User-Generated Content (or, UGC for short) is becoming increasingly important when it comes to promoting your brand, products, and services. That’s because consumers online are craving transparency and trust from brands, they want to know that what you’re saying about your business is true, and UGC can most certainly satisfy this demand.
In this blog, we’ll be giving you our guide to UGC. Explaining what is actually is, how it can benefit your brand and our top tips when it comes to thinking about driving your audience to make more User Generated Content for your business online.
What is UGC?
User-Generated Content is essentially content (posts, photographs, videos) that are about your products or services, and that are created by your customers.
Think about any fashion brand. They’ll doubtless have thousands of people on social media talking about their clothes and posting a picture of them wearing a certain outfit.
These people will, most definitely, be tagging the brand in their post, and they may even be using a specific hashtag to go along with the post to help it get seen by the brand.
This is User Generated Content, and the great thing is that it can be created for all businesses – no matter your industry, products, or services.
Why do people want to create content for brands?
The science behind the matter isn’t entirely clear. But what we can be certain of, is that UGC is an incredibly powerful way for your business to gain exposure, and credibility from others online.
How can UGC benefit my business?
Exposure and brand awareness
In terms of exposure, think about how many followers or friends one person online might have. Now think about how incredible it would be if you could promote your brand to all of those people.
That’s what UGC enables us to do. And in doing so, allows us to surpass the need (occasionally!) to have to pay for online advertising to promote our brand or certain products or services we offer. Our customers are doing it for us.
We speak to a lot of businesses, and one of the things that many of them say to us is that they struggle to create enough content for their businesses to promote on social media.
UGC is a fantastic way around this issue!
That’s because someone is literally creating content for you. Content that you can then share or repurpose (with the permission of the owner, of course!) on your own social media profiles for the world to see.
One of the best things about UGC is credibility. By this, we mean the element of trust that User-Generated Content brings to you and your business.
In an era full of creative ‘Influencers’ and large corporations that many feel they can’t trust, a lot of online consumers are becoming wary of false scams or paid-for promotions that don’t shine an honest light on certain products or services.
But UGC is different. Because it’s created by genuine customers who have bought your products or services and simply want to sing your praises!
This authenticity will go a long way to helping your brand be seen by many as one to trust and, ultimately, one to buy from.
Something to consider
When you’re thinking about how to encourage your audience to create content for you, it might be worthwhile considering the reality that they might want something in return for their work.
This won’t be the case for all businesses. But often with e-commerce businesses, you’ll see brands giving discounts, special codes, or a small freebie to those who have gone out of their way to create content for them.
This isn’t all doom and gloom though! Incentivising your audience to create content in this way is similar to any competition you might run, and could be the foot through the door you need to get your online audience to create that much-needed User Generated Content that you’re after.
Our top tips for getting UGC for your brand
Now it’s time for you to start thinking about how you can launch your own campaign to get more User Generated Content for your brand! We’ve given you our top three tips to think about when doing this below…
Think about the customer
When it comes to launching a User Generated Content campaign, it’s important to remember that your customers will be the ones creating the content for you.
Because of this, it’s important to phrase your new campaign in a way that actually sounds appealing.
We appreciate that every industry is different, but you can all get creative and think about phrasing your narrative in such a way as to make your customer want to create something for your brand.
For instance, if you’re a painter and decorator, think about asking your customers for a photo of a dressed room. That way your customer gets to show off their stylish new room, and you get to show off your handy skills in a snazzy environment.
The opportunities are endless, but remember, it’s not just about you!
Create a hashtag
Don’t forget that it’s important to know when your audience has actually posted about you.
One way to stay on top of this is to create and promote a specific hashtag for your UGC. For instance, we could create the #HypestarLearner hashtag and encourage everyone who comes on one of our workshops to post about their experience and use the hashtag.
That way, later on, we can search for the hashtag and find a whole plethora of UGC in one place!
Don’t forget to tell them to tag you
Another way to know that your audience has actually posted about you is to get them to tag you in their post.
When you’re promoting your desire for more UGC from your audience, be sure to remind them to tag you and use your specific hashtag in their post so that you can find their content.
It’s a simple (and possibly obvious) call to action, but it’s arguably one of the most important things to remember!
Thanks to Hypestar for this blog. Take a look in its original format here.
Interested in joining us to learn more about your digital skills? Take a look at our upcoming events.