90% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person than they are branded content. So what does it mean for you when somebody is creating content for your brand? How can you get people to feel like that content is a recommendation from a close friend? In this article, we’re going to talk about user generated content.
What is User Generated Content (UGC)?
User generated content or UGC in simple words is any content that your users generate for you. That means any content that a customer, client or audience member makes about your brand or your product is categorized as user generated content. That could be anything from reviews to posts on Facebook about your product or a picture on Instagram about your business, it could be referrals, blog posts, tweets. It could even be a recommendation that somebody makes about you in a Facebook group. Anytime your customers or clients are talking about you, that’s user generated content.
Why User Generated Content (UGC) is so powerful?
User generated content is a way to turn your customer’s clients and users into brand ambassadors and your biggest advocates. So you’re probably asking yourself great but why would I want to do this? Why not just create my own content about my brand and my product? Why do I need other people to create content for me? Well, there are a few reasons for this:
It creates Brand Awareness
The first thing is that user generated content creates brand awareness. Jeff Bezos said at the best, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. So you can tell people what you want them to think of your brand but the truth is that you don’t get to decide.
Having your users customers or clients talk about you when you’re not in the room, is the way to generate positive brand awareness. 86 percent of Millennials consider user generated content to be a good indicator of the quality of the brand. Meaning, if a lot of people are talking about you, when you’re not in the room, that’s a good sign.
It Builds Trust
Another reason that user generated content is so powerful is that it feels authentic and authenticity builds trust. A problem that big brands have today is that nobody really trusts them and we’ve lost our faith in traditional advertising. 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from a friend and they are branded content, even if both are saying the same thing and that’s because we want to feel like we know the person in front of us.
So if a friend recommends something, you’re much more likely to listen, than if a brand promotes themselves. Having users, customers, clients talk about you and promote you on your behalf is so powerful because people are much more likely to believe them and trust them. It’s kind of like the power of Word of Mouth but digitized.
It Builds a Community
The third thing that makes user generated content so powerful is that it builds community. As humans, we want to feel that connection to other people, and we love to find what unites us even if it’s just that we are using the same brand of toothpaste. The most powerful brands are the ones that have managed to build a connected tribe and that means that their customers, their users, their clients are people who feel connected to other customers, users and clients.
And it’s not just about the product, they’re buying, but about the community that they’re buying into. If you can manage to create a community around your product or service, then you’ll have a group of people who are loyal to your brand for the long haul.
This all sounds great in theory and I’m sure, now you’re ready to go create content right?
That leaves us with the question:
How do you create user generated content?
User generated content isn’t content, you create for your users, It’s content that your users create about you.
So the real question is:
How can you get your users, customers, clients to generate content on your behalf?
Here are the four things you can do to encourage your customers and users to create content for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Put yourself out there, ask for opinions, ask for feedback. For example, If you are rebranding, take a poll to see what people think of your new look, or ask your audience to make suggestions for your new logo design, or ask them to send in submissions on what they think, your logo should look like. The more you get people involved, the more they’ll be invested in your business and feel connected to you, but you have to give them the chance. So create opportunities for them to get involved.
Give your audience an incentive
Give something back to the audience, run a contest, or a promotion. Don’t just expect them to do something for you because out of the goodness of their heart, give them a reason to. So whether it’s a discount offer to people who post a picture of them using your product, or whether it’s giving a discount to anyone who refers your services.
These are all great ways to get people to talk about you and to give them something that they benefit from in return. Sometimes to get the conversation started, you need to give people a little nudge.
Become Customer Centric
The most powerful brands are the ones that realize it’s not about the product, it’s about the person using it. Become obsessed with your customer and your clients, show them how much they mean to you. Stop focusing on what they’re buying and start focusing on them. The more you show them that you care about them and you go above and beyond, the more likely they are to sing your praises. Think about the last product or person, you refer to a friend.
It was probably the one that made you feel like they went above and beyond in taking care of you. Going above and beyond build a relationship and that relationship is carry on to the next person and generate that word of mouth. If you make sure you’re giving to your customers, they’ll probably be willing to get back to you.
Collaborate with Social Media Influencers
40% of Millennials feel that their favourite YouTuber understands them better than their best friend, which is an astounding fact because what that shows is how powerful micro-influencers are. Having your product reviewed by an influencer, or even getting a shout-out in the story of somebody who has influence can do wonders for your brand. It may have an even bigger impact than running a Facebook ad campaign because people listen when their friends talk.
So, don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers or collaborate with people who have an influence in a certain space and let it be on their terms. The more real the content is coming from them, the more people are willing to listen. That’s what the big brands have realized now and that’s why they have started interacting with micro-influencers. There are so many different ways to get your audience involved and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask them to.
Now that you’ve realized the importance of user generated content and how powerful it can be, go out there and figure out how you can get your audience to be your biggest brand ambassadors. Think about what brands you’ve created content for and let us see your user generated content in the comments below also if you have some tips and tricks of your own, you can also share them with us.