UGC ... ok then, what is that?!!!
It's User-generated content and it's basically any content that a user creates and shares, based on their experiences, opinions, ideas, or feedback. Social media platforms are a great place to share your user-generated content, and you want it, and lots of it, because people believe what other people say about you and your brand, more than they believe what you say about it!

Let's get stuck in to understanding it better ...

Have you ever bought something and you've loved it so much, that you've take photos and shared them online and tagged the business/brand? Have you ever received an order in the mail and the presentation is so on point that you've video'd the unboxing and put it on your socials? Both of these examples are user-generated content (UGC). 

Where can we get UGC from? From our customers and clients, our staff, our friends and family, and our brand enthusiasts!

When you dispatch a product that someone's ordered from your website, and hte presentation of your products is out-of-this-world-awesome, unique and personalised, how can anyone resist taking pictures or video of the unboxing of their goodies, and loading them onto their socials!!??!!! Better yet, encourage them to do so, and tag you in the post, and tell them they'll be in to win a monthly prize (which could be a voucher to spend at your store!) ... there are lots of ways to encourage UGC!!

EGC is similar to UGC - that's EMPLOYEE GENENERATED CONTENT and this is great if you have staff or a team who are happy to showcase behind the scenes moments at your business. The story behind your brand will help you resonate with your audience. People relate to stories! Share photos of your team and a mini-interview about what they love about working there. Share photos of your staff packing orders, preparing products, making what you sell. Help people connect with what you're offering! 

Family and friends are great - particularly in the early days of your business - and you can ask them to try your product, share their thoughts, take pics of themselves wearing/using/testing your products, and share it on their socials. Sometimes they'll even give you a video testimonial! These video's don't need to be profesh! Authentic and raw works best! REAL also works best. Don't force the issue, and don't ask them to talk up your products  - you want to share the truth!

Brand enthusiasts are a whole different kettle of fish ... you've already got them raving about you and your business/products and they're READY, WILLING and ABLE to give you a bunch of UGC regularly! Perhaps ask them for specific UGC content, or ask if they'd like to be a brand rep and you'll send them free product in return for great shoutouts (top tip, get an agreement written up and signed!)  

Why is UGC important?
UGC helps with social proof, it helps with traffic, and it helps with conversion. UGC content can be repurposed across all your socials, email marketing, your website, and it promotes TRUST!

UGC from your customers and clients is the most authentic content you can ever share! 

People trust other people more than they trust you. So now it's time to think about how you're going to share this UGC that you're getting!

In a report from BUSINESS WIRE, we're told that:

    1. UGC on the rise: 58% of respondents generating more content, including video and written reviews, compared to last year. 
    2. Younger generations communicate visually: one third of users have started sharing photos with their reviews; 70% of Gen Z and 78% of Millennials find photos and videos especially helpful in making purchasing decisions, (whereas only 52% of Baby Boomers and 45% of the Silent Generation reported the same.)

The study clearly revealed a trend that with each passing generation, the role of visual content grows more dominant in brand communications and commerce, including that of UGC. 

UGC helps community and grow brand loyalty 
Asking your community to create UGC encourges brand loyalty. It helps them feel they're part of something special, that they're doing something important. 
UGC can open up communication lines between yourself (the brand) and your customers and clients, which in turn is super instrumental in ensuring they feel  they're part of your community. 

The importance of the KNOW, LIKE & TRUST:
Now more than ever, we need to show and prove we're trustworthy. 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands, this signals that UGC is the perfect format for businesses to level up their trust score. (Hootsuite)

"Audiences turn to UGC as a trust signal in the same way they’d ask their friends, family, or professional network for an opinion. Over 50% of millennials base their decision to buy a product on recommendations from their family and friends, so this is where UGC can shine since it is precisely that: a personal recommendation."

UGC is the best form of social proof that you can get! It shows your product or service is worthy of buying and investing in. 

By adding UGC to the end stages of your customer journey funnel, when they've had their ah-ha moment and they're ready to tell others about you, this is a brilliant time to see your conversions and your audience increase. Let others sell your products for you!  

 TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE OF OUR UGC TASK!

This task we've prepared will help you on your way to getting better UGC and increase your sales and conversions!  

  • WHAT would you like people to share, tag you in, so you can repurpose that content? How will you encourage them to do that? 
  • List a few hashtags as options for how/what you could use for a UGC campaign
  • Create artwork that tells people to use your # hashtag or @ tag your business so they know what to do!

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