Have you ever made a selfie? Well, you are part of the 60 million people who have created content generated by the user or UGC at some point. Each time you take a picture of your cat or register a visit to the Starbucks in your neighborhood, you are generating this type of content. The figures are overwhelming because, indeed, everyone does it!
Brands of all sizes, which are not stupid, have been taking advantage of it for a long time, often as a “natural” way of approaching the consumer. In today’s post, we want to offer you the keys to take advantage of the potential of this type of content and make it work in your favor.
Why add the content generated by the user to your content mix?
Many times you have heard people saying that the worst thing that can be done in content is to be boring.
The content is information but also entertainment and fun.
For the audience to feel identified, we must offer a mix of different types of content formats and discourses. According to the channel and the moment in which the user is, we give priority to each other, to make him advance and to turn him into a client. This content mix must contain a part of the content generated by the user. It helps to bring the public closer to the brand, transmits its storytelling, and strengthens the values of the company.
- – Seduce your customers
Who does not like to be seen on the social networks of a great brand?
Let’s take an example.
On the way to work, buy some jeans that you will wear at a party over the weekend. That day you upload a photo of your outfit to social networks, the jeans brand locates it. This one puts itself in contact with you to ask you permission to publish it in its networks and who knows! Show other women how to combine their clothes with style.
You, as a fashion aficionado, feel that the brand takes your opinion into account, becoming a model for a day.
What jeans do you think you’ll buy next time? The simple gesture of taking advantage of an image (eye, already created and free for the brand) gets you to become a faithful customer.
- – Get quality images at a lower price
Do you know what a photo session costs for a magazine like Vogue?
Nearly half a million dollars in 2007. Yes, dear reader, photo sessions are expensive, too expensive to disregard quality images offered by users. Many of these users create high-quality content, sometimes even at the same level as highly prestigious professionals. That’s why nobody refuses to use good photos of users to complete their editorial calendar.
- – Connect, connect, connect eye!
The content generated by the users does not mean free material; it does not mean that. The thing is to connect with users fed up with brands that sell things without taking them into account.
Ironic, but real.
The new consumer is fundamentally egocentric; he wants to be the origin and the end of the brands, that is why he gives them his money, do not you think?
That’s why you cannot conceive the UGC without considering the user.
That is, without interpolating, mentioning, seducing, rewarding, and involving the generators of that content. For all these actions, use the resources that social networks put at your service, such as hashtags, mentions, answers, and, of course, personalized content.
A point with respect to hashtags.
When you invite a user to share content generated by him and share it on social networks, you do not need additional permissions to broadcast it, as long as you specify that it can be used for commercial purposes. Which leads the professionals to recommend that if you run contests or photo marathons in your networks, always be careful to write legal bases with these points clearly.
Relevance and authenticity
We remember that long before image banks became digital, the process of selecting an image for a campaign was incredibly cumbersome.
An idea for a groundbreaking campaign came from the head of a bearded and alternative creative. To create the campaign (obviously), an image was needed that would summarize the essence of the idea. As there was no internet, we only had huge catalogs where, every year, the big banks published the available images.
And that was it.
If it was not in those catalogs, you could die of disgust or opt for another, even more, archaic method: call the image bank personally so that, with a little luck, they could send you negative images that were not in the official catalogs.
Yes, you read correctly, that was the process only 20 years ago. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of good quality images with another very different problem. The challenge of our decade is not the quantity or quality of available images, but rather they all look the same.
To abuse of retouched and perfect images, advertising, and in general, the visual content suffers from lack of authenticity. It is inevitable to see an image like this Colgate ad and think that not in a million years we would get a smile like that.
And it’s not just a problem of a few decades of publicity. Social networks have made us see that there is a real world, nothing glamorous, with which we connect instantaneously. Why? Because like all of us, the reality is not perfect, nor does it have such white teeth!
And what about cultural relevance?
In this global village in which we live, with a huge variety of races and identities, it is becoming more and more complex to communicate through social networks for people all over the world. That’s why cultural relevance has become so important in the communication sector.
What for us is a lack of serious education, for other regions, is something normal and even convenient. This is where we can take advantage of the power of the content generated by users to offer something that is relevant to their culture.