While there are many tools marketers can use to promote their brand, one of the most effective is user-generated content (UGC).
But what exactly is UGC, why is it the most effective tool when marketing your business and what are some ways to encourage people to create content for your brand?
Let’s talk about it.
At its core, user-generated content is the endorsement of a brand’s product to services created by real, authentic genuine people. User-generated content is any form of digital content, i.e, reels, Stories, photos, videos, and reviews, created by anyone else besides the brand itself. User-generated content is typically created by fans, followers or even haters of a brand.
User-generated content is authentic. People are 3 times more likely to click on user-generated content, mainly due to its relatability— there is nothing fake or polished about the content and because of this people are much more likely to connect with the content and ultimately the brand.
User-generated content is a showcase of how products and services translate to the real world i.e how well the product works or how good the food tastes or looks in real-life scenarios. They’re often visual reviews— a form of content that has been successful in brand promotions since the inception of advertising.
UGC works especially well for hospitality businesses and is a fantastic way to promote your pub, restaurant or nightclub. According to Google executives, people are becoming less reliant on Google search and map services when it comes to discovering food/drink places. Instead, internet users are now turning to social media— specifically customer review content— for the first stop on their discovery path.
Creating content for your brand is essential. However, when you have clients or employees, user-generated content is much more affordable compared to in-house content creation, hiring videography agencies or professional photographers, models, influencers etc to collaborate with is much more costly as opposed to your customers posting free content about your brand.
UGC has the potential to reach a variety of audiences across social platforms. Your customer’s followers will see the content and are more likely to engage with your brand when viewing it from the perspective of their friends or families posting about your product or services.
Ways to Encourage UGC
Before we get into some of the ways to encourage UGC, there needs to be a bit of a disclaimer. User-generated content is not the magic formula that will drastically improve your business’ conversion rates. You undoubtedly NEED to have a good digital marketing plan or a good creative strategy in place. And more importantly, you need to remain consistent with your marketing efforts.
Just reach out
There’s honestly no harm in just reaching out to your followers or fans in their DMs and asking them for video reviews or testimonials about your brand, oftentimes people want to be mentioned and tagged on their favourite brand’s pages. TIP: ask followers who have been consistently engaging (liking, commenting, sharing) your business’s social media posts.
Host a competition
You can get creative with this! Promise “amazing” prizes for competition winners, and make the requirement, to get entered into the competition, “followers with the best product review/ service testimonial will stand a chance to win XYZ”.
Send emails to your customer base or client list encouraging them to send over user-generated content in exchange for “20% off their next purchase” or “50% off the entire menu the next time you visit”. Again, you can really get creative with this.
Incentivise Your Customers
You can encourage people to post about your product or services in exchange for rewards. This could be monetary rewards or if you’re a hospitality brand— free food or drinks.
As we head into 2023, there are various apps you can use to encourage a consistent flow of UGC for your business, without needing to constantly reach out or host campaigns. For example, ttagz App is a unique marketing tool that puts restaurants on the digital map in the most organic and cost-effective way. It allows you to harness the influence of every customer that walks through your door. You can create and monitor incentives for your customers to redeem in exchange for them tagging your venue or products on socials. In a nutshell, they get free items and your business gets free user-generated content.
A hashtag campaign is a social media marketing campaign that surrounds a specific hashtag that a brand creates and promotes. This is a fun way to not only build your community and brand awareness but to also encourage user-generated content. Encourage your followers to “use #XYZ and you may be featured in our next social media post!”
User-generated content has become the most effective form of marketing and is preferred over traditional marketing techniques. People are 3 times more likely to engage with UGC than in-house content. UGC is genuine, authentic, and raw and has the potential to reach a wide range of audiences across social media platforms, not only is it cost-efficient, its scalable and oftentimes easy to encourage by simply just reaching out, hosting campaigns or incentivising your followers.
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