User-Generated Content (UGC) is an incredibly powerful tool that can help boost brand awareness, build trust, and increase engagement for your business. If you have a digital marketing strategy in place, encouraging UGC creation is a great way to create more buzz around your company, products, and services. Getting users, customers, or fans actually to create content aligned around your brand, however, can be both tricky and challenging.
In this guide, we'll explore some of the best ways to encourage your customers to create UGC for your brand. From campaigns that reward customers for their contributions to creating innovative ways to showcase UGC, there are numerous ways to get people actively creating content about your brand.
Who doesn’t love a good incentive, discount code, or free gift? There’s no question that incentives are some of the best ways to give your brand’s user-generated content a boost quickly.
When customers, fans, or anyone interested in your brand sees an offer for a free product, a chance to win a prize, or an enticing coupon – in exchange for a photo, short blurb, review, or other pieces of UGC – they’ll be much more likely to take action.
By offering a compelling incentive, you give customers a reason to engage with your brand, create UGC, and organically spread the word about your organization. It often takes a slight push to encourage someone to create UGC for the first time, but once they do it once, there’s nothing to stop them from becoming one of your biggest brand ambassadors and posting on the regular.
Create a Hashtag
With the rapid growth of social media networks, branded hashtags have become a great way to encourage UGC creation. Hashtags allow users to quickly filter and view all other posts/topics with that hashtag, letting users quickly see others just like them using your products or services.
Make sure that your branded hashtag is easy to remember, preferably something closely related to your brand or your products, and encourage customers to begin using it when posting about your brand on social media.
To further increase the visibility and usage of your branded hashtag, actively promote it through your marketing channels, such as your website, email newsletters, and social media profiles.
When users see your hashtag being used by your brand, they are more likely to adopt and incorporate it into their own posts. Monitoring your branded hashtag also allows you to track its performance, engage with users who are sharing content, and identify potential influencers or brand ambassadors. Be sure to share and feature user-generated content that uses your hashtag regularly, as this will not only provide social proof but also incentivize more users to participate and share their own experiences with your brand – this is something we’ll dive into in more detail in the “Showcase UGC” section.
Make It Easy
When it comes to encouraging UGC, the “barrier to entry” must be as low as possible – you don’t want your customers or fans of your brand to encounter any friction when trying to post about your company.
Customers are much more likely to create UGC if you make it as easy as possible to do so. Give them clear instructions, and show them how they can create and share UGC. Some brands even go so far as to provide “media kits,” photos, pre-made templates, or other media that can be personalized and shared online.
Showcasing some of the best UGC customers create around your brand is a great way to incentivize users further to create more content.
This can be done by periodically sharing user-generated content on your website and across your social media channels, giving credit to the creator, and showcasing them within your social posts. Your brand can also share UGC through email marketing campaigns, on your advertisements, and even on product pages.
When your company showcases UGC, you not only show appreciation for your customers but inspire others to create content and have their chance to stand out.
Engage with Customers
When customers engage with your brand online through social media, messages, comments, or by posting images/videos of them using your products or services, responding to their comments and messages, or simply dropping some encouraging words, it helps show them they’re appreciated.
If customers see that a brand regularly responds to user comments and thanks them for their UGC, they’ll naturally be inclined to post more and engage with your brand more regularly.
To foster further engagement, you can ask customers for their opinions and feedback about your brand, products, and services, showing them that you value their input in the process.
Embrace UGC In Your Brand Today
In today’s interconnected world, there’s no question that UGC can be a game changer for brands and businesses everywhere.
Encouraging customers to create UGC for your brand by offering incentives, creating memorable hashtags, removing friction, showcasing their UGC, and engaging/responding to their comments and feedback can help you reach even more of your target market.