User generated content is the cornerstone for engaging your target audience to your consumer brand. When done well it is one of the most impactful ways to build real engagement with your customers and create shareable content that drives closer relationships for your company.
So, what exactly do we mean by user generated content? It is content in any form, such as images, videos, text, or audio, that has been posted by your customers, clients or followers who are sharing opinions and experiences of your brand through online platforms such as blogs, case studies, product reviews, video testimonials, social media, or even at events! It is often more valuable than your own branded content, precisely because its been shared by a real customer instead and is truly authentic.
Read on for the must-knows about how to ramp up user generated content for your consumer brand…
Letting the numbers talk
Recent research commissioned by Bright Local provides us with some very strong statistics, dispelling any doubt of how valuable user generated content really is:
- 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day
- 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019
- 67% of consumers say they wouldn’t use a business if reviews said it didn’t have Covid-19 health and safety measures in place
The importance of online content is undoubtably growing, and it is the starting point for virtually all customer journeys today. By sharing user generated content, you are showing how reliable and trustworthy as a consumer brand you are.
User generated content is social proof. If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘social proof’, it’s about time you are! It refers to when consumers trust and reciprocate the actions and behaviours of others. This phycological want to reflect a positive emotion or experience is the scientific basis for why user generated content is so important for consumer brands. Digital and social platforms are more influential now than ever, enforcing how amazing the knock-on effects of user generated content can be!
Never under-estimate word of mouth referrals! Consumers are considerably more likely to trust other people over brands. The corporate image of a company and its messaging will often be seen as biased and is less likely to be trusted. However, the opinions of a likeminded person are held in high regard for a customer choosing a product or service. This doesn’t even have to be somebody you know, a consumer is more likely to be swayed by the opinions of real, existing customers, so showing them using your consumer product will play an important role in their decision to purchase from your consumer brand.
Influencers can be the perfect advocate for your brand and play a significant role in connecting their audience to your business through authentic promotions. The use of social media channels such as Instagram are at an all time high, and truth be told, followers look, listen and copy! Considering influencers or micro-influencers in your marketing strategy is a must, as this user generated content helps you to reach new audiences.
Now you understand how powerful user generated content is, it is time to implement a strategy. Start communicating with your existing customers to see if they’d be happy to leave a review, tag you in a social post, share on socials, mention you in a blog or type out a quick tweet! User generated content can work wonders in any form, but you need to position yourself to your customers first – let them know how valuable they are to you! In addition, to speed up the process, paid blog posts, online reviews and influencer posts are a great way to go to get the ball rolling and to ensure you are getting your brand on the tip of everyone’s tongue!
Outsource to save time
Good communication will improve all areas of your business – from increasing staff engagement levels and sales, to building awareness in your products and services. But it does require a strategy to be effective.
Creating robust communication plans is what we love to do, and it couldn’t be easier for you to tap into our expertise. Sign up to our Confident Communication Planning service and we will take care of the rest.
Building on your PR strategy doesn’t need to be complicated or costly, but you need to create and deliver a comprehensive plan because it will have a positive impact on the bottom line of your business. Don’t just download our PR For Small Business guide – actively utilise the tools it offers for your business. We guarantee you’ll see results!
Do you need to raise awareness and increase demand for your consumer product or service? If you enjoyed this blog, why not give our Consumer PR 101 a read for more tips and tricks for your consumer business.