Authenticity: it’ s treasured, however in short supply.
TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden acquired it right when he had written recently that trust in advertising is at risk . The statistics speak for themselves: Edelman’ s 2018 Rely on Barometer reflects a general lack of reliability for businesses, and one poll through HubSpot found “ marketer” to become among the minimum trustworthy professions .
The particular commonality among occupations ranking at the end of that HubSpot list (marketer, vehicle salesman, politician, lobbyist) is that they just about all have perceived agendas and reasons.
This is when the unique value in adding user-generated content (UGC) to your content marketing strategy lies.
Not convinced? Let’ s discover.
UGC: An Avenue to Authentic Awareness plus Trust
Even the most well crafted plus relatable content is inevitably seen through a certain lens when it comes from the brand. Developing a genuine rapport together with your audience takes time, and even after that, there’ s an inherent reputation that any public-facing message from the company is strategic and meticulously positioned.
User-generated content offers a method to get over this disconnect, by amplifying the particular voices of real people plus actual customers. If your content marketing and advertising goal is authenticity, there’ ersus no better bet.
1 interesting section of the aforementioned Edelman survey features data around the content individuals trust most:
As we observe, folks are far more likely to trust articles from a company they already patronize (60%) than one they don’ t (31%) — not surprising, but additionally not great for businesses looking to bring in new customers.
Ranking well ahead of both these sources, though, is “ Individuals like me” (66%), an option that’ s second only to “ My buddies and family” (71%).
It only is practical that a person would put a lot more stock into the opinions and views of someone similar to them, especially exactly where buying considerations are concerned. Global research from Nielsen famously showed that 92% of shoppers trust peer recommendations over advertisements and branded content.
This is why customer testimonies and case studies are so effective, but such material sits towards the bottom of the funnel. Prospects are usually unlikely to encounter it unless currently along the purchase path, or positively taking an interest in your brand.
The beauty of user-generated content is its function as a top-of-funnel asset for building brand consciousness in an authentic and real method.
Advantages of User-Generated Content
#1: Making the Customer Your own Story
Storytelling is one of the many essential tactics in content advertising , and customer-centricity is among the discipline’ s central tenets. UGC presents a way to merge both of these by actually making turning your own customer into the storyteller .
Not only is this an extremely engaging function for the individual whose content will be featured, but it makes that content material vastly more relatable for those eating it.
When TINT polled marketing specialists for its 2018 User-Generated Content Marketing Report , the most-cited benefit of UGC was its ability to “ humanize marketing, ” with 73% agreeing this form of content “ makes marketing more authentic. ”
#2: Building a Community and Boosting Wedding
As soon as others start noticing the presence of user-generated content on your website, blog or even social media feeds, it can cause a transmittable effect. In general, people like to take part in trendy or connective ventures, particularly if there is a compelling and creative connect (Ice Bucket Challenge, anyone? ).
For instance , social media management platform Buffer launched the #BufferCommunity hashtag on Instagram and gets regular submissions from all around the planet. The content – which is frequently regrammed on the company’ s official account , with credit – isn’ t promotional, but it’ h not supposed to be. It brings the particular product’ s users together plus raises general awareness for the brand name.
Natural content in action is a beautiful factor (literally, in this case):
#3: Applying Visuals
As we often preach here at TopRank Marketing, visuals are essential to content material marketing but often hard to produce with limited resources . UGC is mainly visual in nature so it signifies an easy way to strengthen this sizing of your content mix. Plus, whenever regular people see other regular people within photos or videos, rather than versions or actors, it adds to that will relatable authenticity factor.
Currently, photos and videos are the most widely used forms of UGC. Fifty-four percent associated with adult internet users regularly create and promote photos and videos, according to Pew. Photos are the most common form of UGC created by Millennials, according to Statista.
#4: Saving Your Budget
The costs of UGC can vary. Quite often brands will compensate contributors in return for the rights to feature their own content. In other cases, there’ t enough intrinsic motivational benefit for that user so as to make that unwanted. (For instance, in the #BufferCommunity instance cited above, there’ s a significant draw for Instragrammers in obtaining their work exposed to Buffer’ ersus 40, 000 followers. )
In either case, certification user-generated content tends be more affordable than producing it professionally in-house.
Steps to make UGC Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
There are a number associated with ways that brands encourage and influence user-generated content. Here are a few for fascinated marketers to consider:
1 . Invite social media customers to post about your brand, plus curate those posts on your own give food to or embed them in related content.
One of my favorite examples of UGC will be the @SlackLoveTweets Tweets account, which chronicles posts regarding Slack* from raving fans. Not just does this allow the brand in order to broadcast genuinely glowing remarks regarding its product, but the tweets may also be used elsewhere.
For instance, in this blog post a brief embedded consumer comment helps credibly substantiate the particular usefulness of a particular feature:
2 . Run a competition that incorporates your product or service inside a creative way.
Everyone loves a contest, particularly if there’ s a fun twist. State your company sells apparel; you could quick customers to share pictures of their pet cats wearing (or sleeping on, or hopelessly entangled in) your t-shirts, using the winner earning a freebie.
If the advertising catches on, not only you will end up using a bounty of great content to share in your social accounts or elsewhere, however, you might even sell some extra t-shirts to the people who are adamant about sharing images of their cats online (which, simply by my calculation, is roughly 95% of internet users).
3. Crowdsource views and perspectives for your blog posts.
In the past, I’ ve talked about the strength of social media polls , which can allow your target audience to become active participants in leading your content. The same concept can be used with UGC. If you have an involved social following, and you’ lso are writing about a topic important to them, you can ask for their opinions and then gather the responses in a blog post, together with stats and analysis.
By no means should UGC be viewed as a replacement for the top quality content produced by marketing professionals, however it can absolutely be a helpful health supplement.
4. Turn client reviews into testimonials on your web site.
There’ s nothing wrong with hiring a happy customer to cooperatively produce a testimonial advocating for your service or product. But organic reviews — showing up on neutral websites or social media marketing channels — tend to come off a lot more earnest and unbiased. You could find several positive ones and turn them directly into testimonials on your website or post on your blog (with the author’ s permission, of course). Actually if you’ re really sensation bold, you could take a negative review from one of these sources and honestly address it.
Ready to Get Down with UGC?
The benefits of UGC are tough to argue: it is relatively inexpensive, community-driven, and highly customer-centric. But at the end of the day, it all comes back to that essential imperative: authenticity . Letting actual people become the tone of voice for your brand is as real because it gets.
But it’ s not a basic matter of snapping your hand and making it happen. In order for UGC to work, you need to build it into the overall content marketing strategy, develop obvious objectives around it, incentivize distribution, and – above all – create an enthusiastic following that is excited to discuss, participate with, and advocate for the brand.
For inspiration to get you started, check out these types of examples of B2B user-generated content material in action .
*Disclosure: Slack is a TopRank Marketing client.
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