Every company has to create fresh, relevant content for their blog, social media and digital marketing efforts. Coming up with content can be time consuming and sometimes even quite costly. What if I told you that there’s a secret weapon that’s often free, easy to get, builds your brand, and increases customer loyalty? Because there totally is! It’s called user-generated content (UGC).
User-generated content is exactly how it sounds: content that is created by the user (or customer, for service based businesses). It’s content that your customers post on online platforms, such as social media. It can be testimonials, blogs, pictures, videos – you name it. User-generated content is the answer to all of your content creation woos – especially if you know how to use it right.
If you look around, you’ll notice this kind of content is everywhere! You see your customers Tweeting to at you or about you, or posting your product on Instagram and engaging with your brand using your hanshtag. Maybe, a cool customer or blogger even writes a really awesome blog post featuring your company. Most companies just look at it and give themselves a high-five, however, smart companies leverage this content to build their brand. Here’s how you can be smart as well.
1. Reposting the content on social
The simplest way to leverage user-generated content is to scour social media for customers who are acting as brand ambassadors because they love your company. Ask them if you can re-post their images or videos on social media. If your customers are posting great photos using your products, or interacting with your service, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask them if it’s okay to repost on your company channel with credit to their social media handle, of course.
Posting images and content from real people increase the trust people have in your brand and increase customer loyalty. Who doesn’t love when a company gives them props for talking about them?
2. Run a campaign
Running a hashtag campaign putting a call out for user-generated content is a great way to get new content and increase brand awareness. Think about the Starbucks White Cup campaign (#WhiteCupContest) – they asked Starbucks lovers to design their own cup and post it on social media. Then, the company used the content to continue to post and build momentum. They now have so much beautiful user-generated content to last them for years!
A contest is a great way to encourage customers to interact with your brand and post online, while also gaining followers and increasing brand presence.
3. Get your own influencers
If you see a blog written already that features a good review of your product or service, reach out and ask them if you’re allowed to republish it on your own blog. Or, simply post the link on your social media pages giving the author a shout out. If you republish a blog, you can get traffic from the content on your site, while also giving the author credit with a link at the bottom stating: “Previously featured on htttp://customerblog.com on [date]”
4. Use testimonials as content
Customer testimonials are an awesome way to build trust and build your brand. If your customers are leaving reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or any other service, repost them! You can design a nice graphic for social media and share away, including these graphics in your newsletters and all your social media efforts. I like to recommend using Canva.com to create these images. Super easy to use and FREE!!!!
Endy Sleep literally used customer testimonials for their massive advertising campaign in Toronto and it was awesome.
Building your brand
User-generated content is such a strong tool to build your brand, because you get to leverage your existing customers. Letting your customers know that you see them, hear them, and want to engage with them is the best way to build marketing momentum and get rich content to use over and over again.
Here is an example of one of our awesome clients that are killing it with User-generated Content! https://www.instagram.com/clearybikes/
Their customers love their products and the company culture so much, they are sending in pictures and tagging Cleary Bikes on a daily basis. Content....just like that!! Mic Drop!