How to Use User-Generated Content Like a Boss

Every business wants to generate content that engages with their audience and ultimately pushes them in the right direction – towards the checkout!  Nevertheless, content marketing is shamefully underutilised by businesses of all sizes and niches. Whether content creation is your forte or not, producing blog posts, infographics, whitepapers and videos requires a lot of time, effort and creativity. Creating content that tells the story of your brand isn’t easy. Neither is getting into the mind of your audience and speaking in a language that they want to hear.

In short, content creation can be a real pain, but what if we told you the audience you’re trying to reach could provide endless reams of effective and engaging content?

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content (UGC) gives you the power to create content with your audience, not just for them. User-generated content is generated by your fans and followers, and curated by you. With user-generated content you become the publisher to build trust and nurture relationships throughout your target audience. User-generated content is authentic and audience-focussed, two factors that make it an excellent return on investment.

Why should you believe in UGC?

With word of mouth more trusted than any other form of marketing or advertising, user-generated content is defining new brand leaders every day, particularly with millennials. A recent report found that 84% of millennials stated that user-generated content directly influenced their purchases. The placement of user-generated content on product pages also saw conversions increase by up to 64% according to this digital think tank study.

Off-site, the use of user-generated content had similar success, garnering 10 times more views on YouTube than content directly created and uploaded by the brand.

How can I start my own UGC campaign?

Unfortunately, UGC isn’t a quick go-to. You already have to have a strong online presence and a good follower base to hit the ground running. Everyone has to start somewhere though, but for newbies the initial curation of user-generated content takes time and patience.

It all starts with choosing the right platform. You want to select a social network where your target audience spends most of their time. Developing an understanding of this network and what type of content works best on the platform is the next stage. You can then begin to build your presence and be on your way to generating the relevant, original and shareable UGC you seek.

You don’t have to be a social media magnate to curate UGC. Customer surveys, expert Q&As, contests, case studies and independent reviews all provide the powerful insights that are the cornerstone of a UGC strategy. Use each and every source of UGC to your advantage to guarantee powerful and effective content production that connects with your audience and dramatically improves your return on investment.