Did you know that 59% of millennials use user-generated content as a way to make informed decisions on their purchases in electronics? They trust their peers more than they would trust a company brand or even news articles. As a large user of social media and other social apps, they spend about 5.4 hours per day on it.
According to Facebook, there are 243,055 new photos are uploaded to Facebook every minute, and 4.75 billion pieces of content shared every day. This includes other UGC such as reviews, comments, videos and others. Of course, this can present a challenge for marketers as they lose control over how their brand is represented through UGC.
User generated content refers to any form of content created by your community members. This can consist of blog or forum comments, product reviews, memes and videos. It is also considered to be one of the most effective content marketing tactics —more influential than any other media.
As consumers spend more time with, place trust in and are likely to engage more with peer content, smart marketers can still influence the conversation by empowering their passionate fans to tell the brand story. This can be done through social media or even by building the platforms that facilitate conversations between the brand and their customers.
Platforms such as community forums can be used to your advantage, but first you need to establish a strong sense of community among your customers. Your community can be a valuable tool to aid in marketing your products through their user-generated content.
However, the question is how can you encourage members to share and post great content in your forum?
- Engage your community: Facilitate conversations and engage your members through updates and relevant content. Pay attention to and foster the shared emotional connection among your members. It will help build understanding amongst your online community, and make it stronger.
- Give your members influence: Make your members feel appreciated by creating an opportunity that each member can participate in through incentives (gamification) or contests. Feature some of your members’ contributions in your platform and write about your members.
- Be approachable: A community manager constantly interacts with their members and listens to constructive feedback. A highly visible community manager makes the member feel valued, but also confident that the brand is invested in the community too. Fans will be more willing to engage with the brand when they feel that their is a human behind the corporation.
- Create conversations: In a world where everyone is a publisher, it’s difficult to stand out. Also, by just pushing out content, you have an one-sided conversation that brings no value to your target audience. By leveraging a social listening platform such as hootsuite, you can listen in on conversations that your target audience engages in. Identify the content that resonates with your customers and partner with them to create the authentic content.
Maintaining a high-ranking online presence can be costly. But having a strong base of engaged members sharing and posting great content will help keep your costs down. And leveraging user-generated content (UGC) can improve your online presence along with creating stronger community ties.
In the current digital environment, your online marketing team can take advantage of user-generated content to promote your company’s brand. Your online community members want to be part of your brand history. Don’t deny them this chance. It will turn out to be the best decision in promoting your brand!