How_User-Generated_Content_Boosts_Brand_Potential

How User-Generated Content Boosts Brand Potential

Picture of Written by Andra
Written by Andra

Content Writer at SocialBee

UGC can significantly elevate your brand’s potential. If you’re unfamiliar with a user-generated content campaign, here’s the gist: brands inspire users to produce content, whether that’s penning reviews, taking photos with the products, or crafting unique designs for contests. 

This type of content is then featured on the social media accounts of the user, the brand, or both, ensuring they’re tagged appropriately. Using distinct hashtags for each campaign can enhance visibility and promote virality. 

In this article, we’ll explore the transformative power of user-generated content in bolstering brand potential and share six methods to gather user-generated content for your business.

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Short Summary

  • User-generated content (UGC) includes content created by individuals rather than brands and can be in various forms like text, photos, videos, and reviews.
  • UGC is important for social media marketing as it harnesses peer trust, serves as social proof, fosters brand loyalty, elevates marketing campaigns, provides insights into user behavior, and influences purchasing decisions.
  • UGC can be used to develop testimonials and case studies, promote brand perception on social media, influence customer decisions positively, build trust with authentic ads, and nurture brand community and loyalty through customer stories.
  • Collecting UGC can be done through unique hashtags, contests and giveaways, inspiring customers to share testimonials and reviews, showcasing content and rewarding contributors, and partnering with influencers.
  • It’s crucial to obtain user consent and comply with legal requirements when using UGC for marketing purposes.

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content, often abbreviated as UGC, is content crafted by everyday individuals instead of established brands or companies. This encompasses a range of mediums like text, photos, videos, and reviews. 

Commonly, individuals share their UGC on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, showcasing their personal experiences, opinions, and creative sparks.

The growing trend and trust in UGC underscore its genuine authenticity. It resonates with audiences because it originates from peers rather than corporations, often making it more relatable and trustworthy than traditional advertising.

Why Should You Use Consumer-Generated Content on Social Media Platforms?

Consumer-generated content has emerged as a powerful tool for brands on social media platforms. 

Here’s why we find user generated content important for your social media marketing strategy:

  1. Harness the trust of peer-created content
  2. Leverage user-generated content as social proof
  3. Foster deeper brand loyalty
  4. Elevate your marketing campaigns
  5. Gain insights into user behaviour
  6. Influence purchasing decisions with UGC
  7. Adapt across multiple platforms

1. Harness the Trust of Peer-Created Content

Consumers trust content created by their peers way more than promotional content directly from a brand. This trust directly influences user behaviour and can impact purchasing decisions.

Moreover, peer reviews and content come with an inherent authenticity that traditional advertising cannot replicate. This organic and genuine endorsement fosters a level of trust that money simply cannot buy.

2. Leverage User-Generated Content as Social Proof

Seeing real consumers use, review, or engage with a product serves as a testament to its quality and effectiveness. This social proof is influential and can sway potential customers towards making a purchase.

User-generated content provides this evidence, bridging the gap between brand promises and actual user experiences. Furthermore, as this content is typically unsolicited, it offers a raw and unfiltered perspective, further solidifying its credibility in the eyes of potential buyers.

3. Foster Deeper Brand Loyalty

When consumers see their content being featured or acknowledged by brands, it creates a sense of belonging and appreciation. 

This mutual interaction amplifies the consumer’s attachment to the brand, often turning them into advocates and promoters. Over time, this organic brand promotion by loyal customers can become a valuable asset, generating genuine word-of-mouth marketing that extends the brand’s reach and reputation.

4. Elevate Your Marketing Campaigns

Integrating user-generated content into marketing campaigns can give them a more authentic touch. UGC campaigns often resonate more with the target audience because they showcase real experiences and opinions.

Imagine a cosmetics brand that encourages customers to share their before-and-after photos using their products. These photos serve as authentic proof of the product’s effectiveness, far more persuasive than a perfectly photoshopped advertisement.

5. Gain Insights into User Behaviour

User-generated content offers brands a glimpse into how their products or services are genuinely being used and perceived. This can guide future marketing strategies, product modifications, and even new product developments.

By foregrounding genuine user experiences, brands can foster a sense of community and trustworthiness around their offerings. This also allows potential customers to see the brand through the eyes of their peers, making the brand’s messaging more compelling and relatable.

6. Influence Purchasing Decisions with UGC

In today’s digital age, consumers are more informed than ever, often turning to reviews, testimonials, and other user-generated content before making a purchase decision. This UGC serves as a form of peer validation, providing insights, reassurances, and sometimes even cautionary tales. Such content can be the decisive factor that tips the balance in favor of a purchase. 

By strategically incorporating UGC into their digital presence, brands can leverage this influential content to their advantage. Highlighting positive experiences and addressing concerns can build consumer confidence, making them more likely to choose one brand over its competitors.

7. Adapt Across Multiple Platforms

User-generated content can be easily adapted and shared across multiple platforms, expanding its reach. For instance, a glowing review originally posted on Instagram could be formatted differently and shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform. Likewise, a testimonial on Twitter can be curated and repurposed for an Instagram story or a Pinterest pin.

However, managing and scheduling content across multiple platforms can be daunting. This is where tools like SocialBee come into play. With SocialBee, brands and content creators can efficiently schedule their user’generat, ensuring consistent and timely postings.

The platform’s intuitive design allows users to customize their content according to the specific requirements and aesthetics of each social media site.

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Using UGC in your marketing strategy offers numerous benefits, from building trust and loyalty to influencing purchasing decisions. Embracing the power of consumer-generated content is essential for brands aiming to create a more authentic and resonant connection with their audience.

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How User-Generated Content Boosts Brand Potential

There’s a very good reason why so many brands are harnessing the power of user-generated content; it can significantly boost brand potential.

Here are six ways to build your brand’s community through UGC:

  1. Utilize UGC to develop testimonials and case studies
  2. Promote UGC on social media to enhance brand perception
  3. Use testimonials to influence customer decisions positively
  4. Build trust with authentic ads featuring user-generated content
  5. Nurture brand community and loyalty through customer stories.

1. Utilize UGC to Develop Testimonials and Case Studies

Testimonials can build trust through social media and other channels. People often need validation before making a commitment. Reposting real life accounts from genuine customers can be a powerful motivator for making a purchasing decision. 

The rise of review websites and, of course, Google My Business, has made it easy for consumers to quickly check out a brand’s reputation.

When you share testimonials from customers, you’re providing confirmation that the claims you make about your company and/or products are true. This increases confidence in your brand.

testimonial

Case studies could be a customer sharing a video of themselves reviewing your product and showcasing the results. For example, if a customer provides a case study of your hair straightener, they can show potential buyers the actual results of using it. This real-life account will show whether the hair straightener lives up to expectations. 

2. Promote UGC on Social Media to Enhance Brand Perception

You can post UGC on your social media channels to influence the way people perceive your brand. To do this, you need to first consider how you want people to view you. For example, laid-back, vibrant, or humorous.

You might also want to incorporate your brand’s values into public perception. Perhaps, for instance, you have a passion for working towards animal welfare, or you’re on an eco-friendly mission. 

Once you’ve established how you want the world to see you, you can use UGC to effectively reflect this. You can launch campaigns tailored around your desired perception. For example, posting photos of people having fun with your product will associate your brand with fun and energy. 

3. Use Testimonials to Influence Customer Decisions Positively

While you should never censor negative reviews as a golden rule, that doesn’t mean you have to promote them either. Select testimonials that show you in a positive light to connect your brand with positivity. If there is a particular aspect of your company you want to share with customers, you might send short surveys asking customers specific questions. 

For example, if the general consensus in your industry is a distinct lack of customer support, a good idea might be to outdo competitors with outstanding customer support. Reply promptly to email queries, give great onboarding advice, and never expose customers to a dropped call.  

You can then ask existing customers their take on your customer support and ask them to provide a short testimonial about it. You then post these testimonials on social media and your website to bolster your positive customer support reputation. 

4. Build Trust with Authentic Ads Featuring User-Generated Content

UGC can also be used in ad campaigns to build trust. It’s actually one of the most powerful ways to entice new customers to give your products a try. It’s super important that content is authentic. Consumers are growing wise and can often spot fake testimonials a mile off. Users need to be genuine in their content creation, claims, and opinions. 

You might display some five-star reviews on your ads, for example. Or, include images of people holding your product and smiling. There are loads of possibilities to incorporate UGC into your ads. 

5. Nurture Brand Community and Loyalty Through Customer Stories

Everyone loves a good story. And what’s social media if not a platform to share unique stories within like-minded communities? 

Community is an important aspect of the human experience. It helps people feel included and connected, giving them a common purpose and an opportunity to share, learn, and grow. UGC is an opportunity to personalize your social media campaigns with content your audience cares about.

Let’s pretend you have an eCommerce business that sells fitness gear. A customer sharing their weight loss journey will be inspirational and motivational for the rest of the community. They can gain valuable weight loss and fitness tips and tricks. And importantly, your brand will be seen as one that helps people achieve their goals. 

6 Ways to Collect User-Generated Content

You’ll need methods of collecting UGC from your customers. Asking for content is key here. But, incentives and motivation will go a long way in encouraging users to create content for you. 

Here’s how to collect valuable user-generated content:

  1. Create unique hashtags for easy social media submission
  2. Promote content submission through contests and giveaways
  3. Inspire customers to share testimonials and reviews
  4. Showcase content and reward contributors to inspire others
  5. Partner with influencers to promote content
  6. Obtain user consent and comply with legal requirements

1. Create Unique Hashtags for Easy Social Media Submission

Hashtags aren’t just trendy additions to your content; they are strategic tools designed to categorize, enhance visibility, and amplify the reach of your campaigns. Ideally, your chosen hashtag should encapsulate the essence of your campaign, serving as a reflection of both the campaign’s purpose and your brand’s unique personality.

SocialBee elevates this strategy by offering the functionality to craft and manage ‘hashtag collections’. You can effortlessly categorize and organize these hashtags to suit different campaign themes or objectives.

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Take a look at the TikTok Crocs UGC campaign below:

crocs ugc

Crocs cleverly integrated their brand with the name TikTok and created the hashtag #croctok. This campaign inspired TikTokers to show-off their shoes. Fans also shared their unique Croc designs, Croc cleaning how-to videos, and videos of themselves just generally having fun with the shoes. 

With this campaign, Crocs comes across as humorous and not taking itself too seriously. In essence, it knows its product is, shall we say, an acquired taste. 

Therefore, the aim of the campaign is not to present its product as attractive in the traditional sense. Rather, it wants to present its product as something fun. It creates this inside joke that fans can be a part of by sharing their content. 

2. Promote Content Submission Through Contests and Giveaways

Who doesn’t like a good contest? Especially ones where creativity and talent are required. Launching competitions and exciting giveaways is an excellent way to collect UGC. 

Competitions could involve fans putting their own unique spin on your product, as in the Croc designs mentioned above. Alternatively, photo competitions are very popular among brands and their followers alike. 

Below is an example of a UGC contest run by Cornish Horizons:

UGC contest

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The holiday cottage rental company wanted to encourage tourists to visit Cornwall after the pandemic. They needed a compelling way to promote their business to encourage new customers. 

With this particular campaign, existing customers shared photos of their Cornwall vacations. Customers would need to specify which property they rented and use the hashtag #mycornishhorizon. The winner would receive a £200 Amazon voucher. 

3. Inspire Customers to Share Testimonials and Reviews

We’ve spoken a bit about testimonials already in this article. Follow up with all customers after they’ve received their order asking if they’re happy with their purchase and the service they’ve received. Just like the ultra-handiness of outbound call center software, there’s plenty of software options available to automate follow-up emails. 

After this, you can ask customers if they could write you a short review or testimonial of their experience. They can then post the testimonial on social media and tag you into the post.  

4. Showcase Content and Reward Contributors to Inspire Others

Showcasing content is a great way to get people excited about creating UGC for your brand. Fans will love their moment in the limelight. Additionally, this will encourage other users to produce content that is worthy of the limelight. 

Although showcasing a fan’s content on social media and/or your website might be enough of a reward in itself, you might decide to incentivize UGC even further.

You could reward creators with loyalty points, for example, or special coupons. They might even get access to exclusive content or have the opportunity to gain further exposure.

5. Partner with Influencers to Promote Content

Working with influencers is often a successful strategy for UGC campaigns. It’s a rewarding experience in terms of brand exposure, loyalty, and sales.

Influencers tend to have an exceptionally loyal fanbase that brands can tap into. Influencers will promote your UGC, contest, or hashtag in a relevant context. 

Working with influencers can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, consider working with a micro-influencer. These have smaller fan bases than a typical influencer.

However, dedication and loyalty towards micro-influencers is often just as intense. Therefore, they’ll still generate great results for your campaigns. 

6. Obtain User Consent and Comply with Legal Requirements

Finally, you must always get consent from content creators to use their content for your purposes. Have detailed terms and conditions that reflect applicable laws, and encourage people to read them.

You might, for example, say that by using your hashtag, they consent to you posting their content. Speak with a legal professional if you’re unsure of the legal requirements in your country. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is User-Generated Content Worth It?

User-generated content (UGC) has become a pivotal tool in the digital marketing landscape. When social media users share user-generated content, it not only enhances brand authenticity but also encourages other users to create content. Such UGC often appears more genuine and relatable than standard advertisements. 

Given its potential to boost engagement on social platforms, many brands find the investment in UGC strategies to be worthwhile.

2. How Do I Get Permission to User User-Generated Content?

Before leveraging UGC, especially content that’s been shared by social media users on their profiles, it’s crucial to obtain proper permission. This ensures that you respect the rights of the individuals who create content. 

A straightforward way to do this is by reaching out to the user through direct messages or comments under their user-generated posts.

Always ensure that your intentions are clear and that you keep records of any permissions granted. This protects both the brand and the content creator.

3. Is User-Generated Content Free?

While user-generated content is created voluntarily by individuals and often shared freely on social media posts, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “free” for brands to use.

Ethically and legally, permission should always be sought before repurposing UGC for commercial purposes. 

Additionally, some content creators may request compensation or other benefits in exchange for granting rights to their content. As with any content sourced from third parties, it’s essential to establish clear terms and agreements before using user-generated posts on social platforms or other marketing channels.

Ready to Generate Authentic User-Generated Content?

UGC is effective at boosting brand potential. You can reach out to a new audience and solidify your relationship with your existing audience.

UGC is also a great way of building your reputation, brand image, and vision and values. In essence, UGC creates a community which all your fans can be a part of. They should also be fun, exciting, and engaging. 

Harnessing the power of UGC effectively requires the right tools and strategies. That’s where platforms like SocialBee come into the picture, streamlining and amplifying your UGC efforts.

Ready to unlock the next level of brand engagement and community building? Start your 14-day SocialBee free trial!

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Alexandra

Content writer at SocialBee

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