You may be aware of the term ‘user generated content’ but you may not know what it actually means. You may be doing it for your business already without even realising it.
User generated content is simply content that you acquire via your audience. Here, we provide a run down of how to generate content that is effortless and can help with your overall marketing strategy.
What Exactly is User Generated Content?
Images, videos, reviews and other types of media that are created by customers, users, fans. This type of content is dynamite because it’s rather easy on your part. You literally do very little to create the content, but don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create. There are things that you can do though to encourage more engagement.
For bigger brands, user generated content happens pretty easily and also pretty naturally. That’s because people know their brand or product and want to express their opinion, whether positive or negative. Posting photos of McDonald’s Big Macs on Instagram to their followers or perhaps jumping on the latest trend created by a brand. That’s exactly how successful content strategies can be born, purely by interacting with your audience.
So how do you get your users to create content if you’re a smaller, relatively unknown business? Well, there are three starting points:
- Think Local
Don’t try to interact with everyone. If your business is based in Nottingham but you’re trying to engage with people based in the Netherlands. The likelihood is that you’re not going to get much back from them, unless your brand ships worldwide.
It makes a lot more sense to look for your existing customers on social media, follow them, send them a message, ask if they would mind leaving you a review. Even go as far as asking them to tag you in any posts of your products and if you can use their content on your social channels and tag them in it. This is a great way to spread your brand awareness and to also show your regular customers and users that they’re appreciated.
- Ask For Reviews
Reviews are easier for some businesses, but for others if you don’t ask, you don’t get. A gentle reminder with perhaps a small incentive of 10% off with their next purchase, for example could boost your number of reviews in no time. Use these as testimonials across your site and social media.
This may only be suitable for specific industries but collaborating with other local brands or influencers is a tried and tested way of getting more content, and getting noticed. More often than not, influencers will expect something in return but start small to begin with, look at those that have a smaller following. It also makes more sense to collaborate with those that already follow you, know who you are and interact with you and your brand.
Remember to always ask your audience if you can use their images, videos, reviews etc for your own posts or for content on your site.
What Are The Benefits of User Generated Content?
- Trust & Brand Loyalty
It’s all well and good bragging about your own brand but you’re going to be a bit biassed. People may not trust you, but do you know who they will trust? Jane down the road. Why? Because Jane has a following of 6,000 people on Instagram and Jane is also an interior design lover. She’s also just posted about your interior store and tagged you in a positive review. Her followers are now following you. It may not be quite as simple as that but either way, all hail Jane.
- Engages Your Audience
People love being tagged or mentioned. Honestly, they will want to show their friends and family and this in return will increase your reach. More people will see your posts or visit your site. Talk to your users, see our blog on Twitter for Business for some useful tips.
- Build a Back Catalogue of Content to Reuse and Recycle
It can be difficult to constantly think of new content ideas but with the help of your users and audience, you can quickly build a back catalogue. Save content to use later or to recycle and make it a crucial part of your content strategy.
Never underestimate the power of your users, customers, audience, fans. If they love what you do, then they will want to tell everyone about it and that’s a win for you. I absolutely love user generated content because it’s authentic, original and often tells a story. Think outside the box and don’t just post about offers or blog about how great your product is. Engage with those who want to be engaged with.
If you’d like help with your content strategy or how to make user generated content part of your existing strategy, then contact us.
Lee Reavill is an SEO & Digital Marketing Specialist and Founder of Plenty Digital. He has over ten years of experience in all aspects of digital marketing working both in-house and agency side. He’s a partner of Victress Digital and a go-to for all things keyword related.