It’s September. You want to up your organisation game. So you decide to invest in some Stabilo Boss highlighters. That will solve everything. You post a picture on Instagram of your snazzy new highlighters in action on your weekly meal plan. You want to let the world know about the rainbow of organisational heaven you have brought to your life (and that Wednesday is Mexican night – you’ve got such culinary flair). The marketing machines at Stabilo Boss see your post and re-post it. Why? Because User Generated Content (UGC) is marketing gold.
UGC is any type of content created by people, rather than brands. It could be text, photos, videos, reviews. Brands then share this UGC on their social media channels, website etc. It’s definitely something you should have in your marketing strategy. And here’s why…
Why use UGC?
It all boils down to trust and credibility. People are finding it increasingly difficult to trust what brands and corporations say. And we all know that lack of trust causes big problems for a business. People don’t have big trust issues with fellow consumers however: 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and 70% trust online consumer opinions. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic compared to content created by brands. So UGC is a great way to help boost your brand’s credibility.
UGC also holds serious power when it comes to influencing consumers’ purchasing. Nearly 80% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions (up from 60% in 2017). Whereas only 13% say content from a brand is impactful.
So now you know you should have UGC in your marketing, how do you get it?
Offer people something of value in return
If there’s something in it for them, you’re more likely to get people sharing content on your brand. One way to offer value is a competition. For example, ‘Share a photo of your Stabilo Boss highlighter handiwork and tag us for your chance to win our ‘September Ready’ pencil case of goodies’. But prizes aren’t the only value option; there’s exposure too. A US survey found that only 32% of consumers created and shared UGC because they wanted to win a prize. Whereas, 60% said they shared UGC to get more likes or to have their content featured by a brand. So get sharing UGC to let people know exposure to their content is something you can provide.
Use a branded hashtag
A branded hashtag could be a company name, a campaign slogan or a variation. Branded hashtags can be a great way to help bring in a steady supply of UGC. Whatever it is, be sure to communicate it to everyone (on your channels, website, in store etc). And also actually share some of the content generated from the hashtag on your channels so people are encouraged to use it. Homeware company, Cox and Cox have #coxandcox to get customers to share pictures of Cox and Cox products in their homes. Every Wednesday, Cox and Cox feature a selection of customers’ posts on their Instagram stories. On each story they tag the customer and add the ‘Swipe Up’ function to link directly to the website page of the product the customer has featured. Cox and Cox then pin all those in their ‘Your Style’ stories collection on their profile. It’s a great campaign: it gives the customer the sparkly feeling of being featured by a major brand, gives followers authentic inspiration (and perhaps the motivation to do a #coxandcox post themselves), it puts a direct link to the product purchase point in front of an active follower and shows products beautifully in situ without Cox and Cox having to pay to shoot the products themselves. Wins all round!
The more you share UGC, the more you’ll get it
If people see your brand is sharing content created by mere mortals, they might want in on the spotlight too. So be sure to share a steady stream of UGC on your channels to help encourage others to do posts featuring your brand. Two important things to highlight (in any colour from the rainbow): get the user’s permission to share the content before you use it and when you use it, credit the original creator of the content (e.g. watermark the image or tag the creator in the caption).
So what are you waiting for? Go get that UGC. It’s Wednesday, so we’re off to have a burrito…
Want to create a UGC strategy that delivers results? Please get in touch at [email protected]