Companies that wish to impact consumers with brand awareness and company information will utilize a form of content dispensing known as User Generated Content (UGC). There are a wide variety of UGC types: blogs, reviews, podcasts, Facebook posts or comments, user generated videos and more. In addition, technology that allows for collaboration between a company (or brand) and a user can also be a form of user generated content.
Benefits of UGC
Sharing user generated content with other consumers is a highly successful method of generating interest in a brand and is becoming increasingly popular with companies. Recent studies have indicated that consumers are more likely to trust user generated content than they are marketing material produced by a company, giving companies an indicator into the type of advertising they should be engaged in. By sharing videos uploaded by users of their GoPro cameras, for example, the company is allowing consumers to see what actual users are doing with their camera. This, in turn, inspires others to purchase a camera and post a video, creating an endless cycle of promotion that cost the company next to nothing.
Maximizing the power of customer reviews is another form of user generated content that can be relatively easy to accomplish. Collecting user reviews and feedback through Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook can be more successful than an expensive ad campaign, and can be used across several social media platforms.
Starting a UGC Campaign
One of the best ways to gather user generated content for a company is to simply ask for it. Solicit customer feedback, videos, pictures and more through a web contest or online submission form. Publicize the contest, collect the images and resulting content and re-use them as a marketing tool to increase sales and generate more content. The initial set-up of user generated content may require a bit of effort, but with a little strategic planning, the content will continue to multiply as customers use products and services, and then talk about them.