|Why care?||Build authentic brand trust and leverage people’s innate need to like the same things as their peers.|
|Who should do this:||All businesses|
|Platform:||Any (Social Media, Email & Your Website)|
What is UGC? (User Generated Content)
UGC is any form of content that your audience creates that ties back to your business.
It can be anything that was created directly by one of your customers – a review, a shared post, a posted image, a recommendation, a video, a blog post – that gets posted to their own page/account/etc & mentions you, so your business a moment in someone else’s spotlight.
It’s one of the most valuable pieces of content because it is written directly from the experience of one of your customers.
Here’s one example of UGC in the form of an Instagram post:
How does it benefit my business?
One of the 6 Principles of Sales Psychology is Social, which refers to your audience’s innate need to like the same things as their peers. This article from G2.com explains it in this way: When we are unsure of something, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct direction to follow. The more people following that direction or action, the more likely we are to think it is the correct thing to do.
So when you have a customer freely share their glowing opinion of you, it means that the people who are like them, or who respect them will be more likely to trust that your offer is the best fit for them if they have a similar need/desire.
But that’s not all, here are five more ways UGC can benefit your business:
It can increase your brand’s authenticity.
The more content your customers share and create, the more legitimate your brand becomes because it’s showing the world how real people use and appreciate your products/services.
It can boost your SEO rating.
The more active your community is, the more likely it is to get the attention of Google’s almighty algorithm- and we entrepreneurs can’t ignore a free boost.
It promotes brand loyalty.
If your loyal customers create and share UGC, they will inspire other, newer customers to do the same- thus promoting more brand loyalty.
Since user-generated content is created freely, there are many ways to get it for free!
It can offer you insight.
Since you have no control over the type of UGC created or the content within, it’s the perfect way to get an outside opinion of your business that you can learn from. Things like: What do they like? Dislike? Are they sharing more information about one subject over another? Is their tone favorable? Do they have comments or complaints that you can remedy?
What’s in it for the customer?
Due to the nature of social media and the global love for leaving reviews, customers generally aren’t expecting compensation (this is different from influencer-paid collaborations). But you can always add a little extra incentive for the customer by offering public recognition (resharing their post) or a discount on their next purchase (in exchange for a review of their current purchase).
For most loyal customers, that’s enough.
Here are a few more ways to incentivize user-generated content:
- Ask for a review after purchase
- Host a contest (share a review for a chance to win X)
- Create an ambassador program with VIP perks for those who volunteer to share UGC
- Create a challenge (use X product/service for ten days and document the results)
Some are more time-intensive than others, but it’s cool to know you have options, plus the time you spend setting them up will be a small price to pay for the boost in engagement, authenticity, and eventually– sales.
Choose 1 way to ask your customers for user-generated content and give it a try.
Not sure where to start? Do this:
Write an email thanking a customer for their last purchase and include this line: (Customize for your business)
“We love hearing what you love most about [the offer they purchased]! Share your experience on [your social media platform of choice] and tag us @[company handle], and we’ll send you [a coupon for X% off your next purchase / other special gifts]
Copy and personalize the email for the last 5 sales you made.