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The Power of User Generated Content And How To Get It

December 12, 2018
Allison Blacker
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user-generated-content

What is UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) is external content that isn’t created by the brand but instead created by, you guessed it, users!

Where does it come from?

User-generated content comes directly from customers who are genuinely passionate and excited about your brand (the best kind!)

Content generated and shared by your customer is extremely powerful as it is one of the most authentic forms of content AND comes at no cost to your business!

User-generated content can come in the form of images shared on social media or reviews, testimonials, and blog posts.

Why is it important?

As consumers become savvier, the demand for brands who are authentic and transparent in their marketing efforts has grown.

Consumers are no longer lured by big-budget campaigns or television commercials, they want to engage with brands who can they can connect with – they wanna be your friend!

Word of mouth is considered one of the most effective forms of marketing because consumers are much more trusting of other consumers than they are of marketers (surprise!)

User-generated content is also more timely – it’s relevant and a lot more up to date than a campaign which may have have been created months prior.

User-generated content is super important to any brand’s marketing arsenal, no matter how big or small the brand may be.

How can you get it?

It’s all well and good to know how excellent user-generated content is, but if no one is posting about your brand, it can be a little tough to harness its power.

Directly – Ask for it! The best way to encourage users to share content is to simply ask! Make sure to include your social channels and preferred hashtags on in-store signage or on a card if you send your product via post.

You can incentivise your customer to share by offering a discount or freebie in exchange for a review or social post. Or, you could turn it into a competition and let your customers battle it out against each other, aiming to wow you with their best content! Prizes could include free products or services or a feature on your social account.

Indirectly – Sometimes, customers will feel so passionately about your brand that they simply want to share content just because they can! This is usually the result of creating a product which is well regarded and a community that feels connected with you. You can foster this relationship further by engaging with your audience frequently and ensuring to always thank your customer for sharing.

Who’s doing it well?

For some examples of user-generated content at work, look no further than your Instagram feed! Both small and large businesses are using it more frequently than ever before.

Grill’d: Their Instagram feed is made up almost entirely of user-generated content, allowing them to showcase a range of menu items, store interiors and happy faces without spending a scent. It also reinforces their brand message of “real burgers” by showcasing real content – minimal studio time required!

Daniel Wellington: Whilst this watch brand also works with influencers, there is a lot of content coming directly from paying customers. The brand incentivises customers to share their content by giving away a watch once a month to the snap which receives the most likes.

Nike: Their #JustDoIt hashtag has been used over 15 million times on Instagram. Via this, customers are encouraged to share their photos with the Nike community, which can then be seen by fellow exercise enthusiasts. Whilst Nike doesn’t use a lot of UGC on their own channels, the community of engaged customers that they’ve built is still very apparent!

Is user-generated content the only type you should use? Of course not, but is it a very easy way to connect with your customer and help build your brand story? Yes!

Want customers excited about your brand? Contact us today!

Allison Blacker is a social media coordinator at Milkbar Digital. She loves writing copy and arranging a scroll-worthy feed for her client’s accounts. When she’s not hard at work, you can find her tucking into an eggs benedict or patting other people’s dogs.

Milkbar Digital is a Melbourne social media and digital marketing agency here to help business small and large. If you need help with your social media or don’t know where to begin, get in touch!

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[…] Sharing user-generated content is a great way to add authenticity to your brand. You can find out more about UGC here. […]

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