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    How User-Generated Content Helps Your Organization

    June 15, 2018

June 15, 2018
How User-Generated Content Helps Your Organization

How User-Generated Content Helps Your Organization

With so many people attached to their devices all day, every day, organizations need content to feed this massive beast that is constantly consuming blog posts, pictures, video, and more. While branded content is a necessity for marketing any business, user-generated content plays a vital role as well. Unfortunately, high-quality user-generated content that can actually be used for marketing purposes does not grow on trees. It’s up to marketing teams to compel users to create their own content with click-worthy campaigns.  

User-Generated Content Definition

User-generated content (UGC) is any content created and/or distributed by unpaid brand supporters. Anything from a Yelp review to a product picture on Instagram is considered UGC. Since UGC takes on a variety of formats, there are numerous opportunities for content marketers to harness the power of these tweets, videos, and more to build awareness and nurture leads.

User-Generated Content Marketing Campaign Examples

A user-generated content definition is helpful but to truly understand this marketing tactic, and it’s best to see it in action.

  • Coca-Cola: The beloved soda brand personalized cans and bottles with a variety of names on them for its Share a Coke campaign. Fans were asked to share pictures of themselves enjoying their favorite Coca-Cola products on social media. The results set records on Twitter and improved brand engagement.
  • Aerie: The women’s clothing company asked their shoppers to share pictures of themselves in bathing suits on Instagram with #AerieReal. The brand also posted their own pictures of models untouched by photo-editing software. The campaign highlighted body positivity. Aerie donated $1 for every Instagram post tagged with #AerieReal to the National Eating Disorders Association.
  • Loews Hotels: After curating content already tagged to the hotels’ many destinations around the world, Loews asked its brand followers to submit their own photos of its properties with #TravelForReal. Instead of posed and expected pictures of models pretending to enjoy a hotel, actual Loews guests shared their own unique images.
  • Georgia State University: Even with more than 32,000 students enrolled in the college, Georgia State University struggled to engage Panthers both on and offline. To develop a stronger sense of school spirit, the university launched the #GSUnited campaign and saw an uptick in attendance at events and football games. Online mentions and interactions with the university significantly increased as well.   

Why User-Generated Content Marketing Is So Powerful

While brands make and share their own content, user-generated content offers an impactful method for increasing engagement. UGC plays a significant role in social media and SEO marketing efforts, along with lead generation.

Most importantly, UGC performs well with target audiences across markets and verticals. Research shows:

  • 92 percent of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than branded content.
  • 64 percent of shoppers seek reviews before making a purchase.
  • 75 percent of consumers believe UGC makes brand content more authentic.

UGC also provides informative audience insights that allow marketers to create more effective campaigns and improve overall business practices. For example, if your audience posts many reviews on your Facebook page, take the time to read their comments and change any issues that recur during the customer experience.

User-Generated Content Marketing Techniques

Creating enough content to meet the needs of consumers is challenging for any organization. There’s only so much time to generate blog posts, graphics, social media posts, e-newsletters, and other crucial pieces of content. In fact, most marketers consider their significant challenge to be making enough content to sufficiently engage users.

The onus is on brands to encourage users to submit their content. Content marketers have to develop campaigns that creatively asks users to generate content and then curate the submissions.

  • With a limited marketing budget, focus your efforts on any UGC campaign you launch by choosing the highest-performing channels. Conduct audience research to ascertain what channels your target users engage with the most and learn how to best reach them on that platform.  
  • Create campaigns that call on brand enthusiasts to create specific content. If you want videos, ask them videos. If they need to use a particular hashtag, call it out as explicitly as possible.
  • Ask influencers to create content in exchange for increased visibility of their own social profiles and websites. Working with influencers spreads awareness about your UGC campaign.
  • Set goals, monitor campaign performance, and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Find relevant ways to incorporate UGC into every stage of the marketing funnel. Even including a direct quote from a customer testimonial into a bottom of the funnel webinar makes a massive difference in how potential leads views your company.

Want to learn more about incorporating user-generated content into your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with Focused Content Marketing today to discuss tactics for your organization.

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