Marketers are increasingly turning to User Generated Content (UGC), due to the authentic, trusted and often visual nature of the content. Visual UGC is modern day ‘word -of-mouth’ and is powerful means for consumers to form opinions and engage with brands based on the advocacy of others.
Why is User Generated Content Important?
Collecting and utilising UGC in your marketing is not just a box ticking exercise. In fact, it can have a significant impact on your marketing performance and sales. At StoryStream we consistently see high impact results when using UGC that include:
- Sales Increasing eCommerce average order value by >14%
- Engagement Increasing website engagement (page dwell times) by > 25%
- Reach Growing organic social media reach by >30%
- Efficiency Provides a source for a high volume of high-quality, low-cost content
One of the main questions we get asked by StoryStream customers is how do “I generate enough high-quality User Generated Content and how can I use it?”
UGC should be a consideration for any brand but it does suit some more than others. It is particularly effective for brands that have a highly engaged audience and a product or service people want to talk about. Example verticals include automotive, fashion, apparel and cosmetics. However, we believe UGC can work for any brand if you go about generating it in the right way.
A simple search on Instagram will likely reveal that there is UGC about your brand already out there. However, it is often not of sufficiently high quality or brand appropriate. In our experience customers and fans are very willing to participate and share content; they just need some education and guidance about what UGC to create and where to put it.
The four key tips to generate UGC
Here are the key areas we have identified as being easy wins for any brand looking to generate more UGC.
1. Clear and consistent calls to #action
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Most UGC is being created organically without any prompt or call to action (CTA) to notify customers and fans. As a brand you can do a number of things to create a clear CTA to create UGC and give customers a chance to have content featured by your brand. These include:
- Create a branded hashtag and encourage your social media followers to use in their posts
- Include details and CTA in your social media bios
- Include the CTA on your website in areas where you are also displaying UGC
- Include the CTA in the footer of customer emails and campaigns
Porsche, for example, have created the hashtag #porschemoment which encourages the community on Instagram to use in their posts and grows awareness organically. To date there are 631,000 posts using this branded hashtag!
2. Reposting across social media channels
One of the challenges on social media is keeping up with posting enough high quality content. This is where UGC plays a role. StoryStream customers including Mercedes AMG and cosmetics brand NYX regularly post UGC along with brand created content. This allows them to post more and in many cases the UGC actually performs better in terms of impressions and engagement. Crucially when followers of the brands see UGC in their feeds from the brand they are then in turn more likely to create some themselves, which in turn helps to extend brand amplification and reach.
3. Asking customers directly
You don’t need to rely on UGC being created organically on social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok. In fact you can be more prescriptive and targeted if you ask customers to upload UGC directly. StoryStream works with clients to help collect and curate UGC directly uploaded by customers. This is via direct upload buttons that can be added into any website or email. This takes customers to a simple content upload form allowing them to submit any number of images or video based on a brief. Another way to get people to submit content is by adding CTA messaging to tags and label directly on products.
Boden use direct upload buttons to help customer share and submit content directly and have over 700 UGC submissions in only 2 months!
4. Contests, promotions & gifting
A sure-fire way to generate a large amount of UGC over a short period of time is via contests, promotions, and gifting. By incentivising fans and customers to take part and contribute content you can generate a lot of content that also closely matches brand guidelines and requirements. Contests can simply be run on social media channels directly (although make sure you refer to T&C’s) or specific landing pages can be created with more detailed content briefs.
We work with clients who often start their UGC journey by running a competition. This creates focus and kickstarts an initial critical mass of content. Typically, this then organically continues and grows over time.
Generating high-quality, brand-appropriate UGC does not need large amounts of investment or time. However, the more you put in the more you get out. The importance of building trust and connecting with customers emotionally is more important than ever and UGC provides the perfect format of content to do this. Critically it will have a significant impact on your marketing. So don’t delay. Get your UGC strategy up and running today.
To find out more about how StoryStream can help you with your UGC strategy contact us here