6 User-Generated Content Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness

The nature of content marketing is changing as consumers want more authenticity from brands. Instead of the highly produced, polished content we’re so used to seeing from brands, consumers now prefer lo-fi, raw content that doesn’t feel like another advertisement. With the rise of TikTok came the rise of user-generated content, which has become the latest content marketing trend

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about UGC – from what user-generated content is to the key user-generated content strategies you can incorporate into your digital marketing strategy

What Is User-Generated Content? 

As a consumer, you’ve probably bought something you saw on social media more than once, whether it was a product recommended by your favorite Instagram influencer or something you saw on TikTok. If so, you’re not alone! Statistics say that 76% of consumers bought a product they saw on social media. 

Although more than three-quarters of consumers buy products they see on social media, things aren’t that easy for brands. 

That’s because we’re no longer as responsive to traditional advertisements and sales content as we used to be. Nowadays, consumers are much more prone to buy something if it comes as a genuine recommendation from one of their favorite content creators rather than the brand itself. 

That’s precisely what user-generated content is. 

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content, such as images, videos, reviews, or testimonials, created and shared by consumers rather than the brand itself. It showcases real people using and interacting with products or services, often in an authentic and relatable way. 

UGC is highly valued by brands because it not only serves as social proof of a product’s quality and popularity but also helps you engage your audience on social media to interact with your brand. 

3 Types of User-Generated Content 

There are three types of user-generated content you can leverage as a brand. Let’s explain each one in a bit more detail. 

Customer-Generated Content 

Customer-generated content refers to content created by your customers, such as reviews, testimonials, photos, or videos showcasing their experiences with your products or services. This type of content is highly authentic and significantly influences purchasing decisions. 

Customer-generated content can include the following post types:

  • Product reviews and ratings
  • Testimonials and success stories
  • User-generated photos or videos featuring your products or services
  • Social media posts tagging your brand or using branded hashtags

Employee-Generated Content

Employee-generated content involves content created by your employees. This type of content humanizes your brand and offers a unique perspective that resonates with customers and potential recruits. 

Employee-generated content can include the following post types:

  • Behind-the-scenes photos or videos of company culture and events
  • Employee testimonials or stories sharing their experiences working for the company
  • Employee-generated blog posts or articles showcasing their expertise or insights
  • Social media posts from employees highlighting their roles or projects within the company
  • Employee takeovers of brand social media accounts to provide a glimpse into their day-to-day activities

Creator-Generated Content 

Creator-generated content encompasses content created by social media influencers, brand ambassadors, or content creators who have a following within your target audience. These individuals collaborate with brands to create authentic and engaging content that promotes products or services in a relatable way.

Creator-generated content can include the following post types:

  • Sponsored social media posts featuring your products or services
  • Collaborative content such as sponsored blog posts, videos, or podcasts
  • Influencer-created content showcasing product reviews, tutorials, or lifestyle shots
  • Ambassador-driven campaigns encouraging influencers to create content around a specific theme or message
  • User-generated content collaborations where creators incorporate your products or services into their content in an authentic way

6 Key User-Generated Content Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness 

Since 85% of consumers find user-generated content more influential than content created by brands, you may want to prioritize incorporating user-generated content into your social media marketing strategy. 

Here are 6 key user-generated content strategies to help you boost brand awareness and get more customers. 

1. Create a Branded Hashtag 

Aside from being a great tool to help people find your content, hashtags can help you organize and amplify user-generated content related to your brand. 

By creating your own branded hashtag, you can encourage customers to share their experiences with your products or services. This will not only increase your brand visibility but also foster a sense of community among your audience. Plus, branded hashtags allow you to easily track and monitor user-generated content. 

For example, the famous Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle leverages user-generated content through the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge on TikTok, which encourages customers to film themselves flipping the lid of their Chipotle bowl onto their burrito bowl in a creative way. 

2. Start a Trend or a Challenge

Aside from using a branded hashtag to encourage customers to create content about their brand, Chipotle simultaneously implements another powerful user-generated content strategy: starting a challenge. 

By initiating a TikTok trend like the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, Chipotle inspires customers to participate in a fun and engaging activity around their brand. 

This is an excellent strategy because it provides TikTok creators with a fun challenge they can film to create content and entertain their audience while providing Chipotle with more user-generated content. A win-win!

3. Screenshot What People Are Saying About You

Sometimes, your customers will post about their experiences with your brand of their own accord. When they do, that’s also user-generated content, and you can take advantage of it.  

Keep an eye on social media platforms for mentions, reviews, or testimonials about your brand, take screenshots of these interactions, and repost them on your social media feed or stories. 

Brands like Wendy’s and Ryanair frequently screenshot tweets that mention their name and report them on Instagram with funny commentary. It’s a great way to spread the word about your brand and entertain your audience. 

4. Use UGC In Your Ads 

According to statistics, UGC-based ads get 4 times more clicks and engagement than non-UGC-based ads. This isn’t surprising, as consumers no longer want to see traditional, polished advertisements from brands. 

If you’re an Instagram or TikTok user, you’ve surely seen sponsored posts from brands that leverage user-generated content. You may have even thought they were just regular posts from friends and creators you follow before you noticed it was an ad from a brand. 

This seamless integration of UGC into advertising not only captures attention but also resonates with audiences on a more personal level. By featuring authentic content created by real customers, brands can build trust, credibility, and relatability, ultimately driving higher conversion rates and sales.

5. Encourage Customers to Share Testimonials 

The most common user-generated content strategy and probably the easiest way to create it is to ask your customers to share their written or, better yet, video testimonials. 

You can ask them to film themselves while unboxing or using your product, talk about it in their stories, or even create a dedicated post sharing their experience. 

The best way to encourage your customers to do that is to reward them for it with exclusive discounts, freebies, or shoutouts. The ideas for incentivizing testimonials can be endless! 

Once you’ve got them, you can leverage them in many different ways, from featuring them on your website to sharing them on social media.

6.  Work with Influencers

Aside from customer-generated content strategies, you can also leverage creator-generated content. 

Collaborating with influencers allows you to tap into their already established audience, which is full of people who trust them and follow their recommendations. This can help you reach a wider audience of ideal customers.

If you’re a small brand, consider collaborating with micro-influencers – individuals with smaller but highly engaged followings within specific niches. Working with micro-influencers is beneficial because they often have a more loyal and trusting audience than macro-influencers. This way, you can leverage influencer marketing at a lower cost while increasing your sales.

Create Your Social Media Strategy With Dorothy House 

Leveraging user-generated content is a great way to foster authenticity, engage your audience, and build trust with potential customers. But UGC isn’t the only type of content you should create for your social media platforms. 

Although it may seem that traditional, cinematic-style videos don’t get as much attention anymore, they’re still a relevant and powerful advertising tool.

If you’re looking to create a diversified and engaging strategy and content for your social media platforms, we can help. At Dorothy House, we craft compelling narratives and create visually captivating content that resonates with your audience. 

Get in touch with us to learn how we can elevate your social media presence and drive meaningful engagement with your brand.

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