User Generated Content – Grow Your Audience
UGC – User Generated Content. What the heck is that? As consumers we contribute to it, as businesses, we couldn’t pay for it and for business owners it is worth its weight in marketing gold.
Think about the first thing you do when you are considering the purchase of a product – for me, it is the reviews.
Of course, businesses are going to showcase their products in the best light possible, but I want to see what the other customers have to say and I head to the lowest ratings first. Then I head to the social media pages, check on the visitor posts on their Facebook page and the tagged posts on Instagram.
As a customer, those are the things that will get me over the line when it comes to a purchase.
Social proof, real-life reviews from real people – the good, the bad and the ugly.
And there is nothing more powerful than having a customer post an image of themselves online using or wearing a product along with a rave review and tagging you in it.
Welcome to User Generated Content.
Content such as videos, images, text or reviews that are created by everyday people who love your products, your brand and your company. People who take the time to post about their experience with your brand online.
✔ Provides Credibility
✔ Builds Trust
✔ Creates Brand Desire
✔ Builds Your Content Library
✔ Drives Purchasing Decisions
How UGC Can Go Wrong
When you hand over the creation of UGC into your customer’s hands, you also hand over any vetting control over the content they post directly to them. So you need to monitor it carefully because they can literally post anything they want and if it doesn’t align with your values, it can backfire in a big way.
National Geographic takes control of the UGC runaway train by making everyone submit content through their website for approval before they share it out. They have full control of the process and are able to review everything that comes in. You will have to make a decision about what is best for you and your brand.
In saying that, as hard as it might be, you may need to open that channel to negativity because it could help you do things better in the long run. If everybody is complaining about the same thing, it could give you as a brand an opportunity to come to the party and fix it otherwise you might never have known about it.
Always, always, always ask for permission before sharing anything posted by a user, even when a post includes your tag. People use hashtags without realising they may be branded or that they are part of your UGC campaign, so reach out with a quick message and connect with them before just launching their post out into the world.
People are by nature a desirous bunch. Sharing stellar UGC is a brilliant way to inspire brand desire. No matter what industry you are in, it is super powerful to showcase brands through a visitor’s lens. Give it a go!
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