As a consumer, haven’t you seen a lot of promotions and advertisements lately on your social media profile? Or do you also feel that marketing has become more digitized as compared to few years ago?
If you feel so then you are also among the billions of people globally who are targeted with digital marketing by brands. But brands and marketers are facing challenges with their digital marketing efforts.
As the tactics are more short-term and not hugely effective, they are in quest of a solution that can be more long-term, reliable, and effective. That solution is user-generated content.
What Is User-Generated Content? Why Do You Need It?
In simple terms, user-generated content is the content created and shared by social media users mainly on these platforms.
When we talk about the UGC in the marketing context, it is specifically the content generated by users (or customers) about a brand and its products/services, values, image, etc. based on their experience with the brand.
Since the content is about real experiences from real customers that is why it is hugely valuable for brands and marketers as the characteristics such as authentic, reliable, trustworthy, credible, diversity, etc. make the content amazing.
Digital marketing is hugely driven by the content thus it needs to be amazing, interesting, and engaging, and user-generated content is the perfect way for achieving that.
As user-generated content is available abundantly on social media platforms so it is a cost-effective method to gain valuable content instead of investing huge amounts in content creation.
So here are a few ways you can leverage user-generated content is digital marketing.
How To Leverage User-Generated Content In Digital Marketing
1. Hashtag Campaigns
The first and foremost way of leveraging user-generated content for marketing is to get started with hashtag campaigns. Hashtags as we all know an integral part fo social media platforms and users heavily use these hashtags along with their content.
As hashtags allow the users to easily discover and explore content related to a particular topic, theme, industry, brand, or other topics.
And many global brands like Coca-Cola, GoPro, Starbucks, etc, are heavily investing in their hashtag campaigns to leverage user-generated content as they see huge advantages in UGC for their promotions and results.
Having a hashtag campaign allows the users to share their content along with your brand/custom hashtag so it will help you generate valuable and relevant content about your brand.
This will showcase brand advocacy, positive word of mouth promotions, and user engagement with your brand that leads to more exposure and conversions.
2. Gamification & Brand Engagements
Users are hungry for experiences and rewards from the brands so if you can target these with your campaign, it will help you generate massive amounts of user-generated content for your brand.
Brand engagements here means when users are sharing content relevant to your brand then you should also respond to them, engage with them, like their posts, and reply to messages, etc.
Along with that, you can leverage gamification strategies such as polls, quizzes, contests, competitions, leaderboards, rewards, challenges, etc. that will encourage users to engage and share user-generated content in return of rewards, vouchers, and recognition.
Brand engagements and gamification strategies will help in users contributing huge amounts of content that is diverse in nature and hugely relevant to your campaign and overall brand.
This will help in building brand awareness, reach a wider audience, gain maximum exposure, drive tremendous user engagements, and build a massive brand following of digital platforms.
3. UGC Platforms
A UGC platform or user-generated content platform is a tool that helps the brands and marketers to collect and curate user-generated content from social media and digital platforms into a single place.
You can collect UGC using social media elements like hashtags, brand handles, tags, mentions, pages, channels, etc.
The tool also allows you to display your curated UGC as a UGC marketing campaign across different marketing channels like websites, emails, outdoor digital advertising, events, public display, in-store marketing, etc.
This is the best option for leveraging user-generated content as firstly it will help you find and curate the best and most relevant UGC for your brand campaigns from a hub of content.
Then you can also moderate the content to get premium UGC for your campaigns along with that you get additional features like UGC rights management, automatic real-time updates, easy integration, access to multiple social media platforms, and much more.
A UGC platform is a perfect solution for leveraging UGC as it provides a holistic approach from collecting to customizing to moderating then management and finally executing your UGC marketing campaigns.
4. User Reviews
Reviews are probably the most important element of user-generated content for a brand as it directly talks about a brand’s quality, value for money, customer experiences, products & services, etc.
So, it is essential that you have user reviews about your brand and you leverage them in your marketing campaigns. Why are we talking about reviews here?
Well! Reviews have the immense power to influence the consumers’ investment decisions. Over 90% of people tend to trust UGC like reviews to make their online purchase decisions.
More than 80% of the users actively look for customer reviews before moving ahead with their investments into any brand. So, it is essential to leverage this form of UGC for your marketing.
You should use your social media and digital profiles to encourage users to share their reviews, feedback, and experiences about your brand. You can include these reviews in your UGC campaigns to bring a higher click-through rate and enhance conversions.
These were some of the best ways to leverage user-generated content that can help you improve your brand performance and boost your brand’s revenue generation possibilities.
User-generated content is the future of digital marketing and it is essential to invest efforts and budget in the collection and distribution of user-generated content for your marketing campaigns.
So, choose the best options from these mentioned options or you can leverage all of these together as well. It ensures brand trust building credibility & advocacy and most importantly drives engagement & conversions through your digital marketing.