Another addition to our Digital Marketing Hub! Each week we'll be releasing a new post.
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content or UGC refers to any content-image, video, text, etc., and here comes the exciting part, this content is created by your audience, and to be more precise, your fans create it.
Brands have used this tool forever, but this started to expand more and more in the last few years. This might be because of the changes that marketing has had to face, in order to keep up with the customer's needs, some tools had to go through some transformations. The same goes with the user-generated content.
What makes user-generated content so effective?
As we already know, the best advertising is word-of-mouth referrals, and this is because people don't trust pushy sales tactics anymore and have more trust in other people's recommendations, opinions, etc.
That is why user-generated content can help businesses show the human side of their business, become more authentic, and build trust.
It is well known that UGC is a very persuasive tactic used by more than 86% of companies as part of their marketing strategy, according to Tintup.
Moreover, according to Shopify, ads based on user-generated content perform better than classic ads - 4 times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click.
✔️ You will increase engagement and conversions
✔️ You will have authentic content created by your fans, that you can also use on all of your platforms, including ads, email marketing, etc
✔️ UGC can help you expand your audience
❌ It works better for millennials, therefore this type of content is not recommended for businesses that target other audiences than millennials (23-38 years old)
❌ You need some time to monitor the activity of the targeted audience, as there might be some negative content
❌ You need a strategy so you can get the most out of UGC. Therefore, you might need to ask a specialist to help you
What businesses can use user-generated content?
Automotive industry, beauty/fashion industry, cryptocurrency industry, design industry, education industry, electronics industry, entertainment industry, entrepreneurship industry, fitness and sports industry, food industry, hospitality industry, marketing & advertising industry, music industry, news media industry, photography industry, real estate industry, traveling industry, writing & editing industry, etc.
How to create user-generated content?
In this case, the name says it all - users generate content that you can use for marketing purposes. But the real question is how are you getting there? How can you make people generate content?
1. The first step in a user-generated content strategy is to have an overview of your needs. To do so you need to know:
- The goal of the UGC campaign - think about what you want to obtain (awareness, product feedback, advertising promotions, sales, etc.)
- The duration of the campaign - think about a start date and an end date or if you want to be an ongoing campaign (awareness)
- The type of content you want to obtain - you can choose from various content types, such as images, videos, texts, ratings, etc. When you decide the type of content you want take into consideration where you will be using the content (website, social media), the theme of the campaign (fun, creative, formal) and the product/service you are offering
2. The second step is getting to know your audience better. You should know by now the age group of your audience, their favourite platforms, location, etc.
- As part of the strategy, you must think about some incentives for the users that will generate content for you. Moreover, think about ways for them to share the content - how can share and where can share it
- Also, don’t forget to think about the users that will consume the content. Think about what they like to see and where they spend their time
3. Now that you know everything about your users, the one that will create content and the one that will consume the content, you have to plan the logistics.
- Set some achievable goals - number of likes, shares, etc
- Plan the promotion - think about ways to advertise your UGC campaign and make yourself heard
- Communicate everything - write a short article about the campaign and publish it on your website. You can share it on social media profiles you’re using so you create some buzz around it
- How can they submit the content - think about ways your users can submit the content. You can either use a hashtag or simply give them an upload option on your website
- Ask for permission - before using the content ask for their permission. You will need their approval black on white, therefore you should plan a standard mechanism for this. Make sure you include everything about the ownership of the content
- If it is a contest, now it’s time to judge the content and offer the prize
- Last but not least, measure the performance of the campaign
Cases of some leading brand's user generated content efforts
Coca-Cola's marketing team came up with the idea of starting to share a coke campaign through the social and advertisements channel. This idea first surfaced in Australia in 2011, where Coke chose to publish about 150 most common and popular names on its bottles requesting people to 'share a coke' with their nearest and dearest.
The campaign has been running in rotation in various countries based on the country's cultures, traditions, and backgrounds. Moreover, this idea was welcomed with open arms, and individuals profusely began sharing photos with the bottles social networking, and the 'share a coke' effort became an instant hit. Not only in Australia but around the globe in over 80 countries worldwide.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe is an inspirational example of UGC, and their attempts to consistently highlight other competent users. They also respect the ethics of its fraternity. This keeps their UGC genuine and accurate for the audiences.
Adobe thought of conducting an innovative effort for gifted artists and designers employing a hashtag #creativecloud_overgrown. They began an art maker collection, where ingenious designers were been asked to discuss their creative art and emphasise their abilities utilising some Adobe products like Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.
They utilised another hashtag,#AdobePerspective where endowed layout content founders could discuss their visionary work at no cost. This was regarded as an excellent opportunity for Adobe to participate with the users of several different communities. Before they ran this campaign, a lot of new users were finding it hard to be aware of the things they could do with their applications.
With UGC, Adobe attempted to showcase its designing capacities.
Voice of Hunger using Swiggy, a one-time Instagram voice hack where consumers were asked to recreate food contours in humorous ways to acquire food coupons annually. Hunger manifests itself in various ways - growling tummies, salivating mouths, and individuals who see food anywhere.
There were over 10,000 entries on the first day of this effort, and there were more than 150,000 voice notes from its Instagram inbox at the end of the competition.
Swiggy experienced a 7,700% boost in its Instagram reach and engagement rise by 1,165%. Swiggy found a 2,100% boost in visitors to Swiggy on Instagram. The effort resulted in a 40% increase in the brand's followers on Instagram leading to over 40,000 brand new 18 to 35 year old's linking to its Instagram community. There was a 24% average growth in orders for meals resembling its hottest voice note contest.
UGC also shows a massive set of actual and varied people on the other side of the monitor. This aids Lumin in constructing the credibility that shoppers needs and raises confidence between the customer and Lumin. Hence, UGC lowers the time to get a consumer to create a buy decision.
Since UGC helps Lumin Skin presents a product as it is, it permits them to demonstrate the actual functionality. For example, an influencer overview of skincare routine may reveal how he is cleanses, hydrates, and repairs his skin.
Brands tend to discover that the UGC is more fair and genuine when compared with the info that brands supply to the customer, since a customer vouching for the brand adds to the social proof, validation, and authenticity.