One of the most overlooked practices that can exponentially grow your social media audience (while improving ecommerce metrics) is implementing User-Generated Content (UGC). With personalized advertising surfacing more and more on the internet these days, one thing proves to be true: consumers value real-life experiences and connections.
Not only does UGC create a considerable amount of reach on social media, but it also facilitates a space for audience engagement. Telling your brand story through the voices of your passionate fans presents your brand as trustworthy, reliable, and authentic to your followers.
In fact, studies show that 84% of consumers trust peer recommendations more than any other source of advertising. This isn’t surprising, as we know word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing avenues out there, and UGC amplifies that organically.
Use a UGC Platform
If you have a supportive audience that is sharing their own content related to your brand, but could be encouraged to share more, or campaign-specific content, you should use a CRM platform like Pixlee to manage UGC.. Pixlee allows you to automatically pull in UGC from social channels and direct uploads to your website, permission and publish content, and monitor UGC campaign success.
Let’s talk about the benefits of a UGC platform.
- Flexible Collection: Collect UGC from your customers via various social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
- Customizable Widgets: Set widgets that match your brand’s style live on your product pages, homepage, and other site pages, and give your site visitors the option to filter UGC by product-specific parameters.
- Content Scheduling: Schedule UGC to post on your brand’s social profiles according to your content calendar, and update live site widgets instantly.
- Campaign Management: Create, launch, and track specific campaigns with branded hashtags to encourage more UGC collection.
- One-Step Permissioning: You no longer have to ask for permission to reuse customer content manually; Pixlee lets you ask and collect permissioned content with one click.
- Success Measurement: Track which pieces of content and which users show the highest ROI, and map conversion directly to specific pieces of UGC.
And more! Once you have a system like this in place to source and publish UGC, you’ll be able to share more customer content on more channels. This creates a flywheel effect; as fans see your brand engaging with and posting other users’ UGC, they’ll be more inclined to share their own content with you, too.
The best part? UGC isn’t made for just one channel. Share your new unlimited creative far and wide. Check out how Alo Yoga shares UGC on email and an on-site “Shop the ‘Gram” gallery.
With the help of this type of platform, you can create a user-generated content strategy that converts. Nowadays, consumers trust people more than they trust brands, so encouraging your customers to take photos and post them on multiple social networks can turn into the many faces of your brand.
Run a Social Media Contest to Collect Content
There are many benefits when it comes to running a UGC contest such as building trust, increased engagement, and expanding your community by connecting you with a wider audience. Plus, you’ll garner valuable customer content that can be used in diverse marketing campaigns to come.
UGC builds a higher level of relatability which leads to engagement. In terms of building trust, people trust more what was referred from peers, which leads to increased social referrals.
Raising brand awareness and connecting with a wider audience is possible, as people who create user-generated content will post it on their social media profiles, too. Offering a prize like a discount code, free sample, or access to exclusive brand news is one cost-effective way to incentivize users to participate in your contests. Sometimes, even a feature on the brand social account is enough, as people like to feel heard and appreciated by the companies they like.
Tile ran a summer giveaway using Pixlee to collect UGC and showcase it in an on-site gallery, incentivizing more fans to participate.
One of the first things you need to decide is the type of content you want to collect, such as images of customers interacting with your product in daily life, or unboxing videos, for example.. There are several types of UGC you can encourage from your audience. Head to our definitive guide to running a social media contest for more inspiration and tips on launching a contest.
Embrace Influencer Marketing and Content Creators
Collaborating with influencers and content creators can help you generate UGC and spread your brand around the internet easily and quickly.
As influencers are well-versed in the art of social media creative, they’re likely to come up with new approaches to promoting your product or service that your marketing team may not have thought of. If an influencer you like publicly shares their support for a brand without it sounding forced or inorganic, you’re more likely to buy from that brand. It builds trust and authority. At the same time, influencers can encourage other users to post similar content or stories or to be part of a specific campaign.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, one of the most Instagrammed hotels in the world, uses Pixlee to discover and work with influencers with audiences of diverse sizes and interests.
A UGC strategy is to turn your passionate customers into an active community of content creators. When you work with creators in general, make sure you have an influencer brief for them. This way, the content creator will know all the details of your campaign and can work with you to design a mutually-beneficial partnership plan.
Build a centralized destination for communication with them constantly and ask them to help create and then share the content your company needs. The result will be better and deeper connections with your most loyal customers and it will also grow your content library. Pixlee offers influencer management in-platform, letting brand teams not only launch campaigns and manage relationships with multiple influencers, but also discover new creators with aligned interests and audiences.
Creators can show their audience how to use your product or service, do an unboxing video, or review one of your products or services. There is also the possibility to collaborate with vetter creators to help you with your campaigns. All you have to do is to filter them and send them your brief. In terms of compensation, you don’t always have to go for the biggest influencers out there; micro-influencers are an effective and efficient choice as well.
If you want to build brand awareness and grow your business’s social media following, user-generated content is a great option. UGC is an influential, accessible, and simple tool that every marketer should be using.
Consumers are much more inclined to trust and purchase from companies that foster connectivity and user interaction. You also give followers the opportunity to be seen on your channel and exposed to even more users. You can also create awareness about causes that align with your values and are passionate about while getting people excited about your brand.
As long as your campaigns are authentic, promote something people care about and are easy to participate in, it won’t be hard to inspire user-generated content.