Did you know that 84 percent of businesses are using user-generated content (UGC) to help with authenticity? It’s a good move when you consider the fact that 79 percent of consumers say that UGC impacts their decision to make a purchase.
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for businesses. It can be used to increase brand awareness, create an engaged community, and generate sales.
But what exactly is UGC, and how does it work? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the basics of UGC and how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any content created by users of a company’s products or services. This can include things like reviews, ratings, comments, and other forms of feedback. It can also include social media posts, blog articles, and even videos and images.
Most companies encourage UGC because it helps to promote their products or services and build brand awareness. It can also be used to improve customer service or gather market research data.
In some cases, UGC can even help to generate sales leads. While UGC can be extremely valuable for businesses, it’s important to remember that this type of content is not always accurate or objective. As such, businesses should moderate UGC carefully before using it in marketing or decision-making processes.
The Benefits Of User-Generated Content
Around 74 percent of consumers depend on social media to help them make decisions about purchases. That’s why it’s imperative to understand the real value of user-generated content that can help you use it effectively. There are many benefits of incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy, but here are some of the most significant ones:
- It’s cost-effective. Creating original content can be time-consuming and expensive. Leveraging UGC is a great way to get high-quality content at a fraction of the cost.
- It’s more authentic than traditional marketing. In today’s world, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages from all directions. UGC cuts through the noise because it feels more relatable and authentic – like a recommendation from a friend.
- It builds social proof. Customer testimonials are powerful because they provide third-party validation that your product or service is worth investing in. UGC can serve as social proof and help you win over skeptical prospects.
- It can drive traffic and conversions. If you have an e-commerce store, incorporating user-generated photos and videos can help increase traffic and conversions by giving potential customers a better idea of what your products look like in real life.
- It’s good for SEO. Google loves fresh, relevant content, so publishing user-generated content on your website can help boost your search engine rankings.
- It increases engagement. People are naturally drawn to visuals, and UGC is no exception. By featuring user-generated content on your social media channels, you can increase engagement and build stronger relationships with your followers.
The Risks Of User-Generated Content
User-generated content does come with some risks. The most obvious risk is that of user-generated content being inappropriate or offensive. This can damage your brand and reputation, and even lead to legal trouble.
Another risk is that of copyright infringement. If someone posts copyrighted material on your site without permission, you could be held liable. This is why it’s important to have a clear policy against copyright infringement and to take down any infringing content as soon as you become aware of it.
Finally, there’s the risk that user-generated content simply won’t be very good. It may not reflect well on your brand and could turn off potential customers. To mitigate this risk, you need to carefully curate the user-generated content on your site, only publishing the best of the best.
How To Use User-Generated Content
How do you actually use UGC to achieve your goals? Great question, fortunately, we have some tips for you.
- Encourage customers to submit reviews, testimonials, or other forms of UGC on your website or social media pages. Make it easy for them to do so by providing clear instructions and a simple submission form.
- Use UGC in your marketing campaigns. For example, you could feature customer testimonials in ads or on your website.
- Leverage UGC to create dynamic and engaging content for your social media channels. For instance, you could share user-generated photos and videos on Instagram or Facebook.
- Use UGC to drive traffic back to your website or blog. For example, you could include links to user-generated content in your email newsletters or blog posts.
- Keep an eye out for negative UGC and address it promptly. While most UGC is positive, there will always be some negative reviews or comments mixed in. It’s important to monitor these and respond accordingly.
Guidelines For Creating And Using User-Generated Content
Most social media platforms have strict guidelines regarding user-generated content. These guidelines are in place to protect the platform from liability, and to ensure that only quality content is shared.
When creating user-generated content, it’s important to adhere to these guidelines to avoid having your content removed or banned. When creating user-generated content, always:
- Create original content: Copying and pasting someone else’s work, even if you give credit, is not allowed. Only original content that you have created yourself is permitted.
- Respect copyright laws: Do not post copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. This includes images, videos, music, and text.
- Avoid profanity and other offensive language: Social media platforms are typically family-friendly environments, so profanity and other offensive language are not tolerated. If your content contains any profanity or offensive language, it will likely be removed by the platform.
- Follow the platform’s terms of service: Each social media platform has its own terms of service that all users must agree to before using the platform. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of service of each platform you use, and only create and share content that adheres to these terms. Violating the terms of service can result in having your account banned from the platform.
Take Advantage Of User-Generated Content
As you can see, understanding how user-generated content works is essential to creating an engaged community and building a successful brand. Not only is it beneficial in terms of organic growth and cost savings, but it also provides users with a sense of ownership over their favorite brands that cannot be replicated any other way. UGC gives brands the opportunity to increase customer loyalty, build trust, and create more meaningful relationships with their audiences.