The current state of the technological landscape grants users immense freedom of opinion, and as a result, the concept of User Generated Content (UGC) was born. In essence, UGC refers to any content revolving around a product/service that its users generate, not the brand. This can include customer reviews, social media posts, updates, videos, blog posts, and any other form of content you can think of.
A recent study also shows that UGC is almost ten times more effective than influencer content. And why wouldn’t it be? Would you take a brand’s word for their product? Or ask around about their offering before you make a purchase decision? In fact, a particular survey reveals that 92% of its consumer participants rely on referrals from known people over any other source.
This impact is heavy on email and social media marketing since people trust people and rely significantly on their user opinion. On top of that, if they are already uncertain about something, they will rely on UGC to pave the way. So, how does UGC affect email and social media marketing? What are its various advantages and applications?
Read on to find out!
Part 1: Why User-Generated Content Matters in Email Marketing
With email marketing being the most effective and popular marketing channel in the current market, UGC plays a major role in its success. Instead of simply being a spectator, UGC allows the customer to be a part of the brand’s growth. They are now members of the brand community and active members in propagating your brand’s growth.
In fact, a certain survey also states that leveraging UGC can bring your click-through rate by 78%. This essentially relies on the fact that UCG doesn’t involve any embellishment, fabrication, or Photoshop. To give you a better idea, here are the various ways user-generated content can help your email marketing campaign flourish:
1. UGC acts as a constant source of social proof
Individuals are more inclined towards following the acts of others when they are unsure what to do, and this phenomenon is known as social proof. Social proof can be an efficient technique for increasing engagement by demonstrating to customers that the brand or product has previously been interacted with and profited from by others.
For instance, a customer testimonial in an email can demonstrate to prospective consumers that others have had a pleasant experience with the business/product/service, increasing their likelihood of engaging with the email or perhaps making a purchase.
2. A more human approach
Brands embracing UGC demonstrate that they are willing to engage in two-way interactions that can lead to stronger customer ties. Furthermore, humans have a natural drive to belong.
UGC paves the way for this feeling of being part of something by fostering a community based on common interests that values individual perspectives. This community has the ability to generate buzz directly from the consumer’s lips and get people talking about the product/service. When clients hear and see others ecstatic about an offering, they’re keen to join in on the excitement.
3. Helps in cementing brand credibility
Cementing your brand credibility lies at the absolute crux of the success of your marketing efforts. This is where UGC can save the day since it is created by genuine people with no commercial interest in promoting the business.
As a result, it will foster customer loyalty and be treated as more authentic and trustworthy than sponsored content. In fact, another study states that 31% of consumer participants think advertisements containing UGC are a lot more engaging than sponsored ads.
Part 2: Leveraging User-Generated Content in Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are gold mines for UGC, with around 3.2 billion images being posted and shared daily. There are essentially two parts to this story: social commerce and micro-influencers.
While influencer marketing is still popular, brands increasingly prefer collaborating with micro-influencers instead of prominent figures with millions of followers. Marketers have discovered that micro-influencers produce 7x higher engagement, and 80% of people say they are more inclined to purchase anything if their favourite influencer supports a product during live streaming.
As a result, content from these individuals on social media platforms can provide a significant boost to your company. To help you get better at UGC management on social media, here are some tips that can definitely help you:
1. Have a clear idea of what to share on which channel
If you’re trying to figure out what content you want to share across channels, the best practice would be to provide UGC that is relevant to your goals and format.
Facebook is ideal for posting customer videos, while Instagram is better for high-quality photographs. Twitter might be an excellent platform for publishing amusing quotes from consumer testimonials. LinkedIn is a great location to share your message by using customer case studies or meaningful posts and articles from leaders and niche influencers.
For instance, let’s say you sell tech products. You need to post relevant content about your product on appropriate channels to prompt the right UGC about your product from your followers/customer base.
2. Set your goals and targets accurately
While many organizations are keen to include user-generated content (UGC) in their overall marketing campaign, only a handful have a plan or goals for doing so.
Setting explicit goals and standards before publishing UGC on your social feeds is the best approach.
For instance, certain brands integrate UGC images from social media profiles on their product pages. This saves time on content production and engages clients with more genuine photography.
3. Offer your audience something in return as well
Offer prizes or incentives for posting images and videos regarding the product or service on social media via email correspondence, packaging materials, and your website.
Inform them that their photograph and account may be used in some of the company’s own postings. Begin an ambassador program that recognizes followers by allowing them to contribute a photo to your website.
Part 3: Strategies for Encouraging User-Generated Content
Here are some of the top strategies you can employ to push your customer base to generate engaging UGC:
1. Leverage your social listening tools
You must employ social listening tools to identify influencers and other people who have already spoken about your business, then engage them in a UGC-focused campaign.
Influencers can be assigned the responsibility of asking their followers to contribute their own product-aligned content, or you may concentrate on a program that captures influential UGC straight from the influencers.
2. Make way for social media contests
We’re all naturally competitive, so it’s obvious that competitions and contests do exceptionally well on social media channels.
Encouraging your followers to submit videos, images, texts, or whatever content you require in return for an incentive at the end of a set period of time can be an excellent method to engage, reward, and excite your audience on social media.
3. Pay close attention to customer trends
Paying attention to client trends can help your UGC strategy perform better.
Customer trends may offer crucial insights into what sorts of UGC content are popular with customers and which themes, subjects, or formats are more likely to drive customers to generate and share UGC.
4. Make sure you provide full disclosures
Make clear disclaimers and disclosures regarding how you propose utilizing any UGC concerning your business.
Explain that your company will most likely use this handpicked content throughout your social media platforms and clarify that you will not compensate for republished content.
5. Keep tabs on all your new content with the right tools
Use the best technologies on the market to make the process of selecting and tracking user-generated content easier.
To assist you in finding new information regarding your brand, you should employ content curation tools. Use analytics tools to track the efficacy of your user-generated content as well.
Part 4: Overcoming Challenges and Risks of User-Generated Content
Here is a list of challenges and risks posed by the use of UGC:
1. Takes up a lot of effort and time
While the development of UGC will have no effect on you because your followers make it, you will still need to keep aside ample time to effectively monitor the kind of user-generated content being churned out on the internet.
Consequently, you will have to develop a strategy for how you will use that content efficiently. If you don’t have a lot of spare time, UGC may be no different than planning and developing your own social media material.
2. Might be tedious to come up with content variety
Finding UGC might be difficult if you don’t know where to go online. Another issue you may encounter is a shortage of variety in UGC. In some circumstances, you may notice that most UGC appears similar or includes the same material.
3. Unreliable and spam accounts
Spam postings and accounts regarding your company can make your brand appear untrustworthy, resulting in the forfeit of both followers and client trust. Try to eliminate rival non-user-generated content, and make your best effort to ban and report them.
4. Negative content
When you ask your customers/followers to offer a review on social media, negative engagement is always possible. You can expect some unfavourable user-created content in the mix, whether it’s a negative review or a comment criticizing your services. Use surveys to collect feedback easily and gain insight into your customers.
Reposting material created by your customers is a great approach to humanizing your company and gaining their trust. To encourage buyers, several brands post UGC on payment or product pages. It can also be used in email marketing to promote a service/product by leveraging the recommendations of others.
All in all, brands gain from the opinions, reviews, and attention provided by their customers in today’s intensely competitive internet landscape. It’s the confirmation that organizations must possess information on what their customers enjoy and what they offer, as well as the evidence individuals need to become brand customers.
In fact, studies also suggest that 51% of all US consumers rely on UGC more than company website information. UGC’s value proposition and ability to generate conversions and enhance buy intent make it an excellent choice for marketers.
Do you need a hand with your business’s digital marketing? At TechWyse Internet Marketing, we help small and medium-sized businesses gain a wider online presence so that they can scale new heights. From strategy and consultation and creative design to social media management and content marketing. We offer everything you need to take your business to the top. To get started, call (416)-410-7090 or contact us here.