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The Power of User Generated Content (UGC)

By: Elite Legacy Education, September 20, 2017

Nowadays, if customers aren’t sharing photos of your brand’s products or services on social media, can you even claim to be using these platforms effectively? The short answer is no. Really, fostering this sharing of user generated content is key to your business. If you’ve read our article about developing brand advocates, you’d know why. Even if you haven’t, take a moment to ponder this for now. We will explain shortly.

 

What is user generated content?

 

User generated content is often referred to as UGC for short. Essentially, it is content created by a brand’s audience about the brand itself. This content may come in any form, however, it must involve your brand in some way. Whether it’s a text status, video, blog review or some other format, you’ll want the user’s entire post to revolve around your product. 

 

What kinds of businesses can benefit from this?

 

The short answer is that all businesses can benefit from UGC. Now some of you B2B companies may be thinking that it doesn’t apply to you, but really it does. It’s for more than just B2C customers. After all, B2B companies have profiles of their own, no? Sure, it may be harder to make a feature here since they have their planned content marketing strategies, but there’s benefits to be realized if you can pull it off.

 

The benefits of sharing UGC with prospective customers – even current customers.

 

There are many benefits of leveraging UGC, which is exactly why it should not be overlooked.

 

  • Social influence: First and foremost, it’s a source of social influence. Again, this is even more effective if the content source is seen as influential.
  • Network effects: Of course, we can’t forget about the network effects that also come into play. Basically, if a user shares a post on their own profile, then all of their friends will see your brand too.
  • Drives engagement: UGC helps people to interact and engage with your brand in a creative manner.
  • Repurposing UGC: UGC can actually help to relieve some of your content creation efforts. This is true as long as the UGC fits into your current content marketing strategy.
  • Deeper consumer insights: When consumers share UGC, it provides deeper insight as to how people view, interact with and position your brand in their lives.
  • Community building: UGC helps to build a stronger community. This is perpetual because strong brand communities also help to foster UGC.

 

 

A word of caution with UGC.

 

You should hope that all UGC about your brand occurs in a positive connotation. UGC can also reflect negatively. A recent example is seen by all the memes created about the horrific United Airlines incident in April 2017 when they forcefully removed a passenger after overbooking a flight. This is just one recent example - perhaps you can think of other times when UGC has backfired on a company.

 

Encouraging consumers to share UGC.

 

It is one thing to know what UGC is and all the benefits it has to offer, but how can you actually get people to create it? Here are some ideas:

 

  • Your brand is powerful enough that people want to share it. The key here is to really create a community around your brand that identifies with a group of people on a common level. For example, if your brand is something that makes people feel good about themselves (i.e. caters to social status) then they are more likely to publicly broadcast your brand on their personal profiles.
  • Incorporate UGC elements into contest entries or other giveaways. This method requires more of a direct exchange for UGC. Often, companies will run online contests requiring that participants must post a photo, tag the brand and use a specific hashtag in order to enter for a chance to win.
  • Encourage UGC sharing for a chance to be featured on your brand’s page. Other times, you can present the possibility of featuring a user’s post on your brand’s main profile. Again, this works great for brands with strong communities. It’s also perfect for brands that have an artistic and visually creative aspect to their product or service offering.

 

And with that, there is no shortage of ways to begin incorporating UGC into your business efforts. Take it a step further after you read our article about developing brand advocates. So be sure to learn all the ways Elite Legacy Education can help you reach your goals.

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