Content is king, but what else is new? This age-old adage has been repeated ad nauseam for decades by now, and while you might be tired of hearing it, that doesn’t change the facts. If you want to get anywhere with your website, brand, or business, you need to get as much content out there as possible, within reason, of course.

Blog posts, social media posts, and videos are all essential to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You probably already know all about that, but have you ever considered how user-generated content might factor into the equation? It’s absolutely crucial to the success of your promotional efforts, yet surprisingly, few people recognize its value! Read on to find out why you should incorporate UGC into your content marketing strategy and how exactly you can do so.


What Are the Different Types of User-Generated Content?

What is User Generated Content?

User-generated content is any content created by users and published on social media. It generally refers to brand-specific content - your Instagram posts about your cat don’t really count as UGC because they’re not exactly useful for a content strategy. Here are a few different types of UGC you should know about:

  • Customer Testimonials: If no one’s ever used your products or at least talked about using them, how can your business possibly grow? This is where customer testimonials come in. They provide a personalized glimpse into what one can gain from buying your products and services, which can lead to a huge boost in sales.
  • Product Images and Videos: You might think, “Hey, I already post tons of pictures and videos of my products!” While you have a point, they have a different impact when they come from actual customers. This shows potential buyers what your products are like in real life without all the editing and fine-tuning you might use for your own visual content.
  • Long Form Articles: This format allows for truly effective collaboration between brands and customers. Granted, the people writing long-form content about your products will likely be professionals with skin in the game, like full-time bloggers, but that doesn’t change how useful this type of UGC can be. It provides an in-depth analysis of what your products are like.
  • Podcasts: The benefits of UGC in podcast form are similar to those of blog posts, but they cater to a different audience. Simply put, if someone talks about your products on their podcast, their audience will be more likely to try them out.
  • Social Media Posts: This speaks for itself - any form of customer engagement on social media counts as UGC. Remember the Chewbacca Mask Lady ? Her hilarious, endearing Facebook video wearing a Chewbacca mask showed off the product to millions of people and helped them forge a positive association with it.

Having trouble scouring social media to find that sweet, sweet UGC? Check out this blog post to learn about some essential social media tools.

Learn More

Here’s Why You Should Invest in UGC

The Benefits of Using UGC

So, now you know what user-generated content is, but is it really worth the effort? I mean, it’ll take you quite a while to find enough of it, let alone implement it in a marketing strategy. I’d say the answer is an unequivocal yes. This isn’t just my opinion, by the way. It’s backed by hard data, so let’s get into a few reasons why it’s so useful.

  • Low Cost: And by low, we mean zero, at least when it comes to organic UGC. Paid UGC is a whole other ballgame, and it might not be necessary if you have a healthy influx of organic UGC. Customers will talk about your products, for better or worse, giving you an infinite supply of free content!
  • Highly Effective: Apart from being extremely low cost and requiring hardly any time commitment, UGC can drive practically all metrics through the roof. That means reach, click-through, conversion, and more! Studies show that ads featuring UGC receive 400% higher click-through rates, which shows its effectiveness.
  • Builds an Authentic Image: It’s hard to overstate the importance of authenticity for brands. Customers want to know and relate to your story. UGC can be a part of that story and help you build a community while you tell it.
  • Cultivates Trust: 84% of people will trust you more if your digital marketing campaign features user-generated content. Seeing real faces touting the benefits of owning your products makes a huge difference, and the data supports this.
  • Lead Generation:  The combination of trust, authenticity, and community that UGC provides can boost your lead generation many times over. After all, when someone shows genuine interest in a product, it’s hard not to take an interest in it yourself.
  • Boosts Engagement:Plenty of brands have used UGC in their customer engagement strategy. One of the best examples is Doritos, who launched a website that allowed users to create branded images and got millions of comments and likes in the bargain.

How Can You Incorporate UGC Into Your Content Marketing Strategy?

How to Use UGC Effectively in Your Marketing Strategy

It’s clear that UGC is a valuable proposition. All that’s left to consider is how you can use it effectively. There are several ways in which it can boost your marketing efforts. We’ve outlined a few of them for easy reference.

  • Create Branded Hashtags: There’s a wealth of UGC out there that you can use, but you can’t use it until you find it. Branded hashtags help with that, providing a convenient categorization of all the UGC available to you. What’s more, branded hashtags are 45% more effective, so you might as well use the superior option.
  • Host Contests: Once you’ve sorted out your hashtag, user competitions are a great way to make it work. For example, l.f. Cosmetics created a TikTok contest where followers showed off their looks. The winner got $250 of merchandise, and the brand got a whopping 10 billion views!
  • Add a CTA: The goal here is to maximize the amount of UGC you receive. Incorporating a CTA can encourage your customers to send in their content. It can be a social media campaign using the hashtag, a button on your site, or anything else that keeps the UGC coming in.
  • Feature It in Ads: Customer testimonials, in particular, are a great addition to your ad campaign. Just take a look at Dove! Their commercial featuring real customers talking about why they loved the brand’s products got nearly 40 million views, clearly showing the power of UGC in marketing.

It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to content marketing. If you need some new ideas, our blog post about Taylor Swift’s wildly successful strategy might help!

Learn More

Don’t Miss the Boat

With user-generated content proving to be such an advantageous proposition for brands and marketers, it’s high time that you start adding it to your strategy. Of course, the list of requirements for content marketing seems to grow by the day, and it can be hard to keep up with everything all at once.

The good news is, Content Development Pros can help you create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that incorporates UGC into your content. Whether it's blog articles featuring user generated tutorials, social media posts that promote positive customer experiences, or video content that highlights what your products and services can help people with, we’ve got you covered!

Connect With CDP Today!

Reach out to one of our experts at (877) 897-1725 to learn how our content marketing services can benefit you.