Here’s how brands can make the most of their User Generated Content (UGC)

People buy from people. Even in the online space. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal references. Users trust each other to speak their minds and share authentic experiences

What if brands could let users do the talking, engage them when they are not shopping or redirect positive sentiments towards brands, products and services? That is the power of user-generated content (UGC).

UGC is created by consumers, influencers and social media followers and can be anything from photos and videos to blogs and social media posts. Brands can then use UGC to create credible, authentic content to promote their brands.

75% of consumers will share positive brand experiences and 70% are more likely to make a purchase after a good brand interaction. UGC is virtual word-of-mouth that can break through branded pop-ups and reassure purchase decisions. It also has greater sharability as people are more likely to share content made by their peers.

Here are 7 tips to find UGC relevant to your brand:

  1. Know what you’re looking for

To find the perfect match between brands and UGC, brand values and content sentiment must align. Know what you want the UGC to achieve. Do you want to entertain, inform, build awareness or promote products? There’s a lot of noise out there and for UGC to break through, it must be truly compelling. Look for unique moments, styles, angles or illusions – anything that catches your own eye.

  1. Take stock of existing consumer content

Be clear on the attitudes and behaviours of your audience and the type of content they share spontaneously. Searching by interests, occasions and hashtags is a great starting point.

  1. Identify consumer trends

Brands can become catalysts in the creation of UGC by initiating hot topic conversations. An unassuming comment or call-to-action can spark a flood of UGC. The key is to maintain an unbiased position of active participant.

  1. Promote the use of hashtags

Consumers attach their own hashtags to the content they create. For them to use a brand’s hashtags naturally, it has to be memorable and reiterated at each touchpoint. A strong call-to-action or competition that benefits the consumer, can ignite trending hashtags and shareability.

  1. Meet consumers where they’re at

UGC is inspired when consumers are out and about. Physical store locations can encourage UGC and reiterate hashtags. With a bit of creativity, brand engagement can be prompted at each turn, from the dressing rooms or cash register, to a strategically placed photo-friendly spot.

  1. Keep the control

Brands have little control over the sentiment of UGC. In a controlled environment like an event, everything from the atmosphere, the products consumers engage with and the content backdrop can be controlled. A small parting gift can give consumers much to post about long after the event.

  1. FOMO

Influencers have the power to drive awareness and inspire followers. Consumers who engage with content created by influencers are more likely to engage through fear of missing out.

  1. Acknowledge and reward

By posting UGC on social media, brands can show their appreciation and recognise contributors as co-creators. This can attract more UGC from those who want to be part of the brand story.

With so many potential content creators out there, brands that harness their follower’s brand love have the world of opportunity to gain and share authentic and powerful content.

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