What is User Generated Content?

User generated content (UGC) skyrocketed this past year, and it was fantastic news for brands. With customer-created content and photos, brands have been able to save tremendously on production costs.

What was the cause of this upward trend? The answer is human connection. During this COVID-19 pandemic when we’ve been separated from family and friends, brands promoted user generated content to help give the public a sense of togetherness and shared experience.

How to Use User Generated Content to Benefit Your Business

Knowing that 76% of individuals report trusting content shared by the average person over brands, businesses should be harnessing this kind of content and using it to their advantage. Here’s how:

Give Users A Unique Insight to Your Business

Sometimes using UGC means stepping away from your typical branded content. Instead, try showing your followers a personal side. This can be done by using your own employees. Whether it be a spotlight on certain employees to show the real faces behind the brand or publishing employee’s content to give a “behind the scenes” look, this strategy can humanize your business.

user generated content

Challenges, Hashtags, and Giveaways

Getting reposted by a brand, featured on their story, or even receiving a shoutout from them is a BIG deal for many social media users these days.

Brands like Aerie have harnessed this awareness and turned it into one of the most successful UGC campaigns. In putting an emphasis on body positivity, the brand uses photos of real customers who post photos of themselves in Aerie products and use the hashtag #AerieReal.

user generated content

Some companies take it a step further than a shoutout and give away prizes to those who promote their brand, like Starbucks. By using the hashtag #RedCupContest and posting fun photos with their red holiday cup, customers enter themselves into a contest to win a Starbucks gift card.

Support A Cause

Showing your support for a charity can help your brand in many ways. If your company is noticed for volunteering, this is great user generated content to utilize. Promoting your followers to get involved will help the charity itself as well as your engagement with your community and customers. This content typically will be unbranded, but users will nevertheless be endeared to your brand.

Leverage UGC

Your company will gain a lot of traction through user generated content when users see high volumes of real people promoting your brand, using certain hashtags, and getting involved. This is a feat in its own, but don’t forget to go further in leveraging this type of content.

user generated content

If applicable, use content from your customers to promote your own products! Wayfair did this with their #WayfairAtHome campaign in which users posted photos of their homes decorated with Wayfair products. Wayfair was able to use this UGC to sell their own products by linking all of their customers’ photos to the actual products in their online store.

No matter how you slice it, user generated content only serves to help your brand grow, while also saving you money on producing your own content. Get started with your UGC strategy today!

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