The Benefits of User-Generated Content

By Mary Cage | @MaryCagePTG

Who do social media posts target? Who do social media managers want to engage with their content? Users. So why not create content that will not only do exactly this but that will be generated by users themselves?

Enter user-generated content (UGC). This is exactly what its name suggests: content that is created by users (followers, fans, etc.) themselves. Using this strategy is a beneficial, out-of-the-box way to promote a brand. After all, this method allows positive promotion from clients and users versus canned promotion from the brand itself. Perhaps what makes this aspect of UCG so powerful is that this is a word-of-mouth strategy. Such referrals enhance the reputation of the brand.

Aside from this strategy improving the transparency of a brand, it strengthens the connections between a brand and its followers/customers. This method allows users to share their story and personally connect with the brand and other users – all while remaining free to the brand.

UGC goes beyond testimonials. It can be as simple as sharing quality content from your users, whether this be photos or stories. Nonetheless, the brand is still in charge of what content is shared and can therefore choose what user content to share, preferably content that is in line with the image a brand wants to create and maintain for itself.

A number of ways exist to not only find user content to share, but to catalyze the creation of brand-related content. Photo contests, hashtags, and giveaways are all ways to incentivize users to create such content – and quality content at that.

Ultimately, user-generated content will keep a brand’s content trendy and in tune with its users, making them feel more connected and giving customers more reason to trust the brand. It is revolutionary content that boosts a brand’s reputation, and therefore is all-important.

Sources:

Davey, L. (2017, January 20). What is User Generated Content (and Why You Should Be Using it). Retrieved from https://www.tintup.com/blog/user-generated-content-definition/

Peters, B. (2017, February 07). How to Utilize User Generated Content in Your Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com/user-generated-content

Should You Try User Generated Content? (2015, October 16). Retrieved from http://blog.realmatch.com/trade-publishers/should-you-try-user-generated-content/ (Feature Photo)

So #Trendy Right Now – User Generated Content. (2016, December 01). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from https://insights.newscred.com/user-generated-content/#sm.00008u8g3oawheiesa31jvf7v6z8f

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism