Carol Roderick, PhD
Get your clients to advertise your business? This may sound a bit of a stretch, but it’s more common than you think, and it actually works really well. User-generated content (UGC) is a digital marketing technique that can work wonders for your business if you know how to use it well and systematically.
As the name suggests, user-generated content is created or generated by your users, or in this case, your social media followers and your customers. It can come in the form of reviews, videos, testimonials, comments or pictures.
For example, a client purchases your product, shares a picture of it on their social media, and tags your company ‒ this is UGC.
Companies use it to gain more followers and increase engagement. It just requires some creativity and some positive feedback from your consumers.
You may not realize it, but 80% of consumers say that UGC influences their purchasing decisions. The truth is that people are more likely to trust a review from a fellow consumer over a paid ad placed on Facebook or Instagram by a company. Since it comes directly from users, it’s considered authentic and trustworthy. The more of this kind of content you have, the more trust and loyalty you will build for your business, which ultimately leads to more sales.
While it is great to have your community be cheering on your brand in their social media newsfeed (and tagging you), you can expand the impact of user-generated content by systematically integrating it into your paid advertising. For example, adding selfie-style video testimonials created by clients who share what they love about your product or the results they got working with you is far more compelling than anything you can say about your business.
So, where do you start? Generating user-generated content may seem daunting at first, but all it takes is a little question ‒ ask. Some of the biggest brands, like Coca-Cola and Lululemon, have simply asked their followers to share their consumer experience by posting a picture of themselves enjoying their purchase in one way or another.
So, for example, if you own a coffee shop, you could ask customers to post a picture of themselves drinking your coffee with a friend and in return, they win a free coffee mug. You could also ask for testimonials as a more direct approach, anything to get your followers engaged with your brand and with each other.
To integrate user-generated content into your advertising reach out to past customers and clients and ask them for a testimonial, of before and after photos, or a short selfie-style video where they say how their life is better with your product, course or offering (depending on what is relevant for your business).
Want to start systematically incorporating user-generated content into your advertising? We can help! DM or email Carol Roderick at firstname.lastname@example.org.