User generated content (UGC) has become an increasingly popular marketing technique. By leveraging content created by fans or customers, businesses can save time and budget on creating their own content. More importantly, they foster a sense of community and authenticity with their audience spurring on social proof and sales. In this article, we will look at how to slay user-generated content in your marketing.
But first some stats about user generated content
- The global user generated content platform market was valued at USD 4.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.4% from 2023 to 2030.
- User generated content results in 29% higher conversion rates.
- 70% of brands say that user generated content helps them connect better with customers on social media.
- 87% of businesses use it to share more authentic content with their target audience.
How to Include User-Generated Content
At Contentworks Agency, we’re big fans of user generated content. We also know it can work well in any sector from finance through to health and beauty. Here are our top tips for using UGC in your content marketing.
#1 Value Feedback
Customers are more likely to share their experiences if their feedback is valued. Make sure you are actively listening to your customers and responding to their feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Let them know that their input is important to you and that you are always looking for ways to improve your products and services. You should also:
- Share positive feedback like reviews and testimonials on your social media pages to create social proof.
- Avoid creating UGC like fake reviews or testimonials. It looks fake and your customers will know!
- Offer incentives like a discount code or giveaway to customers who post a photo of themselves using your product on social media or take part in a UGC survey or review. This is especially necessary for younger audiences who like to be recognised or rewarded.
#2 Explore Paid Creator Collabs
Social media collaborations between brands and creators are huge, especially on TikTok and Instagram. The music industry and social media networks for example, are interdependent and many musical creators team up with brands. We’ve seen some awesome collabs on TikTok between creators and brands and this might be something you choose to explore if you have the budget.
TIPS for a great UGC/creator collab
- First decide if this is a paid collab or something you can exchange for products or services.
- Check it’s a good match – discuss values and matching goals, budget and outcomes.
- Check out TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. This marketplace is where brands can go to collaborate with the most suitable creators.
#3 Pay Attention To Trends
Paying attention to customer trends is key when it comes to a killer UGC campaign. For example, asking fans to do a specific dance on TikTok when another dance is massively trending might not result in much pickup. Similarly, missing out on a trend because you took too long to organise your campaign, could be a fail. Spend time on the social media channels where your core demographic or target demographic hangs out. What topics, themes, formats are they interested in?
- Monitor TikTok and Instagram trends to understand the sentiment of your audience. Avoid instigating a UGC campaign which is misaligned with their values.
- Analyse pickup, engagement and feedback from any campaigns you try.
- Remain on brand with your UGC. Avoid taking part in a trend or challenge that will offend or alienate your core audience. It isn’t worth it for five minutes of fame.
By listening to your audience and following trends, you’re more likely to craft a relevant and engaging UGC campaign.
#4 Create A Branded Hashtag
A branded hashtag is a great way to encourage customers to share their experiences and make it easy for you to track your campaigns. Create a unique hashtag for your brand, product or campaign and encourage customers to use it. This will help increase your brand’s visibility and create a sense of community. You can also use the hashtag to showcase customer content on your website and social media channels.
The famous “Share a Coke” campaign was an early example of this. Beginning in Australia, the top 150 most popular names were printed onto millions of bottles. The campaign was so well-received, other countries around the world adopted it. There were added twists too. In Israel the country’s largest billboards were turned into interactive signs which greeted citizens by name, China also printed nicknames on their bottles instead of first names. Coca Cola encouraged consumers to share photos on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke. This created connection to the product and helped to generate UGC that was featured in Coca-Cola’s marketing campaigns.
TIP – make it easy!
Make it easy for customers to share their experiences by providing clear instructions on how to do so. Branded hashtags shouldn’t be complex, instructions should be clear, and you should avoid asking for multiple actions. “Like, tag, comment, go here, take a photo, come back, share… “ It’s all a bit much for most social media users!
Remember, you will need to utilise top social media tools to be able to monitor hashtags and interpret the results. Or hire an agency like Contentworks to do it for you. Use this data to refine your strategy and adjust as needed. You can also use UGC to track customer sentiment and understand what your customers are saying about your brand.
#5 Create an Ambassador Program
An ambassador program is great for encouraging fan loyalty and keeping a close eye on your best brand allies. Ambassador programs will give you the chance to create UGC campaigns with your top fans where they share photos, reviews, videos and ideas with you. In return you can give them discounts, sneak peeks, perks and a VIP service. To start an ambassador program, you should:
- Work out the rules and what the swap is. Rules should be published and include your legal rights to UGC materials like ambassador photos.
- Provide positive feedback and great user experiences for ambassadors. Remember popular creators can work with any brand they want to so you need to sweeten the pot!
- Be sure to regularly monitor your ambassadors so you can share their content and engage with them. Contentworks Agency utilises tools like Agorapulse to do just that.
Let’s Work On Your Next User Generated Content Campaign
User generated content is a powerful tool to create community and authenticity. By valuing feedback, showcasing customer content and creating a sense of community, businesses can achieve great results on a low (ish) budget.
Looking for a professional agency to help you create amazing user generated content campaigns? Our experienced team of content creators and social media experts can help you develop a powerful UGC strategy that engages your audience, builds trust, and drives conversions. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you slay user-generated content in your marketing!