“The next wave of the Web is going to be user-generated content” – John Doerr
The internet, today, has become a platform for consumers to share genuine opinions, exchange ideas, and make buying decisions based on their true experiences. This has led to the inception of user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is the content that has been created by the actual users of the brand and is vital to every business’ growth. Studies suggest that consumers find UGC 9.8X times more impactful than any other medium. UGC can be obtained from numerous sources such as customer reviews, testimonials, blog posts, websites, podcasts, forums, etc.
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture of UGC to understand its relevance and how incorporating it into your marketing strategy can reap benefits.
How is UGC Relevant?
Going by research conducted, around 72% of consumers find UGC more reliable than traditional advertising. UGC is perceived as a more authentic medium as the information published is unbiased and is entirely created by honest user reviews.
Enlisted below are some points that tell us why brands are turning towards UGC. It:
- Builds trust and loyalty among users
- Highlights the true experiences of users
- Is a cost-effective approach
- Helps in building a strong community
- Enables businesses to experience higher ROI
In other words, UGC provides social proof of a brand’s existence and quality of service. Not only does social proofing help a brand in conveying its authenticity, but it is also a great tool to win the customer’s trust, expand the customer base via social channels, and earn business.
5 Ways to Incorporate UGC in Your Marketing Strategy
To extract maximum scalability, having a concrete marketing strategy is a must. But sometimes, this might not be enough. This is where user-generated content comes into play.
UGC is not just limited to customer reviews, testimonials, and social communication, it is much more than that. It takes into account any content type that reshapes the opinions of the audience and transforms them into a marketing engine.
Here are a few ways of incorporating UGC in your marketing strategy:
1. Provide credibility to contributors: Rewarding users by giving them small incentives will keep them motivated to publish positive feedback. This will also encourage skeptical users to try your product/service. This is a great way to establish long-term relationships with users.
2. Acknowledge and promote user reviews: Negative reviews? Acknowledge that. Negative feedback serves as an excellent opportunity to win the trust of users. Respond to every review to build an emotional connect with users. This would establish that you care about what your existing customers feel and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them. Encourage customers to be vocal about their experience with you on multiple channels.
3. Generate engaging video content: Businesses can build a strong brand image by encompassing genuine user reviews in video messages. Audiences in the middle of their buying journey are always looking for trusted user reviews for credibility. Video messages will portray your business’ authenticity and help users make a buying decision. This would also lead to a considerable improvement in your engagement metrics.
4. Make UGC a part of email marketing: For user traction, including UGC in email marketing campaigns can prove to be beneficial. Catchy headlines conveying the benefits of purchasing a service never ceases to impress. Include real user images, product reviews, and best-sellers for more user attention.
5. Word-of-mouth marketing: Often ignored, UGC is a revamped version of referral marketing. Users are likely to recommend a service to fellow buyers if their experience with your brand is positive. Users or potential customers rely on the experiences of their peers rather than a brand’s social messaging. So, ensure that you, as a brand, are sending out a strong message for maximum conversion.
Using the above-mentioned tips, businesses can build a strong online repertoire combined with improved visitor engagement and achieve a better conversion rate.
Authenticity is the king of the marketing world.
User-generated content is a key metric that can help businesses generate awareness about their brand. Weaved with an effective marketing strategy, businesses can build a wider customer base and achieve a competitive edge. Ensure that your UGC strategy is in alignment with the objectives of your business and resonates with the needs of the target audience.
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