Over the last couple of years, digital marketing positioned itself as an absolutely dominant force in the present-day marketing landscape. So, it shouldn’t really come off as a surprise that contemporary companies put a lot of faith in this channel to deliver a consistent influx of new customers.
Still, regardless of the industry or marketing approach in question, most of these entities fail to realize that, unlike the outreach methods we used before, digital marketing has one unique quality and that is two-way communication.
These days, the users are not mere recipients – they take an active role in the marketing process and content creation. If your company wants to truly leverage this lucrative channel, it needs to make some use of user participation.
Let us take a look at a couple of tips that should help you along the way.
What is User Generated Content?
But, before we delve deeper into this topic, let us all first get a good idea about what user-generated content actually is. So, the term UGC usually covers any kind of content ranging from social media posts and blog posts to simple tags created by users that are not paid by your company but still engage in the promotion of your business.
The benefits of this sort of promotion are numerous and usually include the mentions like:
People these days put a lot of trust in peer recommendations. By turning the clients into brand advocates and leveraging the power of customer reviews your company can score easy branding points without using extensive marketing resources. These arguments warrant even closer examination if we consider the fact that, according to a recent survey, 86% of consumers read reviews before forming an opinion about some brand. Therefore, user reviews and other UGC can be some of the best tools in your arsenal.
A great tool for building online communities
In this day and age, the success of one brand can be measured by the footprint it is capable of creating on social media. Encouraging your users to leave comments and post content that will boost your brand exposure can only help this cause and build a community of engaged followers. With the help of an experienced social media agency and a consistent content strategy, you can easily turn your brand from a simple shop to a platform where people come to learn, network, and exchange opinions with their peers.
Excellent source of feedback
Crafting any sort of long-term branding and marketing strategy takes great insight into the mindset of your clients. Encouraging them to engage in a two-way, interactive sort of promotional interaction with your business will help you to get very valuable insights into their thought process and make marketing course corrections along the way. Furthermore, this well of the content may serve as an excellent source of ideas that may prove to be more than useful when coming up with the product name or in similar situations.
Building the brand authenticity
This is probably one of the most novel perks brought to the table by the UGC. Namely, the people on the web don’t see user reviews and recommendations as more authentic – the opinions about the brand made by unbiased users are also seen as more authentic. If you muster enough into promoting the qualities and traits you see as critical within your customer pool, the effective UGC strategy may create a ripple effect that will allow you to dictate your brand narrative in a very organic and authentic manner.
How to encourage user-generated content
Now that we’ve seen some of the major benefits of user-generated content let us see what you can do to encourage this form of social engagement and use the consumers’ general interest in the brand to your advantage. Some of the most common methods include the likes of:
- Encourage reviews –Your clients should always feel encouraged to freely express their thoughts regardless of the circumstance or the channel.
- Create engaging content – The quality content that convinces and converts can at the same time spark the creativity of your followers and encourage them to express their thoughts in a way that goes past the regular social media interactions.
- Leverage calls to action and challenges – Both these tools have demonstrated tremendous value in generating instant buzz and increasing social media footprint. Their results will be made even more effective if you place some tangible reward at the finish line.
- Create a dedicated hashtag – No matter what your UGC strategy may consist of, you should always have an appropriate hashtag to go along with it. For instance, the surveys say that tweets using hashtags get double the engagement than the ones without. This is something you should definitely use to your advantage.
We hope this short breakdown gave you some general idea about the ways the user-generated content can benefit your company as well as outlined some of the ways you can use this powerful asset to the benefit of your company. The most important thing to remember, however, is that the digital marketing arena does not only offer a plethora of channels you can use to build your brand. If you use the right strategies, you can turn this into a shared effort and make your clients a part of the process. The things we covered above should definitely nudge you in the right direction.