Consistently creating authentic, relevant, and engaging content on a regular basis can be challenging. It’s common for even experienced marketing teams to fall into a state of a lull with templates and repetitive elements. User-generated content (UGC) can help solve the content lull. However, the content your users produce may be less-than-optimal by your brand standards.
So the challenge is, how can you collect higher-quality UGC you need to constantly grow your business? These tried and true methods will help you generate higher-quality UGC without alienating your audience.
Use a UGC and Influencer Marketing Platform
There's a high volume of content available to most brands but let's face it: a lot of that content isn't perfect. Sifting through that content manually is a cumbersome process. Automation can help uplevel the highest-quality user-generated content (UGC), and even help determine the most engaging content for your audience. Use a UGC platform to automatically filter out spam, and set custom parameters that meet your brand guidelines.
For example, after working with Pixlee, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas generated 250 million impressions from Pixlee powered UGC and collected over 19,000 pieces of content.
Here’s the deal: not everyone posts on social media as regularly as others, nor does everyone enjoy posting UGC on their social media. But some of the highest-quality UGC lives on your customers’ camera rolls. Thus, it is your task to give them an alternative option to share their content. HYLETE, a fitness and apparel company, has a place on their website in the “Community” section for consumers to upload content.
This is where direct uploaders can come in handy. They are direct features of Pixlee which allow users to upload their content regardless of whether it has already been posted or not.
Run a Contest
One great technique to trigger customer engagement (and of course, generate more relevant content) is to run a social media contest. Encourage customers to share UGC to enter. For example, Tile ran a contest this summer where they encouraged customers to share how they used the bluetooth tracking device for a chance to win merchandise and gift cards. This contest produced authentic and relatable UGC, from Tiles being hung from car keys to Tiles becoming attached to dog leashes.
Here’s an extra tip: Have each participant utilize your official contest or campaign hashtag to join. Not only will it make it easier for you to keep track of the entries, but it will also trigger social proof.
Utilize Influencers and Creators Related to Your Brand
Somewhere between branded content and user-generated content lies influencer marketing. Influencers are semi-professional content creators who bridge the gap between studio content and UGC. When other users do not post quality content for brands to use, influencers can help create content that feels aspirational yet accessible – giving you the best of both worlds. Therefore, influencer marketing is not only a social media tactic but also a content tactic as well.
Starting your first influencer campaign can seem daunting, but with the right influencer marketing platform, you can identify influencers who are already organically engaging with your brand and discover new influencers who align with your audience and brand.
Create Powerful Hashtags
Use hashtags to automatically grow the quantity and quality of UGC. Keep them short, memorable, easy to spell, and most of all, relevant to your brand. An excellent example is the #morphebabes by the cosmetics company Morphe. It has 173k posts on Instagram at the time of this writing. It unifies posts, provides information and context, but most of all, continues to inspire more users to share their Morphe creations.
Apply These Methods with UGC
The strongest benefit of UGC is the foundation of trust you can create not only with your loyal patrons but also with potential customers.
UGC is valuable as people view it as genuine and honest content. However, with the plethora of UGC available, having the right tools and ideas in place will help find the most authentic and effective content. By applying the advice described in this post, you can better collect high-quality UGC for your brand to utilize and grow.
Lidia Staron is a part of the Content and Marketing team and Financial Analyst at Openloans.com. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic planning and decision-making process. You can find professional insights in her writings.
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