Ensure Your User-generated Content is More Impactful in Digital Marketing

UGC or User Generated Content is not some fanciful term coined by providers of digital marketing services in India or elsewhere to wow their clients. It’s simply what the users — or the general public — is talking about. It is any piece of content that is generated by people and not brands. So why is that such a big deal?

Why is UGC so Important?

Any brand advertising agency will tell you UGC is important because it’s something that brands don’t pay for. It’s organic. It’s spontaneous. Because of these features, it garners trust and promotes authenticity. It drives buying decisions. And that’s why it is so important for brands. The question then is –

How do you find and use UGC?

If you think UGC is just social media that’s not true. Arguably people are at their creative best on social media but UGC is not limited to social media alone. It may also be seen in the form of personal blogs, product reviews, online short or long videos, forums, and more.

Let’s see how digital marketing agencies can incorporate these variations of UGC into your marketing strategy to create maximum impact –

Entice

Whatever people may profess; the Joneses haven’t disappeared. They’ve just moved online but exist they do. That’s why Onida’s Neighbours Envy Owners Pride devil which became iconic in the 80’s was resurrected — albeit for a different product and arguably lesser impact — during the 2018 IPL. As transparency penetrated the world of marketing, sharing exceptional content from users became the new way to spark the consumers desire. This is especially true for luxury brands but it is no less important for other brands. Destination British Columbia shares travellers’ Instagram photos from the province to promote tourism. They’ve even coined their tagline to match — Share the transformative power of BC experiences with the world — thus inspiring their followers to explore new and unheard of places.

Inspire (brand) Loyalty

Enticing new consumers through UGC may convert a few leads for a while — but you must generate brand loyalty if you want to if you want to sustain and grow your brand thereby achieving the goals of any marketing — driving new sales, encouraging repeat sales, cross selling, and upselling. Your UGC consumers are your biggest asset if you want to generate and retain loyalty. These are the people who have likely made repeat purchases — not just once or twice but several times — and derived satisfaction. That’s why they talk highly about your brand. Content generated by such consumers will truly create excitement about your brand and generate organic leads. That’s what makes Samsung the most popular brand on Facebook — preceded of course Facebook itself.

Engage

Engagement is among the largest — and toughest — services provided by digital marketing agencies. It can be tiresome to create fresh and engaging content consistently. One way of circumventing this — and perhaps saving a buck on influencer marketing — is to encourage consumers to share their content voluntarily under your brand umbrella. That’s what Big Basket did with their Wraps and Rolls Recipes contest. By encouraging consumers to submit recipes that use wraps and rolls, they not only drove direct sales but also increased their online reach — not to mention hikes in pages per session, return visitors and other metrics.

UGC Best Practices

On a note of caution, while it may seem like a simple matter to leverage UGC, you must bear in mind that you are dealing with living feeling human beings who genuinely like and appreciate your products. Overreaching your UGC efforts can backfire. So here are some pointers — call them ethics or best practices — for leveraging UGC –

Ask for Permission

It is the polite and ethical thing to do. It’s also a way to show your appreciation to the user who posted the content. Using the content — even when it contains your brand tags — can kill some much needed goodwill and loyalty among your existing brand ambassadors or advocates. Besides, asking permission excites the creator of the content and if you give them credit it will encourage them to share even better, more creative, and inspiring content about your brand. Permissions are also a way to safeguard your brand against copyright complaints.

Give Credit

As we said asking permission to use the content is the right thing to do but that’s not enough. Besides asking permission, you should also give full credit to the creator. If possible, ask how they would like their content to be shared — there are many ways from using hashtags and mentions to explicitly crediting the creator for design or text. Giving credit not only excites the creator and encourages him to share more content it also garners trust and authenticates the content thereby increasing your organic following.

Offer Value

Offer value to content creators. That way you’re like to excite other users to generate content. Creating events and contests on social media is perhaps the best and easiest channel. But this strategy could backfire because creators could in turn leverage the win — or even participation — to increase their own popularity. So step cautiously on this one. When you host contest and event be sure to specify the rules clearly. State the type of content you are looking for, where you will be posting it, and of course the benefit to the creator. And oh yes, make it easy so that lots of people can participate.

UGC is the new trend in digital marketing. Leverage it to the fullest. Start thinking out of the box. Need help? Get in touch with Litmus Branding your digital marketing company in Ahmedabad.

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Hiren Panchal

Hiren Panchal

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Founder and Promoter of Litmus Branding. Designer at the core. 20+ years in Advertising. Branding insights on fingertips. A man with wise marketing words.