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What is User Generated Content and How Businesses Can Leverage it for Marketing


What is User Generated Content

Everyday users create invaluable content for your brand that you’re not aware of. It could be in the form of social media posts, images, videos, comments, reviews, and so much more.

This is the user-generated content, also known as the earned media content for your brand which you earned in return of the amazing services and products your brand delivered to your customers.

This content is generally so scattered over the internet that most of the times you don’t even know that it exists. This unique content can get you potential traffic, valuable leads, revenues, and a lot more, but only when used it right!

This article is all about helping you to figure out this very issue that how can you leverage user-generated content for strengthening your marketing strategy.

Come, let’s peep in.

Also check: Why has content marketing become so important for SMBs?

Earned Content v/s Owned Content

When executing a content marketing strategy, a brand always has the option to utilize two kinds of content- owned media content and earned media content.

While owned media content includes your website, official blogs, case studies, official social media pages, etc., on the other hand, your earned media content is the user-generated content for your brand. It may include social media posts, images, videos, comments, online reviews, etc. that your happy customers uploaded on their social media profiles, either tagging you or mentioning you or using your brand hashtag.

Owned media content gives you 100% control over the content that goes online on behalf of your brand, and it has its own benefits for sure, but it lacks on the “trust-generating” aspect as it is not peer-generated. Sometimes, it might end up being too much product-centric, technical, and self-serving. Hence, lacks users’ appreciation. It is like a one-way interaction between the brands and its users in which only the brand speaks.

Earned media content, or the user-generated content, on the other hand, comes with an inherent trust factor because it is the users who created it in the first place. It is the media content you earned as a result of your word of mouth marketing tactic and amazing quality services and products your brand provides. It is like a two-way interaction between the brands and its users where the users are in the limelight.

Hence, in terms of generating brand awareness and generating user-trust, earned media can prove to be a gold mine. It helps to display social proof and is freely available to be used. You just need to discover it and figure out the most relevant earned media content for your brand.

Also check: Content Marketing: In-House Team or Outsourced?

Build A Community

Members of a community help each other grow. So, when you build a community around your brand, it is a win-win for all. Users feel personally closer to the brand, their loyalty in the brand becomes dedicated, and as a brand, you earn a loyal customer base to back you up when you need to display social proof. The larger your community is, the more value it adds to your brand image and stronger is your brand voice.

UGC can help you a long way in building a community around your brand. When you post user-generated content for your brand’s marketing, you provide your users with encouragement, support, sense of acknowledgment, and be belonging. Aren’t those the building blocks for any strong tightly knit community?

Also check: Expand your ecommerce brands on social media with video content marketing

Embed UGC On Your Official Website/ Blog Or Display UGC in Events

Once you aggregate UGC from different social media platforms, you get to manage it, customize it, curate it, and do all that you can to make it the most presentable of all. Now when it’s all done, you need to display it to the audience you want to market your brand to.

Now, there are many ways you can do so. One of the most efficient ways is to display it on a digital screen in any event or as digital signage through a social wall. A social wall is the most attractive, engaging, and unique way of displaying your earned media to your target audience. It not only boosts user engagement with the brand but also helps you spread the word of mouth marketing.

One other way is by targeting your website visitors. You can do so by embedding user-generated social media posts around your brand on your official website. This helps you to present your visitors with the social proof of your brand whenever they visit your website.

Host A UGC Campaign

Hosting a UGC campaign to allure user engagement and spread brand awareness is an amazing and popularly used marketing strategy. Many brands have time and again used this technique to create a buzz around their brand and spread the word of mouth marketing.

This UGC campaign could be social media oriented. You could organize a contest inviting your users to participate in the contest by creating brand oriented creative content. This technique actually works if executed well. Users participate wholeheartedly in the lieu of getting featured on a brand’s advertisement campaign.

Also check: Useful Tips on How to Answer 25 Content Marketing FAQs

Over To You…

User-Generated Content is today’s marketing truth. It always works. Marketers are increasingly using UGC for their brand promotion.

You could simply ask your customers for their honest reviews, and there it is… your very own user-generated content. Something so powerful and so easily available calls for being used for marketing purposes.

So, what are your marketing tactics around UGC? Drop suggestions in the comment section below.



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