How to Use User-Generated Content in Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve had your hand in the social media game for a while, you know that it takes blood, sweat, and tears to make great content to boost your brand. Unfortunately, your company’s content isn’t the content that will convert the most users. That comes from your audience.

User-generated content (UGC) is original content about your brand created by others, like your customers. Also known as consumer-generated content, it can include images, reviews, testimonials, podcasts, memes, social posts, and more. UGC can also include customer reviews posted to your website about your product. (The value of that is substantial—if a customer is scrolling a product page and some UGC appears, the conversion rate bumps up 8.5%.)

It’s hard to believe that UGC is the most important type of content for your company, but it’s true: 90% of people report UGC as the main influence behind their shopping decisions. But this is actually a good thing: UGC is attainable and can be integrated into your marketing strategy. Here’s how.

UGC provides the social proof needed for people to trust you

UGC shows that you practice what you preach. Your company’s online reputation is critical for success, but unless people know that someone else agrees with what you’re saying about your brand, it doesn’t mean much. After all, many people are suspicious of advertisers for a reason.

It’s like the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Your boasts about your products or services aren’t nearly as meaningful as someone else recommending them.

UGC provides the necessary social proof people need to make a confident decision about your product. Word of mouth is how people make decisions. But instead of just hearing from friends and family, they now put their trust in strangers on the internet.

For example, let’s say you run an e-commerce site that sells swaddle sacks for babies. If a tired new parent sees your product in a Facebook post from their favorite childhood sleep influencer or their mom friend who does all the research, they’re much more likely to try the product than if they saw an ad for it.

How to source UGC to maximize your marketing strategy

Okay, so it may sound like UGC is a ✨magical source✨ of positive and influential content that other people make for you, but the ball is in your court to make it happen. Don’t just sit back and wait for people to review your site or product—you can and should source UGC to use in your marketing strategy.

Ask people for it

If you aren’t sure where to start, solicit reviews from customers. Look for people who have purchased multiple items for you or have kept a subscription for several months and ask them to write a review. It helps to know they’re a fan of your product before you ask. To seal the deal, offer to give them a one-time coupon code in exchange for an honest review.

Use a social listening tool

Odds are, people are already talking about your product in dark social spaces, even if you aren’t aware of it. While some dark social is challenging to track, a lot of it can be discovered using social listening tools. Simple free tools like TweetDeck and BrandMentions’ Social Media Tracker help you see what other people are saying about your company. You can use these platforms to follow or engage users and discover new customers who may be willing to leave a review.

Add sharing buttons in your email marketing

If you have an email subscriber list, add social sharing buttons at the end of every email so that people can easily share your content to their personal pages. Or you can add a button where people can easily review your product or send you feedback if they’re having any issues.

Add the reviews you receive to the end of the emails in your subscriber list to up the conversion rate.

Get your employees involved

When you want to boost your social media presence, the easiest way to get UGC is to involve your employees. Employee advocacy involves your team sharing content on their personal social media pages. Because they’re an individual, this creates UGC.

You don’t want sharing your company’s content to become a chore for your employees, though. For it to be authentic, your employees have to want to share about the services or the products offered. Make it simple for them by using employee advocacy software that helps them share to their social pages straight from an email in just one click.

3 ways to implement UGC in your content marketing strategy

Once you’ve collected some UGC, here’s how to add it to your marketing strategy.

1. Create a hashtag campaign

One of the most fun ways to get more UGC and use it in your marketing strategy is to create a hashtag campaign. This is when users create videos or photos around your product and label them with a designated hashtag. You either pick the best one or give a prize to the one with the most likes. This can be a fresh, energy-boosting way for people to share about your brand. If your hashtag is shared a lot, it could even start trending, meaning that more people will discover your brand.

Before you do any sort of giveaway content or campaign, make sure you’re legally covered. Read up on giveaway rules, because they can change depending on where your company is located.

2. Use UGC to create content on your company page

Leave room in your content calendar to create content around UGC. It could be a reel on Facebook where you share reviews about a product or service you offer, or you might create a video where your employees read nice things that reviewers have said about them.

You can be as creative as you want with UGC, as long as it highlights how UGC speaks truth to your brand.

3. Add reviews to your website

Any stand-out reviews should be added to the homepage of your website and other relevant landing pages. These are the pages that people click on. If it’s someone’s first time visiting and they see five-star reviews from your clients, they’ll be more likely to request a demo or even make a purchase.

Create more UGC with Clearview Social

Clearview Social’s employee advocacy software helps you create more UGC with the help of your employees. Our simple social sharing tools include one-click email sharing straight from your employee’s inbox, so they can share company content to their personal pages in seconds.

Plus, you’ll want to share your content when most of your audience is online so that more people will see it and share your posts. Clearview’s PeakTime AI feature uses an algorithm to know when most of your audience is online, and it posts logged content for you at that exact time.

If you want to use UGC but feel unsure about where to start, schedule a demo with us to see why our clients say that with Clearview, “You literally couldn’t make social media any easier.”