Happy customers not only results in new sales. They can also generate valuable and credible content for your campaigns and social media platforms. Enter user-generated content (UGC); content created by your followers and clients, and one of the most authentic pieces of content you will ever publish in your feed. That’s right. Because, besides bringing a personal point of view instead of a paid advertorial, this type of content can sometimes go viral, giving your brand free exposure far and wide.
I remember once being paid by a global brand to spend a few hours a day researching creative content, testimonials, feedback, and even collages made by customers in Asia and Europe. It was initially part of a mini campaign powered by regional offices, one of those initiatives put in place with a bit of leftover budget at the end of a dead month. However, what I found was so phenomenal that this content became a major awareness campaign. My task was then expanded to reaching out the brand’s biggest fans to bring them on board as well. And yes, I charged for that extra briefing, too.
Depending on how customers relate to a brand and how happy they are with its products, or services, the amount of content that can be lifted off social media, reviews and emails, be it with images or just words, can become almost impossible to measure. Think of it as the modern word-of-mouth – And a positive review or satisfied customer’s endorsement carries a weight that no paid advertisement can achieve.
“User-generated content has an instant credibility factor that can’t be matched by any amount of ad spending or PR spin. Our customers tell our story by conveying their service experience with our Mila technicians – which is overwhelmingly positive. This, in turn, provides our brand partners with measurable customer trust and customer loyalty.” – says Chris Viatte, co-founder of Swiss-based on demand technical support company, Mila.com Chris Viatte and his team leverage UGC in blogs, although the company’s main way of sharing customer reviews are still through its social media channels with daily posts.
Here, businesses owners and digital experts leveraging user generated content share their best tips on how they are successfully leveraging user generated content as part of their social media strategy to gain new followers and clients.
Use UGC to show your brand actively listens to customer’s feedback
“We use UGC occasionally as a way to better connect with our audience, but also to showcase that we care and listen to what they’re saying. The frequency of using UGC depends largely on the type of business you’re running but for us, as a brand monitoring software aimed at marketing managers, it makes sense to pinpoint all feedback for better data gathering and showcasing this data through case studies. When done right and timely, it helps create a lot better traction and builds an emotional connection with your audience.”
Give something in return
“The best way of doing user-generated content is to offer users something in return. Not only does this encourage a ‘fair exchange’ for the user, but more people will submit content leading to a higher standard of content. For example, if you are a cookie company, run a competition in which users submit their best recipes using your product. The winner gets a gift bundle of your products. This will attract high-quality content and improve your reputation as a brand that values its customers.
But be aware that overly frequent UGC campaigns are tiresome and look lazy. Consumers are very smart these days and will detect if you’re taking advantage of them instead of putting in work to generate your own content, especially if the users don’t get much out of contributing with your brand.”
Deepak Shukla – SEO expert and Founder at Pearl Lemon
UGC works because it is authentic
“User-generated content is an integral part of our content strategies for clients – we find that it’s one of the most efficient ways to grow engagement on an Instagram page organically. By utilising UGC, we can spread awareness of a brand whilst ensuring we have additional content to use later – this is especially useful when a brand may not have a lot of their own lifestyle photography.
User-generated content is so effective because it’s authentic. Potential customers of a brand are far more interested in seeing photos of a product/service in action rather than staged eCommerce shots.”
Put your customers in the spotlight
“In the last 4 months I implemented a UGC strategy to help supplement the content output on the site. The way I did this was to reach out to owners of surf camps all over the world with an offer to interview them. The interview would then be published on my site with a link back to their site. The value proposition for them was in exchange for their time. Their surf camp would get exposure in the form PR, and they would also get a backlink from an authoritative domain. So far it’s worked really well and we’ve published 6 interviews in the last 4 months.”
Marc Bromhall – Founder at Beginner Surf Gear
Remember to give fair credit to UGC creators
“User-generated content can be such a gift, but I always suggest my clients tread lightly and make sure they are being fair with their usage of created content. Of course, ask the creator for permission before adding this piece of content to your plan. Once you have permission, ensure that the creator is given fair credit when you repost the content by tagging them in the photo and/or tagging them in the caption. Additionally, I always remind brands that I work with that they should not rely solely on User-generated content. Since the content is created without any creative direction, it doesn’t always fulfill all the exact needs of the brand.
UGC helped us to go from 0 to 5000 followers
“We use a Facebook group where all of our puppy owners can post pictures and videos of their pups. Most of these users also have Instagram accounts for their puppies, or general puppy accounts for things like pictures and newsletters. We embed those feeds on our website and do reposts on our main socials account while tagging all the accounts involved using appropriate hashtags.
It’s a good balance of user generated content, and it helps us promote our business while also showcasing the accounts for users we’ve worked with or other puppy owners. The results sort of speak for themselves, as we went from 0 to 5000 followers in under 3 years without any kind of advertising.”
Dmitrii Kustov – Digital Marketing Director at LeMitris
Use UGC to amplify the conversation
“We focus our Instagram content on resharing user-generated content from our platform so people can come to our Instagram page and get a first look at our community, as our members love to be involved with the brand and continue their conversations about all things beauty.”
Savannah Scott – content and editorial lead at www.supergreat.com
Use it with moderation
“User-generated content (UGC) is a fantastic strategy for your digital presence. Not only is it cost effective in that you’re not having to pay to create the content yourself, but it’s coming from your audience – and customers tend to trust others’ experiences a lot more than other sources.
Make use of personalisation and social listening to reach out to your customers, guests and visitors who are talking about you. Share their content (with permission) and link back to them – this alerts them that you’ve picked up on their content, and creates an emotional bond with them.
However, as with any strategy, you need to be careful not to overdo it – if your content mix is too focused on linking to other accounts (especially on platforms like Facebook which penalise you for driving traffic away from them), then you could end up reducing your potential audience.
Depending on the size of your audience and the content schedule you’re working with, you should consider sharing UGC between once and twice a week (for large audiences) to once or twice a month (small businesses).”
Customer feedback posts have higher engagement
“We leverage our user-generated content in two ways for storytelling. One, we choose a testimonial review from a customer who had a technology challenge that was solved by one of our Mila technicians; or two, we share the testimonials themselves without adding any additional context. The pure customer feedback posts garner a 3-4 percent higher engagement rate than other social media posts, so we know sharing real customer stories resonates with our followers.”
Chris Viatte – CEO and co-founder at Mila.com
JCDecaux extends advertising concession with Madrid Metro for 10 years
JCDecaux, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, has announced that following a competitive tender it has renewed and extended its advertising concession with Madrid Metro. The partnership with the transport network carrying, on average, five million daily, makes it the most digitised JCDecaux-marketed metro in Europe and the first 100% data-driven advertising space in Spain. The digital transformation of the oldest Spanish metro network has started in August and will be completed by the end of the year.
The 10-year contract covers 3,100 traditional displays as well as more than 460 new, larger, sharper and more energy-efficient digital screens, extending their life cycle and making metro stations more efficient and sustainable. The new contract aims to deliver a
high-quality media space and to modernise Spain’s capital metro with up to 2,000 sq m of screens. It includes innovative and high-impact displays such as large-format screens and columns with an anamorphic effect, twin curved screens as well as “cinema formats”, a new type of large-format screen created exclusively for platforms, 142 of which will be installed in 39 key stations. A brand-new network of digital screens will also be created with nearly 300 high-definition screens across 100 strategic locations, mostly within the M30 perimeter, ensuring maximum coverage and visibility.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this strategic contract to digitise Madrid Metro, continuing our long-term partnership which started in 2007. JCDecaux has rolled-out an in-depth media transformation plan, including the introduction of large and iconic digital media opportunities to create memorable brand experience while offering one of the major communications-platform for brands. It will participate to enhance the Madrid Metro environment, further raising engagement and ultimately generating revenue to invest in delivering an even better commuter experience. It is one of our most ambitious projects to date in Europe and we want it to become a benchmark in terms of digitisation and sustainability”, says Jean-Charles Decaux, Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux.
This new contract will also enable JCDecaux to introduce programmatic buying opportunities into the metro environment for the first time, following its launch in street furniture and shopping centres.
How to create social media content for small businesses
Mastering the art of creating useful and engaging social media content is essential for any small business – but just like most of the tasks, it is easier said than done.
Accord to recent data released by the Search Engine Journal, there are 4.8 billion social media users worldwide, representing 59.9% of the global population and 92.7% of all internet users. And companies not able to catch up with the fast-paced digital world are already facing sales and branding problems given how many new people turn to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, on a daily basis, to discover products and services: between April 2022 and April 2023, there were 150 million new social media users – a 3.2% increase year-over-year.
Small businesses have a unique opportunity to connect with their target audience, boost brand awareness, and drive growth through social media. Here we explore key strategies to help entrepreneurs how to create engaging content that can make a significant impact.
Know Your Audience
Before diving into content creation, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Who are your customers? What are their preferences and essential interests? Carefully study your audience’s demographics and behaviours to understand where you are in order to create an effective social media calendar with clear goals.
Set Clear Goals
Define your social media objectives. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost sales, or engage with your community? Setting clear, measurable goals will guide your content strategy and help you track your progress over time. Take small steps. There is no point in aiming for 1 million new users and an absurdly high turnover overnight. When it comes to social media, you will have to learn to play the long game.
Content Planning and Calendar
You must create a content calendar to organize your posting schedule.
Consistency is key in social media, and a calendar can help you maintain a regular posting cadence. Plan your content themes, topics, and post types in advance, taking into account holidays, special events, and industry trends.
Tell Your Story
Share the story behind your business. Customers connect with brands that have a compelling narrative. Highlight your company’s history, values, and mission. Showcase the people behind the scenes, your team’s expertise, and the dedication that goes into your products or services.
Visual content is highly engaging on social media. Invest in high-quality images and videos that represent your brand. Use eye-catching graphics, infographics, and animations to convey information creatively.
Position your business as an industry authority by creating educational content. Share informative blog posts, how-to guides, tutorials, and industry insights. Provide value to your audience by answering common questions or addressing challenges in your niche.
Engage with Your Audience
Social media is a two-way street. Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions. Foster a sense of community by actively engaging with your followers. Encourage discussions and user-generated content, and listen to customer feedback to improve your products or services.
Embrace User-Generated Content (UGC)
Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services. Repost UGC with proper credit. This not only showcases satisfied customers but also builds trust and authenticity around your brand.
Analyse and Adapt
Regularly review your social media analytics to gauge the performance of your content. Identify what works and what doesn’t. Adjust your strategy based on the data to continually improve your social media presence.
No matter where you are, creating compelling social media content is a vital aspect of a small business’s digital marketing strategy. By understanding your audience, setting clear goals, planning your content, telling your story, embracing visual and educational content, engaging with your audience, and adapting based on analytics, you can craft a powerful social media presence that helps your small business thrive in the online
LG launches campaign to spread optimism
LG Electronics (LG) has launched its brand-new Life’s Good global campaign, carrying out various brand reinvent activities to introduce its more dynamic and youthful brand identity.
The company, which rolled out its Life’s Good global campaign on August 22, unveiled digital out-of-home (OOH) advertisements at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, including locations in Dubai, London, New York, Vietnam and Seoul. Each image and captivating has been crafted to showcase LG’s renewed visual themes.
Along with introducing its updated brand and visual identity, the new campaign aims to share the company’s philosophy and values and the true meaning of Life’s Good.
LG’s latest advertisements can be seen at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Vietnam, the company’s digital billboards in New York’s Times Square and London‘s Piccadilly Circus, LG’s LED outdoor screen at Óvalo Gutiérrez in Peru, the KP Tower in India, as well as in select spaces in South Korea, seizing the attention of global audiences. The campaign also extends to London’s beloved red double-decker buses, which currently feature LG’s Life’s Good slogan – visually revamped as part of an innovative brand reinvention strategy.
The advertisement videos showcase the “Face of the Future,” the smiling face formed by the letters “L” and “G” engages and entertains; nodding, bobbing and showing off a range of different emotions. The video is also imbued with the youthful exuberance of LG Active Red, the latest addition to the company’s core color palette.
The company also plans to release collaboration contents with various influencers and brand films through LG’s global social channels to convey the meaning of Life’s Good and core brand values to customers more authentically.
LG has partnered with a collection of global influencers, all embodying the spirit of “brave optimists” and confidently carving their own paths, including American singer and actress Willow Smith; Australian national swimmer and singer-songwriter Cody Simpson; and Nigerian-Korean fashion model Jenny Park. Through these meaningful partnerships, LG aims to amplify the Life’s Good message, fostering inspiration and hope among customers around the world.
“LG is committed to actively communicating and providing innovative customer experiences that evolve with the times, recognizing the changing needs of customers,” said Lee Jeong-seok, head of LG Electronics’ Global Marketing Center. “We aim to enhance our communication with customers by sincerely sharing our core value and the message of Life’s Good. Filled with optimism, this message will be delivered to customers worldwide at various customer contact points.”
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