What is User Generated Content and why it is important ?
With all the hype in the digital industry we often find people asking “What is user generated content?”
The meaning of User Generated Content is quite self-explanatory. User Generated Content is the content that has been created and put out there by contributors, customers or fans of your brand. User Generated Content is any form of content, such as images, videos, text and audio, that have been posted by users on online platforms such as social media.
The main goal of User-Generated Content is to make users market the brand rather the brand promoting its own products or services. User-generated content has been extremely successful for various mega-brands in the past, making it one of the most effective marketing strategies available in today’s world.
Why Is User Generated Content Important?
- 84% of consumers trust peer recommendations more than any other sources of advertising.
- Businesses generate twice the number of sales with User Generated Content marketing than they do with paid advertising.
- 74% of consumers refer to social media when they make their purchase decisions.
- Leads referred to a business by loyal customers have a 37% higher retention rate than those who come across the business in other ways.
Benefits of User Generated Content for a brand?
- It evokes more trust
- It builds brand authenticity
- Leads to a great improvement in Conversion Rates
- Keeps the brand Relevant without much work at backend
- Takes pressure off content creation, thanks to social media
- User Generated Content is totally free
So how does UGC play such a great role in influencing consumer opinion and spiking up conversion rate? Let’s take a look.
It evokes more trust
People naturally trust the opinions of other users more than they would trust the voice of the company. Therefore UGC evokes more trust than branded content does.
It builds brand authenticity
Customers in today’s times are no longer the passive consumers influenced by advertisements and branded messaging. They are active decision makers and research brands by digging out testimonials and case studies. UGC nudges the buyers to opt for brands that have made a connect with their erstwhile buyers, having endowed the product with an element of authenticity.
As per State of Sales report from Salesforce, 60% of marketing and sales professionals agree that collaborating with your buyers throughout the decision making process has increased sales productivity by 25%.
Leads to a great improvement in Conversion Rates
The final aim for any marketer is to go beyond engagement and drive conversions. Since UGC is about people’s experience with the brand, it helps keep the customer at the fore all the time. Thus UGC is personal and because of that attribute, it has been proven to increase conversion rates in virtually every industry.
Keeps the brand Relevant without much work at backend
When a current trend or cause is already happening, the brand may not be in a position to create content around it at short notice. With UGC, however, the chances are that you already have the content you need at your fingertips.
The chances are that consumers are already talking about the trend on social media and you can easily tap into that by inviting them to share their work. For example if it’s Women’s Day, a brand which offers women health products or even regular consumer products for women, can invite women to share their views on womanhood, gender equality or even on something as generic as women’s happiness. This would help you get quick content as you are drawing it from the work that consumers are already creating around a trend.
Takes pressure off content creation, thanks to social media
There are millions of pieces of content being uploaded on social media each day. All that you need to do is tap into what’s relevant to your brand.
With such a large swathe of UGC to choose from, constant content creation is not a problem anymore. You have new, relevant content on social media to choose from, and the pressure is taken off your marketing and content creation teams.
And the fact that social media users trust UGC far more than they trust brand content, is another compelling reason for you to use UGC.
User Generated Content is totally free
Your users are putting content out there in your favour without charging you a dime for it. They are happy with your brand and want the world out there to know that yours is a brand which cares about its consumers. Which better way to get word of mouth publicity without spending a penny than UGC?
Types of User Generated Content
It is estimated that 48% of consumers say that user-generated content is a great way to discover new products. User-generated content is the future of content marketing without any form of contestation. It is absolutely natural for humans to trust the referrals of other humans who are personally close to them.
The internet explosion has facilitated the smooth growth of UGC. Brands can now engage with their audiences like never before. There are various types of User Generated Content which can be leveraged indifferently.
Customer feedback is something that skips the mind for most brands and businesses. However, feedback from customers is absolutely essential when it comes to inspiring trust and confidence amongst other or new customers. Another hidden benefit of customer feedback is that it helps you understand your own flaws and helps you identify areas of your business which need to be worked upon.
Improving your business based on genuine feedback from customers is absolutely important for any organisation. Customer feedback can be obtained in the of FAQ’s or Q&A’s. There are various digital platforms that enable you to obtain customer feedback as well, try having a look at those.
Ratings and Reviews:
Ratings received from customers plays a vital role in terms of winning and inspiring customer confidence. Some platforms only enable customers who have purchased a certain product to leave a review or a rating. These platforms are ideal in terms of obtaining genuine and realistic reviews.
Social Media Posts:
Inspiring audiences to post content relating to your brand is essential in today’s digital age. Posts on social media reach hundreds of users who trust and relate to the individual who is uploading it. The personal element of using social media UGC helps you reach the personal feed of thousands of target audiences.
There are various techniques and strategies to encourage your audience to upload content on social media. We at JustKapture Innovations help and facilitate UGC for brands in an entirely unique way our products HashTag Printer and Social Wall are just designed to do the trick.
How can you generate User Generated Content for your brand
Search for UGC for your brand
Most of the times brands are unaware of UGC which is already out there. This happens mostly when the brand is running a hashtag campaign and has not asked its users to tag the brand’s account directly.
So you have to ensure that you search for any pre-existing UGC that you may already have. Look for any and all tagged notifications, and try to respond to each and every one. When you search for your brand name and your branded hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, you may come across a great post; ask the user if you can repost it on your website or social media handle.
The content would most likely be public and the user, more often than not will be happy for you to share it on your account.
Run UGC-oriented campaigns
Reach out to your erstwhile or existing customers, asking them to share about their experience with you. A review would be good but what would be even more effective would be asking users for a video, a photo, or a post on social media. This would really expand the reach of these campaigns quickly.
There are some brands, which have ongoing campaigns that keep UGC flowing. You can set up a branded hashtag, add it to your bio, and tell users the exact way they can share the content that you’d want to see.
This could be “Snap a picture of your Diwali moment” or “Show us your favorite restaurant dish”. Create posts for Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat and Twitter asking users exactly what you want and how they can share it with you.
Host contests using User Generated Content
A contest is all about interaction with the audience. By their very nature, contests involve a lot of comments, shares, retweets and follows, all of which are great elements of engagement.
Social media contests are the best way to ramp up UGC very quickly. This could be asking users to submit a photo and caption it with something they love about your brand. Of course this is going to be in exchange for a chance to win something great. Prizes can be as simple as a gift certificate or a basket of goodies.
Contests are successful because they are easy to promote and everyone loves the chance to get something for free. So it can lead to a quick rise in UGC from both new and old customers. Contests also need minimal interaction – they could simply be about tag a photo or tag a friend.
But you could also have creative contests like Starbucks did with the “White Cup” contest. Customers were asked to doodle designs on their coffee cups and submit photos of their work.
Turn Customers Into Stories
You can continue to be a part of your customer’s story even after they have finished their purchase of your product. It would be a great idea to ask them to share, by way of pictures or testimonials how that product has made their life better.
A good example here is the Stories series by Airbnb. Airbnb connects local photographers and writers with Airbnb users and they bring out how the service benefits users’ lives in unique ways.
Hashtag campaigns work as word-of-mouth advertising. This could be coupled with offering incentives but most of the consumers are only too happy to get featured on your instagram account even if there are no prizes for them to engage with your hashtag campaign.
JustKapture offers the 2 Most Effective Ways To Produce User-Generated Content.
Our Two applications can work miracles for any brand, store, or event.
Hashtag Printer (Photo)
Reward people with a branded keepsake for each photograph they upload with your brand.Hashtag printer is a sureshot way to get your customers to engage with your brand on social media. With Hashtag printing, users are naturally compelled to upload their picture on social media as they get a print of the picture in return. This creates a unique hashtag for the brand, creates content online for you and as a natural result, draws more eyeballs to your brand, which later translates to more consumers opting for your brand. It is a fuss-free easy installation and JustKapture has successfully generated over 10k images from customers on Instagram for a Hotel brand, which helped immensely in sales conversions.
A Social Wall is a live feed of all your content pieces from across the web at multiple displays. This would spur all your visitors or guests at a particular location to get involved with the event or brand as they can see a live feed of how they are doing in a particular contest. The prize could be something as simple as a round of snacks or drinks for the post which gets the maximum likes.When users see neck to neck competition being displayed live, they participate with greater vigour asking their friends on social media to buck up their cause with more likes. This gives you a greater reach and more engagement for your brand.
Depending on what your goals are, some UGC generation tricks may work better for your brand than for others. You should try out as many as you can and once you implement these tactics, you’d be able to figure out what works for you best. UGC is the way forward to connect with your customers and up your conversion rate. The sooner you start, the quicker will be the results to follow.