The concept of user-generated content (User-Generated Content, UGC) is as old as the content itself. Internet forums, blog comments, and the ability to publish content at the touch of a button ensured UGC’s takeoff to a record high. Programs like “Myself a director” naturally transformed into collections on YouTube, where about 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
When used properly, UGC can be a huge advantage for content marketers. According to the consumer confidence index provided by the Nielsen agency, 92% of consumers trust user content more than traditional advertising. According to a study, content marketers consistently cite lack of resources as the biggest problem. UGC can help save your company time, its financial resources, and increase your credibility.
Why do you need custom UGC content?
Such content is more credible. Users have not just chosen your product, but are also ready to tell others about their choice. Photos in the tape with live people, though sloppy, unprofessional, have a better position than artificial photos from photo studios.
By the way, the same happens with videos from ordinary people who are suddenly becoming popular. People like to look at stories with which they can associate themselves. Simple furnishings and not fantastically beautiful models in leading roles attract the audience.
In addition, you can observe how the audience uses your product. Perhaps you will realize that the target audience is wider than you thought.
For small businesses, the advantage of UGC content is also the simplicity of its production. Using content from users in publications on social networks is much cheaper than regularly organizing photoshoots to create grocery posts.
Thus, the company receives a lot of diverse, engaging, credible (one might say – selling) content for free. But do users need it and how to involve them in the content generation?
But that’s not all. Here are six additional benefits of custom content and ways to profit from it.
- The benefits of content management
Good news: UGC enters the framework of content curation (Eng. Content Curation – the process of finding, collecting, and publishing digital content on a specific topic). The supervision also implies that the content must belong to the third party to which the links are made and be relevant.
If you are not familiar with the benefits of content curation, here are some of them:
- Increase brand awareness;
- Strengthening the reputation of an expert in their field;
- Ordering the process of growing leads (Lead Nurturing);
- Improving performance in social networks;
- Lead generation support.
- Increased audience coverage and growth in social networks
Social platforms and UGC campaigns go hand in hand. In combination, their strengths create something magical, strengthening the brand’s reputation and developing your relationships with customers.
Among the tactics for social networks that encourage users to generate content are the following:
- Create a custom hashtag or photo contest on Instagram;
- Surveys and assignments on Twitter or Facebook;
- Run a video contest.
It is extremely important to respond to user-generated content. Asking people to contribute, you must recognize their efforts. This provides more meaningful interaction and encourages other users to create content. This kind of interaction benefits both parties. 75% of people are likely to share a good experience in their profile.
Moreover, UGC campaigns in social networks increase social traffic, which, in turn, leads to:
- Increase subscriber base;
- Greater audience reach;
- Growing brand awareness;
- Improvement of social networks metrics such as likes, comments, retweets, and sharing;
- Increase site traffic and increase the number of views.
- Pluses for SEO
UGC contributes to your SEO efforts in several ways. 25% of search results for the 20 largest global brands lead to user-generated content. In addition, positive user reviews increase your SEO ranking in organic search results. If your users publish content on their own blogs, create backlinks to your site – this also improves the SEO position. Analysis of the most frequently used words and phrases by the audience pushes the optimization on keywords to a new level.
- Understanding the audience
Custom content is a gold mine for business intelligence, but this advantage is often ignored. Analyzing the content that your audience shares will help form ideas about what your ideal client wants, what he finds interesting. Together with the application of data-based content marketing, these ideas will be the basis for buying leads and increasing sales.
The first step is to audit the content created by your audience. If customers write reviews, pay attention to what they complain about, and then improve it. Is there a certain common theme among the photos uploaded by subscribers to Twitter? Is it consistent with how your organization or brand wants to be perceived?
When launching a UGC campaign, do not forget to relate your audience, channel, and format: this is how you guarantee the presence of motivation for users. For example, for B2B companies, chatting on Twitter or an online bank of ideas and suggestions would be a better option than a photo contest on Instagram.
- Unique content
Your audience will deliver content other than that created by your marketing team. Benefit from this opinion from the side. Custom photos, videos, reviews, blog posts, and more offer a fresh look and a new perspective. UGC allows you to maintain the interest of published materials. It also encourages new people to join the group of loyal customers, as it allows constant interaction with the brand.
- Increase personalization
Another advantage of UGC is personalization. The only way to help the target audience see the content and start interacting with it is to understand what is responding. Find what drives potential customers to create content and interact with your company, and use this knowledge to incorporate personalization into your marketing initiatives. This will help you create an online community and strengthen your brand-customer relationship.
When used properly, UGC encourages customer participation in the life of the company and helps increase the audience. It improves SEO, leads to a higher level of lead generation efforts and, most importantly, brings financial benefits.
High conversions to you!