It is critical for brands to have constant, on brand and new content flowing on through your social media channels for your consumers to like, comment and engage with. Having this stream of content allows for consumers to feel like they know the brand and are always up to date as an active participant of the brand’s community. Content helps build relationships, so fresh, new and engaging content across platform is crucial. However, constantly creating content can be a time-consuming task, especially if it is not an area that you enjoy or are good at. If this sounds like you and your brand, then user-generated content is your saving grace.
User-generated content (UGC) is when users and consumers create content about a brand and typically post to their own social channels to join in on the conversation and contribute to the community. These users and consumers aren’t influencers, they’re just regular consumers who simply love the product, brand or service enough to share it with friends and family on their personal social media platforms.
Brands can tap into the power of UGC and take advantage of it as a great form of word-of-mouth marketing in the digital space, as well as a means of content creation and community building. You can read more about UGC here.
Here are 6 strategies brands can employ to encourage users and consumers to create content…
Competitions are a great way to get consumers excited about a brand and keen to create content that includes the brand. Host a competition on your best social media platform to encourage your followers to post a photo of your brand, product or service with a campaign hashtag for their chance to win a prize. It could be a complimentary product or service, a one-of-a-kind experience or a huge prize in collaboration with other brands. Encourage users and consumers to enter by creating content, with the brief being the best, most creative image will win.
This strategy will produce a lot of content if the prize is valuable or otherwise out of reach, such as an all-expenses-paid-for holiday or designer handbag. If users and consumers desperately want to win the prize, they will go out of their way to create UGC about the brand.
Share, Tag and Be Featured
Another great way to encourage user generated content is by having your consumers tag you in a picture they share on their account relating to your brand or product for the chance to be featured on your own account. This makes them feel recognized and special, and an important part of the brand and community. It also forms a personal connection with the brand, because hey, who doesn’t like being featured on a brand’s account just for being a great customer.
One way to encourage UGC through this strategy is to share a call-to-action with every product – it could be on the tag, in the packaging, on the receipt or during the experience.
Hashtags are the perfect way to encourage UGC. Take Frank Body for example… their hahstag #letsbefrank has generated over forty thousand pieces of UGC that promote the brand to an audience, big and small. These images are regularly featured on the @frank_bod account, providing branded content that can be used across platforms, with credit of course (read our guidelines on regramming UGC and influencer content here).
By creating a community hashtag that is fun and on brand for your consumers to engage through, you’re certain to be creating some truly unique UGC and building a great community at the same time. To showcase this UGC, you could have a live stream on your website with all content that is tagged with your hashtag, or perhaps a dedicated page on the website to share UGC (again, always with credit).
When hosting an event, a great way to encourage UGC from event attendees is to have a media wall with the brands logo, a photobooth with a fun theme or one of those funky new social media hashtag printers (the ones that print out all images as a polaroid live at an event when you use the pre-determined event hashtag). . This will make event attendees feel like they are a part of something special and will genuinely want to share the experience on their own social media platforms.
The important thing to remember is that the more you can provide great photo opportunities, the better.
Everyone wants in on the flatlay action, whether they are avid social media users, influencers, professional content creators or just the everyday consumer, flatlays have become an important part of the social media world. Flatlays require creativity and a good eye, so if your product looks great for flatlay style photography, you can really tap into that with UGC.
For our top ten tips on creating the perfect Instagram flatlay, check out our blog post here (it’s one of our most popular articles on the Scrunch blog!).
Finally, encourage users and consumers to share how they use your product or their experience with your brand, in the moment while they are doing it. If you’re a fashion brand it could be a “show us your everyday style,” or for a food brand “share your lunch with us.” Not only will this create unique UGC, but it will also provide customer feedback and inspiration for future products. It’s also a great testimonial for your brand from a real consumer.
So what are you waiting for! Add a layer of UGC to your social media and content marketing strategy and share truly authentic experiences with your community and encourage your followers to get involved. The more, the merrier!