Fuel Your Content Strategy With User Generated Content

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If you are among those lucky people who have not heard the term millennials yet, let me enlighten you! Millennial is that person sitting next to you who would not stop scrolling through their Instagram and checking Amazon deals. Or so it seems. In reality, think what you want about this generation, but one thing is certain; they hold a huge buying power that is only predicted to grow exponentially in the next two decades. If brands wish to stay relevant and alive in this era of technology natives, they absolutely have to adapt their business model and marketing strategy. This has been said over and over again, but traditional advertising simply doesn’t work anymore. In fact, traditional marketing not only doesn’t work, it repels progressive consumer of today. Your customers don’t want to be bombarded with loud advertising messages on every corner, instead, they want to find useful information that’s going to solve their problems. Millennials didn’t stop buying products and services. They still need clothes and food; their cars need to be fixed and homes furnished. What changed is how they shop, not the fact that they are shopping. With so much information available to them at any time, it comes as no surprise that they are much savvier shoppers than previous generations. Prior to Internet, consumers had to believe the sales pitch and trust that the products they were buying were good. Today, most buyers will do an extensive online research, read reviews, and watch YouTube videos before giving a product or service a try.

Reality is, no matter how good you think your sales team is, there will never be anyone better at making or breaking your brand than your own customers. Inviting them to become your content creators is how you get them to literally sell for you. According to Business Insider, shoppers who interact with user generated content (UGC)  are 97 percent more likely to convert than customers who do not. Featuring your customers’ content also builds a deeper relationship between your brand and them, leading to more repeated purchases down the road. Instead of bombarding prospective customers with advertising, invite your current clients to tell their own stories – through images, videos and words. It is as simple as that!

Before you jump in, make sure you do your research to identify those customers who are already actively posting content about your business. I suggest starting your search with Instagram as it is by far the best visual storytelling app out there as of today.

Search by hashtag

Do you have a business hashtag? If you don’t yet, don’t worry. Chances are your customers would use your business or product name, so that’s a good start.

Search by location

If you are a local business you can also search by location by clicking on “places” in your search menu.

Note: You can easily apply the above principles to other social media platforms to find other type of content besides images and video.

Once you identify the content that your customers have been creating about your business, it is time to start using it on your own social media platforms. Before you rush into saving those images and videos, make sure you adhere to online reposting etiquette. Anything posted publicly can usually be taken and shared elsewhere, however, you don’t want to get in trouble for violating copyright law. If you want to encourage more people to share their content with you, you need to make sure you follow these best practices:

  1. Always ask for permission! Whenever I repost anyone’s content, even if it is from someone I have already asked for permission before, I always reach out and make sure they are fine with me using their images or videos on my business accounts. Unless you have an established relationship with that particular person and he or she allowed you to use any content without asking for permission assume you need to reach out every time.
  2. Always give credit by tagging your content creators or mentioning their names in your captions. Social media is all about relationship , so make sure you build relationships and feature your customers.
  3. Remember, you do not own the content just because your brand is featured in it. If your customer is uncomfortable with you reposting their content, respect their no.

I hope these tips will make it easier for you to try featuring your customers´content on your business social media sites.

If you want to discuss some ideas with me, feel free to reach out here.