4 User-Generated Content Ideas (and Tools To Check If They Work) - Content Marketing Institute - Deepstash
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User Generated Content(UGC)

Your customers and friends likely are generating content, tagging your brand, or mentioning your products in their tweets, Instagram Stories, and TikTok videos every day. Why not incorporate that user-generated content into your brand’s social media calendar?

You don’t have to take a wait-and-hope approach for user-generated content. You can actively encourage your audiences to develop UGC.


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Types of UGC: Reviews

People write posts, upload photos, and shoot videos as they evaluate products they use in real life. If you’re in the cosmetics, apparel, household items, gadgets, books business – or other tangible product industry – reviews are a great source of UGC. Audiences see those reviews as social proof (or disproof) about the products.

In some cases, brands ask their customers to post reviews and even offer a small gift in exchange. If you opt to reward creators for reviews, make sure they note that in their post. It’s important to their credibility and yours.


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How To Encourage Reviews

To promote people writing about your brand on social media, you can:

  • Publish review requests on multiple places (a banner on your site, a mention in a post-purchase email, a QR code or sticker on your product package, etc.).
  • Create an incentive such as prizes or discounts on the next purchase for people who participate in a review challenge contest. (All reviews in the competition should note their involvement in the reward game.)
  • Ask for a review via emails or texts to your customers.
  • Post the request periodically on your social pages.


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Tagged photos and videos

Many people tag brand handles and use branded hashtags when posting their content. Some do it organically, and some do it because they’re being paid through sponsor deals.

Encouraging tagged content:

  • Add some originality to your product packaging (think Starbucks’ name cups or Apple’s stylish iPhone boxes.)
  • Create a backdrop or setting at your store or office that people will want to take a picture in front of.
  • Repost photos and videos with your brand mentions in your feed.
  • Host contests, such as the best photo of the month, and require people to tag your brand or use a brand hashtag to enter.


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Develop A Creation Challenge

To run a creation challenge, determine the aspect of your brand it will promote:

  • Product
  • Customer service
  • Customer experience or attitude to your brand

Then, decide what you will ask the audience to do to enter. Don’t make it overly complicated, or people won’t enter but do make sure it’s legally compliant. Determine the prize.

Develop a promotional content campaign to publicize the challenge, from social media posts to owned channels.


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Unboxing Videos

One of the most-watched video types on YouTube, unboxing content is exactly that – people opening boxes. A few years ago, YouTube said the amount of time people spent watching unboxing videos on their phones is the equivalent of watching the movie Love Actually more than 20 million times – over 2.5 billion minutes.

Unboxing videos fuel curiosity and create a sense of desire in the viewers, converting them into your buyers. Just remember those holiday gifts you want to unpack, eager to see what is underneath the wrapping and cardboard.


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Encouraging Unboxing Videos

Most unboxing content comes from opening electronics, toys, cosmetics, and accessories. If you work in one of these industries, inspire your customers to unbox something with your brand logo.

To do it well, pay attention to your packaging, including the mailing container. Add decorations to your boxes, use colors, and include a visual extra, such as a branded postcard or a little souvenir, inside the box.

Invite your customers when they make the purchase – and before they open the box – to shoot an unboxing video and share it with your brand.


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See what happens with your user-generated content

It is impossible to find and collect pieces of all your user-generated content manually. Instead, you can use social media monitoring tools to detect keywords related to your brand, product, campaign, etc. (You also can use them to identify potential opportunities for UGC through viral trends, popular interests, etc.)

Three tools and web scanners that can help are:

  • Awario
  • Mention
  • Mediatoolkit


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Benefit from user-generated content

UGC can be a valuable asset for your brand for several reasons. It helps you publish fresh content on your social channels without having to start from scratch. It expands your audience reach as the users who create also share and promote that content on their channels. Use it wisely as a secret weapon that helps you persuade prospects, improve your product, and tackle current marketing tasks.


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