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Solved...Leveraging user generated content in your content strategy

By Matthew Wood July 13, 2017 Content User generated content Growth marketing

There are so many different types of content now it seems almost impossible to know which type will be the most engaging to your audience…

But, there is one type of content you can always rely on… user generated content!

It’s actually a really simple concept. You use and share content that is created by your customers and clients.

Now, you may think this type of content leans more towards businesses that sell products, as customers are always taking pictures of the products they buy and use… But user generated content can be utilised with any sort of client base.

Why is user generated content and earned media so effective? Well, it’s a win win type of content. It’s great for your business as one of your clients is showing your brand off online and it’s a free piece of ‘feel good’ content for you to use on your business’ own channels.

A great example of this type of content is when Coca Cola added names to their bottle labels. People just couldn’t help but take pictures of their own name when they found it and posted in their thousands on social media.

Believe it or not, in today’s online world people don’t connect as much with TV adverts and billboards. They want authenticity and one way of getting authentic proof that a service or product is great is by positive user generated content.

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can leverage user generated content.


Go out of your way to encourage user generated content

You may think that user generated content is only for the big brands who get their products instagrammed and tweeted multiple times daily. But any business can encourage user generated content.

For businesses that offer a service rather than a product, you just need to go that one step further to encourage your audience.

     1. Set up a social media based competition

A social media competition is easy to set up and often highly engaging. Once you pick a prize and come up with the competition mechanics, all you need to do is wait for the entries to roll in.

So where does user generated content come in? Well, if you set up a competition where your audience has to send in a picture or video of themselves using your service or product, you should get a huge bank of user generated content to use.

It also helps create a buzz around your brand online, especially if your audience are posting their entries to Twitter and Instagram.

  1. Encourage testimonials and reviews

There is nothing better for a company than seeing a brand new glowing testimonial or review.

But many businesses will simply just hope and wait to receive testimonials from their clients, when in fact businesses need to be proactive in their approach.

Take the last product you bought - did you review it in any form? The answer is likely to be no.

And this is the same for anyone who is buying your product or services. People are only likely to give a proactive testimonial if they have either had an amazing experience or a terrible experience with your company. So you need to target the bulk of satisfied people who enjoyed your service or product but didn’t review it.

How do you encourage this? Well, put in a system - maybe an email reminder asking for a testimonial - it will jog their memories enough to make them go and and write a review.

  1. Set up a quiz or mini game

Who doesn’t like an online quiz?

They are highly engaging and best of all are the ones that give a result or outcome at the end.

How does this generate user generated content? Well, it helps to create a buzz around your brand in the same way a competition would.

People see that their friends have shared a quiz result and then go and try to beat it themselves. As long as your quiz is on brand and is relevant to your business then it is a great way to leverage UGC.

Asking for an email address before showing any results is also a great way of generating potential leads.

  1. Engage with your audience and ask them to participate

Loyal clients love nothing more than to be involved with their favourite brands and businesses, especially if they feel they have influenced a decision or new product.

You could ask your customers to help name a new service or product. Walkers crisps do this pretty much every year when they ask people to come up with a new flavour of crisp which is then released as a product. They get thousands of entries through their website but also through their social media channels.

Obviously Walkers has a huge customer base, which makes it much easier to obtain large amounts of participation, but you can run this on a small scale very easily.

Get creative with your ideas and talk to your customers. If a customer makes a suggestion in a testimonial or on social media, go the extra mile and create a piece of content around it.

By involving your customers, you can increase brand loyalty and create some really nice UGC at the same time.

Encourage creativity

User generated content is a way of showing off your business and brand in the best possible way. It enables you to shine a spotlight on your customers and your brand in an authentic and positive way.

It’s important to remember that UGC doesn’t always appear automatically, especially for smaller businesses. You have to set up the mechanism for UGC and then when you get it right, you should have a stream of great user made content coming through.

Need some help with your own content strategy? Feel free to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to help you create your next content campaign.

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Matthew Wood

Matthew Wood

Matt joined ClientsFirst in July 2016, having previously specialised in social media for a range of client-side brands; from radio, to fashion, property investment to music. At ClientsFirst, Matt gets involved with all of our digital marketing, leading the way on our clients’ social media efforts, PPC and contributing to the team on areas such as SEO, Website UX, creative development and email marketing. When he’s not our social expert, Matt focuses on his music. A keen singer, guitar, piano, bass and drum player, Matt plays live when he can and otherwise spends time in his home studio. When he needs a break from that, it’s Sci-Fi at the cinema, or a few beers at pubs around the Cheshire countryside.

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