User-Generated Content: A Brand’s True Voice
Imagine as a business owner you had confidence that your customers were promoting your brand! There is no better way to prove that you have a popular, trusted product and/or service than by the consumer confirming it to the public through user-generated content.
What is user-generated content (UGC)?
At a high level, user-generated content is a vote of confidence in your brand’s products or services — often without any prompting. It is one of the most potent ‘reverse marketing’ tools. Your customers are the marketers: actively tweeting, blogging, uploading photos, videos to Instagram and Tiktok, and writing positive reviews that friends and followers will read on your social media channels.
Your successful marketing endeavours are being reciprocated by your target audience in the forms of trust, personalisation and loyalty; it’s emotional currency that can’t be replicated.
Three main benefits of UGC
- Showcase your customers as the faces of your brand
You’re letting the audience tell your brand’s story for you. Moreover, it gives your customers a sense that they are being noticed and valued; you’ve developed a strong relationship with them – that’s marketing gold.
- See that the value is in the eye of the consumer
User-generated content authenticates your vision and the values you want to be associated with the brand. It shows that you’ve stuck to your promises made to the customers through your marketing campaigns, strengthening credibility and authority.
- How much consumers trust user-generated content
People trust UGC because it’s created by individuals who have actually utilised the product and/or service and are very happy with the result(s); their opinions are 100% genuine.
Crowdriff explains that “People also trust user-generated visuals over any other type of content. The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram photos of a product influence more than two-thirds (72%) of shoppers. User-generated videos on YouTube get 10x more views than branded content.”
How to leverage UGC strategically
You’ve unlocked a treasure trove of brand-enhancing, prospective customer influencing content at your fingertips. Think of UGC as a practical asset, not only as a reward. Don’t splatter it across your homepage like a Jackson Pollock painting; use it to leverage your brand’s dynamic story that is constantly evolving through UGC.
- Extract the SEO sweeteners
The SEO opportunities directly associated with UGC carries immense value. You can improve your ranking potential through backlinks to your website generated by users blogging about your product and/or service. In addition, analyse the keywords/keyphrases customers are using in their content to advance and refine keyword research optimisation. This will subsequently ignite your copy, bolstering Google SERP ranking.
- Content ideation and curation benefits
Follow and feed off the different types of content that users are posting. This is a perfect way to ensure that your content won’t become stale; instead, it will increase engagement and connection with your brand.
It also gives you the ability to create targeted, informed marketing strategies that have already proved successful. You’ve essentially been given the answers and now need to make the relevant, personalised delivery mechanisms.
- Give your social media strategy credible clout
Every piece of user-generated content is strengthening your credibility continually. It’s now time to move your social media strategy into a heavier weight class and start throwing carefully crafted ‘bombs’ to become a multimedia authority (MMA) that even Conor McGregor would respect.
Consider active-engagement social media campaigns such as Instagram video contests or Facebook competitions that require users to ‘like’ your page, comment and include the sponsor’s handle and appropriate hashtag. Once you have an audience that trusts your brand, you can try and test ideas that come to mind.
- Continually gain better audience insight
Content marketing can be boosted ten-fold when you know your audiences’ preferences. It will lessen the likelihood of hit-or-miss tactics. Let’s also not forget that not all UGC will be positive, but once again, they’re telling you what’s bothering them, and you can fix all issues accordingly. The bottom line is that if you are in tune with your audience, you’ll entrench trust in your brand continually.
- Set informed goals
You can be confident with the revenue growth and ROI goals you set for your business because it’s based on real data fed to you constantly. Knowing you have vital peace of mind that your forecasts are accurate is an enviable position, so make sure you take charge while the iron is white-hot.
Social Media Today states that “according to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.”
User-generated content should be seen as a privilege that can continue to gain momentum if you are proactive, innovative and implement the correct marketing strategies. We’ve helped many clients leverage UGC and witnessed the exponential benefits first-hand.
Are you receiving valuable UGC that potential to further your brand’s footprint but are unsure how to utilise it strategically? Speak to a business consultancy that has access to an expert marketing agency.