Did you know that user-generated content (UGC) yields a staggering 4.5% higher conversion rate than non-UGC posts? 

In the current marketing scenario, people seek authenticity, and UGC is its crown jewel.

Welcome to a comprehensive journey into the world of User-Generated Content (UGC). In this guide, uncover the transformative power of customer-generated narratives, exploring UGC platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. Discover the ethical framework for reposting, strategic contest hosting, and the ethical curation of UGC videos across social media channels.

How to Collect User-generated Content? 

User-generated content (UGC) is a goldmine waiting to be tapped. Here’s how brands can gather authentic content from their audience:

Collect UGC through Email:

  • Encourage users to share their experiences, stories, or testimonials via email.
  • Use personalized email campaigns to request UGC and provide clear instructions on what type of content to submit.

Collect UGC through the Website:

  • Create dedicated sections on your website where users can submit content, such as photos, reviews, or testimonials.
  • Implement forms, submission portals, or interactive features that facilitate UGC submission.

Run a Hashtag Campaign on Social Media:

  • Create a unique and engaging hashtag for your brand or a specific campaign.
  • Encourage followers to share their experiences, photos, or opinions using the hashtag, making it easy for you to track and curate the content.

Use QR Codes to Collect UGC (including UGC rights acquisition):

  • Incorporate QR codes in physical spaces or marketing materials that lead users to submission forms or specific landing pages for UGC.
  • Ensure the process includes clear terms and conditions regarding content rights to avoid legal complications.

Gather UGC through SMS Marketing:

  • Engage with your audience through SMS by asking for submissions or feedback.
  • Provide incentives or rewards for users who share their content via SMS.

Run a Contest or Offer Something:

  • Organize contests or promotions that encourage users to create and submit content related to your brand.
  • Offer prizes or exclusive deals to incentivize participation.

Each method offers a unique way to engage with your audience and gather authentic content. Combining or customizing these approaches based on your audience preferences can yield diverse and valuable user-generated content for your brand.

Why do Brands Collect UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) isn’t just a marketing tool—it’s a treasure trove. Here’s why brands are passionate about collecting UGC:

1. Authenticity: UGC provides a genuine, unfiltered perspective on the brand. User-generated content comes directly from customers, showcasing real experiences, which in turn builds trust and authenticity around the brand.

2. Credibility: When potential customers see content generated by real users, it enhances the brand’s credibility. UGC acts as social proof, demonstrating that others have had positive experiences with the brand.

3. Engagement: Encouraging users to create content fosters a sense of involvement and engagement. It transforms passive consumers into active contributors, strengthening the brand-customer relationship.

4. Cost-Effectiveness: UGC can be a cost-effective marketing strategy. Instead of investing heavily in creating content, brands leverage user-generated content, often at minimal or no cost, while maintaining quality and relevance.

5. Community Building: UGC can contribute significantly to community building. It creates a sense of belonging among users, forming a community around shared experiences and interests related to the brand.

6. Emotional Connection: User-generated content often resonates emotionally with audiences. Authentic stories, testimonials, or visuals can evoke emotions, helping consumers connect on a deeper level with the brand.

7. Product Showcase: UGC can effectively showcase the brand’s products or services in real-life scenarios. Customers sharing their experiences or using the products themselves can be a powerful way to demonstrate their benefits.

8. Social Media Visibility: UGC frequently circulates on social media platforms, amplifying the brand’s visibility. Users sharing their experiences extends the brand’s reach and exposure among their networks.

9. Adaptability to Trends: UGC is often agile and responsive to trends. It allows brands to tap into current trends or cultural moments swiftly, leveraging user content aligning with them to stay relevant.

By understanding these motivations behind collecting UGC, brands can strategically incorporate user-generated content into their marketing efforts, leveraging its power to build trust, engage customers, and enhance brand perception.

Where to Use Collected UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) is a goldmine for brands seeking authenticity and engagement. Here’s how to strategically employ UGC across different platforms:

1. Embed on Website: Incorporate UGC directly into your website. Showcase testimonials, reviews, or user-submitted photos/videos on product pages, landing pages, or dedicated UGC sections. This builds trust and authenticity for visitors.

2. Use in Email Campaigns: Integrate UGC into your email marketing campaigns. Include user testimonials, images, or stories to personalize your emails and increase engagement. UGC in emails can boost click-through rates and conversions.

3. Display on Digital Screens: Utilize UGC on digital signage or screens in physical locations like retail stores, events, or offices. Display user-submitted content to engage visitors and create an immersive brand experience.

4. Run UGC-Powered Social Ads: Incorporate UGC into your social media advertising campaigns. User-generated content often performs exceptionally well on social platforms as it resonates more with audiences. Create ads using authentic user stories, images, or videos to attract attention and drive conversions.

5. Print Media/Banners: Utilize UGC in traditional marketing materials such as print ads, banners, brochures, or flyers. Authentic user stories and testimonials can enhance the effectiveness of print media campaigns by adding credibility and authenticity.

By strategically utilizing user-generated content across these various channels, brands can maximize its impact, leveraging the authenticity and relatability of user-generated material to resonate with their audience and strengthen brand perception.

The Curtain Call

Remember, it’s not just about promoting products. It’s about celebrating your customers. By treating their content with care and respect, brands can build trust and connect better with their audience.

So, as you dive into using customer-made content, let their real stories boost your brand in the online world. It’s about genuine connections and growth, all thanks to what real people share.