One of the most talked-about trends in digital marketing right now is user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content (UGC) is not a new idea, but it has taken off thanks to the widespread use of social media.

Despite user-generated content’s (and marketers’) rising popularity, many companies are still missing the boat when it comes to making the most of the opportunities it presents.

UGC: What Is It?

What, you haven’t utilised user-generated content before? Don’t jump to conclusions. You’ve probably already included UGC into your social media strategy if your company has a social media presence or a website.

Even if you aren’t aware of it, User Generated Content is your greatest social media hidden weapon.

Since user-generated material is ubiquitous, many companies fail to recognise its marketing potential and ignore it. Stupid move.

User-generated content, or UGC, is exactly what it sounds like: content made by users of a particular brand or platform.

UGC: Why Do It?

User-generated content may propel a company to new heights if utilised effectively.

And the greatest part is, you barely have to do anything! Another major perk that places user-generated content (UGC) at the vanguard of the marketing fight is its credibility.

After decades of advertising campaigns promising them “the best,” “the ultimate,” and “the only,” customers understandably have grown wary of companies that continue to use these terms to promote their products.

Encourage Simple Content Generation

Do you take pleasure in delegating work to others and then sipping coffee while you wait for their completion? One of the simplest methods to increase a company’s visibility is through user-generated content.

All you have to do is offer your consumers an incentive to create content. And the incentive may be anything, depending on what it is you’re hoping to achieve in terms of content:

Giving out a taste of your wares in exchange for a positive review on your website.
Create an incentive for your blog’s readers to remark and share your content.
Holding a contest in which buyers submit videos of themselves demonstrating how they’ve used your wares in action

Various Forms of User-Generated Content

Make sure to ask for something that people will want to talk about when deciding what material to solicit from your community. Something that would boost participants’ confidence and encourage them to talk to one another. Having more people view their stuff (and yours) is always a plus.

A good illustration of this is the “As Seen On Me” area on the Asos website; here, customers may share social media posts in which they wear Asos products with the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe.

The Key Phrases Are: It’s Nearly Costless

But as everyone knows, you can’t get lunch for free.

If not in cash, then in time, someone must always pay. If possible, select a kind of user-generated content that requires little to no commitment from your audience in terms of time or money.

User-generated content is not about making money, though, so keep that in mind. If you just see the benefits in terms of advertising, your company risks coming out as insincere and cheap.

People enter competitions not just for the money and fame, but also to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Position your company as a neighbourhood helper; showing real interest in your clientele may pay off.

Media with Pictures

Consumers clearly prefer visual forms of user-generated content. In 2019, we should expect to see this pattern persist, as video marketing (both branded and user-generated) keeps gaining ground.

The days of requiring expensive equipment and specialised skills to film and edit a video are passed. These days, anyone with a smartphone and a few seconds to spare can make a video.

That is to say, don’t be shy about using visual user-generated content, especially video. Using photos of actual customers using your items is a great way to build credibility and trust for your company.

Reduced Capacity to Focus

While it’s debatable whether or not the typical person now has the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds), it’s certain that customers are continuously inundated with so much information that it’s hard to keep up.

Well-trained consumer eyes can automatically ignore pop-ups, advertising, and banners.

Micro-moments (the instant a person picks up a mobile device to conduct a search or make a purchase) may emerge as a distinguishing characteristic of consumer behaviour in the near future.

A user’s likelihood of becoming a paying client increases if they encounter your content (UGC or otherwise) during a certain micro-moment.

Used Content Sharing Websites

The sort of user-generated content (UGC) you use depends on both your intended audience and the distribution medium.

However, YouTube and Instagram have rapidly overtaken Facebook as the second and third most popular social networking sites, respectively.

Influencer recruitment

Influencer marketing keeps expanding, just like it has in years past.

Brands who partner with important people, be they global celebrities or micro-influencers respected in a smaller community or specialised market, see improved return on investment (ROI).

Content generated by or featuring influential members of your target audience stands a far better chance of being shared widely and thus boosting your brand’s visibility.