User-Generated Content (UGC): What Is It and Why Your Brand Needs It

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Written by: Connections Marketing

The use of peer influencers is one of the biggest changes in marketing this century has seen. And there are many ways brands can benefit from the trend. One that any organization can use is by leveraging user-generated content (UGC) – a term describing just about any content created and shared by consumers or end-users of a product or service.

This type of content can take many forms that will support your larger marketing initiatives:

User Generated Content (UGC) Creates Success by Adding Authenticity to Brands

To build trust and drive sales, UGC content must add authenticity to the brand. When potential customers see real people using and enjoying your products, they are more likely to trust and connect with the company. Marketers don’t necessarily have to invest a lot of money on professional content creation to produce results. Instead, you can leverage your existing customer base to create a steady stream of user-generated content.

4 Ways That UGC Can Benefit Your Brand

UGC is often seen as more authentic and trustworthy than branded content, since it comes from regular consumers rather than marketing teams. Ultimately, whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy can potentially accomplish several critical goals at once:

1 Build trust

User-generated content has been shown to be more trusted and influential than other types of content. When people see others writing and speaking positively about your brand or product, it can build trust and influence their purchasing decisions.

2 Increase engagement

By encouraging users to participate in your brand and create content, you can increase engagement and build a community around your product or service.

3 Cut down on expenses

UGC can be a cost-effective way to develop content and generate buzz around your brand. Instead of paying for expensive advertising campaigns, you’re encouraging your users to create content for you.

4 Improve SEO

User-generated content can help improve your search engine rankings by providing fresh, relevant content that Google and other search engines will recognize.

How Can You Encourage UGC in Your Customers Base?

There are a few different approaches a business can take. One of the most effective ways to encourage UGC is by creating incentives for customers to share their experiences with your brand. Four effective ways to get started:

  1. Offer discounts or rewards for those who post photos or reviews on social media.
  2. Host contests or giveaways that encourage customers to create and share content.
  3. Encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand on social media. You can do this by creating branded hashtags or running contests or giveaways.
  4. Follow best practices and guidelines for user-generated content, such as obtaining proper permissions and providing clear instructions for use.

Use UGC to Build Relationships with Current and Potential Customers

Remember that UGC is an ongoing process. Don’t just collect user-generated content and forget about it. Instead, use it to inform your marketing strategies and build stronger relationships with your clientele.

By actively engaging with your audience and incorporating UGC into your brand’s story, you can create a truly authentic and memorable customer experience. When people see that others like them are using and enjoying your products or services, they’ll be more likely to trust your brand and consider making a purchase.

How to Get Started with UGC in Your Next Marketing Campaign

Strategists can encourage UGC by creating social media campaigns, asking for product reviews, or hosting user-generated content contests. One increasingly popular approach is to partner with micro influencers on user-generated content campaigns. This involves working with social media users, bloggers or industry experts to create and share content related to your brand.

Your marketing team may need to experiment with different approaches to determine how best to reach new audiences and build the kind of buzz you’re looking for.

Hire a Qualified Digital Marketing Agency to Oversee Your Next UGC Campaign

One of the best ways to create a successful UGC campaign is to partner with a qualified digital marketing partner. Most growing businesses need guidance from someone with experience determining which UGC methods are most effective in building a stronger, more engaged brand community for their clients.

At Connections Marketing, we value excellence above all else. Our team of experts will work with you to ensure your UGC campaign is designed to get results and help grow your business. Contact us to discuss how to get started on your next campaign today.

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