What is User Generated Content and How Can You Make the Most of It?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Everyday users create invaluable content for your brand that you’re not aware of. It could be in the form of social media posts, images, videos, comments, reviews, and so much more.

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This is the user-generated content (UGC), also known as earned media in return for the amazing services and products your brand delivers to your customers.

This content is generally so scattered over the internet that most of the time you don’t even know it exists. This unique content can get you potential traffic, valuable leads, revenues, and a lot more, but only when used right!

This article is all about helping you to figure out how you can leverage UGC to strengthen your marketing strategy.

Earned content vs owned content

When executing a content marketing strategy, a brand always has the option to utilize two kinds of content; owned content and earned content.

While owned content includes your website, official blogs, case studies, and official social media pages etc., your earned content is the UGC for your brand. It may include posts, images, videos, comments and online reviews that your happy customers uploaded on their social media profiles, either tagging you, mentioning you or using your brand hashtag.

Owned media content gives you 100% control over the content that goes online on behalf of your brand, and it has its own benefits for sure, but it lacks the “trust” aspect as it is not peer-generated. Sometimes, it might end up being too product-centric, technical, and self-serving. As a result, it lacks user appreciation.

Earned content, or UGC, on the other hand, comes with an inherent trust factor because it’s the users who created it in the first place. It’s the media content you earned as a result of your word of mouth marketing tactic and amazing quality services and products your brand provides. It’s more like a two-way conversation between the brands and its users where the users are in the limelight.

In terms of generating brand awareness and generating user-trust, earned media can prove to be a gold mine. It helps to display social proof and is freely available to be used. You just need to discover it and figure out the most relevant earned media content for your brand.

Build a community

Members of a community help each other grow. So, when you build a community around your brand, it is a win-win for all. Users feel personally closer to you, and will turn into brand ambassadors, and as a brand, you earn a loyal customer base to back you up when you need to display social proof. The larger your community, the more value it adds to your brand image and the stronger your brand voice is.

UGC can help you a long way in building a community around your brand by providing your users with encouragement, support, a sense of acknowledgment, and a sense of belonging. Aren’t those the building blocks for any strong, tightly-knit community?

Embed UGC on your official website

Once you aggregate UGC from different social platforms, you get to manage it, customize it, curate it, and do all that you can to make it the most presentable. You need to display it to the audience you want to market your brand to.

Now, there are many ways you can do so. One of the most efficient ways is to display it on a social wall as it’s the most attractive, engaging, and unique way of displaying your earned media to your target audience. It not only boosts user engagement with the brand but also helps you spread word of mouth marketing.

Host a UGC campaign

Hosting a UGC campaign to encourage user engagement and spread brand awareness is an amazing and popularly used marketing strategy. Many brands have used this technique to create a buzz around their brand.

Your UGC campaign could be social media oriented, perhaps involving a contest inviting your users to participate by creating brand-oriented creative content. This technique actually works if executed well. Users participate wholeheartedly in the lieu of getting featured on a brand’s advertisement campaign.

Over to you…

UGC is today’s marketing truth. It always works and marketers are increasingly turning to UGC to promote their brand.

You could simply ask your customers for their honest reviews, and there it is… your very own UGC. Something so powerful and so easily available.

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