What is user generated content?
Most of us are aware of the importance of understanding our audience and how reaching and engaging with people can boost our brands and increase sales. However, recently the balance has shifted, with consumers becoming more engaged and actively initiating conversations with brands they are using.
This isn’t the only way consumers are taking control. By using social media to post pictures and tagging companies, locations and people, consumers are creating content on our behalf. It’s a new method of engaging, driven by a more confident consumer and it’s generally very positive for both customers and for business.
Organisations are now using content created by their users and it’s becoming an increasing trend. This is particularly true of companies aiming to engage with a younger audience, but essentially this method is being adopted by anyone looking to create authentic content.
How does it work?
User generated content is, very simply, images, video and even copy created by consumers and shared on social media. This is usually shared on their own personal accounts with the company in question tagged and linked. Digitally-savvy companies, in-tune with their customers are then reusing this content via their own sites and social media platforms.
Gathering, collating and using user generated content is a simple and considerate way to acknowledge your audience and also to add to your existing bank of usable content.
This level of engagement has a number of benefits. One of the most obvious advantages is a readily available and cost-effective method of gathering quality content. Second only to this is the extended reach user generated content offers.
Other positive reasons to consider using user-generated content to promote your brand are:
A more authentic version of your content
Accurate representation of the tone of your brand
It can give your company and prospective new customers a positive view of your brand
More believable for customers – users are more likely to believe the word of customers than the company itself
More relatable – consumers are more likely to relate to the views of other users.
Consumer generated content also ensures organisations have no hiding place. If people experience bad service or products, they have a platform to air their views. This makes it vital to respond to bad reviews and other negative comments. Acting on feedback can actually improve the service you offer.
How to make this work for your brand
There are a number of ways to ensure your organisation makes the most of user generated content:
Gather as many followers as possible on social media
Ensure you encourage users to tag you in their posts (this can be done as part of a campaign or general brand posting)
Use the best images
Tag the user
Consider running campaigns to specifically generate good content, this means you can test creative and messaging options to see which encourages the most content creation.
To find out more about content and for guidance about creating a Content Strategy for your organisation, get in touch.