User-generated content—text, images, videos, or anything created by people as opposed to brands—is everywhere. Social media platforms make it easy for users to create and share their creative outlets. TikTok in particular—with a winning combination of simplicity and brevity—has taken user-generated content’s popularity to new levels. Just ask its 1.2 billion global users.
Despite what you might think, user-generated content has a lot more to offer beyond a remedy for boredom. It has real-world applications for your business. Here are a few reasons to consider jumping on the bandwagon, and some ideas for turning this entertaining trend into marketing magic.
Why try user-generated content?
1. It’s free
User-generated content is great way to get the most out of your marketing budget. While you may need to invest in developing a campaign around it and promoting that campaign, you can’t beat the price of free content. And beyond the price tag, free content adds to your creative freedom. It offers you an opportunity to push the envelope and experiment in ways you wouldn’t want to chance when high-dollar investments are at stake.
2. It’s fun
The mere action of asking your users to produce their own content for you is fun in itself, even if your subject matter is more serious. We’ve seen clients ask users for everything from applause and congratulations to sharing heartfelt and moving stories. Either way, their participants have fun creating it. Which leads to our next reason…
3. It builds and deepens your relationships with customers.
Asking your users to submit content invites them into your inner circle. They get to act and feel like they’re part of your internal team. Even if your content request is broad and far-reaching, customers who choose to create content for you will feel like they’re part of something bigger. They’ll feel included, valued—even special.
4. It’s imminently shareable.
If you create a video about your favorite brand and that brand posts it on their social media, how could you NOT repost it? You would share it like crazy. I know I would.
Help your users produce work you can use.
Get creative with your campaign ideas. Ask customers to share videos of them using your products in interesting ways. Request submissions of messages for a special occasion, like an anniversary or an award. Kids’ artwork. A photography contest. Tips and tricks related to your business or industry. The options are limitless.
Whether you post your request on social media or choose to invite a select few to contribute content, you can take steps to improve the quality of what they produce. Here at Moxie, we created a handy video tip sheet for our clients to distribute. Feel free to use it yourself.
However you decide to take advantage of the user-generated content trend, you will need people and a plan to handle submissions. Have a firm deadline and, if necessary, cap the number of submissions you’ll accept. You also may want to plan an incentive for those who participate, like a special discount, a small logoed gift, or an entry into a drawing for a larger giveaway.
Need help determining how to incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy? Moxie can help. Contact us to get started.