To a marketing pro, user-generated content (UGC) is gold. To a brand, it can catapult its reputation to be legitimate and trustworthy.
People rely on people, and their opinions matter. Sometimes it can scare brands to put themselves out there on the public forum. But, even negative content can be beneficial to a brand’s reputation.
Here are seven ways to leverage user-generated content, good and bad:
- User-generated content almost always promises authenticity. While scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or whatever your social media platform of choice is, customers review the brands’ products all the time. Relying on a brand’s word is one thing, but a fellow customer? That is the most reliable source you can find. Encourage your customers to generate this content. Ask them for their opinion! Possibly incentivize them, tastefully and ethically, of course, and only accept truthful authentic reviews. Once you accomplish this, post away!
- Reviews with photos or videos in the context can be leveraged everywhere. Seeing is believing. That is the unfortunate reality for mystical stories and creatures, but for brands’ reviews, it is an ideal reality. Content created by customers that visually showcases their reviews is engaging and convincing. Take TikTok, for example. Influencers rep their favorite brands and can eventually launch that company into an abundance of sales and success. By producing creative short videos, customers see their favorite online reality star using a brand, and they HAVE to follow suit. This content can be used on multiple platforms, even if a photo is left on your website. Leverage this for a multi-channel mini-campaign. You won’t regret it.
- User-generated content can be used to encourage internal audiences and excite potential customers. Not only will positive reviews from your customers make others want to try your products too, but your internal audiences will also be pleased. Whether your team needs an encouraging message or stakeholders need some feedback on their investment, user-generated content provides legitimate insight into the mind of the customer. Use this for your external audiences, but don’t forget to show some love to your hardworking employees.
- Of course, user-generated content can be used in product marketing. After getting clear consent from the source, brands can leverage this content in a full-fledged campaign. Especially when more than one piece of content raves about your brand. Craft a message based on these reviews, and use the content to back it up. Show off your stuff.
- Create dedicated social media pages for your user-generated content. This may be a bit more work, but it could generate an exceptional return on investment. If your brand has grown to garner enough content that positively spreads your messaging, it’s time to create a dependent social media page. Create a dedicated TikTok or Instagram account with a connection to your brand’s official account, and showcase all the outstanding reviews from your loyal customers. This is a one-stop shop for people to join your bandwagon.
- It’s not just used for social media strategy; utilize UGC in your public relations efforts, too! User-generated content can be invaluable to a public relations professional (or you if you’re trying to use PR for your business). Think of media as a microphone for reaching your target audiences, so why not let them leverage your biggest asset – UGC? Media listens to public opinion more than other voices, as it is their job to spread the word about what’s happening in town. Give them the resources to make the news sway your way.
- Negative user-generated content can be used to identify where your brand lacks. No one is perfect, and if content was always positive, the natural thing people would be is skeptical. Instead of cringing at this content, leverage it. Create an FAQs page to show your customers that you recognize your shortfalls and provide all the resources necessary to combat those concerns. Or, address the issues head-on with messaging or paid advertising. It’s okay to admit when you’re lacking somewhere, as long as you are committed to making it up to your customers and shaping a better practice moving forward. Humans aren’t perfect, and error is normal. Customers appreciate the transparency and will support your brand moving forward.
We know this isn’t easy, and we are here to help! If you have any questions, reach out to us. We can help your business grow.