“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Content which is created by your fans and followers while participating in a contest or a giveaway is called UGC or user-generated content.
Do you wonder why user-generated content builds a deeper emotional connection with your audience? Here are some of the key factors:
- It comes across as highly authentic and original
- It is created by a variety of users and therefore more interesting
- It provides your audience with a feeling of being a part of a community with common likes and preferences
- It is usually more memorable and entertaining
We usually create content that suits the requirements of the audience. But if we get them to participate in the process then the engagement level is naturally much higher.
The chances of user-generated content getting shared are much higher since the audience is more excited to engage with stories shared by their peers.
Such content is always produced easily and cost-effectively as there are a large number of creators doing it practically for free.
Here are some ways that you can create some exciting user-generated content and benefit your brand.
You can create a variety of contests on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. You can use these contests to get your audience to unleash their creativity and share innovative photos, videos or comments.
The best part of such contests is that you are getting the audience to have fun while creating some heart touching memories.
Take a look at this example from Discovery Channel Southeast Asia:
This is another way of building a reputation for your products and services. You can get your audience to share what they found most useful about your products or services.
Did you know?
Testimonials play a big role in acting as a social proof that you can display for other prospective buyers.
It is therefore essential to encourage your customers to add reviews about your business on your website or Facebook or review sites like Trustpilot.
You can simply ask your customers to add reviews or even provide them a small incentive like a discount on their next purchase.
The positive reviews of your business will add to its online reputation and it will do wonders to the conversion rate of your site.
Reviews are a form of user-generated content that’s evergreen and will give you recurring sales for your business.
Take a look at this example:
An interesting way to create valuable content is to feature your customers on your blog and social media pages.
Get them to talk about themselves and their success story. They could also share how your product or service played a part in their accomplishments.
Take a look at this example from Freshbooks, a popular cloud accounting tool:
The tool has featured one of their clients on their business blog.
Take a look at this interesting example from Wayfair, an online furniture brand:
The furniture brand intelligently uses user-generated content to drive engagement on its Instagram account. The #wayfairathome campaign allows Wayfair customers to post the pictures of their home with Wayfair furniture and get featured.
Getting your audience to play a quiz or answering some questions about your brand can be equally entertaining.
Quizzes that get your audience to comment on a post or an image can be helpful in creating some enjoyable conversations around your brand.
By offering a reward, you can get a large number of fans and followers to participate and add to the discussion.
Here are two interesting types of quizzes that you can run:
Personality type quizzes are extremely interesting and popular with all types of audiences. They are fun and ensure that people participate from start to finish.
Such quizzes will also help you gather insights about your audience and help build better products and services.
Take a look at this example a personality quiz from Cosmopolitan magazine:
In this type of a quiz, you take a subject that’s related to your niche ask your audience some interesting questions. You can also ask them questions related to your products and services or your brand.
Take a look at this example from Disney:
While creating a UGC campaign for your brand, you must ensure that you have a definite strategy in place. Here are some of the key ways in which you should approach a UGC campaign and make sure it works in your favor:
Like every other campaign, you must define the objective of your UGC campaign:
- Promoting a specific product/service
- Creating buzz around your brand
- Collecting leads
- Getting feedback from users
- Getting more sales
Once you have a clearly defined campaign objective in place, you can decide which campaign type would help you to achieve it.
As discussed above, there are a variety of content types that you can explore. You can get your audience to share photos, videos, text, answers, reviews, ratings and boomerangs etc.
You should know which content type would work best for your target audience. Your content type also depends on the type of platform you are using to run your UGC campaign. For example, photo sharing works best on Instagram and quizzes work very well on Facebook. You should choose a platform where your target audience is most active.
Make sure you are choosing one content type for a campaign.
It is essential to provide your users with an incentive to participate in the content creation process. An incentive can be as small as featuring the participants and their business on your page and a big as a trip broad.
The reward would depend on your target audience and what they would appreciate the most. You must also consider whether you are giving way the reward to all the participants or a few winners.
You must announce the reward in the beginning of the campaign and communicate about it in your promotional posts. Doing this would help you to create buzz around your campaign and get the desired level of participation.
You need to have a deeper understanding of your target audience to know the kind of content they would like to create. If your audience consists of sports lovers then they would want be involved in a sports activity and create content around sports. If most of them are youngsters then they would love to participate in a fun contest that involves tagging their friends.
You must plan your UGC campaign about two weeks in advance. Proper planning will give you ample time to create the promotional posts and start posting them on social channels.
You must communicate about the rules and mode of sharing the content. It is also essential to tell your audience about the submission deadline.
You must show a sample content to inspire your audience and help them to get an idea about how they need to go about the process. Don’t forget to create a legal agreement and inform your users about how and where you will be using their content.
A UGC strategy helps you to create a win-win situation of your brand and its audience. It makes your audience enjoy the process of interacting with your brand while helping you to gets the desired level of traction.
Take a look at these stats:
More than 50% of consumers want a brand to tell them what type of content to create and share, but only 16% of brands actually do.
A UGC strategy helps you to scale up your content marketing efforts at a very nominal cost. You can make use of UGC to build a loyal community of evangelists who consistently create and share content for your business.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com