How to Use Your Users: The Ultimate User-Generated Content Hacks

What if your consumers could market for you? Good news: They can.

You might be spending hours crafting the perfect content––planning, drafting, refining––when the content is already created for you. But don’t stress! User-generated content is often ideal for your business, not just because it’s convenient, but because it’s effective, too.

92% of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they don’t know, over branded content.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  • People want to hear from people, not companies.
  • It creates a community around your business.
  • It’s insanely cost-effective (it’s FREE!)
  • You’ll attract new consumers and turn current consumers into superconsumers

So, how exactly do you use user-generated content, you ask?

Like this.

1.

Reposts

Having a consumer post about your product or your business without your initiative is like coming home to find dinner already cooked and the table already set. Just as it’s important to indulge on this delicious feast, it would be a shame to not capitalize on this post for marketing.

Consumers who post about their satisfaction are superconsumers. Not only do they love you so much that they want to share you with the world, but they’re giving you a little nudge, flashing you a wink and hoping you might flirt back.

… So flirt back!

Show your consumers you appreciate them by reposting their content. It’s one thing to say you care; it’s another to actually do it. One repost may matter much to you, but it means the world to a superconsumer. 

2.

Reviews

No assessment of your business is more authentic than a review.

Reviews are open spaces where consumers can organically state how they feel about you. Not only do more reviews build trust and a sense of honestly, but the influx of sharing generates more traffic and conversations surrounding your business.

Positive reviews are obviously huge wins for you business.

They are living, breathing proof to the world that everything you claim to be so great about your product is actually true. Research shows that 88% of consumers have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision, and if those reviews are positive, they’re certain to boost your sales.

Negative reviews are not ideal, but they’re also important

They can actually help you. They build trust, show you’re transparent, and provide the always helpful attention to your business.
How to Use Negative Reviews to Your Advantage

So, make sure you encourage reviews in any way you can. The more reviews you have, the more attention you’ll get. Constantly ask consumers to leave reviews, incentivize them with rewards and gamify the process to generate as many reviews—and therefore, as many sales—as you can.

3.

Contests

Create social media content contests among your consumers.

The competition will both ignite passion among your current consumers and attract new users in the process. Contests are a great way to gamify user-generated content––while engaging your users without much effort on your part, and ultimately boosting sales.

#prizes
Make sure all submissions follow a designated hashtag. This officiates the contest, generates excitement and organizes your participants for you to pick a winner.​
Holiday-themed or seasonal contests.
This both gives your contest a special kick and gives the contest more of a purpose.​
Film and multimedia.
According to Octoly, user-generated videos about a brand were viewed on average 10x more than official brand videos on YouTube. If you make your contest a video one, you’ll increase your business media in an effective way.​

4.

Survey

The only thing people might trust more than other people is data.

When something is backed by research, it assumes a sense of credibility. But data is more than just impressing. It’s about learning and then teaching. It’s a win-win-win.

  • Win: Consumers who are polled feel heard and important
  • Win: You’ll learn key information about your consumers that could actually help your business
  • Win: Disclosing your results shows you have an open relationship with your consumers and believe in the importance of research

5.

Guest bloggers

The more people involved in your content, the wider it will reach.

Some consumers might bring more to the table than cooked food and set silverware. They may be gourmet chefs of marketing––quality, talented people who can create unique recipes for different audiences.

Encourage guest posts from consumers and other bloggers. You’ll gain access to their followers, and maybe even their followers’ followers. They’ll appreciate you opening your door, and you’ll make them feel welcome.

6.

Use it in ads

Because we know that people trust people, use user-generated content when promoting your company. It will make your ads less adsy—more “real”—and less like you are pushing an agenda.

Need Help?

Another way to make your ads more human is through FORTVISION, a digital marketing company that uses AI technology to create personalized experiences. This service segments audiences in order to produce ads according to each users’ unique interests.

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