User Generated Content : 6 Smart ways to utilise UGC for your brand
User-generated content is a blessing in disguise for digital marketers. User-generated content is original and authentic. And we all know that it isn’t only the users but also the search engines that value fresh, unique content. When we talk about users, around 82% of consumers consider user-generated reviews extremely valuable. When used with the right strategy, UGC content can help your brand flourish in the online space.
Here are a few ways in which you can utilise user-generated content:
1. Promote Your Brand Values
User-generated content can help establish your brand values. For example, you can create a knowledge centre or a forum on your website which helps users equip themselves with the right knowledge. You can establish yourself as a brand that has a content hub relating to a particular domain. An MBA-focused website such as Pagalguy has built their entire brand around the fact that an MBA aspirant can get any of their queries related to MBA resolved with the help of the website’s community.
2. Build Trust
A brand will always talk highly about itself and its products. But to get genuine and satisfied users talk about their positive experience with your brand is an uphill task. By highlighting what your users feel, you can build trust in the minds of the users who are in the ‘desire’ phase of the buying journey. Tremendous effort and money go into moving a user from ‘desire’ to ‘action’ stage and trustworthy reviews/testimonials will certainly help you. Cosmetic brands, like Nykaa rely heavily on user reviews – not just written, but images and videos too.
3. Grow Presence on Social Media
Social media provides brands with multiple platforms and with varied user-generated content across platforms. A beauty solutions brand such as Kaya Skin Clinic regularly hosts contests and live sessions for its followers. It not only keeps them engaged but also helps increase the amount of returning users. This activity also helps keep the page active while at the same time gives followers the opportunity to connect with the brand.
4. Showcase Benefits
User-generated content, if utilised properly can help you display the benefits of your brand without sounding overly pushy. Most brands engage their customers with a simple question/poll about any feature of a product which users like the most. For example, an e-commerce company such as Amazon often creates small polls where users vote the best features of a top-selling smartphone. Amazon then encourages these users to have a discussion in the comments section or post their quiz/poll results on Social Media platforms.
5. Take advantage of trends
A brand can also analyse user-behaviour data to determine which trends are more likely to catch on in the near future. Data from sources such as Google Trends can be used to get an overall idea of when certain topical trends peak. That list can then be further refined by asking your user-base about which trend they would like to see in the future. When a brand releases a flagship smartphone, they often analyse the behavioural patterns of the past and take into consideration the current trends. For example, when ‘Slow-mo’ trended as a camera feature, almost every smartphone brand incorporated and promoted this feature.
6. Give top contributors early access/rewards
All brands have a few top contributors. Reward these customers with surprise giveaways or feature their posts on your profile. Brands often urge their customers to use a certain hashtag and this makes it easier for the brand to find relevant content. OnePlus, the smartphone brand often shares photos which were clicked on their smartphones by their users. They also reward loyal customers with merchandise and early or exclusive access to events. These users, in turn, end up talking more about OnePlus as a brand.
Brands usually steer clear of user-generated content in the fear of it being negative. Even when you find negative reviews of your brand, don’t try to hide them. Instead, proactively try to solve problems of your disgruntled users. When properly planned and executed, user-generated content can be used to a great effect.