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User-Generated Content: Tips for Better UGC Marketing

Boost your credibility by sharing content created by your fans. Don’t miss the UGC marketing tips below.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content (UGC) is any promotional content that has been created and posted by people (unpaid contributors). Content can be of any type, such as blogs, website pages, images, social media posts, reviews, and more.

Those people are often fans of a brand and promote it without any financial gain. Thus, they’re not typical influencers. Brands commonly share UGC on their social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.

The main platform for sharing UGC is, for most brands, Instagram. It’s the simplest platform for users to share photos with products/services, too. After they share it, you can re-share the post on your company’s page to expose it to a larger audience. And, even though Instagram doesn’t have an integrated feature to share posts, there are many ways to work around that.

What are the benefits of using UGC?

Sharing user-generated content is one of those marketing tactics you can’t ignore. Why? First of all, sharing UGC promotes authenticity. According to Business Wire, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. That’s an amazing boost in credibility, especially considering the skepticism users have towards promotional content created by brands.

Speaking of credibility, take this into account: 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer reviews. Sharing that UGC is thus an important way to make your prospects trust that your company will sell them quality products or services. UGC also plays the role of informing consumers what they should expect before doing business with you.

Examples of user-generated content

Not all brands should expect free content from their users. To “stimulate” your fans’ creativity, offer them something in return, such as a chance to win a prize through a social media contest. That can be an efficient way to bring in a good amount of UGC.

But be wary of contest rules on each platform first. For example, Facebook doesn’t allow companies to ask users to share a post on their timeline to win a prize. Also, to keep track of UGC from contests, ask your followers to use a branded hashtag.

Ultimately, the more you reward creators by sharing their posts or offering a free product or discount, the more people will be motivated to tag you in posts they think you might want to share.

Reviews and testimonials are other examples of UGC you can share. Get those reviews from Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, etc. and proudly display them on your website and social channels, emails, and more.

If your product or service can’t be easily visualized, showcase the human side of your brand! Source content from customers, employees, and community members to show what your product/service looks like in action. That way, other Instagrammers can picture themselves using it, too.

Best practices for UGC marketing

First of all, always request permission from the creator to share their content. Even if a post includes your hashtag, not all users may want their content to be shared. They may use your branded hashtags without knowing it’s tied to a user-generated content campaign.

Credit the original creator. When sharing UGC on your social channels, always give credit where credit is due. Mention that you’re using their visuals, copy, or both. Also, check for how the creator wants to be credited on social channels. Giving credit not only is a way to recognize the work of the original creator, but it also makes it easy for fans to check that the content is really created by an unpaid contributor.

Lastly, always keep an eye on your mentions on social media for UGC. How else are you going to find it?! If you don’t want to monitor the social channels directly, use a social media tool like Hootsuite. Go a step further and use the Tint app, which is specifically designed for curating UGC content.