Beyond Influencers, Prioritizing UGC in Social Media Strategy

In the world of social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the allure that is influencer marketing. It’s made out to be the shiniest thing out there and the solution to all your problems. But, as you likely know, it’s incomplete. about the millions of everyday social users that it excludes? The ones who you want to be your customers? The ones that create content and share it with their own networks (read: look-a-like audiences)? These are the users that really matter – and they’re called User Generated Content (UGC content) creators.

User-generated content (UGC) should be a top priority in your social media strategy for a few reasons. First, UGC is more trustworthy and credible than traditional advertising. In fact, 92% of consumers trust UGC more than they trust branded content. Second, UGC is highly engaging, and users are more likely to share it with their network than other types of content.

LoudCrowd recently attended Social Media Week and had a chance to talk with David Barger, Head of Marketing Lucchese, about their Social Media Strategy and the importance of user-generated content. Lucchese is a company with over 140 years of history that continues to innovate, grow its audience, and build out a great network of loyal fans. What is the secret? First of all, it’s understanding and following the right marketing strategies, such as focusing on building brand image through UGC content, developing strong customer relationships, and focusing on the 3 R’s of UGC: Reach, Reward, and Retain. Let’s talk in more detail about these three concepts to increase your social presence and make customers even more passionate about your brand.

R – Reach

Why do you need to generate more UGC?

People are more likely to trust the recommendation of another person over what a brand says about itself. This is because people can relate to other people, and understand that they have similar experiences and motivations. Therefore, when someone recommends a product or service, it carries more weight than if the same message came from the brand itself. And photos and videos of a product “in the wild” by real people show interested consumers how a brand’s products are actually used (or worn, in the case of Lucchese).

As we can hear from the discussion between David Barger and Justin Papermaster, the Founder of LoudCrowd, 90% of content about your product is created by people who are not considered influencers. All these photos, posts, and texts are really powerful tools. How can we activate these people to create more UGC? Let’s move on to the next concept – Reward.

R – Reward

Why encourage people who share your content?

Okay, you want your customers to contribute content, but how do you encourage them? There are two types of motivation that can be used to encourage your audience to get involved: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within the individual and inspires them to perform an action because it is something they find interesting or enjoyable. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, focuses on external rewards such as prizes or recognition.

Here are a few tips that will help you tap into both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to get your consumers to contribute UGC content:

1. Make it easy for them. If you want people to contribute content, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Provide simple templates or pre-written text that they can use as a starting point, and make sure submission forms are short and straightforward.

2. Offer recognition. A little recognition can go a long way in motivating someone to contribute content. Whether you offer public praise on your website or blog, or simply send a personal thank-you note, letting people know that their efforts are appreciated will encourage them to keep contributing.

3. Make it fun. Many people are motivated by the challenge of creating something new or the opportunity to show off their creativity. If you can make producing UGC content fun for your audience, they’ll be more likely to want to do it.

4. Provide incentives. Offering incentives such as discounts, freebies, or contest entries can also be a great way to motivate people to contribute UGC content.

R – Retain

What do the numbers say?

Make your customers feel that they are a part of your product story! Customers are excited when they are asked to join the ambassador program and can post even 10x more UGC content. Then we ask: what are the advantages for your business?

The power of user-generated content should not be underestimated. A study from TurnTo Networks found that nearly 90% of shoppers are influenced by UGC when making purchase decisions. If used correctly, this type of content can also help improve key performance indicators and drive more sales. Moreover, 58% of customers in an ambassador program buy from that brand at least once per month. 

These numbers demonstrate how impactful well-executed content can be for meeting key performance indicators.

In today’s marketplace, it is more crucial than ever to let your product speak for itself. The 3 R’s concept tells us why it is so important to prioritize UGC in your Marketing Strategy. Encourage customers, UGC content creators, influencers, and industry experts to speak their minds about your brand in their own words. Discounts, complimentary services, vouchers, free products, prizes, gift certificates, or financial incentives are all great ways to incentivize your potential contributors. Adding an incentive in the reward field when you create your project brief is a great way to get people excited about participating in your contest or collecting video messages. With the right incentive, you can easily increase engagement rates and collect the content you need. 

User-generated content is a great way to connect with your audience and promote your brand. Request a demo to see how to make the most of user-generated content!

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