What is user-generated content? It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
When you let users help create and shape your website, everyone wins. A strong user-generated content strategy is powerful–and can make your social media and website into a real, active community. Active UGC engagement and excitement is just what every online business wants, and needs. UGC makes your entire online presence more engaging, ultra-relevant, exciting and addictive, when enthusiastically encouraged and properly managed.
How to Use User-Generated Content
Although user-generated content on social media campaigns (and/or on your website) has a huge upside, you can’t just set it and forget it. An active community requires active management and engagement on your part, as the business owner. When you receive the gift of an active online community, you must nurture it, respond to its needs and help keep it going in a positive, on-topic direction. With a little expert guidance, you can get creative with UGC!
When you allow, encourage and guide a UGC content strategy, as part of your online footprint, you can reap UGC benefits including:
Build Brand Trust (exemplified by UGC)
Peer influence is powerful online, making your brand feel like “home” to your future loyal customers. When your online visitors, followers, customers or commenters share online posts they’ve created, which include your brand, you get valuable exposure to their followers. UGC makes your brand credible with an expanded audience. Your popularity, honesty and authenticity act as positive peer pressure and affirmation, so to speak.
Create a Rich Content Library (with UGC that’s by nature current and relevant)
Producing enough, relevant, valuable and activating content for your website and social media is challenging for any business owner. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all alone. A vibrant UGC community is a content-generation engine, prompting users to give their unique POV. Users may come up with innovative, new ways to use your product/service that help you sell and differentiate your brand offerings. These additions to your library add value and richness to your brand story.
Influence Purchase Decisions (using UGC for a fresh perspective)
Users influence and guide purchase decisions, with their positive peer pressure mentioned above. Savvy users often provide detailed reviews, or product comparisons, that you might never have the time or direct product-use experience to do on your own. You know your product in a different way (perhaps in an echo chamber). UGC shows off the product through fresh eyes–as an actual user sees it and uses it.
Show Off Customer Loyalty (by promoting UGC involvement)
When you share clever or insightful UGC with your web visitors or your growing hoard of social media fans, you level up your own credibility as well. Customers may express views on your brand that you never thought of, and you show them respect and gratitude by seeking (and valuing/sharing) their feedback. Your customers are your spontaneously honest, unpaid spokesmodels.
How To Get UGC: User-Generated Content Examples You Can Use
- Craft explicit CTAs asking users to share, and directing them to where they should share.
- Suggest hashtags to help aggregate and gather all UGC together.
- Listen for (set up online alerts for) brand mentions and posts.
- Request permission to feature the UGC in your online marketing and advertising or on your website, to avoid copyright issues.
- Tag creators (after getting permission to use), if you post the UGC in your Instagram stories or elsewhere.
- Embed Yelp reviews (or others) on your website.
- There’s so much more!
Our bottom line takeaways on UGC:
- Understand user-generated content 2020-style. Once you envision all the growth UGC can bring to your online presence, you’ll never go back to turning off comments.
- Embrace UGC; don’t be afraid of it. UGC simply requires management and a calm, reasoned and positive involvement from your brand.
- Get proper permissions for user-generated content. Make sure you create trust within your online community by dealing fairly with all.
- Pay close attention to UGC. Managing user generated content can be difficult. By keeping a close eye on it, you can respond quickly, learn about potential product refinements you should make, share the best UGC, and much more.
- UGC is one of the fastest growing content marketing strategies due to its numerous online benefits & advantages
Get UGC Experts on Your Side, Starting Today
User-generated content, 2020 version, can be a smart, vital pulse that brings your online presence to life daily. At Ballantine, we help build and grow successful online businesses with an exciting, unique on-brand user community. Make UGC easy, with an expert user-generated content strategy, designed and managed by Ballantine. We’ve offered digital marketing in NJ and across the country for years and have the experience to help your business. Contact our UGC experts today to learn about the benefits of digital marketing and increase your company’s growth!
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!