What is user-generated content?
User-generated content describes material that is produced by people rather than a brand. The term describes the articles, reviews, videos, and posts people publish that contribute to the brand’s reach and reputation. For example, social media platforms are filled with user-generated content as people create posts that reflect their experiences.
Why is user-generated content so important?
User-generated content can be incredibly powerful for businesses. According to Nielsen, word-of-mouth marketing is the most trusted form of advertising. Similarly, Reevoo found that 70 percent of people found content produced by their peers to be more valuable than content produced by brands-- even professionally written material. Having customers create high-quality, positive content about your organization can have a powerful impact on your brand’s reputation.
User-generated content can also help you build a community and following around your content. This allows you to tap into the psychological principle known as the ‘bandwagon effect’. When people notice their friends and family-- people whose opinion they trust-- using a particular brand, they feel more inclined to try that brand as well. A strong community also helps to build loyalty, which means that your customers will feel more inclined to stick with your brand rather than finding alternatives.
How do I use user-generated content?
Communication is the key to convincing people to create user-generated content. For example, you can encourage people to post pictures of themselves using your products or post success stories after using your services by offering rewards or prizes.
Encourage conversation on your social media pages by asking questions and then participating in, but not dominating, the resulting dialogue. Offering people opportunities to write guest posts for your blog or website about their experiences can also be a fantastic way to encourage bonding and loyalty. Building a strong social media page can be instrumental in encouraging user-generated content.
User-generated content is a wonderful way to build loyalty with customers and also receive trustworthy, free advertising that can improve your brand reach and reputation. Brands should incorporate methods of generating this type of content into their broader marketing schemes to take advantage of the social nature of the modern digital ecosystem.