5 Clever Ways to Collect User-Generated Content (UGC) for your Brand
Updated: 7 days ago
As a brand, whatever product or service you sell, your potential customers will have a hard time trusting you unless they get to know what your existing customers are saying about you. This is where user-generated comes in.
User-generated content helps you build that trust so that your potential customers feel comfortable while making a purchase from you. As promising as it may sound, you still need to strategize ways to collect this user-generated content.
In this article, we highlight five clever ways that you can leverage to collect user-generated content. All the listed methods are tried and tested by established brands in the market. We have also added examples to help you see how big brands have leveraged those methods so that you can do something similar for your brand. Let’s dive in!
What can UGC do For A Brand?
User-generated content (UGC) can be a game-changer for your brand in the digital world. It builds authenticity and trust. When consumers share their experiences, opinions, and recommendations, it adds a genuine and relatable element to your brand's marketing.
This resonates deeply with potential customers, instilling confidence and credibility.
UGC also fosters community and engagement. By involving customers in content creation, you create a symbiotic relationship where users feel valued. This strengthens the brand-consumer bond and cultivates loyalty and advocacy.
Moreover, UGC amplifies your brand’s reach. Users become brand ambassadors, spreading the message to their networks, expanding your organic reach, and driving organic growth.
Overall, UGC empowers you to harness the creativity, authenticity, and influence of your consumers, resulting in enhanced brand awareness, increased engagement, and broader market impact. It's a win-win!
5 Ways to Collect User-Generated Content
Now that we know what user-generated content can do for your brand, let us see five tried and tested ways that you can use to collect this content.
1. Social Media Campaigns
Social media campaigns are an effective way to collect user-generated content (UGC) from your audience. These campaigns involve leveraging social media platforms to encourage users to create and share content related to your brand or a specific campaign theme.
What to do?
Create hashtag campaigns to encourage UGC:
You can create compelling and relevant hashtags and invite your customers to tag you by using those hashtags whenever they post something related to your brand.
This not only amplifies brand outreach but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration.
Besides, this way you cultivate meaningful connections, inspire creativity and leave an indelible mark in the digital landscape.
An example of a successful UGC campaign on social media:
Dove is quite popular for creating impactful hashtag campaigns that aim to challenge conventional beauty standards. In 2021, it launched a campaign that targeted the pressure of looking perfect on social media.
The brand created a video showing the editing process of a selfie in reverse and used hashtags like #NoDigitalDistortion, #ReverseSelfie, and #TheSelfieTalk which immediately caught the attention of the brand's audience and went viral.
2. Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways is another popular strategy to seek user-generated content and foster meaningful engagement.
By designing contests that require UGC submissions and offering enticing incentives and prizes, you can inspire your audience to actively participate and unleash their creativity.
What to do?
Design contests that require UGC submissions:
To host contests and giveaways, you first need to decide what action you want your audience to take (send a photo/video, create a post, respond to quizzes, etc.) and have a set of participation rules.
Secondly, you need to finalize prizes that will entice your audience to participate. Ensure that these prizes are relevant to your audience so that they actually participate. Finally, engage with your audience by acknowledging their submissions because this will foster a sense of community.
An example of a successful online UGC contest:
In 2020, Zomato, a restaurant aggregator and food delivery company, ran a contest asking its audience to create an advertisement for the brand and offered Rs. 25 Lakhs to the winner.
Zomato posted multiple entries on its social channels, keeping the audience engaged, and actually ran the winning entry as its ad on TV and YouTube.
3. Reviews and Testimonials
User reviews and testimonials hold immense significance as a powerful tool for establishing credibility and influencing purchasing decisions. Consumers increasingly rely on the opinions and experiences of fellow users to make informed choices.
You can leverage the power of user opinions to strengthen your reputation, build trust, and foster long-lasting relationships with your customers.
What to do?
Implement strategies to gather user reviews and testimonials:
There are several strategies that you can use to entice your customers to give you reviews. The most common way is sending requests asking to leave reviews.
You can personalize these requests by adding customer details such as their names and details about their last purchase.
Another popular strategy is to incentivize them. You can offer coupons, discounts, or loyalty points to your customers so that they feel motivated to leave reviews.
An example of a successful review collection strategy:
TripAdvisor, a travel platform, compiles millions of user-generated reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants, and attractions worldwide.
To encourage users to leave reviews, TripAdvisor provides a user-friendly review submission process, making it easy for travelers to share their feedback.
They offer incentives, such as badges and recognition for active reviewers, to foster a sense of community and gamify the review process. And they actively engage with users, responding to reviews and addressing concerns, thereby encouraging ongoing participation. By prioritizing user reviews and testimonials, TripAdvisor has become a trusted resource for travelers worldwide.
4. User Forums and Communities
User forums and communities serve as invaluable platforms for users to come together, share user-generated content (UGC), and engage in meaningful discussions.
These online spaces provide a sense of belonging and a channel for users to connect with like-minded individuals. Multiple brands have recognized the importance of fostering vibrant user communities and have implemented strategies to encourage content creation.
Build online spaces for users to share UGC and engage with each other:
While building such a space for your audience to interact with each other, have a fixed goal. What should the audience talk about - share their experiences, share concerns, or have discussions related to the industry?
You can also pick a social cause and create a community around that. To encourage engagement, you will have to seed initial content by posting around your decided topic.
This goes without saying that the platform you choose to build this community on should be user-friendly. One easier option is to create groups on social media platforms, tools that your audience is already familiar with.
An example of a successful brand community:
Nike Community, accessible via its website and mobile, is an online platform where athletes, sports enthusiasts, and Nike fans can come together.
It's like a virtual hangout where you can find exclusive content, take on challenges, join cool virtual events, and even get personalized training recommendations.
You can chat with fellow community members, share your experiences, and get advice from both Nike experts and other athletes. Nike has one of the most supportive and inspiring communities.
5. Influencer Partnerships
Influencer partnerships have emerged as a highly effective strategy to promote user-generated content (UGC) creation. By collaborating with influential individuals, you can tap into the influencer’s dedicated fan bases and leverage their creative prowess to drive UGC campaigns.
These collaborations not only amplify brand messaging but also inspire and motivate users to contribute their own UGC.
The result is a powerful blend of authentic content, influencer advocacy, and user engagement, driving brand awareness, loyalty, and a sense of community.
Collaborate with influencers to promote UGC creation:
When deciding to collaborate with an influencer, select those whose values align with your brand. Clear communication is crucial, with defined goals, expectations, and compensation.
Transparency is important, ensuring compliance with advertising regulations. If you find an influencer who's a great fit, nurture that relationship for future collaborations.
Working with influencers can give your brand a big boost in reach and credibility
An example of a successful influencer-driven campaign:
Starbucks' collaboration with lifestyle influencers for their #StarbucksSummer campaign was a hit. Influencers created UGC featuring Starbucks' summer-themed products and shared their experiences on social media platforms.
This partnership generated a wave of UGC as followers and fans were inspired to share their own Starbucks summer moments, effectively promoting the brand and driving user engagement.
User-generated content (UGC) has become a powerful tool that you can leverage to connect with your audience and build a thriving online community.
By implementing strategies such as social media campaigns, contests and giveaways, and customer reviews, you can leverage the collective creativity and influence of your users to shape your marketing efforts, strengthen brand loyalty, and ultimately drive broader market impact. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, embracing UGC as a valuable asset will be crucial for you to stay relevant and connected with your customers in meaningful ways.
So, start implementing these strategies, encourage your customers to share their experiences, and unlock the true potential of user-generated content for your brand's success.
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