Can you use the content generated by users to boost your business? Absolutely! Done well, you can benefit from this cost-effective marketing strategy. Plus, it only means following a few simple steps to promote your business.

What is user-generated content?

In its simplest form, it is any content you didn’t create. Your audience has generated it. Whether that is photos, comments, blog posts or reviews, it includes a mention of your company or brand. It brings online word-of-mouth endorsement for your business without you creating the piece.

User-generated content is a benefit it pays to use

When you get a mention from someone recommending your product or interacting favourably with your brand, it can impact the audience more than any content you create yourself. It’s easy to self-promote, but when an individual or another company think enough of your business to mention it or shows they have found value in your content, it can have a far greater impact. Not only do you open up your work to their audience, but it’s also often viewed as being more trustworthy. So look for links to your work, products, and social media shares and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.

Few other content marketing strategies work so effectively simultaneously. You will likely gain increased website traffic and more significant customer interaction and promote authenticity to help grow your company organically without breaking the bank.

How to make user-generated content work for your business

Just because users generate the content doesn’t mean you have nothing to do. Spend some time following these simple steps. If you want to get the best from the help your users give you, treat it like any other marketing campaign, but enjoy the fact it doesn’t cost the same to put in place.

Before you ask for user-generated content, you should work out your goals:

  • Are you looking to create or increase brand awareness?
  • Cut down marketing costs?
  • Increase social engagement?
  • Establish credibility?
  • Show you are listening to users?
  • Decide the most appropriate social networks to request user-generated content.
  • Consider a content creation competition. Create a hashtag for users to show their purchases or highlight important stuff for you. Give them specifics. The more you guide the content, the better it will suit your needs. 
  • Once the user-generated posts start arriving, the work begins! Create a content library so you have posts to fill your feed when you have nothing, and schedule the user-generated content into social media campaigns. Users love seeing their posts on brand pages, so give them what they want.

Doing it right

Always ask permission, and give credit to the creator. Look for existing content to get you started, search hashtags that include your brand name and use existing reviews. Incorporate findings on your website as well as social media. Encourage users to share content by rewarding them with a repost, share, prize or discount to make it worthwhile. 

Always keep true to your brand identity with what you share. Take a look at these clever ways to leverage user-generated content to give you more ideas. Finally, alongside user-generated content, try collaborating with other businesses and mutually sharing content to maximise cost-effective online marketing strategies.