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Every business needs to create valuable and quality content to attract and nurture their target audience. This is the type of content that enables your audiences to trust you and have a long-term relationship with you. However, many businesses lack this consistent and relevant content strategy. It is hard for many of them to figure out what type of content influences their audience’s behavior.
Businesses find it challenging to create quality content as they may not have the resources or expertise to do that. One great way to attract and influence your audience is through user generated content. This is the content that comes from audiences or customers who have the same interests. It can be a great tool to influence your target customers as this content comes from other people just like them.
In this article, we will discuss what is user-generated content and how you can use it as part of your marketing strategy.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content or UGC is any content like text, images, or videos, created by people rather than businesses. Businesses often share this content on their website, social media, and other platforms.
Benefits of User-Generated Content
Here are some reasons why user-generated content can be useful for your brand.
Understand target customers
UGC can help brands better understand their target audience. When audiences share their thoughts and opinions about your brand or products, you can use these insights to understand them. These are real people sharing their opinions and brands can use this information to know what their audiences are thinking.
Build trust and authenticity
Consumers will look at content from other customers as authentic. They are going to trust the thoughts and opinions shared by other audience members. For example, if someone talks about a product they like on Instagram, people are going to view it as credible content. This content helps them trust the brand or the product more. Many people are looking for reviews of a product they are interested in. They trust the opinions of their fellow audiences more than they would trust that brand if they advertise the product.
This is the power of UGC, and it encourages or discourages people to buy the product.
Influencing purchase decisions
Since consumers trust the content from other audience members it plays a key role in their purchase decisions. For example, Instagram stories are UGC that can drive purchase decisions. People can also Tweet about your products and services to share their opinions on it. You can use this content and share it on your own social media platform to influence the purchase decisions of your potential customers.
Increases customer satisfaction
Customers who share content talking about your brand will feel more appreciated when you share it on your own platforms. When their opinions are appreciated, they feel valued as your customer. Even if a customer shares a negative review about your product or service, you can comment back and offer to help them with their issues. UGC is also a great way to enhance customer satisfaction.
How To Leverage User-Generated Content?
How to get audiences to talk about your brand? Brands should take steps to make their audiences feel part of a community. This community is where audiences would share their views or learn from various industry experts. You can create a space for them to build this community and talk about your brand.
When brands engage with their audiences online, it encourages users to participate and join the discussion. It is important to give your audience a platform where they can talk about your products or services.
Let’s look at how you can leverage user generated content.
Choose social networks wisely
It’s important to find out which social media platforms your audiences are on. For B2b businesses, most of their audiences would be on LinkedIn, whereas an ecommerce business might lean toward Instagram to share appealing images of their products. The social media platforms you choose will depend on your business.
Businesses should look into the platforms that their customers want to engage on. This is where they will share the content that talks about your products or services.
Look at what works on each platform
After you have selected your platform, look at what type of UGC works for each platform. For example, if you use Instagram then stories or posts are where users will share this content. They will also use hashtags followed by your brand name or products to enable you to look at this content. Same goes for Twitter, where users can Tweet about you and then tag your or use hashtags.
Each platform will be different in its own way. Ensure that you research about the types of UGC consumers use on each platform.
Ask for permission
Before you share any content created by users, ensure that you seek their permission first. If you are not already in touch with them, reach out to them through messages on the respective social media platform. Since they have created that content, you need their permission to share it.
This is a good practice to build trust with the users and give them the due credit. This makes the users feel appreciated and they will continue to create content for you and talk about your brand.
Use online reviews
Online reviews are a great way to influence buying behavior. Positive reviews about your brand and products can highly impact the decisions of your potential customers. You can create a space on your website and share customer’s reviews and testimonials. Whenever new users visit your website, they can see what your customers say about you.
If your brand is present on any other online platform where audiences can share their reviews, keep an eye out. Whenever you find these genuine reviews, you can share it as part of blog post excerpts or on your social media channels. There are also going to be negative reviews which can be an opportunity for you to boost customer satisfaction as discussed above.
Search for content mentioning you
Search for these types of content which mention your brand and products. On social media platforms you can use hashtags followed by your brand name to see all the content that relates to your brand. Keep researching for these types of content so that you don’t miss out on it and can share it on your platforms.
You can run contests on your social media platforms to discuss any topic. With these contests you can open opportunities for your users to share their opinions. This is one of the ways you can start a conversation and interact with your users.
User generated content is content created by users for users. It has a strong impact on consumers. It allows you to build trust and credibility for your brand and influences the purchase decisions of your audience. Even though you have your own content strategy, ensure that you incorporate UGC to give your strategy an extra boost. This is a great tool to increase brand awareness and boost your sales without the need to invest any money. It can have a positive impact on your overall marketing strategy.