How To Maximize User-Generated Content to Increase Brand Loyalty

 In Ecommerce, SMS Marketing

User-generated content is one of the most valuable tools for any brand in search of online growth.

With user-generated content (UGC), companies leverage the images, reviews, videos, and other amazing creations of their community to generate awareness, demonstrate authenticity, and expand brand reach. There’s no other content like it.

Showing other people interacting with your brand, product, or service through UCG is the ultimate form of word-of-mouth recommendation. Studies show that 55% of consumers trust user-generated content more than any other form of marketing, which means you’ll increase the likelihood of getting more followers on Instagram.

So, how do you take full advantage of UGC?

Read on for our step-by-step guide.


What Is User-Generated Content?

UGC is any content created by your users, consumers, and followers. An Instagram video of someone teaching others how to apply your new makeup collection is UGC. A picture of showing off your latest shoe line is another example.

User-generated content can even include interactions with your brand, like a TikTok video of someone drinking their favorite coffee from one of your shops. Alternatively, UGC could be a snippet of a review someone left on your website.

For user-generated content to be successful, it simply needs to put your customer and your product, service, or business together in a positive situation.

The Top 3 Benefits Of User Generated Content

So, what makes UGC so effective?

User-generated content gets results because it’s genuine, authentic, and most importantly, it doesn’t come directly from your marketing team. While any company can say they offer the best marketing service or the fluffiest cakes, it’s a lot more believable when another customer says it.

User-generated content:

  1. Increases brand loyalty: It’s a chance for you to showcase the kind of customers who love your brand and build affinity with other like-minded people as a result. If someone sees another person just like them enjoying your product, they’ll be far more likely to remain loyal to your brand. Showcasing your customer’s content also demonstrates how much you value them. Clients like to feel like they have a voice.
  2. Boosts brand awareness: User-generated content is inherently shareable. Your customers share it with their followers, who might share it with theirs, and so on. You can essentially get your brand name and image out to dozens of new groups without spending a penny. Plus, you get the added benefit of a positive message backing your company.
  3. Creates relationships: User-generated content helps to build a story around your brand, which connects you to other people and even other brands. When other people create content involving your product or service, it also gives you an insight into the real customer journey, so you can get to know your client better, and deliver experiences relevant to them.

According to Adweek, around 85% of users say visual user-generated content is more impactful to their decision-making than any brand-generated video or photo. Getting the right combination of UGC posts into your social media marketing campaigns could be the key to building better relationships with your customers, and earning more conversions.

User-Generated Content Best Practices For Instagram

Making the most of UGC means knowing how to cultivate it from your target audience. There are tons of ways to encourage and use user-generated content. As your community grows, your opportunities will develop with it.

So, how do you earn user-generated content?

1.  Create A Photo Contest

One of the easiest ways to convince your customers to create engaging user-generated content is to incentivize them with the promise of winning a price. Surveys have found around 32% of people create and share UGC because they want to win a prize.

People also like an opportunity to compete and show off their skills. Sixty percent of respondents in the same survey said they made content because it allowed them to earn more likes and have their content featured by a well-known brand. Look for ways to entice your audience into creating content that really grabs attention. For instance, the #Over company hosts a monthly design challenge which asks Facebook and Instagram users to get involved with unique pictures every month.

1.  Create A Photo Contest

One of the easiest ways to convince your customers to create engaging user-generated content is to incentivize them with the promise of winning a price. Surveys have found around 32% of people create and share UGC because they want to win a prize.

People also like an opportunity to compete and show off their skills. Sixty percent of respondents in the same survey said they made content because it allowed them to earn more likes and have their content featured by a well-known brand. Look for ways to entice your audience into creating content that really grabs attention. For instance, the #Over company hosts a monthly design challenge which asks Facebook and Instagram users to get involved with unique pictures every month.

2.  Create A Branded Hashtag

One of the challenges of collecting user-generated content to boost customer loyalty is finding and collecting all of the best ideas. Users won’t always be able to send their content straight to your company, and having them share their creations on their account can significantly boost your reach.

A great way to improve the performance of your UGC campaigns is to create a branded hashtag for customers to use whenever they get involved. A good example of this comes from Lay’s in 2017, who used the #DoUsaFlavor campaign to interact with customers and get them to vote on new possible flavors of chips.

When creating a branded hashtag, make sure it’s something your customers can associate with your brand and something easy to spell and remember.

3.  Share Testimonials Or Reviews

User-generated content doesn’t have to apply exclusively to videos and images designed by your customers. Sometimes, it can include the reviews and testimonials shared on your website, in the comments of your product pages, and on other industry forums.

If you’re struggling to find visual content you can share from your customers, combine pictures of your products with quotes in the captions from customers. You can either add small reviews to the image of the product you’re promoting or go more in-depth with your caption content. Remember, research suggests around 41% of consumers will be tempted to purchase a product with as few as only 4 reviews. Any positive comment makes a difference.

3.  Share Testimonials Or Reviews

User-generated content doesn’t have to apply exclusively to videos and images designed by your customers. Sometimes, it can include the reviews and testimonials shared on your website, in the comments of your product pages, and on other industry forums.

If you’re struggling to find visual content you can share from your customers, combine pictures of your products with quotes in the captions from customers. You can either add small reviews to the image of the product you’re promoting or go more in-depth with your caption content. Remember, research suggests around 41% of consumers will be tempted to purchase a product with as few as only 4 reviews. Any positive comment makes a difference.

If you know the person who left the review is on Instagram, tag them in the post, and make sure you get their permission before sharing their comments on your profile.

4.  Decide Which Content You Want To Highlight

User-generated content is excellent for giving companies credibility and authority online. However, if you really want to boost conversions, you need to have a specific goal and focus when using UGC.

For instance, you might decide that the best way to demonstrate your position as part of a specific community is to highlight user-generated content from other small companies and complementary groups. If you want to gain customer trust, you could simply share content from individual users.

One of the best ways to immediately increase your presence online is to feature content from influencers your customers already trust. Influencer marketing doesn’t have to involve building complex campaigns with influencers. Your strategy might be as simple as asking your customers to review and snap a picture of themselves using your product.

Remember, whenever you’re leveraging user-generated content, consider the author. They should have the same values and voice as your business. Aligning yourself with companies or individuals with opposing views can harm your image.

5.  Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

All customers want to know they’re buying products from companies they can trust. Authenticity is one of the main things any consumer looks for when choosing which company to do business with. Being authentic isn’t just about following through on your promises and being transparent with your pricing structure. You also need to give credit to the people who help you grow.

When it comes to sharing user-generated content, make sure you always get permission from the people whose pictures, videos, and comments you’re going to be promoting. Even if a picture on Instagram is available to the public, that doesn’t mean you should repost it without asking first.

Send a message to the creator and let them know you’re interested in reposting their picture. After getting permission, make sure you add a credit for the post to the caption. This might include an @Mention so people can go and check out the creator’s page.

Crediting the creator correctly will allow you to avoid any rules around content production on Instagram. It also means your creator has a better chance of seeing your post and drawing attention to it from their profile.

Unlocking The Power Of User-Generated Content

According to studies, customers are 2.4 times more likely to see user-generated content as being authentic, compared to content designed by your company. People see statements from companies as hyperbole, but messages created by other consumers feel more relatable. That doesn’t mean you should stop creating unique content – as that gives you a chance to show your personality.

However, UGC will allow you to earn potential customers’ trust by demonstrating your ability to impress other customers. The best social campaigns combine branded content from the company, with authentic and down-to-earth user-generated pieces for social proof. If you’re not encouraging user-generated content from your customers yet, now could be the perfect time to start.

Author Bio: Samantha is a Marketing Coordinator at Kicksta with an expertise in all things Instagram and social media marketing. Our passion is to help companies grow their presence online and kill it in social media!

Recommended Posts
50% of consumers will make a new purchase from an ecommerce SMS message. And most like getting the messages. Here’s why the SMS ecommerce revolution has begun.Looking to get some insight into how email marketing is faring when it comes to online business growth? Check these ecommerce email marketing statistics.