How to Create a Winning User-Generated Content Strategy
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies. It has the power to attract, educate, engage, and finally convert your prospects into paying customers. But there’s another strategy that’s even more appealing to prospects as it provides a personal touch and practically involves them in the brand story creation.
User-generated content is essential for building loyalty and trust with your target audience without breaking the bank. If we keep in mind that more than 80% of people look for a recommendation from friends and family before making a purchasing decision, it’s clear how important having a well-crafted UGC strategy in place is.
Types of User-Generated Content
There are several types of user-generated content that you can ask your current customers to contribute with. In order for any type of UGC to be effective, it has to be genuine and sincere as users can tell whether the whole thing has been staged or not.
- Reviews — A great way to spread the word about good experiences with your products or services. Potential customers almost always do their research before making a purchasing decision, and reviews play an important role in decisions.
- Case Studies and Testimonials — These show your potential customers how your product/ service helped existing customers and improved their life.
- Blog posts — Independent and influential bloggers significantly influence the opinions of their loyal followers. That’s why many companies team up with bloggers in order to promote their product or services.
- Influencer marketing — No wonder celebrities can boost (or even sink) a company’s popularity with just a single tweet – Kylie Jenner’s comment that she hardly uses Snapchat anymore resulted in tanking the company’s market value by $1.3 billion. Small businesses that can’t afford high-profile celebrities can greatly benefit from joining forces with minor influencers with a smaller but extremely devoted following.
- User videos — Tutorials and walkthroughs are one of the most popular types of UGC. Given that video takes up one-third of all video activity, it’s more than evident that this is the best way to engage your target audience and credibly showcase products or services.
Determine & understand the target audience
In order to be able to make the most of UGC, it’s essential to identify your audience and understand their needs. The fact that only a small part of your audience will engage in creating content to attract and engage a much wider segment of your users can be challenging.
A clear idea about what the segment wants as an incentive, what kind of content they create, and what social media channels they use to share it. Similarly, study the segment of those who will consume the content, and find out what type of UGC they would like to see as well as what their preferred channel of communication is.
To amp up your promotional efforts, it’s best to consult an agency that is good at remarketing to combine your UGC with paid media ads and boost their relevance with social proof.
Encourage users to create content
This is the trickiest part of the equation because you need to find a way to subtly ask customers for their feedback. Here are a couple ideas about how to do it smoothly:
- Make it easy for your users to leave their comments and reviews: A well-crafted CTA on the product page will prompt them to give their opinion. You can also greatly benefit from reaching out to customers via email right after they make a purchase and asking them to share their feedback on how they like the product or service they bought.
- Social media platforms: Each different platform can do wonders for helping you connect directly with your customers and invite them to comment, review and rate their overall experience with your brand.
- Don’t delete or ignore negative feedback: Instead, make sure to respond as quickly as possible and actually look into the problem. By dealing with such a situation in a proactive and responsible manner, you’ll get great PR and show your potential customers that you care about their satisfaction.
- Run a contest: Ask users and social media followers to provide their content, such as images or videos with themselves or their friends using your products, and give away branded products which will both strengthen customer loyalty and turn your customers into brand ambassadors and walking billboards.
User-generated content is a cost-effective strategy which can help your brand build credibility and trust with potential customers.