How to Leverage UGC for your Marketing Plan: Getting the Most Out of Feedback/Reviews

How to Leverage UGC for your Marketing Plan: Getting the Most Out of Feedback/Reviews

The way we receive ads has changed significantly in the last five years. While online ads, commercials, and even billboards are still a relevant option for many organizations, other avenues are more prevalent in product advertising.

No matter what side of the internet and TikTok algorithm you're on, you've come across UGC without even realizing it. From unboxing videos to try-on hauls, there are customers out there that are already showcasing your products or services. So, why not learn how to leverage their content to improve your digital marketing strategy?

In this blog, we'll touch on important topics relating to the rise of user-generated content in digital marketing, such as:

  • What is UGC?
  • The benefits of UGC
  • Using UGC in your marketing plan
  • What you should know before utilizing UGC

What is UGC?

User-generated content, known as UGC, is paid or organic content created by a consumer that has been shared online. UGC comes in a variety of different mediums, from short, written reviews to longer-form content, like podcasts.

Each specific social media platform has features and capabilities that enable consumers to make different types of UGC. Instagram, for example, has static posts, Stories, Reels, and Lives. Customers who want to showcase a product may create a static post with an image and review of the product, then share it to their Stories, or make a Reel with a trending audio to reach a larger audience. This gives potential customers the opportunity to see products in a more authentic way than your marketing team may be able to create.

The Benefits of UGC

UGC offers several major benefits for businesses that are looking to expand their content strategy and grow their brand. A few of the most prominent perks include:

  • Growing brand/product awareness
  • Promoting authenticity
  • Increasing brand loyalty

Growing Brand/Product Awareness

UGC can help a company grow their brand and raise awareness for their product almost overnight. Depending on the size of a customers’ followings, products can reach thousands of users a day — at no extra cost. And, because most people value the opinions and recommendations of people they follow, UGC is incredibly valuable as a word-of-mouth marketing tactic.

Promoting Authenticity

Authenticity is incredibly important to today’s consumer. People want to buy from brands they trust and companies they actually believe in — they’re not just looking for any old product, they’re looking for the right product from the right company.

Customers often glaze over commercials and sponsorships from highly-paid celebrity influencers because they seem disingenuous. However, endorsements from your average person feel more authentic to the consumer, and they’re more likely to listen to the recommendation. 

Increasing Brand Loyalty

When customers go out of their way to share content about your business, they do so because they genuinely value your product. They most likely feel some loyalty towards your company already, since they’re promoting your brand without incentive — and, their loyalty is likely to grow if you engage with them through comments, replies, and PR boxes. The more customers share and interact with your brand, the more likely they are to recommend your product to their followers.

Using UGC Content in Your Marketing Plan

For brands looking to tap into UGC this year, it’s vital to learn how to use this content to your advantage. Fresh ideas, new followers, and new customers await — as long as your UGC is used in a way that feels authentic. If you’re looking to integrate UGC into your own marketing plan, here are some actionable steps you can take:

Ask Customers to Share Their Thoughts

Asking your customers to share their thoughts about your products, services, or brand is often one of the best ways to increase your UGC. If you take the time to tell customers what kind of content you'd love to see from them, they’ll have a much easier time creating it. A few ways to generate UGC from your customers include:

  • Create a competition or challenge for your followers, asking them to post about your products
    • You can use trending songs, games, prizes, and other means to encourage your customers to post
  • Make a unique hashtag that your customers can use in their posts
    • This will also allow you to easily see UCG in one place, so you can easily repost and share!
  • Ask for customer reviews

Make Sharing Worthwhile

While some customers share their thoughts about products online just because they want to, others may need a bit of encouragement. Rewarding people for creating and sharing UGC is a great way to incentivise social participation. Ways you could reward customers include:

  • Feature them on your social media or website
    • This benefits both parties — you get content that you didn’t have to pay for or make, and your customers get to have a “spotlight moment”
  • Offer incentives
    • Whether it’s free products, discounts, or gift cards, there are plenty of ways to incentivize your audience
  • Host a giveaway
    • Promote a giveaway for one of your products and ask people to share on social media to enter

Ask Your Team to Create UGC

Your team knows your product and your brand better than anyone else — ask them to share about your products in a way that supports and uplifts your brand. They can create awareness in an entirely different way, since they know all the benefits and unique features of your product that the average customer may not notice.

What You Need to Know Before Utilizing UGC

While UGC provides you with exciting opportunities that paid ads and other marketing tactics don’t, there are a couple of things to make note of before you start leveraging it, like:

  • Asking permission
  • Giving image credit

Asking Permission

It’s crucial that you make sure to always ask for permission from your customers before you repost their images. Even if people are using your unique hashtags, you can’t be sure they are willing to have you share their posts. Getting permission before using any UGC is important to prevent any problems down the line.

Giving Credit

You also need to make sure to give credit to the user that created the content. Tag their social media handles when you re-share their posts, or give them image credit in your caption. If you make sure to attribute the work to the original creator, your customers are much more likely to continue making content.

User-Generated Content is a great way to increase your reach, gain new leads, build brand loyalty, and improve sales. The content is created by your customers, giving you the ability to leverage authentic, organic content without the cost of a traditional ad campaign. In order to make sure you get the most out of your UGC, take the time to work it into your marketing plan and be intentional about how you utilize it. An agency like Speak can help you make sure you're leveraging UGC and other vital digital marketing tactics in the best possible way, so you're ready to see greater success and growth in 2023. Ready to get started? 

Learn How to Master UGC

Growing your audience is tricky. Speak’s team of experts can help you leverage UGC and get the most out of your digital marketing plan, so 2023 can be a year full of growth and success. Let’s create great work together!

Reach out.  

Posted by Maggie Dye at 08:45