The digital age has changed marketing strategies forever. In a consumer-centric era, the success of a business often lies within the hands of its consumers. Therefore, companies with poor reputations or those that miss the mark with their target audience can swiftly fall out of the public view.
While marketing strategies are nothing new to business, the digital age has made UGC marketing far more viable than it once was. As a result, UGC, user-generated content, now impacts the purchase decisions of up to 79 percent of consumers. This has given businesses the unique opportunity to utilize customer advocacy, engagement, and interaction in their marketing campaigns.
UGC marketing has many benefits, especially regarding social media marketing UGC. When implemented effectively, UGC can significantly impact key performance metrics, strengthen your company’s connection with its customer base, and influence the purchasing decisions of new and current customers.
What is UGC Marketing?
UGC marketing refers to any form of content related to your business created by someone who does not represent your company. UGC marketing is not influencer marketing, and some of the key differences between the two include:
- UGC is generated by regular customers, users, and followers
- UGC is created without any formal cooperation between the user and your company
- Your business has little to no control over content generated by users
Examples of user-generated content include online reviews, podcasts, blog posts, videos, or social media updates regarding a product or service you provide. Put simply, user-generated content is the new “word of mouth.”
How is UGC Marketing Related to Social Media Marketing?
Most businesses use some form of social media marketing. Social media marketing uses social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, to promote or inform customers about services and products a business offers. This form of marketing can be crucial to a business’s success, as it’s estimated that more than 3.6 million people worldwide use at least one social media platform. Additionally, a recent survey of Instagram users suggests that up to 36 percent of users follow companies and brands they purchase services or products from.
Social media marketing UGC combines effective social media marketing strategies and user-generated content to draw more customers, provide authenticity, improve customer relations, and ultimately increase customer engagement and revenue.
What Makes UGC So Effective for Marketing?
UGC marketing provides businesses with many potential benefits, including more significant customer draw, deeper brand loyalty, greater authenticity, greater conversion rates, and UGC typically costs far less than traditional marketing strategies.
The hard truth is that consumers don’t believe in ads the way they once did. According to recent surveys, up to 76 percent of consumers feel that ads are exaggerated, and many consumers think that ads related to cleaning products, weight loss, or beauty services and products are photoshopped. That’s a big problem for businesses, but it can be mitigated and potentially resolved through UGC marketing.
How to Integrate UGC in Your Marketing Campaigns
Here’s how you can successfully integrate UGC into your social media marketing campaigns.
1. Determine the Goal of Your Social Media Marketing UGC Campaign
The first step in a social media marketing UGC campaign is determining your campaign goal. For example, do you want to boost your brand awareness, create a buzz about the services and products you provide, or increase your customer base? Your campaign goal will impact the social media platforms you use, how you collaborate with your audience, and the type of UGC marketing you’re looking for. Do you want to reward consumers for providing feedback on products and services, create a contest that will boost your brand awareness, or promote a service? You should decide on these essential factors early on in your campaign planning.
2. Choose the Social Media Platforms Most Impactful to Your Campaign
A successful social media marketing UGC campaign will incorporate the social media platforms best suited for your business, target audience, and campaign goal. Social media platforms you should consider include:
- Facebook: With over 2.5 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the most well-known social media platform. Facebook provides an excellent space for businesses to share stories, videos, and other forms of content with their audience.
- Twitter: Twitter is another popular social media platform that’s great for image-sharing and short, to-the-point messages. Twitter provides the benefit of real-time coverage, and UGC can easily be captured and retweeted. Additionally, it’s a fantastic platform to take advantage of hashtags.
- Instagram: Instagram is all about visuals. This platform is a fantastic, creative way to connect with younger target audiences to show products and services in action. In addition, it’s a great platform to capitalize on hashtags and visual sharing.
- TikTok: TikTok has swiftly gained immense popularity for its short video content over lengthy, refined reviews and stories.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the largest social media network for professionals, which means it’s excellent for UGC marketing related to business-to-business and similar campaigns.
3. Tell Your Social Media Audience the Type of UGC Marketing You Want
If you want to execute an effective social media marketing UGC, you should tell your audience what type of UGC you’re looking for. Otherwise, how will consumers know to participate or what kind of content you’d like them to create? For example, you may encourage consumers to provide feedback on the services or products you provide. Always be transparent about any rules or regulations towards UGC that will be used in the campaign, especially when awarding consumers for the content they provide.
4. Collaborate With Your Audience
An advantage to social media marketing UGC is that you can easily share the content your users provide, especially on platforms like Twitter. Sharing content helps expose your audience to the UGC created and can increase the authenticity and credibility of your campaign and business.
5. Measure Your UGC Results
How will you know if your campaign was a success without measuring your results? Having clear marketing goals upfront will help you determine the metrics you’ll need to analyze following the UGC marketing campaign. If you didn’t quite hit your goals, try to determine where your setbacks were or ways that you can improve your campaign in the future.
The Bottom Line
Social media marketing UGC is an effective marketing strategy that can deliver results. There are many benefits to adopting UGC marketing, including improved authenticity, customer base, customer loyalty, and brand awareness. While there are several ways you can implement a campaign, it’s helpful to have clear goals and targeted social media platforms upfront to aid in your campaign’s success.