By now you’ve likely heard of user-generated content. Trust me!  It is one of the most important marketing strategies, even in 2021. This year will be full of new marketing trends. However, the older, more established marketing trends like user-generated content still hold strong. 

So what exactly is user-generated content? Why is it important? How can you utilize it for your business?

In this article, I’m going to cover user-generated content. What it is, as well as how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. By working this into your strategy it will help your business grow in 2021.


What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content comes in many forms. It can be social media posts, reviews, photographs, videos, or any other form of online media. It is brand or product-specific content posted by consumers.

A good example would be when a customer posts a picture wearing new Nike trainers on Facebook. That post is considered user-generated content. That post is something Nike could use to promote their brand. 

Brands can use this user-generated content and promote their products or services. Which has multiple benefits. But a big one is the content serves as a testimonial to the brand.


Why is User-Generated Content Important?

Not only does it help brands increase their catalog of posting content. The brands that utilize user-generated content can significantly increase trust with their consumers. In addition to the added bonus, they didn’t have to create it themselves.

When consumers see branded content it’s expected the brand will praise itself. The brand will always show itself in the best light possible. Unfortunately sometimes, despite your best efforts, the content generated in-house doesn’t always translate to the customer. User-generated content solves this! 

When consumers see another customer promoting your brand they are more likely to trust your brand. Even if the post is showcasing a different service or product than they are looking at. Other consumers are more inclined to trust a brand with positive customer feedback.

Remember consumers trust a non-paid post over one a company has paid for. Paying users to promote a brand (known as influencer marketing) can work wonders. However, it’s best to try and gather user-generated content first. Then turn to paid promotions only if necessary.


How Can You Find User-Generated Content?

So where do you find this magical content? One of the best ways is to search for posts that your brand has been tagged in. Most social media websites make this process quite easy. Apps like Instagram have specific tabs showing you who’s tagged you in their content.  

Once you find the content your brand’s social media page has been tagged in, simply repost the content. Personally, when I find tagged content, I schedule it to be uploaded to my clients’ social media pages. You can use a post scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck

However, the best way to get user-generated content? Encourage it to happen!

To start, begin an online campaign where users can create content and tag your business. Users can then tag your social media page in their posts. Another option is to create a unique hashtag.  Users can use that hashtag to tag their posts. 

Chipotle is a great example of this. They challenged users to create TikTok dance videos to celebrate National Avocado Day. The campaign went viral! Which resulted in a huge influx of people ordering from Chipotle restaurants.

Create viral campaigns is a challenge. But remember you don’t have to go viral to get quality user-generated content. Simple content, like reviews and testimonials, can go a long way for businesses of all sizes. 

For example, let’s say you’re running a small consulting firm. Ask a current or previous client to leave a review of your services on a review website. Trustpilot is a good one. You can then use this review and paste it onto your website’s homepage. As well as including it in social media posts. 


Be Consistent With Your Content

Consistency is very important with your online content. It is difficult to try and constantly come up with fresh ideas for your social media channels. Especially when most marketers recommend optimizing content to be different for each online platform. 

However, user-generated content can help alleviate the pressure. You don’t have to create all of your content. All while helping to organically build your brand’s reputation. 

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your marketing strategy or grow your business, read through Intentionally Inspirational‘s latest posts. Want to hear what business and marketing experts have to say? Check out the Intentionally Inspirational podcast.


Written by Lewis James