User-generated content is content that has been created by users of a brand and is one of the best ways for brands to boost their marketing and brand perception (for free!). Learn how to encourage user generated content here!
User-generated content, or UGC for short, is content that has been created by users of a brand rather than the brand itself. UGC can come in a variety of formats, such as text, videos, testimonials, pictures and audio and is one of the best ways for brands to boost their marketing and brand perception (for free!).
User-generated content provides credible word-of-mouth recommendations that consumers respond to. In fact, 60% of consumers say UGC is the most authentic form of content, and 90% of shoppers report that UGC influences their decisions to make purchases, outranking all other forms of marketing.
So, however big or small your business is, it's a no brainer that UGC should be part of your marketing strategy and encouraged across your social platforms. But if you’re pretty new to UGC, you may not know where to start. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! Keep on reading to find out how to best encourage user-generated content across your socials.
The first step towards encouraging user-generated content is choosing the most effective social media platform for your brand.
You don’t need to create content on every single platform available to you. Instead, you should only focus on the platforms where your customers/ prospective customers are. For example, a makeup brand doesn’t necessarily need to put their time and resources towards having a Twitter presence—that time is better allocated towards Instagram.
As well as considering your audience, you should take into consideration what type of content works for each social platform. For example:
Instagram is the go-to for UGC. Seeing products in action makes Instagram the hot spot for brands like yours to get creative and connect with users who support your business. Reposting Story mentions (maybe even making a Highlight for them) is a great way to show off your customer UGC. The user may even repost the repost, leading to even more exposure for your brand.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for professionals, so any UGC shared on here has to be relevant to your brand’s goals. Use this platform to promote above and beyond employee-generated content that aligns with your brand in a professional way.
This is a great space for sharing full video content and stories about your brand. Use Facebook to post the kind of authentic, compelling content likely to boost engagement (and go viral).
While user-generated content is free, brands don’t have a say in who’s sharing it or how their products are presented. With influencer marketing, brands can align with influencers whose aesthetic, message and audience are perfectly suited for optimal reach and engagement. Audiences are often inspired by influencers and go on to share their own images and stories as a result of something an influencer posts… creating even more UGC for the brand.
Another thing you can do with your influencers is to have them run a giveaway in exchange for one of your products or services. This is a great way to boost brand awareness and create a sense of excitement around your brand.
Another great way to encourage UGC is to create a hashtag trend. This will encourage your followers to create content showcasing your products using a unique hashtag. The UGC could be users showing how they’re applying a makeup product you’re selling, a meal they’ve cooked with your recipe or ways your product/service makes their life better.
A good example of a successful hashtag trend for UGC is Lululemon's #thesweatlife campaign which encourages customers to share photos of themselves in action while sporting the brand’s clothing. This ultimately does a few things: it reflects the company’s mantra of “sweat once per day” by inspiring internet users to work out, while also showcasing what the products look like in a variety of athletic positions. It also allows Lululemon to gain free content in which they can repost on their own marketing channels.
Incorporating user-generated photos into your e-commerce website will not only allow shoppers to draw connections between images and products, but also celebrate your fans/ customers and give them the recognition they deserve.
Sharing user content on your website will attract even more UGC as fans will want to be a part of your brand (who wouldn’t want to be featured on your favourite brands website?).
An example of this is Sigma Beauty where they have seen nearly a 4x lift in on-site engagement since implementing UGC on their website.
Want to see more brands using UGC in action? Here are some of the best and most successful UGC campaigns on Instagram.
Although UGC is a super successful (and cheap!) marketing tool that all businesses should utilise, the best marketing strategies don’t solely rely on it. Instead, UGC should be used alongside your own brand content and online ads. If you need some help creating your own video ads, please get in touch.
We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative delivered on a monthly basis. For more tips and tricks from our experts, head over to our blog page.
Written by Kate, for Aura Ads.