How Can User-Generated Content Drive Your Brand?

If you have been reading our blog for any length of time you know we are big on two things — creating content and real customer interactions. We put a lot of effort into this aspect because we know how much time it takes to do both of those things well.

UGC, or content generated by users, is content that promotes a brand created by an end-user and not the brand itself.

Companies can no longer claim to only get high online exposure based on brand written content and product descriptions. Authentic content from multiple sources is ranked higher by Google than ones created by brands.

The more certified UGC brands can show the less they have to sweat over copywriting to improve their SEO from their best customers. Also, the good news is that the number of users who create content is increasing on a daily basis.

Customers expect content created by users to make purchasing decisions, so customers must be the driving force behind brand campaigns.

Recruiting the best customers as ambassadors for the opt-in brand allows brands to collect content authorized for use in campaigns. By allowing consumers to create content, brands will save time, money, and energy as their customer loyalty, revenue, and SEO increase.

Known and unknown peer consumers have formed an unspoken alliance in which they depend on each other for trends in the goods. Consumers need social proof to understand products from an authentic user perspective, allowing brands to drive sales.

Consumers hold more credibility than the brand because they are the ones who actually invest in, take home and use the product.

When the product hashtag is checked and the screen is filled with customer selfies with the product, the evidence of a great product is clear, not one product catalog image created by a team of marketers.

Consumers are in fact 2.4 times more likely to perceive user-generated content as authentic compared with brand-generated content.

But how do you use UGC to drive sales, and how do you promote UGC creation among your customers?

How to Use UGC?

  • Encourage Trustworthiness

Hard as you might put out content that makes your brand look authentic, the unfortunate reality is that content that comes directly from brands will always give them a hint of disrepute.

Your clients understand how social media works and they can see a post trying to get them to buy something right through. That’s where UGC will play a big part in making your social media look authentic and offer social proof in its most basic form.

  • Build Trust

Building trust takes time in life, and business, and it is hard to get back once it’s lost.

There is a possibility that you may have been misled by the marketers who show their product in images in one way only to have the truth drastically different once you’ve made a purchase.

UGC can be a great way to eliminate any hesitation in the consumer’s mind that may not be as advertised as your product.

Your potential customers can be confident that what they see is what they get by having users upload their own content from them using your product.

  • Drive Purchases

Buying a product online without being able to try it out first-hand is a tough sell for many.

When making a purchase, many consumers want to feel the product, try it on or check out for themselves.

Through seeing someone else use that product, UGC will help a potential customer imagine what their experience would be using a product.

  • Start a Hashtag

So far you have probably noticed a pattern around all of those examples — hashtags.

Not only are hashtags a great way to inspire users to share their content with the world, but they are also a perfect way for you to find all your UGC in one convenient place.

You will tell your customers by creating a hashtag that they should build and share UGC and give it a home where you can select, curate, and repost the best content.

  • Give Incentives

Can’t get enough UGC? An incentive can create an impact. Having a contest or giving those who share UGC a small freebie or coupon code can really jump off a cold hashtag, revive a fading campaign, or get the word out there about your brand in the first place.

  • Be Authentic 

If you want to share authentic material with your followers, then you have to be real.

It will make your followers feel good about what they have done, and show others that if they contribute to the campaign, they will be remembered.

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