What is the meaning of User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) is any content- videos, texts, images, etc- that your customers (or other members of your audience) create about your brand. Sometimes, this is a result of the brand contest, or users simply create something out of a great or terrible experience with your business.

What makes User-Generated Content Successful?

User-generated content is one of the most effective ways to encourage customers to take an active role in promoting your brand.

Because the content is created by independent users who have no inherent loyalty to the company (like employees would, for example), it’s easier for the general public to trust that the content's message is authentic.

Plus, when you encourage customers to share their experience with your product or service, they are more likely to feel invested in what they’re saying because they took ownership of their creation and want others to see it.

Sometimes, user-generated content is a way for customers to complain about a company or warn others against buying in the future.

So how do you get your audience to create more user-generated content? You need to give them something worth sharing. That means you have to deliver great experiences that they would be proud to share publicly—and then make it easy for them to do so!

How do I effectively encourage User-Generated Videos?

Here are 5 effective ways to encourage your audience to share user-generated content :

Check out what's already out there

If you're looking for ways to encourage user-generated video content, ask yourself this: are you sure your audience isn't already sharing about your brand online? Even if you haven't explicitly been asking for content submissions, it's very possible your customers are already talking about you. They might not even know it!

If you want to know what people are saying about your brand, one of the best ways to find out is by using a social listening tool. Social listening tools help businesses keep tabs on the places they’re mentioned online so that they can respond quickly when something goes wrong (or right!)

There are many different kinds of social listening tools out there, but most of them fall into two categories: those that monitor Facebook and other social media platforms for mentions of your brand and those that watch websites for mentions of your brand.

If you’re looking for a tool that monitors Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram specifically, we recommend using HootSuite. This platform brings all three together into one dashboard so that you can easily see what people are saying about your brand across all three platforms at once. Other options include Mention, Agorapulse, and Keyhole. Each has slightly different features, but they all offer the benefit of tracking how your brand is being talked about online.

The best way to encourage user-generated content is to understand what kinds of content people are already creating around your brand.

If people are sharing written content but not videos, all you need to do is to encourage video as a specific medium. If the content you get is negative rather than positive, your task will be more broad in terms of encouraging participation in the first place. You may need to rethink the experiences you’re giving customers before you ask people to share their perspectives.

It is worth-noted that you need to ask for permission from the original content creator before you reshare any videos. If you find someone mentions your brand in a post, it doesn't mean that they are giving you consent to repost it publicly. You need to make sure you get explicit approval before you use these contents for your own branding purposes.

Make Customer's Experience Worth Sharing

You’re probably already thinking about how you can encourage your customers to create user-generated video content. But what about your own brand? How do you make the experience more exciting?

There are a few ways to go about this. First, you can look internally. Do you sell a product and have easy packaging that’s fun to open? If so, consider using it in your marketing materials as well as on social media. Do you hold events that could be recorded and shared? If so, make sure that there’s a stage set up for people to interact with your setup and record themselves doing so.

We know you’ve heard this a million times: “Customer experience is everything.”

But guess what? It really is. And if you want to encourage user-generated video content, you need to start by making sure that your customers genuinely love what you're offering. The more they are delighted, the more likely they want to share it with others.

Contact your loyal customers

Your most loyal customers are the perfect people to ask for user-generated content. They already love your brand, and they're probably talking about it. You just have to make sure they know that you want them to share those experiences with the world!

Consider creating an email segment for those you consider your most loyal and then reach out and ask them if they would be willing to share their experiences.

If you have other content needs, these are the people you’d want to ask. For example, if you are a company that sells products online, consider putting together a toolkit for your customers so they can create their own videos about how much they love your products.

Moreover, if you're looking to start a brand ambassador program, or if you're considering starting one, these people are the most fit for the job. Before you start reaching out to potential customers, it's important to narrow down exactly what type of content you want.

Give an Incentive

User-generated content is a great way to build a positive brand image, but it can be tricky to get people interested in contributing. If you’re open to offering an incentive, here are some ideas to get you started.

Encourage user-generated video content by running a contest or promotion.

Let your customers know you'd like them to submit videos by creating some sort of video prompt, asking for submissions, and then treating the winner (or multiple winners) to a perk or prize. This could be a pre-release of a new product, dinner with your CEO, a cash prize—the options are endless.

This approach has two benefits:

  • First, it gives you a lot of control over what kinds of videos you get—you can ask for specific types of content by tailoring the submission guidelines to your exact needs;
  • And second, it means that you get to choose the prize that makes the most sense for your business. In fact, you’ll almost certainly have more content to choose from with this approach than if you didn’t offer an incentive, so many brands go this route.

Another great way to encourage user-generated video content is to offer coupons or discounts to anyone who posts something about your brand. At the end of the day, people like to know they're getting something in return for their efforts, so anything you can offer to give back is likely to increase your odds of getting great videos.

Create a Sample Video

Let's face it: video production doesn't come naturally to everyone. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get started.

If you're looking to encourage user-generated video content, it's important to give your viewers a clear idea of what you're looking for. Providing examples of the type of content you're looking for is a great way to spark the perfect idea for someone else, and it also ensures that you get the type of content you’re looking for.

Allowing people to take creative liberty can be great if you don't have super specific guidelines in mind. However, if your content is going to serve a unique purpose, your best bet is to give an example of exactly what you want—even if it's just the broad strokes.

This way, contributors are more likely to share something that fits in with your vision for the campaign or product.

These five effective ways are just what you need to encourage user-generated video content. Now that you've got the basics down, it's time to get started!

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