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Best Practices for User Generated Content

Updated: Aug 22


User Generated Content (UGC) or User Created Content (UCC), refers to any content created by the end user of your product or service. This can be video content, digital photos, blog posts, etc.


So why should you care about User Generated Content? Well, let’s look at three reasons UGC is a marketing strategy you shouldn’t ignore.


First it boosts the credibility of your brand. Consumers are more than twice as likely to view UGC as authentic compared to Brand Generated Content.


Second it creates trust. Whether it’s a product, a service, or an experience, consumers want to know what they’re going to get before they order. For example, 30 percent of millennials would not go to a restaurant if the location’s Instagram presence was not up to snuff. They just don’t trust that the experience would be what they are looking for.


And third it drives purchasing decisions. Nearly 80 percent of people say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.


Now not all of us have Social Influencers going around using our products and services, but there are some best practices for taking advantage of what may be out there.


So let’s look at 7 Quick Tips for Better UGC.


Tip 1 - Have a strategy for using User Generated Content. How effective UGC is on your marketing efforts depends on what kind you plan to collect and how you use it. Your strategy should involve not only what type of content to collect, but also how you plan to use it once you have it.


Tip 2 - Be clear what type of content you are looking for. Are you looking for brand photos, social videos, customer testimonials? Knowing the style of content as well as the technical aspects will make it easy for people to share content that fits your needs.


Tip 3 - Search social media streams for UGC. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are great places to look for User Generated Content, but don’t stop there. Setup Google searches for you brand on a regular basis. Use hashtags in your social searches for topics that are relevant to your brand.


Tip 4 - Don’t be afraid to ask for customers to create UGC. Whether you run a contest, create a hashtag, or just share that you want to give shoutouts to your best brand ambassadors, it’s always a good idea to let customers know when you are looking for content. Also, don’t be afraid to ask customers who create UGC to create more.


Tip 5 - A branded hashtag is a great way to collect user-generated content. However, you should ask for permission even when a post includes your tag. People may use your branded hashtags without necessarily knowing you’ve tied them to a user-generated content campaign. Re-sharing that content without permission is a sure way to kill goodwill and annoy some of your best brand advocates.


Tip 6 - When you share UGC on your social media channels, make sure you give credit to the original creator. Posts tend to get shared, and you want to make sure that you provide proper credit to the content creator.


Tip 7 - Offer value in return. If you want fans and followers to provide you with user-generated content, you have to offer them something in return. You may think that prizes are the best way to motivate content, but 60 percent of consumer respondents said they were motivated to participate in order to have their content “liked” or featured. The more you share UGC, the more people will be motivated to tag you in posts they think you might want to share.


Collecting valuable User Generated Content takes more than coming up with a hashtag. Good UGC adds value to your brand, and creates advocates in your community!

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