The ability to consistently produce new and fresh content is one of the hardest parts of any social media marketer’s job. Building an audience and turning them into a community of loyal fans isn’t easy, but once you get over the initial hump, you’ll be on your way to experiencing the many benefits that come from engaging with your followers.
Brands who don’t post on a regular basis are missing out on huge opportunities for increasing social engagement across their customer base. A lot of companies find it difficult to meet the demands of continually generating new and exciting content due to budget and resource constraints. So, what’s the solution? Look no further than the community you’re already engaging with on social media.
User-generated content (UGC), or content that’s created and provided by your audience, allows for a truly authentic experience and speaks much louder than content solely created by a business itself. The best way to get authentic content is to allow your audience to be themselves and encourage them to share experiences that come from their everyday activities. For example, a proven method of generating user-generated content is through contests that challenge users to show their true self. It’s your job to come up with challenges your community can relate to and that let their personalities shine through.
Appealing to Emotions
Humans are emotional beings by nature. We love to share our experiences and know what other people are doing in their lives. Any content that appeals to the emotions of your audience is going to go over well. Feelings, opinions, and reactions need to be worked into the images and copy you’re asking to be submitted. You’d be surprised how much people are willing to open up and share if they’re given the freedom and encouragement to do so, especially for a brand they love.
Highlight the Lifestyle Surrounding your Brand
One major component of the best UGC is this idea of a lifestyle your brand supports and represents. This is a connection you need to make if you want to receive authentic content that appeals to emotions. UGC isn’t just about a product or even the brand itself, it’s about your users and how your brand fits into their lifestyle. Any personal activities, music or relationships that your users can share will create a feeling of community and the lifestyle surrounding your brand will naturally shine through.
This comes down to making sure you’re running a program that’s clearly communicated, has designated guidelines and makes it easy for users to submit their content. The harder or more confusing you make it on your audience, the more the quality of the content you receive will suffer. Also, it’s okay to ask your contestants to put in a little extra work for their submissions. Videos, creativity, and projects that take a little extra time are okay to push. You’d be surprised at how much better quality of content you receive when you simply ask for it.
Make it Mutually Beneficial
Ask yourself what value your advertising is delivering to you and the consumer. Encourage participation by incentivizing them with rewards that make them feel appreciated and recognized by the brand. The end result is awareness for the brand and prizes for the consumer, which is a win-win. Mutually-beneficial advertising doesn’t feel like forced promotions or selling. The best UGC comes from brands who dive into the passions, interests and lives of consumers and show they care about them as a person and don’t just see them as another sale.
These tips should give you a nice starting point for implementing your own UGC campaigns and contests. Whatever direction you go, remember to make it consumer-centric. Doing this will give you a better chance at generating UGC that’s authentic, emotionally appealing, high quality and mutually beneficial to all those involved.