by Hannah Vicarage
The online world is a deluge of cat videos, # hashtag challenges, and influencer blather. It's difficult to stand out. This is why so many companies are turning to user generated content (UGC) to reduce noise.
What exactly is UGC, how can you get the most of it and why should you bother with it? Read on to find out more.
To the uninitiated, UGC is any form of content created by users and consumers about your brand or product. It could be an impromptu photo of a product uploaded to a personal Twitter account and accompanied by a branded hashtag.
For a long time … my favorite .. Nice to have you again 😊 #starbucks #frappuccino pic.twitter.com/rdOJuH85Xb
– Madmax Maximus (@ sanoj85) August 22, 2020
Or a response to a competition where consumers are asked to submit content.
All UGC have in common that the content (picture, video, review, blog, article, etc.) is created by a consumer and not by the brand.
Why encourage UGC? Since UGC is created by unpaid consumers, it's more authentic than anything a company could create in a content campaign. Research shows that consumers trust other consumers more than companies or brands.
How can you take advantage of this growing trend? Here are five easy ways to maximize the value of UGC:
This may sound obvious, but just because UGC itself is informal doesn't mean you should take an informal approach to management.
While 86% of companies tried UGC, according to SEMrush only 27% had a strategy. While a good campaign can benefit your brand, a bad campaign can hurt it as well.
So gather as much information as possible about your audience before getting started. They need to know how they want to interact with your brand, what platforms they use, how to find you, and what type of content they like best.
Then you have to decide what to get from UGC. Would you like:
Your goal will determine all of your other decisions. So it is important that you get started with what to expect from UGC.
With so many social media platforms, how do you choose the right one for your campaign? One way is to choose the right platform for the type of content your customers like.
Facebook is perfect for sharing videos. BuzzSumo examined 777 million Facebook posts and concluded that video content generated 59% more than other forms.
Instagrammers believe that users share products that they find useful. Getting influencers to report on wearing, using, or promoting your product or service is more valuable than almost anything else you can do in your marketing.
The following is a good example of how to get this right. Here, Topshop worked with influencer Jessica Chelsea to promote one of their dresses. Her casual tone is what really makes it work.
The Don of the hashtag trends is about being short but cute. While Twitter has little character, it is strong on visual imagery, which makes it perfect for UGC as users can easily contribute.
Twitter is a great place to start your own hashtag trend or to link your brand to existing ones. For example, Ben & Jerry celebrated National Ice Day with a UGC spin and got their audience and others to use the hashtag to tweet about flavors that make them celebrate.
Happy National Ice Day! What taste do you celebrate with? #NationalIceCreamDay pic.twitter.com/eqDqu3EeCg
– Ben & Jerry & # 39; s (@benandjerrys) July 21, 2019
It is not good to spend time and money on a UGC campaign if your audience is not clear on how to get involved. If the concept is too complicated or just doesn't make sense, users are turned off.
About 50% of consumers would like brands to instruct them on how to get involved, but only 16% actually offer them. That's a pretty bad show!
Other items from AllBusiness.com:
If you want to know how to do it well, Coca-Cola's Share a Coke campaign is the place for you. It's still one of the best examples of simple and effective UGC.
Coke's catch was to replace the usual branding with popular names and ask consumers to either tag themselves or their friends with their bottle. The campaign was launched in more than 70 countries and was amazingly successful. It got 998 million impressions on Twitter, inspired nearly a quarter of a million tweets, and eventually sold 150 million bottles of the carbonated material.
Of course Coke is a huge company with a lot of money and influence, but it wasn't just what made "Share a Coke" what it was. It was the simplicity of their message.
Smaller brands like Benefit Cosmetics show how to do it well on a smaller scale. The brand is synonymous with high-end eyebrow makeup. To leverage this image, Benefit's Instagram bio includes a simple hashtag #benefitbrows that encourages customers to share their experience of using the brand experience. The hashtag has generated over 747,000 posts so far.
Inspired by the great work of @GretaThunberg and all the youngsters preparing for the global #ClimateStrike, we will cease all operations to take to the streets and demand immediate action (09/20/19 – USA and 09/09/2019) ) / 27/19 – Canada).
March with us: https://t.co/2hKRKpqSy8 pic.twitter.com/sviWoST9rr
– Lush North America (@lushcosmetics) September 17, 2019
If your UGC campaign is a success, you will be inundated in a flood of UGC and you will probably feel pretty good about it. But what now?
A large, sudden UGC volume can be difficult to handle. Fortunately, Facebook and Instagram's embed tool lets you create feeds of photos, links, and videos with your audience tagging you. If you need a little more help, many third party vendors offer management platforms to keep you updated closely.
Even if you don't run a specific UGC campaign, you should monitor and manage every mention of your brand online. Everything from reviews, tags, pictures, and videos is considered user-generated content, and everything is valuable in some way.
Once you get your approach to UGC under control, you can maximize the value of this free and abundant content and start using it for your business today.
RELATED: Here's Why Your Influencer Marketing Campaign Is Not Bringing You the ROI You Expect
Contribution by: Hannah Vicarage
Hannah Vicarage is a budding entrepreneur who runs a small cosmetics company. When she's not on a buying spree in local markets or selling online, she writes as a guest for www.ukwebhostreview.com.
Connect with me on Twitter.