If only there was a way to get someone to do your marketing for you … for free. The good news? There is! Well, there’s a little more to user-generated content than simply crossing your fingers and hoping your consumers will do all the hard work, but it is a sure fire way to grow your business without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.
What is UGC?
UGC is simply any content that your customers create featuring your products or services. We wrote a more in depth explanation of UGC that you can check out HERE. UGC can be boiled down to this: word-of-mouth has always been the most effective marketing tool and it’s the new word-of-mouth in the digital age.
When you see the ‘paid actor’ advertising the latest toothpaste on TV, you don’t automatically trust them. That’s because you can see they’re being paid for their scripted words and because you don’t know them at all. If your friend, however, brought the exact same toothpaste on your next holiday and raved about how it had made their teeth whiter, your ears perk up and you may actually consider buying it.
UGC is all about finding that sweet spot in between those two things. Of course, you don’t know strangers on the internet, but they’re not being paid and they have real experience with the products and services they talk about — they’re not a perfectly manicured actor being told what to say. You can trust them. And, with 84% of millennials reporting that UGC featured on company websites has at least some influence on what they buy, you cannot afford to miss the UGC boat.
So, what kind of content can your users create for you?
- Reviews on websites like Google, TripAdvisor, Amazon, Yelp and your own
- Youtube videos that review or haul products
- Tags in images on both Instagram and Facebook where the product or service is displayed
- Hashtags attached to any content (blogs, images, etc)
While the form that UGC takes is usually one of those three things, the possibilities are endless! Think of Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, Starbucks’ White Cup Campaign or any event that you’ve been to that asks you to use a certain #hashtag when you post your photos; they all encourage you to create your own content with their products/services/experiences. Everyone’s doing it!
It’s not all up to the user …
Sorry, we lied, you may actually have to lift a finger. While it’s true that UGC is cheap and it’s true that the heavy lifting will be done by your consumers, they need a little push from you.
Encourage — people love sharing information with their friends when they’ve found a product or a service that really blows them away but they need a platform to do it. Provide them with a hashtag to use, let them know of your social media accounts so they can easily tag you, give them a prompt or maybe offer an incentive in a discount code or a prize.
Respond — UGC is not just an opportunity for some free promotion, it’s also an opportunity to build relationships. Feature your consumer’s images on your website, retweet their Tweets when they mention you, reply to their reviews thanking them for their time. You can show off your personality, show them they’re appreciated and get some free publicity, all in one hit.
UGC will look different for every business, if you’re not sure where to begin, Incredible Communications can help. Email us at http://www.incrediblecommunications.com.au/#contact or call 0414 711 107.