As a business owner or marketer, you have a job to maintain your company’s presence on social media. But sometimes it can be a struggle to create quality content to keep your audience satisfied. These are the moments when you need to look elsewhere for content, and where better to look to than User Generated Content from the people using and enjoying your products- your loyal customers!
Word-of-mouth is a very powerful marketing tool, but many of us don’t realize it. And word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind of referrals, even in the digital age. With the rise in popularity of User Generated Content, it represents a huge opportunity for your business. Read on to find out how you can start using this content to successfully promote your business.
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What Is UGC?
User generated content (UGC for short) is something that follows us in our daily lives. It’s the photos you scroll through on your Instagram feed, the next rave or rant you see in your Facebook news, the reviews you read on Amazon and Google, and the viral videos you see on YouTube. So, whether it’s a full blog post, a written or video review of services or products, a photo for a contest on social media, or a comment on a Facebook page – it’s UGC.
You know that feeling when you find a really good cafe or an auto mechanic, and you’re excited to recommend it to your closest friends and family? Or how about when you have really bad service at a hotel or restaurant? You’re quick to post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let everybody know about it. These are all examples of how you contribute to user generated content day in and out.
The biggest advantage of user generated content is that it’s all around us. We blog, tweet, post photos, leave comments, and write reviews- we are constantly producing content. Now that you know what UGC is, what can you do with this content and how does it benefit your business?
Build Brand Trust
In today’s digital age, customers are no longer passive consumers being led by billboards and TV ads. They won’t be easily fooled by another boring salespitch, and they certainly don’t care about your marketing objectives. Customers are looking for a more human connection to the brands they choose, and are choosing brands that have the same values they do. As sustainable travel is becoming more popular, many consumers are now choosing more environmentally conscience brands, as it is one of the top tourism trends of 2017.
When potential customers see other customers engaged with your brand by sharing photos and video on social media and writing reviews, it sends out a good message and creates trust; helping you build a loyal community around your brand.
Instead of blasting your audience with promotions and ads, by having a UGC campaign, you encourage your audience to participate and feel like they belong to something bigger and more meaningful.
Need some inspiration? Check out these great insights from Hootsuite and learn how you can run your own UGC contest.
UGC campaigns on Instagram are popular and easy to get started, especially for the leisure and tourism industry. Simply create a hashtag and encourage your audience to use it for a chance to be featured. Travelers love the idea of seeing their personal photos featured on a company profile.
Helps Purchase Decisions
When it comes to making purchase decisions, many of us rely heavily upon the opinions of our trusted friends and family or from strangers online with personal experience from making the same purchase. AdWeek found that 93% of consumers say UGC is helpful when making a purchasing decision.
Reviews are a more traditional and common, yet very helpful form of UGC. When potential customers do an online search for your tours and activities, your company reviews on TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Google may be one of the first search results they notice.
While you may not always receive only positive reviews, you can still benefit from the negative as well. With positive reviews, you can use this UGC as content for your social media channels and website.
With negative reviews, use them to learn from your mistakes. Reply to the review quickly and let the upset customer know that you apologize for the trouble, show them that you understand them and sympathize with them, and thank them for their honest feedback and assure them you will use it to improve customer experience. This will show the upset customer and anyone else reading the review, that you care about your customers and take your business seriously.
Learn more about how reviews impact your business.
Increases Your SEO Ranking & Click-Through Rate
Remember earlier we mentioned how user generated content often shows up in search results? Through the social sharing of UGC, it provides you with fresh material for your website. This in turn, contributes to your Social SEO.
For your Social SEO campaign, the goal is to optimize social signals in order to increase your company’s search visibility. This is why UGC is the perfect complement for your digital campaigns. A UGC platform aims to attract people and get them talking about your product. The goal is to entice action from social audiences so that your search visibility is maximized by all those reviews, videos, pictures and comments they create.
Last but Not Least, IT’S FREE!
A great aspect to remember is that UGC is free! With user generated content, everyone can win. UGC helps you save the precious time and money it takes to create content and can also eliminate the need for market research in some cases. But, the best thing is that you give your customers the chance to express their honest opinion and make them feel important because you’re showing them that you value their opinion.
And in the end, that’s what matters most- the customer. When the customer is happy, that satisfaction with your product or services drives repeat sales and makes YOU happy too. Win, win, win!