According to SmartBrief, millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than original content generated by the brands.
User-generated content is a great way to build trust with your audience and create content on a budget. It should be a part of every small business content marketing strategy.
In this article, we cover what is user-generated content, how you can get your audience to create content and how this content will help you grow your small business.
Let's start with the basics – what is user-generated content? Well, it's pretty easy to wrap your head around. User-generated continent is content that is created by customers (or users) rather than by a brand.
This is content that your business has not paid for and is similar to word-of-mouth marketing. The fact that no money changes hands in the creation of this content often means that audiences trust it more. The creator has no other motive to create the content than because they like your brand and want to share it with others.
It's often easier to wrap your head around a new idea when you have examples. So below are some examples of different types of user-generated content.
70% of consumers will look at reviews before making a purchasing decision. Getting reviews of your product or service on your website is a great way to push potential customers to make a purchase when they are still on the fence. We put our testimonials right on our homepage to help immediately establish trust with new visitors.
Case studies are a more in-depth form of user-generated content. They often include a very detailed study of how your product or service benefited your customer. This customer will write a detailed review of their experience, highlighting both pros and cons and using data to show measurable results from your product or service. While some case studies can be formally written or edited by your business, as the data and review will come from the client, this is user-generated content.
Hashtag campaigns are a great way to create user-generated content. Social media users will participate in the hashtag campaign, often by posting your product or service in a real-life setting. Hashtags are often catchy and as such quickly picked up by multiple users who want to get in on the ‘hype’.
For example, the #shareacoke is one of the most famous hashtag campaigns.
User-generated content has a ton of benefits for small businesses. Some of the main ones include:
There are a few simple ways you can start encouraging your customers to start generating content for you.
After a customer makes a purchase, you can send them a follow-up email. Ask them how their experience was with your product or service and if they can leave you a review.
Another great way to encourage user-generated content is to create a hashtag campaign or run a social media competition. Ask your users to take creative photos using your product. Get them to add the catchy hashtag you have thought up to their photo, and after a week have someone on your team pick the best photo and that person wins your prize.
Connect with influencers that have an audience that would enjoy your product or service. You can ask them to create a blog post for you, or do a social media take over on your account. This type of content is great. Not only does it build trust around your brand but will help expose you to a new audience.
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