The oldest form of marketing was word of mouth and with the ever evolving technology has turned into word of click marketing, now known as user-generated content (UGC or consumer-generated content).It refers to content related to your brand, that’s created by someone who’s not the brand’s official representative. It could be a variety of things from a social media update to a review, a video, a podcast and more.
Also, research has revealed that UGC holds 90% more influence over consumers’ buying decisions than promotional emails and even search engine results. So, consumer-generated content not only helps in keeping your content calendar full all-year round, but it makes your audience feel that they are a part of your brand experience.
With user being the hero when it comes to consumer-generated content, here’s what you as a brand can do to get yourself noticed through such content.
Make the most out of big data and consumer trends
In today’s marketing age, analytics play a key role for a brands success. Use customer insights, websites, social and search analytics, and surveys to understand audience behaviour. This information will allow you to create content your customers love and connect with.
Personalisation is everything
Your audience will connect more with your brand if you can go the extra mile and make the campaign relatable. This way people are more likely to share and engage with your content. If you can create a personal emotional connection, then you have created a trust between you and your audience.
Influencers are key to your consumer-generated contents’ success
Influencers come with a large following who can become potential customers and brand loyalists.
When you look out for influencers, you will need to invest a certain budget into it. Selecting influencers can also be tricky, so ensure they match with your audience tonality. Will the influencer’s audience relate to your brand? Are their followers the right demographic?
When you yourself are able to answers to the above mentioned questions, then you are on the right path to finding influencers who match your brands taste.
When you look at the brand - The North Face, it promotes an adventure filled lifestyle and advocates for enthusiasts who have that passion. By promoting this type of communication through their social media platforms, The North Face increases their exposure while promoting their brand. Simply Measured has stated that The North Face has driven almost 4 million total engagements on Instagram in 2015 — compared to about 155,000 on Facebook. The North Face’s top posts in 2015 have all been UGC content from either fans or North Face “team members”.
Hashtags are a must too
One must always remember that your hashtag should be one with which your audience can resonate. Look at your existing community to determine if the hashtag can be organically used.
Once you have settled on a hashtag, promote it, use it, share it, and display it everywhere. Your customers will catch on to it.
Keep a check on social listening
There is a lot happening in the world of social media and social listening uses this feature to ensure people talk about your brand.
For us at Pulp Strategy, this has been one of the ways we have got the audience talking about our brands. What started with AIB asking its followers a random question under #AIBJagraata – “what’s that one thing in your house that your mother loves more than you?” And one of the answers being Tupperware, our social media took this opportunity and built a complete conversation around it.
Results? Within 24 hours, Tupperware India reached out to more than 25,000 people on Facebook and close to 1700 people on Instagram, and all this, without spending a single penny. What’s more? Brand equity and Social Samosa also featured this feat!
Have you considered events?
Events are an area where you are under control, so why not do an event and get people talking about your brand? Events bring your online experiences offline, while encouraging attendees share these offline experiences, online. Consider creating moments that are “Instagram-able” and that your attendees can’t help but snap and post.
And here is where you ready your team to engage with these posts, comments, and shares during the event. People love social dialogue so encourage more of it and never forget to hashtag.
User-generated content really works and if you do it right you can see major returns for your brand. UGC can help you connect with your audience, it’s cost-effective, and help you increase brand awareness in an organic and authentic way.
While all of this is important for your brand when it comes to consumer-generated content, these below pointers are also a must have in our strategy.
- Recognize your customer’s publically
- Go for guest posts and takeovers
- Encourage your audience to interact with you
Consumer-generated content works and if you do it the right you can see major returns for your brand. It can also be a creative way to connect with your audience, cost-effective, and help you increase brand awareness in an organic and authentic way.