This one goes out to all the brands not using user-generated content marketing and missing out on all the gains that come with it. User-generated content, or UGC, is the key to conversions on social, unlocking brand trust, the power of people and authentic content – so much content. But before we blow your mind and blow up your current strategy (in the best way), let’s begin with a few of the basics.
What is UGC, and where can I find it?
Simply put, user-generated content is just “marketing speak” that encompasses anything consumers create that highlights your brand. Photos, videos, reviews, testimonials, podcasts and – even in some rare cases – music are all forms of UGC. Take a look at your tagged photos on Instagram or search your brand name on TikTok to quickly discover your personal batch of UGC.
While platforms like Instagram and TikTok are bursting at the digital seams with user-generated content, they are not the only place you can find UGC. Don’t discount the authentic conversations, reviews and how-tos happening on Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest and more. Different social platforms will produce different forms of UGC that your content strategy can utilize in many different ways.
UGC examples on Instagram:
Why should I prioritize user-generated content?
Hold on to your butts, because this question could be an entire article all on its own. Let’s break this down.
Brand Trust – If a brand tells a person they have the best product on the planet, is that person really buying? Of course they’re going to claim their brand is the best – they’re trying to make a sale! But if @joeschmoe67 tells the entire internet they can’t live without your product and it’s the best thing since sliced bread? It’s already in my cart, and I’m halfway through checkout. Let the brand fans who already trust you tell everyone else why they should trust you, too.
Your Relationship – Have you ever witnessed the joy of a random person’s post being acknowledged by their favorite brands? If not, go chat with a social media manager and you’ll undoubtedly hear it’s a bright silver lining over the sometimes tumultuous task of community management. Excited fans are engaged fans, and engaged fans become loyal ambassadors for your brand.
Your Content Library – Between breaking through the noise, the ever-changing algorithms, balancing brand messaging and a new trend popping up every other day (if that), you need a lot of content. In addition to the many other benefits, including UGC in your social strategy helps fill in any content gaps in your calendar and keep up with recommended posting frequencies in a cost-effective way.
Out Of Social – UGC is proven to increase conversions with 80% of people saying UGC impacts their decision to purchase. Just because it started in social doesn’t mean that it has to end there. Maybe on a product page or abandoned cart email, you have an image or video where consumers can see what your product looks like in real life. Or maybe a user created a perfect how-to tutorial that could be included in your FAQs.