Updated: Jan 22
Producing strategic content of superb quality is an expensive, trying, and lengthy process. This is why most brands turn to “on the fly” type content. This isn’t the best of solutions either because this content is less effective. The most effective content marketing involves creative processes, extensive research, expert management, and quality production. User generated content (UGC) is becoming the go-to solution because of how effective and budget-friendly it is.
UGC popped up on the scene in 2016, when digital marketers started taking notice of it. It is cheap to source unlike brand generated content that’s truly top notch. A simple hashtag competition or campaign can suffice to generate huge volumes of content. Your audience will trust and care about it more because their peers created it.
Are Social Media the Only Option?
In the past, UGC was relegated to social media. There is a problem with this, however: social media are too dynamic. It’s likely that a massive Twitter campaign today will be forgotten by the end of the week. Brands are taking UGC to their websites for this reason. What is more, they are taking brave steps to blend it with their own unique content.
And to answer the question: no, social media aren’t the only option. We’ll go into all the others and provide useful tips below.
Set Measurable Goals
You should be considerate of planning. It’s important to set the measurable goals your brand or company wants to attain through the campaign in terms of the number of submissions, shares, and the reach in advance. Once you’ve done this, break these goals down into smaller ones. Set a time limit, by which they should be achieved.
All About Promoting User-generated Content
Make a list of the places, where you think it would be a good idea to promote the content and attract attention to them. Think about your website, communities, in-store ads, email campaigns, printing in your packaging, and ads. Of course, your social medium of choice should be on that list.
Things to Consider
Avoid overkill by over-promoting the campaign and choose relevant spots. Check how it’s going frequently and on time and plan for consistent promotions.
Understand Your Purpose
You should have a good understanding of your needs before launching a new UGC campaign. More specifically, define the purpose. Why should UGC be part of your content marketing? You must answer this question prior to every UGC campaign you launch.
You can use UGC campaigns to obtain general product feedback, increase awareness of your brand, launch a new product or feature, promote sporadic campaigns, or advertise promotions.
Plan the UGC Campaign’s Duration
Planning the duration of the campaign is a logical next step after discovering its purpose. Setting a specific limit will aid in proper planning and execution. You can divide this term into smaller timelines and link them to measurable, smaller targets. For instance, you can break your total target of 2000 submissions up into a weekly target of 500 submissions if your campaign duration is two months and your target is 2000 submissions in total. You can also plan your promotions to increase the submissions accordingly.
Your campaign should be ongoing if it’s for spreading brand awareness or another general purpose. Always analyze the performance of ongoing campaigns at regular stages and plan accordingly.
One of the most feasible approaches to monitoring your UGC campaign is running a voting system. This can be in the form of a user community where members up- or down-vote entries. You also need to consider the type of user-generated content that you need. It comes in different formats, including ratings, text, selfies, images, long or short videos, and more. You need to know the exact format you’re going to need before you ask your audience for user-generated content!
Always use a consistent format per campaign to keep your UGC user-friendly. Those who want to try different content formats should not do so for the same campaigns.
How do you decide what format you’re going to need for a specific campaign? It will help to look at your campaign’s theme and the places where you want to use this content, such as advertising, your website, or social media. Your theme can be adventure, creative, fun, or anything else. Also look at what products or services you offer. If you’re selling electronic goods, short videos will work well. If you are selling food products, you could go with user-generated images of them.
Producing amazing content is critical for digital and economic success. In fact, there’s just one thing that’s become more powerful and that’s blending it with user-generated content. Carefully curated and created brand content, normally published on websites, is at the core of this shift.