Before we begin to explore the advantages of User Generated Content and how it can be leveraged in your overall marketing strategy, let us start with the basics:
What is User Generated Content?
According to Wikipedia “User Generated Content (UGC) covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles.”
Where do Businesses find User Generated Content?
Businesses can find content on a range of platforms including • Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus • Question and Answer Surveys and Feedback Forms • Video Sharing Outlets like Vimeo and Youtube • Review Websites • Wikipedia • Forums and Discussion Boards • User Radio Interviews • Contests sponsored by your business • FAQs sections on Business Websites
What are the advantages of User Generated Content advertising?
• User Generated Content helps your business understand your Target Group better
• It enables you to create and share success stories of your brand • It creates a feeling of community among your followers
• It improves your social SEO making your website and social pages more visible creating overall , more visibility for your brand
• UGC is inexpensive- with a simple contest or time spent drafting a social media campaign you can generate content that will really connect with your audience for a price that is much lower than hiring a professional would cost
• Consumers Trust User Generated Content: Consumers recognize UGC as content that emerges from within their own community, this helps them identify and trust this content over the usual fare of marketing services
• It allows users to feel like their voice is heard and therefore they and people like them engage more with your brand and promote it within their circles of acquaintances
• Users spend more time on websites that allow them to add their reviews and testimonials
Here is a simple guide to encourage users to generated content:
1. Begin by deciding what channel you would like to focus on, remember the content generated will be determined by the channel you choose. E.g. Twitter is an excellent channel to find quick, punchy lines about your product or service.
2. Create a contest with guidelines that allows you to get the best SEO settings for the results.
3. Promote your contest on multiple platforms but direct user traffic to the one the contest is being run on.
4. While picking a winner, ensure all participants feel that they have profited from this exercise. Remember to appreciate their entries.
5. You could also make your contest more social, encouraging users to share it, create incentives for a referral program and allow users to vote for a fan favorite.