is, “Who are your customers?” To answer the question, you need to do simple research. There are several methods to go about this. Here are 2:
- Geography tags/Location: In order to look at photos shared in your physical geographical location, you can use the geography tags of social media platforms.
- Hashtag: How can you create conversation quickly? You can start with your brand’s name, business mission, or most popular product. If you know how to define a target audience for SEO, you can guess that you should use the keywords wisely while you choose a hashtag.
Determine Consumer Trends and Product Development Needs
Analyze your niche audience’s content. Here are a couple of questions to identify customer trends
- Which social media platform has the highest engagement? Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram? Choose the most effective social media platform for your brand.
- What is the age range of your core audience? – dads or moms, girls or boys, fashion bloggers, makeup artists, animal lovers?
- What are these people sharing photos of? Undoubtedly, you will face a wide range of variables, but there is always a particular style. Focus on it.
- Where are these customers when they share these brand photos? – with friends or family members, or at home.
- When are these customers more likely to share content? -Summers or winters, holidays or popular events?
- Why should they share your content with their communities? Why should they tag your products? Think about what motivates your customer, from marketing campaigns and advertisements to product launches.
If you can find the answer to these questions posted here, you can correctly improve your user-generated strategy.
Find an Original Hashtag Strategy
Don’t forget that when you obtain user-generated content, it isn’t just about you anymore: it’s about your users/customers and how these people prefer to use your brand’s products. That’s why you should find a selfless hashtag strategy.
Social media influencers have large and active followers, and attractive photo feeds. Therefore, you need to analyze influencers and consider what demographic they cater to and what type of content their followers enjoy.
Organize a Contest
The behavior of consumers is organic. That is the beauty of your UGC strategy. Your customers/users represent your brand without conflict of interest as well as bias. Thus, the customers feel free and valuable because you don’t force them to do something.
Share Your Customers’ Photos on Your Own Website
You will have lots of feedback, from photos to gifs, if you become successful in your UGC strategy. It is an excellent e-commerce experience. Besides, this is a great way to show customers what your brand is doing. In addition to these advantages, you can attract more customers/users’ attention through an on-site gallery of current user photos or gifs.
How To Leverage User-Generated Content
People can create UGC in different ways. Here are some useful examples:
- Ratings and reviews: We’ve seen ratings and reviews on almost every e-commerce website. Many of us find them very useful in deciding whether or not to purchase goods or services, from restaurants and movies to technology companies and shopping malls.
- Social media content: We live in an era of high technology, and the development speed is increasing with each passing day. When people like a product, they often share its pictures and their good experience on social networks like Instagram. That’s why businesses have lots of photos, videos, and written content they can leverage.
- Forum discussions: Think about Quora or Reddit. These are perfect communication channels on the internet. Forums and community websites host many people’s in-depth talks and answer their questions. These websites are excellent UGC examples.
- Blogs: Blogs are credible because there is no relationship between brands and writers. Thus, they can create useful, informative, original, and authentic content. It’s perfect!
Final Thoughts on User Generated Content
In this post, we have mentioned user-generated content. You can get UGC in different ways. For example, you can learn who your customers are, determine consumer trends and product development needs, find an original hashtag strategy, use influencers, organize a contest, and share your customers’ photos on your own website. These are perfect alternatives to reach more people. You can also leverage UGC through ratings and reviews, social media content, forum discussions, and blogs. It is an endless sea, without beginning and without end.
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