How to Create a User-Generated Content Strategy That Works

User-Generated Content Strategy: 10 Tactics to Drive Engagement

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An effective user-generated content strategy requires multiple tactics that work together to drive engagement on your site or social media profiles. If you want to take full advantage of UGC as part of your marketing strategy, we’ve compiled some tactics to help you get started.

How to Create a User-Generated Content Strategy That Works

A strong user-generated content strategy can help build brand awareness and customer loyalty, while also providing valuable insights into what your customers want and how they use your products. It can be a powerful marketing tool when used correctly, but it can also do more harm than good if not managed properly.

If you need ideas on how to create a successful user-generated content strategy, this article will walk you through 10 strategies you can use individually or in combination to start seeing more UGC flow through your channels today.

What Type of Marketing is User-Generated Content?

When you hear about UGC, you may be asking: is user-generated content a marketing strategy? The answer is YES. 

User-generated content (UGC) is a type of marketing that relies on the input and engagement of users. It can take many forms, including reviews, ratings, comments, forum posts, blog posts, photos, and videos.

UGC is an important part of any marketing strategy because it helps build trust and credibility with potential customers. It also allows businesses to get feedback and ideas from their target market.

How Do You Generate User-Generated Content?

Generating UGC can be a great way to get customers involved with your brand. Here are a few ways to generate a successful user-generated content strategy:

1. Earn trust with your users

Happy woman shopping online at home
When it comes to businesses and customers, trust is essential.

If you want to create an effective user-generated content strategy, you need to earn the trust of your users. That means being transparent about what you’re doing and why, and providing a consistent experience across all platforms.

UGC can be a great way to connect with your audience and build trust, but only if it’s done right. Here are some tips to help you earn the trust of your users:

  • Be transparent about your goals and objectives.
  • Don’t try to control the conversation—let your users speak their minds.
  • Respond to UGC in a timely manner.
  • Keep your brand voice consistent across all platforms.
  • Don’t delete negative comments—address them head-on.

2. Create conversation within your community

User-generated content is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal for building an engaged community. By encouraging users to submit their own photos, videos, and stories, you create a space for conversation and connection.

But simply having a user-generated content strategy isn’t enough. To create a successful community, you need to ensure there’s an ongoing conversation within your community. This means creating opportunities for users to interact with each other as well as with your brand.

One way to do this is by featuring user-submitted content on your website or social media channels. This gives users a platform to share their voices and also helps promote a sense of ownership and belonging within the community. Another way to encourage conversation is by hosting regular contests or challenges that encourage users to interact with each other.

3. Inspire users to share their experiences

When it comes to UGC, it’s all about inspiring your users to share their experiences with your brand. But how do you do that? Here are a few tips:

  • Make it easy for them to share their experiences. Provide social sharing buttons on your website and make sure your content is shareable across all platforms.
  • Encourage them to share their stories. Ask customers to leave reviews, write blog posts, or submit photos of themselves using your product or service. Make sure you offer incentives for doing so, such as discounts or prizes.
  • Showcase their experiences. Share user-generated content on social media channels, websites, and marketing materials. This helps create social proof and builds trust with potential customers.

To get connected with more customers, use a social media management tool like the one in this Mention review.

4. Leverage platforms where your brand can participate in conversations

Not all platforms are created equal when it comes to UGC. To create a user-generated content strategy that works, you need to leverage platforms where users can participate in conversations. This means choosing platforms that allow you to interact with your audience, as well as moderate and curate content.

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Some of the best platforms for UGC include social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also go for online communities and forums. By participating in these conversations, you can build relationships with your customers and create valuable content at the same time.

5. Be transparent and open to feedback

Cropped woman filling out a feedback form
If you’re not open to feedback, you’re not open to growth.

A successful user-generated content strategy requires two key things: transparency and openness to feedback.

Being transparent means being upfront about your goals and objectives for the campaign. What are you hoping to achieve? How will you measure success? Being clear about this from the start will help ensure that everyone involved is on the same page.

On the other hand, being open to feedback is just as important. After all, user-generated content is all about giving your audience a voice. Listen to what they have to say, and use their feedback to improve your strategy.

6. Reward loyal customers for referrals

Loyal customers are the bread and butter of any business. They not only keep coming back, but they also refer their friends and family. A loyal customer is worth their weight in gold, so it makes sense to reward them for referrals.

There are a few things to keep in mind when rewarding loyal customers for referrals. First, the reward should be something they actually want. A discount on their next purchase is always appreciated, but something unique like a gift card to their favorite store will really make them feel appreciated.

Second, the reward should be given in a timely manner. If a customer refers someone who ends up making a purchase, the customer should be rewarded as soon as possible. This shows that you value their loyalty and appreciate their help in growing your business.

Finally, make sure you publicize your rewards program. Here are some reward ideas you can use: 

  • Discount on their next purchase
  • Free product or service
  • A gift card to their favorite store
  • Chance to win a contest or sweepstakes
  • A thank-you note or e-mail message

7. Use live experiences to organically gather content

One way to organically gather content is to use live experiences. This could be anything from hosting an event to setting up a photo booth at a trade show. By giving people the opportunity to take photos and share them with your brand, you can quickly gather a library of user-generated content you can use in your marketing campaigns.

Of course, simply having a live experience isn’t enough—you also need to promote it. Make sure to let people know where and when they can take photos, and give them a reason to share their photos with your brand. To do this, use the tool in this Denim Social review.

8. Encourage customer reviews and testimonials

One of the key components of generating a strong user-generated content strategy is encouraging customers to leave reviews and testimonials. Here are some tips to do this:

  • Make it easy for customers to leave feedback. Provide a link or form on your website or in your email signature.
  • Offer an incentive for leaving feedback. This could be a discount code, entry into a contest, or something else that will make customers want to take the time to leave a review or testimonial.
  • Respond to them promptly and courteously. Thank customers for their feedback and let them know you appreciate their input.

By encouraging customer reviews and testimonials, you can create a successful user-generated content strategy that will help promote your business and build customer loyalty.

9. Advertise user-generated content on social media

Simply publishing user-generated content isn’t enough to ensure its success. You need to also promote your UGC on social media.

There are several ways you can advertise user-generated content on social media. You can share it directly from your accounts, pay to boost posts that feature UGC, or use hashtags to make it easier for users to find and share.

Whichever method you choose, it’s important you make sure your advertising is targeted and relevant to your audience. User-generated content is most effective when it comes from people who are already your fans, so promoting it to those who are likely to be interested will help ensure its success.

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10. Give customers the tools they need to share on their own

Examples of social media sharing buttons
Having social media sharing buttons on your website can help increase your reach and engagement.

It can be difficult to get users to share content on their own. You may want your audience or fans to share your video, infographic, or other content but they often don’t have a platform where they can do that on their own. 

There are a number of ways to do this. First, you need to make it easy for customers to find your content. This means creating a central location where they can see all the content that’s been created, whether it’s on your website or on social media.

Second, you need to provide customers with the ability to share your content easily. This means adding social sharing buttons to your website and making sure your content is optimized for sharing across different platforms.

Finally, you need to encourage customers to actually share your content. The key is to find something specific to your company and make it as easy as possible for others to share it with their networks. 

What is an Example of User-Generated Content?

UGC is any content created by users of a company’s products or services. You can find many examples of user-generated content on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media and online sites. Some of the best UGC examples come from brands like:

GoPro

GoPro is a company that produces action cameras and develops its own video editing software. Its video user-generated content consists of videos that users have shot and uploaded to the internet, often with the intention of sharing them with others.

The company has built a large following on social media, with many users sharing their GoPro videos on platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram. This UGC has played a major role in promoting the brand and helping it become one of the most well-known names in the action camera market.

La Croix

La Croix is a popular sparkling water brand that has been gaining popularity in recent years. A large part of this popularity is due to the brand’s social media presence and user-generated content.

Most of the company’s social media UGC is positive. People often post pictures and videos of themselves enjoying La Croix sparkling water. There’s also a lot of discussion about the various flavors of La Croix, with people sharing their favorite flavors and recommending new flavors to try.

LuluLemon

Filming woman doing yoga
Product experience videos are a great way for customers to share their thoughts and feelings about a product.

LuluLemon Athletica Inc. is a Canadian athletic apparel retailer. It sells yoga pants, shorts, tops, leggings, and other athleisure wear for women and men. The company has been very successful in recent years, largely due to its social media user-generated content strategy.

They frequently host contests and giveaways that require users to post about their products. LuLuLemon also makes it easy for customers to leave reviews on its website and social media platforms.

Well Traveled

As a travel company, Well Traveled is all about its social media user-generated content. This is content created by users, typically in the form of photos and videos, and shared on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Well Traveled encourages its customers to share their travel experiences on social media, using the hashtag #WellTraveled. In return, the company offers a chance to be featured on its website and social media channels.

What makes Well Traveled’s social media UGC so special is that it comes from real people who have experienced the company’s products and services first-hand. These customers can offer an honest and unbiased view of what it’s like to use Well Traveled.

User-Generated Content Strategy Works

Different statements about user-generated content
Key insights from top marketers regarding UGC marketing. | Source: Tintup

Creating a user-generated content strategy can be a great way to increase brand awareness and engage potential customers. However, it’s important to consider the goals of your campaign, target audience, and overall tone of your company before diving in. By taking the time to develop a well-thought-out strategy, you can create UGC that’s both on-brand and effective.

To increase your share of user-generated content, you may partner with influencers. Get started by reading this guide: “Influencer Marketing Guide: How to Work with Social Media Influencers.”

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