4 reasons to add user-generated content to your marketing mix.
User-generated content may not be the newest social media phenomenon, but video platform TikTok has taken its popularity to new levels. By combining simplicity and brevity with a worldwide crisis that forced millions to stay home, TikTok struck a fortuitous recipe for success.
In addition to giving your bored teens something to do with their time, user-generated content can have real-world applications for your business. Here are a few reasons to consider jumping on the bandwagon, and some ideas for turning this entertaining trend into marketing magic.
Why try user-generated content?
- It’s free.
Many businesses have reduced marketing budgets in today’s economy. While you may need to invest in developing a campaign around it and promoting that campaign, you can’t beat the price of free content. It offers you a chance to push the envelope and experiment in ways you could not chance when high-dollar investments are at stake. Free content adds to your creative freedom.
- It’s fun.
The mere action of asking your users to produce their own content for you is fun in itself, even if your subject matter is more serious. We have seen clients ask users for everything from applause and congratulations to sharing heartfelt and moving stories. Either way, their participants have fun creating it. Which leads to our next reason…
- It builds and deepens your relationships with customers.
Asking your users to submit content invites them into your inner circle. They get to act and feel like they’re part of your internal team. Even if your content request is broad and far-reaching, customers who choose to create content for you will feel like they are part of something bigger. They’ll feel included, valued and special.
- It’s imminently shareable.
If you create a video about your favorite brand, and that brand posts it on their social media, how could you NOT repost it? You would share it like crazy. I know I would.
Help your users produce work you can use.
Get creative with your campaign ideas. Ask customers to share videos of them using your products in interesting ways. Request submissions of messages for a special occasion, like an anniversary or an award. Kids’ artwork. A photography contest. Tips and tricks related to your business or industry. The options are limitless.
Whether you post your request on social media or choose to invite a select few to contribute content, you can take steps to improve the quality of what they produce. Here at Hellman, we created a handy video tip sheet for our clients to distribute. There is a downloadable PDF at the end of this post. Feel free to use it yourself.
However you decide to take advantage of the user-generated content trend, you will need people and a plan to handle submissions. Have a firm deadline and if necessary, cap the number of submissions you will accept. You also may want to plan an incentive for those who participate, like a special discount, a small logoed gift or an entry into a drawing for a larger giveaway.
Need help determining how to incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy? Hellman can help. Give us a call or send me an email to get started.
Jason Fliehler is Hellman’s Director of Video Production. With over 20 years of video and design experience, he’s the creative eye and expert editor behind much of our client work. Outside of Hellman he can be found…well…outside, usually near the woods and water. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.