What is User Generated Content and Why Should You Care?

Many brands are moving more of their marketing budget to social media and digital advertising. As the audience grows on these platforms, it’s obvious that time spent should increase as well. But what does that mean for many companies? MORE CONTENT! But how? Enter User Generated Content (UGC).

What is User Generated Content?
UGC is any form of content, such as blogs, social media posts, images, videos, infographics, etc., that are produced by consumers.

So what does this mean to you? It means as your business invests more into social media and digital avenues, you have a plethora of content online that’s available for you to share!

How to Choose What UGC to Use?
Gillian_Luce_Starbucks_InstagramIdentify what your customers want to see within each of your channels. Take a look at your social media monitoring tools and review what they are already posting. If the content is shared for a particular product or service, then you should take note. If customers are creating content, but you want more assets for a specific marketing campaign, tell them. Make it easy and clear what you want, how it’ll be used and how customers can provide it. For example, Starbucks® enthusiasts will post photos of the company’s products all over social media, especially Instagram. If Starbucks wanted more images of Frappuccinos versus espressos, they need only tell customers on the platform to garner more posts. And if you notice customers are sharing content about your brand, ask permission before using it for your marketing efforts.

But what if you received submissions through a contest? It is still beneficial to share with the entrant that his/her submission will be promoted. And you’ll probably get bonus points if you credit the consumer when using his/her image, not to mention it’ll help authenticate it!

Why Does This Matter; Why Should You Care?
Sales and revenue, of course! For many businesses, having a robust advertising strategy, including digital marketing and social media campaigns, will lead to a spike in sales. By giving the customers what they wants to see in the social arena and engaging with them, your brand should see an increased return on investment – whether that return is more referral traffic from social media channels or visits to your store.

If you’re still not sold on UGC, we recommend exploring more from some of our favorite experts: Mashable, HubSpot and Forbes; or contact our social media department– we’d love to help!

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