Over the last few years, user-generated content (UGC) is one of the hottest topics in digital marketing. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, it seems it’s more important than ever to earn customers’ trust with reviews, unboxing videos, and social media takeovers for your marketing campaign.
As consumers are in control of how they consume content and interact with brands more than ever, brands all around the world are looking for the best way to get people raving about their product or service. You can see user-generated content all over the Web in many types: Social media posts, videos, reviews and testimonials, articles and posts on blog sites, etc.
Which type is best for you? Here’s an overview of the top 5 types of user-generated content that might inspire your next marketing strategy.
#1 Social Media Content
Your potential customers want to know as much as possible about you and your products or services before they feel comfortable buying from you. One of the first places your potential customers will search for your brand online is certainly social media. There are 4.55 billion social media users around the world in October 2021, according to the Kepios analysis. That’s around 57.6 percent of the total global population. So it’s clear social media is a part of daily activity. That is why many brands are using social media platforms to humanize their marketing strategy and build a strong connection between their brand and customer.
Source: Lundmark Advertising
But how does it work?
Anytime your customer post on social media about your product or service, you can use that content as social proof to showcase your satisfied customers to potential customers. It can be a photo, unboxing featuring the product reviewed, or a post that explains the positive experience they had with your brand. Not only this might help you reach relevant users who have never heard of you yet, but it will increase your brand’s credibility. Keep in mind you need to get written permission before you repost chosen content on your account. Just simply let them know you like it and you want to repurpose their content for your brand UGC campaigns. Otherwise, your brand could be involved in a lawsuit.
Considering influencers have a strong existing follower base, it is not surprising some brands collaborate with relevant social media stars to help come up with user-generated content. Based on a 2019 survey of marketers by Mediakix, nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI (return on investment) from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
Since it’s radically different from traditional forms of digital marketing, influencer-generated content can improve your brand awareness and brand visibility very quickly. It gives your brand a human face that sends the message: “Our brand is here because we care about helping you make an educated choice”.
#2 Reviews and Testimonials
It is not surprising people want to know what they’re getting before they make their purchasing decision. As they are looking for the affirmation of others, including customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing strategy is definitely a great way to meet their expectations. By simply asking your customers for photos of them using your products in everyday life, you’re giving your brand a certain level of transparency. People want to buy from people. So don’t forget your customers are human beings. When they see product reviews from a real person, they see it as an authentic source of information rather than just another brand promotion. They will feel more connected to your product. They will remember your brand story. And that will certainly have a positive effect on your sales.
#3 Blog Posts
Even when a customer hears about your business from a friend or family, one of the first things they’re going to do is research your business online to see what others are saying about you. When customers are creating UGC — “how-to” blog posts, videos, and reviews about your products and services — your brand message spreads online. It gives your ideal audience a real-life example of how you can help them and enables them to put themselves in the shoes of people who’ve used your products and/or services. Partnering with influencers, bloggers, magazines, or celebrity influencers could help you showcase your brand while creating organic content that not only promotes your product/service, but it sells the entire customer experience.
#4 Video Content
In a survey conducted by Google, more than 50% of respondents say that product videos posted online help them decide what particular brand to purchase. And more and more brands are now adopting the strategy across their marketing channels due to its simplicity and ability to achieve the desired results effectively.
Hashtag contests or giveaways are a great way to engage your audience in your brand’s activities. Based on their experience with your brand, you can encourage your audience to share video content using your unique hashtag. Not only those videos have the potential to go viral, but your sales might just skyrocket once you showcase the authenticity of your brand.
#5 Case Studies
Problem-centric selling is one of the most effective ways to stick out in potential buyers‘ minds. Case study as a teaching method through case-based problem solving can help you get your message across to your audience and convince them to take action. This type of user-generated content provides comprehensive information about how your product or service solved your customers’ problems and pain points. Find out what keeps them up at night and gather positive experiences and benefits that your customers have received after using your product or service.
You may wonder which of these types is the best. The correct answer is that they are all great and that you can choose the one that best suits your brand. The only thing that matters is they all work. Powerful experiences can create lasting impressions, especially if you give your marketing communications a human touch. And that is exactly what user-generated content is supposed to achieve for your brand – an authentic form of content that’ll make your brand stand out from the crowd.