17th Mar 2017

How Can I Encourage User Generated Content? The Ultimate Guide

While you might think that building a your social media following and attracting an audience might feel like the hardest part of your social media strategy, one of the toughest jobs for social media marketers is finding a way to continuously create new and exciting content, that bring value to your audiences. 

As a business it’s likely that you’ll be constantly be looking for new ways to humanised and built trust with your customers, as well as bring new content to users, which is why many brands are looking to focus on user generated content to provide audiences with valuable, relatable and unique content for social media platforms. 

Thankfully there are plenty of ways out there for your business to encourage user generated content (UGC) giving you a great opportunity to offer a truly authentic experience to your audience in a way that speaks much louder than through content created solely by your business.  

What Is User Generated Content?

Simply put User Generated Content is the content your business shares, that was actually created by your own audience, be it a customer, social media followers, fans or even social influencers. User generated content can be generated in a number of ways, from blog posts, social media posts, videos, social media, if the content is created by a third party user, this is user generated content. 

User Generated Content tends to cost very little, meaning it’s the go to for many businesses looking for a cost effective way of marketing their business and getting the word out, almost acting as a free source of advertising. 


Why Does User Generated Content Work?

User Generated Content manages to work so well for a few reasons, the main being that User Generate Content is trustworthy. If you have customers posting images and comments about how great they find your business, services or products, it acts as ‘word of mouth’ marketing, showing a real visual endorsement from regular people, unlocking trust and encouraging people to find out more about a business.

As well being trustworthy, User Generated Content is inspiring, it allows your audience to view your brand as compelling, letting audiences connect with the content and with your company as a whole. By launching a creative User Generated Content campaign, you can create engagement, as well as inspire people to get involved with and potentially purchase from your brand.  

How Can User Generated Content Benefit My Business? 

As well as benefitting your audience, User Generated Content can have a number of positives for your business too, helping your brand establish itself in several ways, including the following: 


  • Increases Engagement: Audiences often trust other consumers over businesses, meaning that User Generated Content allows for more engagement between both your customers and with your brand. With User Generated Content used, audiences are much more likely to share this content with others than they are your own content, as they believe it to be more reliable and authentic. 


  • Provides SEO Content: User Generated Content often can help your SEO, if you’re sharing content from your audiences that includes relevant keywords then this can play a part in your SEO strategy, often leading to getting your business ranked within search results pages, helping you get found online. It’s also important to remember the power of backlinks, if people are writing about your business and linking back to the homepage, you can increase backlinks. 


  • Increases Followers: It’s not uncommon for consumers to come to your website and social media pages in order to find deals and promotions, but also to look for more reasons to buy a product. With more people coming to your channels to read User Generated Content or even coming to your website and social media from User Generated Content, you’re always more likely to increase your follower count. 


How Can I Encourage User Generated Content?

There are several creative ways for brands to interact with and encourage audiences to generate content for them, from simple social media interactions to promoting lifestyle choices and even contests, with a great strategy you can soon be encouraging fresh new content and promoting your business with the powerful of User Generated Content.  

Utilise Hashtags 

By creating a hashtag for your brand on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, you can encourage your audiences to get involved with your brand in a very simple way. Encouraging your audiences to use your brands hashtags within their own images or text, it can create a sense of community around your business, with people grouping together as fans of your business, but also encouraging those who do not know of your brand to find out more.  

Create Contests 

Another great way to get your customers involved with your brand is to hold a competition or giveaway, offering your winner a great prize such as one of your products or services. With people wanting to get involved in an opportunity to potentially win something, you’re likely to find more people engaging with and promoting your brand. By hosting a contest on social media platform you can encourage shares and hashtags which could raise awareness of your business.  

Share User Photos 

One of the easiest ways you can encourage User Generated Content is to share photos that your audience have posted, tagged you in or sent to you, across your own social media platforms. Searching through your chosen hashtag or simply asking people to send you images of them using, wearing or showing off your products, you can show them off to others, creating a sense of social proof that your customers are happy and that potential customers can be too!  

Tap Into Influencers

Social influencers are viewed as the leaders amongst some social circles, with huge amounts of followers, active social media accounts and engaging feeds, they can be an effective way to encourage User Generated Content. By working alongside authentic and honest social influencers you can ask for reviews, blog posts and videos that show off your product and even review how your company is, encourages fans of these influencers to also check out your brand. 

Collecting User Generated Content can be challenging, however once it works it can have a huge pay off, working as essentially free marketing for your business and increasing the reliability and trustworthiness of your brand. Word of mouth marketing matters and a passionate audience who are willing to promote your brand for you via word of mouth and online posts, can count massively when it comes to getting your business recognised. 

User Generated Content is a cost effective and rewarding way to enhance your marketing channels and with a great plan you can be seeing the benefits in no time



Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 17th March, 2017
Categories: Marketing

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