User-Generated Content, or UGC for short, is content, whether it be in the form of photo, video, or text, created by customers rather than businesses. This includes customer testimonials and photos shared on social media. Since 70% of customers look at reviews before purchasing a product or service, it’s safe to say that UGC can have a major impact on people contemplating making a purchase on your website. These are some tactics for gathering UGC and incorporating it into your marketing strategy:
How to acquire UGC:
One of the easiest ways to acquire UGC is by turning to your product reviews. Any positive quotes can be used as social media captions or ad copy, designed into social media graphics, used in email and SMS campaigns, or featured on your website. If you don’t have many reviews to pull from, start by soliciting them. Email and SMS campaigns are the most effective way to ask for reviews from previous buyers, and with a little incentive (such as a discount on their next order), happy customers are likely to follow through.
UGC can also be acquired through social media contests. For instance, you can ask your followers to share a photo or video with a specific hashtag in order to win a prize. This prize could be a giveaway with one winner, or a discount code for all participants. This is a win-win situation! Here’s a great example.
Another effective method is through influencers. Influencers are social media users with a large following, who are often able to convince their followers to purchase a product or service. Many influencers have a unique brand or niche, and market products that align with their account. When running an influencer campaign, it is crucial to connect with influencers who associate with your brand’s values and have the ability to reach your target audience. The only catch to influencer marketing is that it can be an investment for your business. The ROI is strong, typically ranging from $5 to $18 for every dollar spent, but every influencer comes at a different cost and has different expectations. That’s why it’s important to reach out to several contenders. To find influencers, you can directly message them or use an online tool to help ease the process. Just keep it personalized!
How to leverage it:
Once you’ve gathered enough content, it’s time to incorporate it into your marketing efforts. Before doing so, make sure your content is organized in a way that you can easily access everything and categorize by product. Then it’s time to strategize.
When using UGC, it’s important to create a sense of brand desire. Aspirational photos taken through the customer’s lens tend to perform well, so save the best content for the most important campaigns.
Aim to get content that showcases all of your different products. This way, you can use it when a particular item is on sale, and customers can find positive feedback on everything they’re considering buying.
And last but not least, always ask for permission before reposting, and be sure to credit the original account.