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Updated: 1.7.23

As a small business entrepreneur, are you grappling with the challenge of ramping up your online visibility and escalating your sales figures?

Trust us, you’re not the only one in this boat.

In spite of possessing superior products or offerings, numerous small enterprises face a Herculean task in cutting through the clutter and reaching their target demographics online.

It’s easy to believe that pumping more money into ads or commissioning a high-end marketing firm is the solution, yet it’s not always the golden key to your problems.

How about if we propose an affordable yet highly interactive alternative – user-generated content (UGC)?

Capitalising on content produced by your clientele, you can enhance engagement and cultivate a robust community atmosphere surrounding your brand, thereby amplifying your sales numbers.

Let’s unravel the mystery of how to kickstart UGC for your enterprise.

Defining User-Generated Content (UGC)

Often abbreviated as UGC, User-Generated Content implies any category of content – like pictures, clips, text, and reviews – produced by users of digital channels, rather than by professional or semi-professional creators.

Being a genuine and persuasive content type, UGC has the potential to inform, amuse, and educate the audience.

This form of content has captured significant attention in the virtual marketing universe, particularly among smaller businesses.

But, here’s the million-dollar question – how do you initiate the process with User-Generated Content?

Further Reading: Demystifying Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC Tags

What Are Nofollow Sponsored and UGC Tags

Significance of User-Generated Content

First things first, it’s indispensable to comprehend why UGC holds such importance. User-generated content brings an authenticity quotient that is frequently elusive with branded content.

It naturally garners more trust and relatability among consumers since it’s created by their equals.

This can wield substantial influence over purchasing choices, with a large chunk of consumers placing more faith in UGC over conventional advertising.

Besides, UGC can play a vital role in enhancing your brand’s content strategy as it can be circulated across your brand’s social accounts and included in your marketing materials, yielding a constant influx of vibrant and engaging content.

Example of UGC

To shed light on the influence of UGC, envision a customer posting a picture of your merchandise on their social media.

This action not only offers you content that can be adapted on your brand’s channels, but it also exposes your brand to its followers, amplifying brand cognizance and potentially hiking sales.

Steps You Would Need To Take

  1. Spot Existing UGC: Begin by executing a comprehensive hunt for user-generated content that’s already floating around. This can span anything associated with your brand, from social media posts and reviews to blog write-ups authored by your customers.
  2. Engineer Share-worthy Experiences: To foster the creation of UGC, conceptualise opportunities that would prompt your customers to share their encounters with your brand. This might include hosting events, challenges, or competitions that incentivise content production.
  3. Solicit for UGC: Don’t hold back from asking your customers to generate content. You can offer incentives for reviews or orchestrate campaigns specifically tailored to yield user content.
  4. Roll Out a Competition: A competition is an exciting and engaging tactic to propel your customers to generate UGC. Ponder over running a photo contest or a video challenge in sync with your products or services.
  5. Utilise UGC Platforms: Leverage platforms like EmbedSocial or Later. These tools let you amass UGC from assorted sources and display it on your website or social media platforms. It’s crucial to remember that while these tools can offer substantial advantages, there are also costs tied to social media marketing. You can gain more insights about social media marketing costs in the UK here.
  6. Inspire Your Audience: To attract the specific type of UGC you require, utilise an alluring call to action (CTA). A well-conceived CTA can stimulate your audience to craft and disseminate their content.
  7. Establish Your Objectives: What are you aiming to accomplish with your UGC strategy? Whether it’s ramping up engagement, driving sales, or fortifying brand trust, having transparent goals will steer your campaign direction.
  8. Acknowledge the Creators: Respecting content rights is paramount. Always credit the original creators and obtain their consent prior to reposting or utilising their content.
  9. Promote Authenticity: Authenticity holds the key in UGC. Urge your customers to divulge their candid experiences with your brand. Genuine UGC resonates more effectively with audiences, leading to superior engagement.
  10. Showcase Diverse Users: Distributing content from a varied range of customers assists in underscoring the extensive appeal of your products or services. This also helps a larger number of customers feel represented and tied to your brand.

By following these steps, you’re well on your way to harnessing the power of UGC for your small business.

How to Encourage UGC

Now that you understand the significance of UGC, let’s explore how you can start encouraging it.

  1. Orchestrate Interactive Campaigns: Urge your followers to share photos, videos, or reviews of your commodities by creating interactive campaigns. For instance, you could hold a photo contest on social media where users display photos of themselves utilising your product.
  2. Formulate a Branded Hashtag: Branded hashtags are an effective way to aggregate UGC. When users post content relevant to your brand, they can use your unique hashtag, simplifying the process for you and others to discover and share their content.
  3. Incentivise Your Audience: Offering incentives like discounts, contests, or features on your website can inspire your audience to create and circulate content.
  4. Capitalize on UGC in Advertising: User-generated content can be a compelling tool in social media advertising. It can aid in enhancing the reach and engagement of your advertisements.

Related: The Crucial Role of UGC Tags in Modern SEO Practices

The Crucial Role of UGC Tags in Modern SEO Practices

Monetising UGC: The Creator Economy

While UGC presents numerous advantages to businesses, it also provides exciting possibilities for creators.

The ascent of the creator economy has empowered everyday individuals to generate income from their creative outputs.

If you’re a budding UGC creator, you might be wondering, how do I commence getting compensated for user-generated content? or can you actually earn money producing UGC? 

The response is a loud and clear yes! Brands frequently approach creators for brand collaborations, offering remuneration in return for UGC. 

Approaching brands as a UGC creator is a crucial ability that can assist you in monetising your content.

Conclusion

UGC is a potent marketing instrument that can considerably amplify brand awareness, engagement, and sales. It’s not merely the domain of large corporations but is increasingly crucial for small businesses.

With the correct strategies in action, you can commence leveraging UGC to expand your enterprise. Remember, the secret to successful UGC is to encourage sincere, authentic content that resonates with your audience.

For additional advice on integrating UGC into your social media strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at XenMedia.

Dominate Social Media in the UK Strategies for Maximising Organic Reach and Boosting Engagement

FAQs

Can user-generated content be negative, and if so, how should I handle it?

Yes, user-generated content can be negative. Customers may share poor experiences or criticisms of your product or service. Negative UGC should not be ignored or deleted, as this can often lead to further criticism. Instead, respond in a calm and professional manner, addressing the customer’s concerns and offering solutions when possible. This not only shows the dissatisfied customer that you’re attentive and responsive but also signals to other potential customers that you take feedback seriously and are committed to improving your product or service.

How can I measure the success of a user-generated content campaign?

The success of a UGC campaign can be measured using a variety of metrics depending on your goals. Engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and user participation in your campaign can be a good indication of success. Additionally, you can track conversion rates, such as the number of new leads or sales generated as a direct result of the campaign. Using UGC platforms or social media analytics tools can help you gather and analyze this data.

How can I ensure user-generated content aligns with my brand image?

While user-generated content is inherently unpredictable, you can provide guidelines or prompts that encourage content in line with your brand image. For example, if you’re hosting a photo contest, you can provide a theme that fits your brand. It’s also important to actively monitor the content being shared to ensure it’s appropriate and beneficial to your brand. If you find content that significantly deviates from your brand’s values or image, you may choose not to promote or share that content on your platforms.

About the Author

Des Dreckett

Des Dreckett is the eCommerce and growth Marketing Director of XenMediamarketing.co.uk: a writer, blogger and a paid media specialist.

Writing content to help you grow and build your business.

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