Creating a bond and sense of community among your audience are crucial aspects of your business performance and long-term success. Nowadays, there is fierce competition fighting about customers’ attention, so setting a place in their hearts and minds may be a good strategy.
There are plenty of marketing strategies that rely on relationships with customers, but there is one that engages the customers the most – user-generated content. Considering that people constantly post stuff on the web, why not take advantage of this habit? They love to brag about new products, so as a brand, you can use these praise posts as user-generated content and promote yourself. How does it work and how to make the most of it? Keep reading!
What is user-generated content?
As the name indicates, it is content created and delivered by your audience and followers. It can be done both by your regular clients and new customers. Such type of content may greatly influence purchasing decisions. It is a proof that your products are used by “real people” not only by e.g. paid influencers. Thanks to user-generated content, your loyal customers can show your prospective customers how to use products or share some tips and general opinions. It really increases trust and awake curiosity about your offer. What exactly is the user-generated content? Here you go:
User generated-content examples:
- social media posts about your products
- Instagram or Facebook stories about using your items
- product reviews on customers social media channels
- blog posts on business clients’ websites
- webinars about your products or services
- pictures, videos or texts in the opinion section on the product page
Pros about user-generated content
Why is it worth spending some time and putting in some effort to encourage your customer to make some beautiful photos or record inspiring videos? There are a plethora of reasons, here you can read a few.
Driving a brand desire
People are quite envious by nature, if they see that somebody has a given item they want it too. Such content is a great way to spark this desire and target their purchase decision a bit. By publishing customer content or their positive reviews about you, you prove that it is worth buying your product and trigger potential customers even more to do so.
Sparkling the brand desire is a great way to acquire many new customers and have a chance to bond with them. Making them look forward to your product for a longer time should be your goal.
When “real people” show that they use your product and talk or write about it, it is great social proof. After all, over 8 out of 10 people admit they trust reviews over advertising, so featuring this content might provide a big helping hand when making a buying decision.
In general, the more content provided by your products’ users, the better. Additionally, to gain trust, you will also increase your brand awareness and stay on top of your potential customers’ minds. But remember that your customers shouldn’t be your only social media creators, it’s your job, too.
Making you a “brand for people”
Which means it shows that your products are used and helpful while “ordinary” life. Marketing campaigns try to generate needs and demonstrate how to meet them, but all this is done by actors. Authenticity is better than the most creative script.
Influencers may not be as persuasive as those they know or who belong to the same social group. Referral marketing follows the same rules, it works because it is more down to earth and simply saying is more realistic.
Now that you know what the user-generated content is and why it is worth using this content creation, it is time to learn some tips on how to make the most of this content strategy.
User-generated content tips & tricks
How can you boost the benefits of user-generating content? This is a good question, and we have a few answers for you.
#1 Ask both your loyal and new customers
If you have a strong bond with your group of customers, you can use it. If you have a group of loyal clients who buy your products regularly, their opinion (almost certainly positive) about them is well-established. Let them speak for themselves.
You can ask about their opinion after the purchase and encourage them to publish this type of content. It would also be a great idea to mention this possibility during referral communication. If you run such a program (hopefully with EarlyParrot) you can adjust the content of the emails as you wish. Moreover, you can set such a template with our tool. The email can be configured to automatically send when specific conditions are met, so all you have to do is set the right triggers.
Let’s suppose your regular client refers you to three new ones. If they made a purchase, you can ask about their opinions and encourage them to provide customer reviews. Of course, you can promise them some extra incentives.
#2 Organize a social media contest
Competition is a great motivator for people, so give them some. Announce on your social channels a contest for the best user content. It could be a pic when your client uses your product or a short video on how to make the most of the given product. The rules are up to you, but they should be clear. You will see that such an idea will meet with positive feedback and people will be more than willing to make some authentic content and win rewards. In order to keep up with these posts, you should create your branded hashtag and follow the fresh content that rolls in.
What is important to say in this case is that consumer-generated content won’t do much if you haven’t taken care of your social media platforms properly. First, you should gather a community and encourage people to click the follow button, then you can rely on custom content. It will work, provided you have an audience and target to influence. Otherwise, these marketing efforts will backfire.
#3 Take care of user experience
You may think how these two aspects are connected, but believe us, there are. If you want your customers to become your content creators, you have to do your best to meet their requirements and needs.
Make sure your website is easy to use, and items can be easily found. Also, it should be aesthetic – colours, fonts, graphics should be as coherent as possible. It is very important. Over half of the users admit that this aesthetic aspect is the main reason why they do not return to the website. You see, appearance is crucial. You should also make sure your product is presented well and described correctly, of course, honestly. It would be also nice to offer post-purchase services like the installation or longer warranty. Additionally, customer service counts as such services, so make sure that all emails and social media queries are answered, and if you run a call center, make sure that no phone call is missed. The quality of service matters too, so all messages should be written in a polite and informative way and your agents should be active listeners.
Speaking of customer service, you should provide some self service methods in this case and upload a knowledge base and FAQ to allow customers to find needed information on their own.
You should deliver brilliant products and even better service, only this way your customer will be willing to deliver you some content with positive reviews.
# 4 Make the creators stars
People like to be in the spotlight, especially when it comes to becoming an Internet star. Once your customers deliver you the content, you should distribute it the same way you distribute your own materials. Publish it across your platforms and make a story about these pictures or videos. It is a great idea to tell histories about how the pictures were made or why these customers choose your products. There is always a story!
But first, before you start being a storyteller you should agree with each author on what can be said and every version of history should be read by the creators. After all, stories are about them.
It is also a great idea to promote this content via social media platform ads. It would catch users attention for sure and allow you to stand out from the crowd of marketing messages. By taking such a step, you can encourage prospective buyers and user-generated content creators to become involved with your company’s community.
#5 Deliver the tools
You can provide a special graphic template or video creator to make users’ works coherent and easier to do. It will also be a curiosity trigger to check how it works and what will be the final results. Tolls of this type enhance customer experience and are just plain fun. This way, you can also decrease the possibility of forgetting a branded hashtag or so.
Helping your community to create and share their experience puts you in a very good place and creates a good association with your brand. It deserves to be remembered!
Delivering your customers some tools may also decrease a reluctance and fear of not knowing how to do it. Thanks to providing them with resources, you meet them halfway and make this situation kind of win-win. As a result, they win because they receive tools, and you win as a result of receiving user-generated content.
Let them create!
This content strategy doesn’t demand much effort from your side. For starters, you have to encourage people to be creative and deliver you great content.
We hope that we have encouraged you to use the whole power of UGC. It is a really great support for your marketing campaigns and support of social media presence. Remember one thing! Even if you flooded your social media account with UGC, you should also publish your branded content and show the “behind the scenes” of creating your products or publish some industry news. Make your social platforms interesting, so people want to be published on it.