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How to Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC) For Your Business

Not every piece of content your business adds to its marketing toolbox needs to be produced by someone affiliated with your business, and user-generated content, or UGC, can be an effective way for your customers to share everything they love about your brand. Here is an overview of how RankPay can help you collect UGC in 2023, choose the best pieces for your business, and use them effectively in as many ways as possible!


How to Collect UGC

Gathering the highest quality UGC you can involve getting the word out to as many potential users as possible by reaching out using a wide range of sources.  

Encourage Customers to Share Photos and Videos of Your Products or Services on Social Media 

The amount of success your brand may be able to bring in simply by asking might surprise you. Many of your social media followers are eager to grow their own followings or simply share information about the brands they love with their friends, and adding a friendly note to your packaging, business cards, marketing emails, and even your own social media pages can be an effective option for encouraging them to share content that showcases what your business means to them. Including your handles and any relevant hashtags on these items is a helpful way to direct them toward your pages and give them ideas of the types of content you would most like to see.  

Host a Contest or Giveaway That Encourages Users to Submit UGC 

Including some type of incentive is often a more successful way to collect UGC than simply asking for content with nothing in return. Depending on the nature of your brand, you may offer a discount code, free small item or service, or chance to win a gift basket or other larger item. Although users know that they are unlikely to win your contest or that the giveaway they receive is relatively small, the possibility of receiving a token of gratitude from your brand is often enough to convince them that making a submission is worth their time.  

Create a Branded Hashtag That Customers Can Use to Submit UGC 

Selecting an official hashtag for your brand is often one of the easiest ways to start conversations on social media and gather UGC. Many of your customers are already sharing Instagram posts and stories, Tweets, and other content about their daily lives, which means that those that love your brand are likely to organically or intentionally post about your products or services. Having a dedicated means of helping your followers find more of what they love in one place and getting these posts in front of your brand’s social media team can spark conversations among happy customers and give you a wide range of quality posts to choose from.

Although it is always a good idea to get permission before sharing users’ personal content on your brand’s social media pages, many users with public accounts are happy to oblige in the hopes that the attention from your brand will help them grow their own followings.  

How to Use UGC

Effectively leveraging UGC involves incorporating this type of content into a wide range of marketing strategies.  

Share UGC on Your Social Media Channels 

Adding UGC to your brand’s social media channels can share testimonials from happy customers with your potential customers, keep your followers engaged with everything that is happening at your business, and reduce the amount of content your in-house social media team needs to create.  

Feature UGC on Your Website or Blog 

Your brand’s website or blog can be another strong choice for using UGC to support your brand. Featuring photos and testimonials your followers shared on social media, reviews from various review-focused websites, guest blog posts, and other content allows your customers to share their positive experiences with your brand and its products or services in a wide range of ways.  

Use UGC in Your Email Marketing Campaigns 

Creating marketing emails that your subscribers actually find interesting can be challenging, but adding touches of past customers’ personal experiences with your brand can get your readers thinking about how your business can do just as much for them. Although many readers may not see an entire email filled with reviews as relevant to them, adding small amounts of UGC to the majority of your marketing emails can turn basic emails into a personalized aspect of your subscribers’ experience with your brand.  

Create a Video Montage of UGC 

Your target audience is more likely to enjoy marketing materials that help them picture themselves enjoying or otherwise benefiting from your products or services than other options that simply tell them, and a video montage that compiles various UGC video clips gives your potential customers the opportunity to hear directly from your past or current customers.  

Tips for Success 

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when selecting and publishing UGC to help it meet your goals! 

Be Authentic

Some types of marketing strategies benefit from curating the most precise content possible, but UGC is intended to reflect a user’s genuine experience and produces the best results when it is unscripted. Although it is still important to choose quality content that conveys the right image of your brand, it is generally not the best idea to go with UGC that appears to be too carefully planned.  

Be Selective 

You do not have to use every piece of UGC someone submits, and it is perfectly fine to limit your final products to a carefully curated collection of pieces that best represent your brand. Choosing fewer high quality pieces that most concisely convey the image of your brand that you want your current and potential customers to have is often much more beneficial than attempting to use too much UGC at the expense of quality.  

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due 

Many of your followers will be thrilled that your brand likes their content enough to share it, but others value their privacy. Even those that are happy to have you share their content often want credit for their work, especially when your shares may lead to more followers for them, and it is generally good form to include your UGC contributors’ names or social media handles unless they ask you not to.  

Be Responsive 

Users that put in the effort to create content for your business like to know that their time and skills are appreciated, and providing a quick response of some sort can go a long way as often as you are reasonably able to. A simple like or friendly comment is always a nice gesture that keeps your users engaged, and letting your customers know when you decide to use their comment gets them excited about seeing it on your website or social media pages.  

At RankPay, we are here to help your business get the most out of your digital marketing strategies. Incorporating content created by your users builds community within your target audience, reduces the amount of content your in-house team needs to create, and gives your customers a fun and convenient way to give back to the brands they love. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of leveraging UGC for your business or to request a quote!



Austin Kruger
I'm a data-driven marketer with a passion for crafting engaging content and optimizing campaigns for results.
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