User-generated content (UGC) has been around even before social media websites rose to popularity. Consumers of content have always wanted to chime in. They sent letters to editors, wrote fan fiction of existing stories, and stayed active on their favorite platforms.
But now, UGC is a more popular concept, especially in the field of mobile marketing. If you want to know more about how this strategy works, read on and learn how it can help your e-commerce brand, too.
UGC or consumer-generated content refers to brand-specific content that customers publish on social media or other public channels. It comes in many forms, including videos, photos, product reviews, podcasts, or testimonials.
You can look at this type of content as modern-day word of mouth. It can come from three sources: customers, employees, and brand loyalists.
Examples of UGC from customers include unboxing videos on TikTok or review posts on Instagram. Your customers are usually the most lucrative source of UGC. They can provide content without prompting, or you can get more from them by holding content-generation events.
Meanwhile, employee-generated content (EGC) can be crucial because this content demonstrates the value and story behind your brand. For instance, your staff can share photos of employees packing or preparing orders. They can also share a video of your team saying why they love working for your company. This kind of behind-the-scenes content helps build brand identity and showcases authenticity.
UGC can also come from loyalists, advocates, or fans of your brand. However you label your most loyal customers, they are typically the most enthusiastic group about your products.
Since these groups are so passionate about preaching the good things about your brand, you can reach out to this audience segment to request specific UGC content.
In its most basic format, UGC is a vote of confidence. Your brand’s most loyal fans take photos, write reviews, and share blog posts to promote your products or services. Moreover, they are creating content for free and often without any prompting.
But how exactly can UGC benefit your brand? Read on to discover the top reasons why you should invest in your UGC marketing efforts today.
One of the most crucial benefits of collecting and sharing UGC is putting your loyal customers at the center of your business.
When you use UGC to promote your brand online:
Another significant benefit of sharing UGC is that it functions as excellent social proof. Posting content from real customers boosts your credibility and adds a touch of authenticity to your marketing strategy.
Social media sites are essential components of any UGC campaign. The strengths of the two concepts create something magical when combined. Having a UGC campaign on social media sites like TikTok or Instagram can be an excellent strategy to build your brand and strengthen customer relationships.
Strategies that can help the generation of UGC on social media sites include:
After your customers produce UGC, it is crucial to respond to their submissions to boost engagement. Besides, it is always polite to acknowledge someone’s efforts after requesting input. Responding to the content you receive facilitates more meaningful interactions and encourages all your followers to submit content.
These interactions are beneficial for both brands and customers. Furthermore, a social media-based UGC campaign can also increase social traffic, which results in:
UGC can be a gold mine of customer data. Unfortunately, this is an advantage that brands often overlook. Analyzing and studying the content your audience posts can provide key insights to help you understand them better.
Knowing your audience and customers allows you to create more content that they find engaging. Furthermore, this data can also help you improve your products and services, thus, increasing sales.
Personalization is another key benefit of trying UGC marketing. Remember that one way to get your audience to notice and engage with your content is to know what resonates with them.
You must know what inspires your audience to create content and engage with your brand. Then, use this knowledge to add a personalized touch to your marketing campaigns. Doing so can help you build an online community and strengthen the customer/brand relationship.
When used correctly, user-generated content encourages engagement and helps grow your audience. It improves SEO, boosts your lead generation efforts, and, most of all, it’s very cost effective.
Now that you know what UGC can do for your company, it is time to understand how to use it as a marketing strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started.
When developing your UGC marketing campaign, make it to suit your audience. Your content must be engaging and appropriate to your followers, so they will join in willingly. Remember, not all types of UGC will be suitable for all audiences.
For instance, if you think your audience will not submit images or videos, request innovative ideas, artwork, letters, testimonials, or even poems.
Even though you want your campaign to make users feel special, it should still be beneficial for your brand. When asking for UGC, request something timeless and tangible that you can use for your other future marketing efforts.
Keep this point in mind when promoting your products and services through UGC. Have a clear type of content in mind when you request submissions from your followers.
You should also give rewards or prizes to encourage customers to send their own content. But you should remember that the reward has to be equal to the amount of effort you are asking them to exert for your campaign.
Even if you are getting marketing content from your users, you should still ensure that participation in the campaign is easy and hassle-free.
Try to keep instructions as clear and straightforward as possible. Similarly, the submission process should be easy to follow. Try not to ask for subscriptions just to get UGC, as it may discourage followers from participating.
Pro Tip: “By building a solid community around your app, you can convince your audience to use your product and ask them what they think.”
It can be challenging to develop a consumer-generated content strategy. But the effort can be worth it since it is vital for your audience and helps your customers feel seen and special.
In this regard, here are several best practices that can help you come up with the best UGC strategy today. Regardless of your platform, these pointers can get you the desired results.
Although many modern brands today are eager and excited to use UGC as a component of their digital marketing strategy, only a few have clear goals for implementing it.
The best practice for collecting and sharing UGC on social media platforms would be to set specific and realistic goals before launching a project. To get a clear and solid picture of your goals, ask yourself what you want to achieve from a particular campaign.
With clear goals in mind, you can organize, collect, and share consumer-generated content in the most optimal way possible.
Below are examples of possible goals you may want for a UGC campaign:
By establishing an active community around your brand, you can easily convince the members to promote your products and request them to share their thoughts in the right way with other prospects.
Whether you market products or services, you can create and manage a community by providing a platform or a space for your audience to interact with each other. Below are a few simple yet effective ideas to help you get started:
You should also know what type of content you want to share. UGC can come in many forms, such as videos, images, blog posts, and testimonials. You should select the format that works best for your platform, audience, and product.
For instance, ask for customer videos if you use UGC from Facebook. Meanwhile, look for high-quality images or short but entertaining reels on Instagram. You can take advantage of features like IG TV or Instagram Stories.
You can also use Twitter to tweet witty quotes from customer testimonials or reviews. If you want, you can post case studies from customers on LinkedIn. You may also share informative articles from influencers and opinion leaders on the platform.
One important thing to do when sharing content is to include relevant hashtags to boost visibility and reach. You should also use @ mentions to properly credit the original poster of the media.
UGC requires marketers to master the complex art of social media outreach. They must also create partnerships with influencers to know how they can help your brand’s UGC campaigns.
When developing a UGC campaign on social networks, you should inform your audience what type of content you want them to submit. Take the time to decide on specific content types that suit your brand and share the proper guidelines for your followers to consider.
Remember that the best practice is to become as specific as possible. Before introducing a campaign, check your hashtags, brand rules, and regulations toward UGC. Doing so can help you avoid unwanted content.
If you are looking to get a specific UGC format or style through a single campaign, refrain from revising the original guidelines you posted. The people participating may need some time to develop the video or image, and your inconsistency may lead to a negative user experience.
So, if you organize fun giveaways or contests, post the event’s guideline and promise to feature their content in your brand’s profile.
Originality is crucial if you want to make your brand stand out above the rest. Do not copy other campaigns or events just because they were effective and you liked them. Instead, use your skills and take the time to think about what value you can provide to your audience.
Pay close attention to how you show users’ authentic content on social media. Many brands are implementing UGC in their social media marketing strategy. The competition can be enormous.
You need to think of creative ways to stand out from the crowd. To help in this effort, analyze the competition and ask how they use UGC to reach their target audience.
Think about what you can do that’s unique yet still important to your brand mission and content marketing goals. You should also start building a community so your audience and followers can feel they belong to something more important than a simple tag or a repost.
When a follower tags your brand, it does not necessarily mean they explicitly permit you to use the content they created. Remember that on social media websites, hashtags live and grow on their own, so it would be a good idea to ask permission from the original poster to reupload their content on your page.
Doing so helps you avoid copyright concerns while also giving you the chance to show appreciation to your followers for creating their own content about your brand. Asking for permissions can be a surefire way to convert followers into brand advocates and build brand loyalty.
When sharing UGC on social media channels, remember always to give credit to the original creator of the media. Ask their permission and tag their account when you reupload.
To help you develop the best UGC marketing strategy for your brand, you should learn how other brands have used the tactic to their marketing advantage. Read on for some of the best examples of successful consumer-generated content campaigns.
Coca-Cola created one of the most iconic UGC marketing strategies when it launched the “Share a Coke” campaign. Overnight, the campaign saw an immediate response from customers worldwide.
First introduced in Australia in 2011, the campaign involved printing 150 of the most common and popular names on the bottle labels and asking people to share a coke with their friends.
The campaign was held in different countries, and customers welcomed it with open arms. People around the globe started sharing photos with the bottles online, and the campaign became an instant hit.
To boost customer engagement, Doritos launched the Legion of Creators website. The brand announced a new platform where users can submit branded images and videos that the company can share on its social media accounts.
The website features a wide range of submissions from users, from memes and calendars to images of a Doritos Christmas tree.
The brand keeps users engaged by holding public challenges, which invite the audience to make unique Doritos-related videos for a chance to be featured on the company’s Instagram account.
What made the campaign successful was that Doritos did not just share photos of people with the product. The Legion of Creators website provided the audience with the tools and the platform to create witty and one-of-a-kind content. It allows fans the opportunity to create their own art while making consumers feel more connected to the brand.
As part of its UGC strategy, fashion retailer Monsoon requests customers to share photos of its products under the hashtag MyMonsoon. As of writing, the tag has roughly 6,900 images and videos.
These submissions are included in on-site galleries, letting consumers easily buy the looks they see. This strategy allows buyers to easily picture how individual clothes and accessories will look on them because they can see real customers -- not just models -- wearing them.
Moreover, Monsoon decided to go further with their UGC campaign by creating a shoppable UGC gallery. This feature allows buyers to make a purchase directly from the collection of photos.
Beauty brand Glossier helps engagement by encouraging its audience to share their selfies and posting heartwarming stories from customers.
Glossier is one of the many modern brands today that rely more on customer-submitted media than it does on product shots and models. The brand attributes 90 percent of its revenue to its followers, who post photos of themselves wearing Glossier products on social media.
Netflix uses its creative television shows and movies to come up with entertaining UGC strategies. For instance, when the TV series “Stranger Things” came out, the streaming service encouraged its audience to discuss the series online and use a hashtag, which was the title of the show.
In the brand’s marketing campaign for season two of the show, Netflix encouraged people to post images of “stranger things” that they found in their daily lives.
The brand generated almost 1 million audiences in just two weeks. Seeing the overwhelming response from the audience, Netflix decided to use UGC in the future and announced similar campaigns.
The social media accounts of the sparkling water brand La Croix are filled with content submitted by their loyal followers. They reupload a wide range of UGC, from fan arts to images of millennials posing with their favorite beverage flavors.
The brand’s strategy is to populate its social media feeds with content from people who clearly love and appreciate its product.
What is impressive about La Croix’s strategy is that although the customer content comes from different creators from different platforms, the brand manages to maintain a consistent look. Just scroll through its Instagram account, and you will immediately notice bright colors, smiling faces, and sunny landscapes.
La Croix achieves this feat by hosting events like giveaways of branded merchandise. The brand also provides interactive displays that encourage fans’ engagement.
Adobe, the designing software company, created an innovative UGC campaign called the Art Maker Series. Under the campaign, inventive designers were asked to showcase creative artworks using the brand’s products, such as Illustrator or Photoshop, in video format.
The company then used the videos for user recommendations, feature promotions, and other expert product endorsements. With the UGC they collected, Adobe tried to demonstrate its design capabilities.
Adobe also used the hashtag AdobePerspective to feature content creators who posted their artistic work for free. The brand saw the campaign as an excellent opportunity to engage with its audience while showcasing the talent of its patrons.
The content creation strategy is an inspiring example of UGC marketing, and the campaign helped highlight the creativity of its audience. It shows how the company values the integrity and culture of its community.
Parachute, a bedding and bath brand, encouraged their followers to use the hashtag MyParachuteHome to feature their products. The brand then repurposes the submitted photos not only for social media posts but also for promotional content.
For instance, the Parachute uses UGC in retargeting ads, demonstrating how real consumers use their high-quality products. The brand discovered that the ads that featured consumer-generated content had a higher click-through rate than advertisements that didn’t.
The bedding and bath company also does not limit itself to using UGC in digital campaigns alone. It also features user-made content on insert cards that shows how other buyers have made its products a part of their homes. The strategy aims to help inspire consumers to take pictures of their own and buy more Parachute products.
Many modern brands overlook opportunities when it comes to using UGC outside of social media websites. Parachute, however, was able to display the value in repurposing UGC by featuring it in other platforms, like ads, email campaigns, and more.
UGC marketing can offer a wide range of benefits for modern e-commerce brands today. It can be a lucrative supplement to marketers’ mobile advertising campaigns, boosting social media reach, and helping build trust.
If you are interested to learn more about how to use UGC and how it can help your brand, check out Archive App today! With our help, you can improve your social media marketing and consumer content curation with only your smartphone.
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To use UGC, you need to choose a social media platform that will have the most impact to your campaign. After selecting a site, set clear and specific goals that you want your project to achieve. Doing so can help you look and partner with the right influencers and content creators.
Once you have collected enough UGC for your campaign, do not forget to ask permission to reupload from the original posters. This way, you can credit the creators properly and avoid any potential legal hurdles.
You can use UGC to encourage more people to check out your new app. Your existing users can post videos or share reviews of how easy it is to use your apps. This strategy can help you encourage prospects to download and use your app.
When marketing apps, it is crucial to offer a personalized customer experience to users. To help in this effort, you can implement UGC in your content marketing strategy to promote your application. With UGC marketing, you can boost engagement while offering a unique customer experience.