The complete guide to user-generated content: How to find, use, and sell with UGC
User Generated Content — Turnkey Solution for UGC
You must have heard the famous phrase “content is king”. Producing quality, valuable, and targeted content that can go viral is a major concern for many businesses. Content production of various businesses may be done by content production agencies, marketing teams or even their customers and users. But in the meantime, user-generated content is of particular importance.
Who do you trust the most when deciding to buy? A brand or a consumer who uses that product? To be honest, when we decide to buy a product, we seek advice from family and friends that confirm the quality of that product.
This is the basis for creating a concept called user-generated content, or UGC, on websites and social networks. Today, the subject of recommendation has moved to the world of the Internet and is done a little differently than before. In this way, users share their experiences of using that product by producing and publishing content.
UGC stands for User Generated Content, which means content generated by users in a variety of formats. Any content that users and consumers produce and publish about a business or product is known as a UGC. There is no charge for producing this type of content.
Virtually any form of content, including blog posts, group discussions, audio files (podcasts), digital images, and video created by users of an online system, often made available through websites and social networks is content generated by Is a user. The authenticity of this type of content builds trust among users and promotes the brand.
You have definitely come across various examples of user-generated content by now. Examples include learning how to use a product on YouTube or the personal experience of a brand’s customers posted on Twitter, or even simple examples such as valuable user comments on websites and social media.
History of user-generated content
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this type of content existed before the advent of the Internet and social media traffic. But now, with the advancement of technology, the content has been produced in different ways and seen more on the Internet. The Internet and webspace first started with Web 1.0 technology. Only reputable individuals and companies with specific features could share content on the web for others to use.
In fact, some were just producing content, while others were consuming the content produced. As a result, until about two decades ago, media communication with audiences was almost one-way. But with the advent of Web 2.0 technology, which was based on extensive interaction, collaboration, and partnership, there has been a shift in Internet productivity and Web space.
In this way, sharing content was no longer the prerogative of a particular company, and ordinary people could do the same. This technological advancement has given consumers access to content production tools as well. As a result, two-way communication developed, and content consumers could simultaneously produce content.
This led to the production of content by users and its publication at a low cost on the Internet. In the past, this was commonly known as the Affiliate Web; But when content marketers wanted to use user participation, they coined the term “user-generated content.”
Why do businesses need user-generated content?
Reasons for the importance of user-generated content include the following:
- Build trust and increase credibility
61% of users research a product before buying it. When researching and searching, audiences trust other users’ opinions and content more than the content produced by internet marketers. As mentioned, user-generated content follows the advice of friends and acquaintances. So, keep in mind that UGC strengthens your brand originality.
Due to the two-way communication, the amount of interaction between brands and customers has greatly increased. Targets in modern marketing have changed in line with changing interactions and increasing engagement rates. You need to try to interact properly with your customers. Two-way communication helps your brand gain more credibility among users. As a result, users choose you over other competitors.
- Paying attention to your audience and customers
Increasing interaction between brands and audiences has led to modern marketing, targeting in addition to sales, focus on customer satisfaction and attention to their needs. Using UGC campaigns, you can directly monitor users’ views on your brand and their problems. You should try to know your customers well and solve problems at the first opportunity.
Experience user complaints. If you want to escape the complaints of dissatisfied users, your business will face big problems. So, it’s best to be smart and turn this threat into an opportunity to grow and develop by caring about your audience and customers. The topics covered are very important in introverted marketing. In fact, paying attention to what is being said can make your business a success.
- Increase interaction
Launching UGC campaigns, especially on social media, is a great opportunity to increase brand-audience engagement. In fact, these campaigns have many benefits for the growth and success of a business. Keep in mind that you need to have a good strategy for launching user-generated content campaigns and do it correctly and principledly. In the following sections, we will look at the details of launching UGC campaigns.
- Save time and money
For all those who work in the field of content production, producing quality and valuable content on a regular basis is a challenge. Now, if your business has customers who voluntarily produce new, engaging, and creative content for you, why not use it?
In UGC campaigns, you have access to a wealth of different content at no cost to you. So, you can save money by using that content. On the other hand, the content of these campaigns provides more opportunity and time for your business content production team to be able to produce professional content.
- SEO improvement
User-generated content can play a significant role in improving your site’s SEO. Sometimes user-generated content is placed as a comment below your site posts, and this has a positive effect on your site SEO.
Sometimes users generate content about your business or your products and services. Then they publish it on their own site or platforms like commas, blogs, Reddit, etc. and refer it to your site. This type of external linking will increase your credibility with Google and improve your site SEO.
- Sales increase
User-generated content influences your audience’s decision to buy from you. This is perfectly normal, and you may have decided to buy products yourself many times using the same user-friendly content. User-generated content builds trust increases brand credibility, and so on, all of which make it easier for your audience to decide, and as a result, your sales rate will grow dramatically.
What are the benefits of UGC?
According to the reviewed points, the content produced by users has many benefits for businesses. This type of content helps business managers make small and large decisions. In fact, user-generated content can play an important role in the growth and success of a business. Here are some of the benefits of user-generated content.
- Branding and increasing brand awareness
- Build trust and increase business credibility
- Get quality backlinks and improve your SEO
- Strengthen relationships with the audience
- Correct negative points using audience comments
- Decide to add new products and services
- Increase Real human website traffic
- Ability to further customize products and services for customers
- Increasing the number of audiences and followers on social media
- Generate targeted real human traffic to your website
- Increase participation and interaction
- Improve marketing strategies and content marketing program
- Access to a wealth of unique, functional and quality content
- Earns Positive Reviews for Helping Online Businesses Drive Quality Web Traffic
- Create cheap ads using UGC campaigns
- Save time, money and resources
- Increase conversion rates and sales rates
What is a UGC campaign?
In UGC campaigns, the user becomes the advertiser of a brand. You must have seen a brand on Instagram ask its customers to publish a photo or video while using their products. Then tag that brand page on that post or use that brand hashtag in the caption section. This process is an example of user-generated content campaigns on social media.
For example, the big Netflix brand, which is a movie and series sharing service, asked its viewers to share photos of their favorite series and movies. Netflix then reposted user content. This made people more eager to see those movies and series than the old advertising methods.
Research shows that when acquaintances introduce a brand to you, the impact is far greater than the ads you receive directly from that brand. Brands also use this issue with practical and smart strategies for their own success and growth.
6 steps to launch UGC campaigns
Content marketing means the use of functional and attractive content, in order to achieve marketing goals, advertising and increase conversion and sales rates. In the process, user-generated content can be very effective. Content that makes your audience more engaged and other users more likely to make decisions and become your customers using the opinions of previous buyers.
But the important thing is that like other parts of content marketing, we need a good content strategy to create a user-generated content campaign. Here are some steps you can take to begin the process of preparation for mediation:
- Choice of platform and social media
You need to choose the social media you want based on your audience and the type of business you do. Instagram is usually one of the most popular and influential social media for creating UGC campaigns. Especially despite the restrictions that exist in Iran for access to many social networks.
Instagram is great for B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses. But it still can’t be said that Instagram is always the best social network for such campaigns. For example, if your business activities are B2B (business to business), the LinkedIn social network may be a better choice for running UGC campaigns.
- Specify the purpose of the campaign
One of the most important steps in creating and launching campaigns is defining the goal. If you launch a user-generated content campaign but do not have a clear goal, the effects of your campaign will be temporary and will disappear in a short period of time. But if you do it wisely and correctly and encourage your audience to produce content, you can make good use of the wave of interaction created to grow your business. The goals of UGC campaigns are:
- Building trust
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase sales rate
- Increase brand and audience engagement
- Increase brand credibility and branding
- Improve Alexa traffic ranking
- Increase brand conversion rates with audiences and customers
Specify the type of content
You need to be aware of the potential and limitations of the social media you choose. For example, in Instagram, most of the visual content (images and videos) is important, and along with this content, short descriptions are given along with certain hashtags. While this is different on Twitter or LinkedIn. Some platforms may even be suitable only for sharing textual content, such as commas.
In general, by creating a simple creativity in the work process, you can encourage many people to accompany you. Then wait for the audience to produce the UGC campaign content. This usually takes a few days so do not worry.
After completing the previous steps, you will have to wait a while for the content produced by the users to reach you. Now is the time to interact. At this point you can connect with your audience and increase the interaction between them and your business. In addition, you should use the content produced to attract new audiences and draw their attention to your products and services.
Analyze the campaign process and its results
You can analyze feedback throughout the campaign. If your campaign is done on Instagram, you can also use the statistics in the Insight section. Record the results after the campaign is over. Then analyze the statistics obtained and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign. By doing this, you can optimize the process of subsequent campaigns and get better results and feedback.
Conclusion and closing remarks
Content generated by users, whether on the site or on social media, can have a huge impact on the success of your business. If you want to use UGC, make sure that this type of content is created in addition to helping you, to give importance and value to the audience.
Let your audience know your business plan to campaign. Then tell them when and how to participate in the campaign. Then encourage them to use different methods to produce content. Methods such as:
- Holding various competitions on social media
- Offer gifts such as discount codes to upload images with your product
- Sending gifts along with shipping packages to customers
- Doing charitable activities
- Create a section to receive feedback from your audience
So, try to implement the said points correctly to enjoy the benefits of this type of content. I hope this article has been of interest to you. You can share this article with your friends on social networks.