5 Tips for Creating Engaging Webinars
Don’t be a brand that hosts salesy virtual events. Instead, use these tips to create more engaging webinars.
As a brand, there’s nothing more authentic than a customer taking time out of their day to share a thought or feeling. That’s why user-generated content (UGC) is such an integral component of a marketer’s strategy: Customers are promoting your brand for you, and to top it off, it encourages brand trust and is an excellent way to build customer relationships organically.
Let’s explore best practices on how to leverage user-generated content for maximum results.
UGC is any content — such as blogs, images, social media posts, and videos — that’s been created and published by unpaid contributors. UGC lives across different marketing channels, including your webpage or social media networks.
Before you incorporate UGC into your marketing strategy, it’s essential to build a framework to set yourself up for success. Here are some best practices to consider:
So, what are your UGC goals? There are a variety of ways that user-generated content could help you — below are some examples to get you started:
Figure out where your UGC will live — which social platforms would work best? For instance, for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. Be prepared and do your research — only 27% of brands say they have a system in place for finding, managing, and using user-generated content.
Let’s say you’ve found a great post through your branded hashtag. Your product is front and center, and the poster is happy with it — you can publish it on your feed, right? Wrong. You have to ask for permission, first.
The rule of thumb is to always ask for permission when reposting (even if they’re using your hashtag). People may be using branded hashtags without explicitly knowing they’re tied to a UGC campaign. When you repost or reshare without permission, it could rub users the wrong way.
When asking people to post with your hashtag or create videos, give specific directions. For instance, you can ask them to strike a certain pose with your product, or film a video of them actually using it.
While reposting images on social media channels is one of the most popular forms of user-generated content, don’t stop there. Think more broadly about the types of content you want to collect and come up with ways to incentivize users. For instance, you can offer prizes to users who contribute to your blog, or promise to repost videos if users include your company’s hashtag in the post.
You shouldn't restrict user-generated content to your customers — a company's existing staff is a rich source of internal content at no extra budget. Incentivize employees to contribute to the blog or to share their experiences with your product or service through social media.
Note: Employee-generated content shouldn't be too sales-y. The audience will prefer authenticity over content that seems staged and overly done.
User-generated content isn't a “nice to have” aspect of your content marketing strategy — it’s a necessary component. Not only is UGC more cost-effective and authentic compared to advertisements, but it also plays an unparalleled role in how consumers choose products.
Originally published on February 14th, 2020, last updated on June 16th, 2022.