User-Generated Content: The Ultimate Guide For UGC Beginners

User-Generated Content: The Ultimate Guide For UGC Beginners

User-Generated Content

What is user-generated content? This guide will help you get started with your UGC campaign. Learn everything you need to know to be successful at UGC today.

What is user-generated content? This guide will help you get started with your UGC campaign. Learn everything you need to know to be successful at UGC today.

Did you know that content from your customers, fans, or followers can help increase your sales? 

It can also help you make your clients pay more for your goods and services. Such content is also known as user-generated content (UGC).

90 % of customers make buying decisions influenced by user-generated content.

Recent research indicates that 90 % of customers make buying decisions influenced by user-generated content. Search Engine results and promotional emails may contribute but not as much as UGC. 

However, user-generated content can work against you if you don’t know how to use it.

Therefore, it is crucial to know how to win and use it to your advantage. If you are eager to learn, this article is for you. Continue reading to gain knowledge about everything you need to know about UGC. You will also learn how to use it in your content marketing strategy.

But first, let’s look at the UGC meaning. Most marketers are not aware of UGC, while some misunderstand what it means. Could you be one of them? Fret not, check out the following;

What Does User Generated Content Mean?

The UGC definition refers to your brand’s related content created by a person who has not been requested or employed by your business. The content comes from your fans, followers, or customers, who make it for free. UGC gets found in numerous places.

Here is an example of UGC:

You can find it in various forms, including social media posts, videos, images, or comments. 

User-generated content is any type of content that promotes a brand but does not originate from the brand itself.

You may think that UGC is a fad, but are mistaken. It is here to stay. It has been around for a while and is still growing stronger. A great example is that of the Burberry trench coats.

In 2009, the brand requested its fans to upload pictures of themselves and loved ones wearing its iconic trench coats. In return, Burberry chose the best photographs and showcased them on their Facebook page.

Source: HBS Digital Initiative

In return, many people got interested in those coats, and Burberry made massive sales. The company did not pay a dime for the images used to display its products on its page. The fans did submit the photos willingly. But Burberry was able to use them for marketing its brand. Isn’t it brilliant?

Studies indicate that 86% of buyers acknowledge that user-generated content is an excellent indicator of a quality brand. It implies that when people create content willingly that promotes your business, they inform the world that your brand is top-notch.

In return, most people will become interested in your brand or what you’re offering. Another study illustrates that people ages 18 to 24 love social media, and 68 % regard shared social media information seriously.

It is now clear how UGC can be a powerful marketing strategy. Social media UGC can work like magic for your brand. But before we look into how it does that, let us discuss the various types of UGC.

What are the Types of User-Generated Content?

At this point, you need not get bothered by what is user-generated content. You now have an understanding of its meaning. Because it comes from your fans, customers, and followers, it comes in many forms.

The main types of UGC are text, images, and videos. But here in this blog, I will group images and videos under visual. 

1. Visual UGC

It includes anything that you can see, like videos and photos. It is the most engaging and common UGC type. You can find it on the social media platform. For example, in user-generated content on Instagram, people post videos and images of the products and services they love on their Instagram accounts.

Type of user-generated content
Source: Simonedem

When their followers see them, they check them out and create an awareness of those brands or products. In return, the business ends up making more sales. You could also engage people to send their content to you.

But it would help if you were smart and crafty. A mere request may not work out great. Come out with the idea that will lure people into sending you their content. For example, tell them to send you a video explaining why you need to support their talent.

You will be surprised by what people can say to please your brand or products to entice you to support them. When you post such content on your marketing and social media pages, you will get surprised how it will work for you.

People trust what others say about a brand and product than adverts and marketing emails do. So that content will win many people to you, where the majority will transform to genuine fans, customers, or followers.

Have you ever taken a selfie while relaxing in a posh hotel and uploaded that image to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account? Did your viewers comment positively? You created UGC and helped market that hotel!

2. Text UGC

Text UGC can be in the form of reviews, testimonials, blog posts, and so on. 

Positive testimonials from buyers are excellent marketing materials for your business. 

Here’s how we use customer testimonials on our website: 

Type of user-generated content

Such testimonials help you to win the trust of your potential customers to buy your products or services. 

Most buyers feel confident to buy or subscribe to your product or services when they see other peoples’ reviews. It gives them the assurance that real people are using and delivering the benefits they are expecting. 

Do you have product pages on your site where people can leave reviews? Have you been actively asking your customers to leave a review? If the answer is NO, then you are making a great mistake!

Your customers may write reviews on your website and third-party websites such as Yelp, G2Crowd, Google, etc. Regardless of where it is placed, this form of review is also UGC.

It is a no-brainer; user-generated content comes with numerous benefits. Despite being an excellent marketing strategy, the following are other reasons you should utilize UGC in your business.

Why is User-Generated Content So Important?

We cannot shy away from the success of UGC campaigns in the market world. 

Do you remember the “Share a Coke” campaign from the Coca-Cola Company?

It was very successful!

The company requested customers to find bottles with their names and tweet about the experience using #ShareaCoke.

user-generated content campaign
Source: Coca-Cola

Are you wondering why brands become so successful when they ask their fans, followers, or customers to share their brands or products? 

Then continue reading;

Customer-Centered

UGC is real and genuine, unlike adverts that may add some salt to lure clients into buying products. People get unbiased information from user-generated content. The person sharing the content did so out of a great user experience with the particular product they are giving content about.

Trusted

Marketers are bound to say and do anything to make you buy their products. In the process, they may serve you with incorrect information. But it is a different case with the actual people. UGC gets created by real people who have not been contacted or asked to do so.

User-generated content creators come from people who are happy about a brand or product. Their experience with the product encourages them to do so, and they don’t get any payment or remuneration from the brand.

People trust such information. Studies indicate that 92 % of buyers tend to trust recommendations from other people than branded content.

Authentic

Research by Cohn & Wolfe indicates that people prefer buying from a brand they know to be authentic than a new one. Unlike the physical business, where you get to see what you’re buying, online businesses rely on trust.

Check out this review on BiQ

User-generated content

An honest review from someone that tried your product and service shows more authenticity than you shouting to the world. Besides, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic than content created by brands. 

Community Creation

With UGC, people come together because it brings an aspect of “us.” The creator is usually for the people, not the brand. If the product is right, they share their experience so others can know and enjoy it regardless of the brand.

Therefore, you will find people following such content, in the end, making a community that shares similar feelings, needs, and preferences.

Cost-Effective

Nobody ever pays UGC creators, but their content helps in marketing brands. In return, brands’ awareness continues to reach many people without them spending a dime. Sometimes businesses spend too much money on marketing campaigns that fail. But UGC is cost-effective.

Increased High ROI

When businesses engage their customers, followers, or fans, the ROI increases through their professional marketing and UGC. Take an example of when a brand tells its audience to send pics of them engaging with its product as an entry to win something. The submissions are usually overwhelming!

A study from TurnTo also found that consumers are more likely to spend more on a product with UGC than lower-priced products without it. 

 consumers are more likely to spend more on a product with UGC than lower-priced products without it

Speaking of UGC boosting your business, how do you manage to convince your audience to create some for you? Here is the insight;

How to Get Customers to Create User-Generated Content?

You can do so in the following three ways;

Through Motivation to Create UGC at Specific Times During the Buying Process

Did you know that 50% of buyers wish to be informed by brands what content to make and share? So, why not? Encourage your customers to create content that will help market your brand. Ensure the content gets created at different parts of the purchasing journey. It could be;

  • Immediately after buying
  • On receiving the products
  • After using the products

Be creative in helping your audience create information. For example, you could create a tweet or story and give your audience to share.

Entice them with a Price

Ask your audience to share a video or photo of your brand or product in exchange for a gift. It could be in the form of contests, giveaways, challenges, etc. Get users to participate and reach as many audiences as possible. 

For example, we launched the “BiQ Rewards Program” to encourage users to share their success stories using BiQ. To make it even interesting, we offered up to $1,000 cash prizes!

User-generated content campaign

You could do the same strategy to get users to talk about your brand too. Remember, in the end; you will be the ultimate winner!

Create an Opportunity for People to Share

Such an opportunity should attract many people and target the audience you want. People love beautiful experiences. Why not create an opportunity like outside entertainment, talent discovery and support, and games events.

The memory and touch last forever and people will love sharing about your brand or products based on such memories. Besides, it also shows that you care. A thing that will make millions of people trust you.

Besides using the various UGC types, there exist other best practices of UGC. They include the following;

User-Generated Content Best Practices

Choosing a Social Network Ideal for Your Brand

Social media UGC is one of the most popular forms of UGC. But make sure to understand your target audience before selecting the social platform for your brand. 

Various social media accounts attract a specific audience. Therefore, you do not need to be on every platform to reach your target group – research on where to find your audience and concentrate on that social network. 

For example, if selling something to the youth and young adults, concentrate on user-generated content Instagram and Facebook. 

Use Various UGC types on Particular Channels.

Not all UGC types are ideal for every channel. For example, the visual type suits best on Instagram. 

The National Museum of Singapore encourages its users to tag their Instagram page or use their official hashtag, #nationalmuseumofsingapore, to repost. 

This UGC campaign is an excellent example of how you can let your fans or followers do the talking. 

Utilize UGC in Your Content Marketing Campaigns

Repurpose UGC to work for your good. You may use the UGC in any of your content marketing campaigns. But make sure to ask permission first before you do so. It would show you appreciate their reviews or content. 

For instance, you could use testimonials from your former or present students to talk about the courses they’ve taken or are taking from your institution are helping them.

Next, let’s talk about how UGC can enhance your SEO strategy. 

User-Generated Content For SEO

It’s important to understand that UGC does not hurt your SEO efforts. Instead, it boosts your SEO. 

How? 

John Mueller from Google once said this:

“What I'd recommend there is to find a way to get more content onto the page. A simple way to do that could be to let people comment. “

UGC gives the search engine more information on your website and how relevant they are to users’ queries. 

Here are some benefits of UGC for your SEO strategy: 

Rank For Long-Tail Keywords

The long-tail keyword is one of the great SEO strategies due to its high conversion value, as they are more specific. 

UGC creators tend to use long-tail keywords in their content as they will be describing your products.  

For example, a hair salon may be using a keyword such as “hair salon.” As you can see below, the competition is very high, and it’ll be hard to compete for the same keyword.  

While long-tail keyword such as “best hair salon for women” has lesser competition: 

And such long-tail keywords are usually found in customers’ reviews and testimonials. Besides helping you understand what’s problems your customers are trying to solve when using your product or service, you can also identify the long-tail keywords opportunities you can use. 

Another alternative to finding long-tail keywords is by using BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence

Enter your target keyword in the Keyword Intelligence. You will first see a list of related keywords with a mixture of short and long-tail keywords. 

Click the ‘Advanced Filter’ to filter only long-tail keywords. You may also choose the level of your long-tail keywords relatedness to your main keywords. 

If you are unsure which keyword to use, you can sort the keywords based on its value. The higher valued keyword means it can potentially bring more traffic to your website at a lower competition. 

Get New and Relevant Content Ideas

Are you running out of ideas on what to write next? Then, UGC is an excellent source for your next content ideas. 

After we launched our “BiQ Rewards Program”, we received many different ways users use the tool. For example, they used Content Intelligence to check their freelancer writers’ work quality. 

At the end of the day, we didn’t just get users to talk about our tool, but we also get some new ideas on how they can benefit from our tool.

Conclusion

User-generated content is an essential marketing strategy that comes with several benefits. It is time to utilize UGC to boost your sales and awareness.

If you think I missed some other crucial user-generated content basics, please let me know in the comments!

About Allysa
Allysa is always eager to learn something new whenever she got some free time and that includes SEO and inbound marketing. She also has a passion for traveling and discovering the unknown.