User-generated content, or UGC, fuels marketing strategy. Reviews, photos, blog links, and mentions –essentially any positive shout out by a happy customer – boost brands and provide a major vote of confidence. With advances in technology and evolving social media platforms, people share their opinions and experiences easier than ever. Take a closer look at your social news feeds or the websites where you shop or service and notice that user-generated content is everywhere.
That’s very good thing. Here’s why.
Increase your reach
Customer chatter about your business boosts your brand visibility immeasurably. According to the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of adults in the United States use one or more social media sites daily. This trend will increase because people want their voices heard and their activities seen. If customers talk about your brand on Facebook or Instagram, their friends become potential customers.
And because consumers receive so much promotional information daily through ads, emails, promoted content on social, and direct mail, hearing from a friend about a business they like cuts through the noise. Recommendations alleviate banner blindness because they stick with a potential customer. Friends view reviews as genuine.
Think about how many times you’ve looked at a business’ website after hearing about it from a friend. And how many times have you chatted with colleagues about your mutual experiences with a company?
We live in an experience economy. When customers connect with one another over an experience with your business, it is authentic. Word -of-mouth sharing and showing creates an organic community of fans. This audience base provides excellent social proof through UGC that your brand is respected, used, and admired.
Within these customer communities, content created by people that love your brand is compelling, unbiased, and trustworthy. Why? Because it’s honest – not a marketing pitch – and it puts a “real person” touch on your brand.
Build customer loyalty
User-generated content builds trust from customer to customer – and connections between you and your client base. Customers want to feel that their voices are heard. Consequently, user-generated content gives businesses the opportunity to respond to feedback – positive or negative. User-generated content signals to your target audiences that your company is open to conversation. Criticism, while never easy to hear, allows companies to improve, change, and grow. Thank customers for their feedback and recognize loyal clients publicly in your social media marketing. This broadens the scope your customer appreciation.
UGC marketing empowers your customers because it allows them to use their voices to tell your brand or business story. Instead of throwing marketing messaging at them, user-generated content allows you to market your business with them. Sharing a client’s post makes them feel important because it shows that what they are saying is seen and heard. It acknowledges their contributions to your company.
Stretch your marketing budget
Recognizing the user-generated content of your customers promotes and creates brand advocates. Sure, some companies build brand advocacy into their marketing budget, paying influencers to promote their businesses in their own social media. Instead, create brand advocates organically. Do this by starting with loyal clients. Spotlight these customers on your website, share their social media posts, and ask them to write about you on one of the many business review websites.
We all know that marketing budgets are often limited. To stretch your marketing dollars, use the voices and visuals of your brand advocates in your campaigns. Similarly, feed customer posts directly into your website or source images from them. This deepens brand engagement – and it organically creates new advocates. As a result, customers will want to see their post on your page.
Take your company to the next level
Learn how UGC can take your company to the next level. Contact us today for a complimentary review of services.