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User Generated Content how much of it can a business tap into?

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Young man planning social media content for a business
User-generated content has a credibility factor that can’t be matched by any amount of ad spending or PR spin | Photo: Mikael Blomkvist

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.”

Joy Corkery – Content Marketing Lead at Latana

 

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.”

Kirsty Allen – Head of Marketing at Digital Media Team

 

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.

Josephine Maida – Owner at public relations agency Maida Media

 

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).”

Dawn Gribble – CEO at Virtual Solutions Global

 

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

 

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

Marketing

Importance of link building for SIA security companies

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Link building is crucial for businesses seeking to expand their reach and increase awareness as part of their digital marketing strategy | Photo: Raw Pixel

Link building plays a crucial role in the digital marketing strategy of Security Industry Authority (SIA) security companies, especially in a competitive market like London. The strategy has become a popular strategy in digital marketing due to its ability to improve search engine rankings and increase website visibility.

Over the years, companies have been acquiring links from other websites to their own company’s website making it an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and help supporting content marketing efforts by amplifying the reach and impact of high-quality content. According to marketing professionals and businesses owners it works because when other websites link to valuable content, it not only boosts the content’s visibility but also enhances the website’s authority and trustworthiness.

Here we explore the importance of link building for SIA security companies in London and how it can help improve online visibility, credibility, and ultimately, their business success.

Improve Search Engine Rankings

One of the primary benefits of link building is its impact on search engine rankings. Search engines like Google consider the number and quality of links pointing to a website when determining its ranking in search results. By acquiring high-quality links from reputable websites, SIA security companies can improve their search engine rankings and increase their visibility to potential customers.

Increase Website Traffic

A link building company can help increase website traffic. When other websites link to your company’s website, it can drive referral traffic from those sites to yours. This can lead to an increase in the number of visitors to your website, which can result in more leads and potential customers.

Build Credibility and Authority

Acquiring links from authoritative websites can help build credibility and authority for your SIA security company. When other reputable sites link to yours, it signals to search engines and users that your website is trustworthy and valuable. This can improve your company’s reputation and make it more likely that users will choose your services over competitors.

Enhance Brand Awareness

Link building can also help enhance brand awareness for your SIA security company. When your website is linked to from other sites, it exposes your brand to a wider audience. This can help increase brand recognition and make your company more memorable to potential customers.

Generate Qualified Leads

Links from relevant and authoritative websites can also help generate qualified leads for your SIA security company. When users click on a link to your website from a site that is related to security or London businesses, they are likely to be interested in your services. This can result in higher conversion rates and more business opportunities.

Stay Ahead of Competitors

In a competitive market like London, link building can help your SIA security company stay ahead of competitors. By acquiring high-quality links from reputable sites, you can improve your search engine rankings and visibility, making it more likely that potential customers will choose your services over competitors.

Long-Term Benefits

Link building offers long-term benefits for SIA security companies. Unlike some other forms of digital marketing, such as paid advertising, the effects of link building can be long-lasting. Once you have acquired high-quality links to your website, they can continue to benefit your SEO efforts for years to come.

Link building is a critical component of the digital marketing strategy for SIA security companies. Businesses looking to improve online presence and attract more customers could take advantage of investing in a link building strategy, as it can improve their search engine rankings, website organic traffic, build credibility and authority, as well as enhance brand awareness, generate qualified leads, stay ahead of competitors, amongst other long-term benefits.

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Marketing

Campari partners with Cannes for the third consecutive year

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Campari partners with Festival de Cannes for the third consecutive year
The Italian brand will host a series of exclusive events during the 77th Festival de Cannes

Campari is set to return to the Cannes Film Festival, as an official partner, for the third consecutive year.

The Italian brand has chosen the opening of the 77th edition of the festival to launch its ‘We Are Cinema’ campaign. The aim is to acknowledge human stories as the inspiration for some of the world’s greatest cinema. Campari will also host a series of events from the Campari Lounge in the Palais de Festival, the main venue of the film awards, over-looking the famous red-carpet. This year, the brand will also be introducing its Hyde Beach by Campari, a new space on Boulevard de Croisette, where stars and guests will be welcomed, and events hosted throughout the festival.

In 2024 Campari will be partnering for the third year with Breaking Through The Lens, a non-profit organisation which empowers women in film by facilitating access to vital funding. Together, they will host the ‘Crossing Borders’ gala to celebrate women who have transcended cultural borders. The evening will include a panel discussion featuring actress, Diane Kruger.

“We are delighted to return to Festival de Cannes, this year bringing our passion for cinema and stories through our global We Are Cinema campaign to the iconic Festival setting. With a strong and enduring legacy in the cinema world, creativity and passion remain at the heart of everything we do. This year, we look forward to continuing to bring this to our audience through a programme of remarkable moments throughout the Festival,” says Campari Group Head of Marketing, Julka Villa.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival marks the debut of Campari’s partnership with Soho House, to host a creative film competition to support and honour emerging film talent. Festival de Cannes, one of the most anticipated events of the film industry calendar, will run from 14th-25th May 2024.

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Marketing

Research reveals unusual items inherited by people

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Research reveals the unusual items inherited by people
Jewellery and watches top the list (52%) followed by furniture (31%) and clothing (27%) | Photo: Sam Mgrdichian

A new research from home appliance brand Beko has revealed the most weird and wonderful items that consumers have inherited.

77% of UK consumers have inherited at least one common physical household object whilst jewellery and watches top the list (52%) followed by furniture (31%), clothing (27%) and artwork or decorations (21%). With 17% of those who were surveyed saying they have inherited white goods, such as a washing machine or fridge, 18% said white goods were an object they were most likely to pass on. The generation most likely to want to inherit white goods were millennials.

The research revealed some of the most weird and wonderful items inherited including a live giant tortoise, “a very small glass bottle of what turned out to be a unknown bodily fluid from a little known “celebrity” from the Seventies” and a twelve foot giraffe with big eyes and soft hair!

When it comes to the reasons behind what items people want to inherit, over a third (34%) said that having a household object that will last a long time is the likeliest factor in wanting to inherit it. A majority of those surveyed (51%) fear that fewer large household items will be inherited these days compared to previous generations, with the biggest reasons being that products today are not built to last or are less high quality. 

The research comes as Beko launches its latest campaign “The Beko Inheritance” which hopes to redefine industry standards around the durability of household appliances. 

Infusing the campaign with a perfect balance of creativity, humour and an underlying serious message,

Infused with humour, the short film was produced by VML Germany & UK in collaboration with OB42 director Jack Howard. It features performances from Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey), Ross Hatt (The Gentlemen), and Marty Cruckshank (The Crown) during a family dispute over a presumed family heirloom, the unexpected reveal at the will reading leaves audiences both surprised and amused.

The campaign also features the official Beko Inheritance Addendum, a physical document allowing its holder to officially pass on their Beko appliance to their loved ones.

“in our journey to elevate the everyday, we recognize the value of our customers’ time. We are pleased to showcase The Beko Inheritance campaign which we hope resonates and brings joy whilst drawing viewers into a world where we can generate meaningful conversation around the durability of our products,” Akin Garzanli, Chief Marketing Officer at Beko.

The research to uncover the most unusual items inherited by people was conducted by Focaldata with a nationally representative sample of 2,015 UK adults, between 12-15 April 2024.

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