User-Generated Content and How to Use It

user generated content

“The thing that actually breaks through all of the noise is when you see real users sharing real content on social media.”

-Dom Garrett

Advertising and marketing are powerful tools for brands to promote their products or services, but there’s only so much a business can do on its own to connect with customers. 

That’s where user-generated content, or UGC, comes in. 

UGC is when a user promotes your business for you. There’s nothing more convincing to a potential customer than another customer singing your brand’s praises.

That’s why UGC is essential to every brand’s marketing strategy. Let’s dive into how you can incorporate user-generated content into your marketing plan.

What is user-generated content?

UGC is much more than customer testimonials. User-generated content is broadly defined as any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. UGC can be used as a testimonial when brands share it on their social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.

Types of user-generated content and examples:

  • Blogs: WordPress, Blogger, Medium
  • Websites: Reddit, 4chan, DeviantArt, Kickstarter, Yelp, TripAdvisor
  • Advertising: Starbucks’ “White Cup Contest” campaign, Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign
  • Retail: eBay, Etsy, Poshmark
  • Educational content: Wikipedia, Khan Academy, The Green brothers, podcasts
  • Photo and video sharing: YouTube, Instagram, Flickr
  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok

Why is UGC effective in marketing?

UGC is the next wave of content marketing, and it’s here to stay. Why? Consumers are less likely to trust a branded advertisement than an authentic endorsement from a fellow customer.

Plus, sharing user-generated content is far more cost-effective than paying for an ad. 

More benefits of UGC include:

  • Builds trust and loyalty with customers
  • Boosts social media follower count and engagement
  • SEO-friendly

How can marketers utilize user-generated content?

Here are some forms of user-generated content frequently shared by brands on their website and social media:

  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • Videos

Here are some best practices when sharing UGC on social media platforms for brands or businesses:

Request permission and credit the content creator. 

When you share UGC on social media, credit to the original content creator. You could do this by tagging them directly in your post. Go the extra mile by indicating what exactly you’re crediting them for—their photo, video, text, or all of the above. 

Solicit the UGC you really want.

Tell your audience (via social media, website, or your physical products or storefront) exactly what kind of user-generated content you’d like them to share with you. Then, don’t limit yourself to what is submitted to you. Search for unsolicited UGC (what’s more authentic than that?), and don’t forget to ask for permission before sharing.

Give back to your customers!

Your customers gave you business, and now they’re giving you marketing material. Give back to them! Offer a giveaway, coupon code, or some kind of VIP access. Not only will this build customer loyalty, it will attract more UGC to be sent your way. 

Need content marketing help?

Look no further than Rose Marketing Group. Rose Marketing Group is your Atlanta digital marketing group delivering integrated marketing campaigns across Amazon, social media, and Google. Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services in Atlanta GA and how we can help you build a strategy that garners results!

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