Introduction

 

In a previous post, we explored the ways that lead to more conversions by taking advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC). Now it’s time to go one step backwards and determine how UGC is related to brand awareness and how you can exploit this correlation by applying UGC best practices.

 

In today’s digital world, UGC has become a hot trend among marketers.

But Why?

 

According to Gartner, “UGC is particularly suited to driving consideration and conversion given its authenticity.”

 

Therefore, more and more companies are deciding to include UGC in their content marketing strategies, as a means to drive traffic to their website and increase awareness of their brands.

 

If a consumer doesn’t know your brand and what it offers, it is by all means that your brand won’t be in his/her consideration set.

Thus, the possibility of being selected among other competitors is almost zero.

 

Do you want something like this? Of course not!

 

Then, what you should do to achieve the goal of brand awareness?

The answer is… Leverage User-generated content

 

According to Content Marketing Institute, in 2016 35% of B2C marketers planned to work on leveraging user or fan-generated content.

 

Can you imagine why?

Because, a study by Ipsos MediaCT shows that:

  • UGC is 35% more memorable than other media.
  • UGC is 20% more influential on purchase decisions than all other media types.
  • 30% of the millennials media time is spent consuming UGC.

UGC is a Trusted Source

At the same time, people discover brands through sources related to user-generated content, such as search engines, social networks, customer review sites and a brand’s online community.

People Discover Brands Through Sources Related To User Generated Content

So, why don’t you take advantage of all these findings in order to translate them into ways for boosting brand awareness?

It sounds good!

 

Ok then… Let’s discuss some UGC best practices for enhanced brand awareness.

Challenge customers with contests

 

One popular -amongst all UGC best practices- has to do with contests.

Exploit social media networks and create contests that they will attract people’s attention on your brand.

 

The contest should be simple, funny and easy to share. By inviting people to take part in your contest and share photos or videos with your brand (namely create content) in exchange for a prize, you can easily spread the word about your brand.

To enhace the effectiveness of your contest, you should use branded hashtags and ask people to share them to other social networks.

 

This way your content has increased possibilities to reach new customers and be viral.

 

Not to mention that user-generated videos about a brand were viewed 10 times more often than official brand videos on YouTube.

Get reviews and share them

 

Reviews play an instrumental role in affecting people’s opinion and purchase decisions related to a brand.

70% of consumers place peer recommendations and reviews above professionally-written content.

 

So, get your users give reviews and share them to your channels, as long as you have their consent to use them. By doing this, you can increase visibility for your brand and stand out from competitors.

 

Get them talk about your brand and share how it helps them solve their problem. Should reviews be authentic, they can be a rewarding tactic, resulting in increased brand awareness. And of course, it's on the list with UGC best practices!

 

However, have in mind that reviews are a double-edged sword…

Because you cannot totally control them. They can be positive as well as negative, resulting in bad reputation.

 

In this case, you should be sure about your product as well as present in order to answer any objection or doubt about your brand. If you engage in a constructive conversation with your judges, you shouldn’t be afraid of reviews.

 

By the way, “All publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right”.

 

So it’s worth taking this risk. Don’t you think?

Create Case studies/success stories

 

In a study by Content Marketing Institute, 70% of content marketers think of case studies as an effective marketing tactic.

Effectiveness Ratings of Tactics Among Users

Of course, because case studies are made with insights from the user. Therefore, it seems an authentic and trustworthy content type and by all means a UGC best practice.

 

Also, it is a way to show how real people have benefited by your product. This way you have the opportunity to bring in more customers to your business.

 

Case studies act as a social proof, and therefore people are more willing to share with others who are looking for a product similar to yours.

 

They can help you raise brand awareness as they have the potential to go viral.

So, take advantage of them!

Participate in Forums – FAQs

 

It’s a common practice today; people who want to solve their issues post relative questions in forums and participate in conversations.

 

What a great opportunity to raise your brand awareness?

 

You can simply participate in those conversations and answer questions.

This way you are able to build the image of an expert in your field, thus people can trust you and spread a good word about you.

 

The only thing you have to do is to identify relative to your business forums and search for questions and topics that are popular and can be answered by an expert, like you.

 

Also, you can make a post using frequently asked questions that come from either your website or forums.

 

Don’t forget that when you write content you have to think of SEO and how to rank higher in search engine results.

 

According to Nielsen, very targeted web-search queries will better match your questions, so people can go straight to your best answer from the search-engine results page.”

 

Therefore, write posts with FAQs that are optimized for user queries. That means you should focus on long-tail keywords as a way to rank higher and bring more organic traffic to your website.

Ask Questions

 

Last but not least, I should add in the list with the UGC best practices the following: Ask Questions.

Ask an interesting question or a question related to your brand and invite people to comment on a post or image. What do you think?

 

For example, ask your audience to share what they found most useful about your products or services.

 

This is another way of building a reputation for your brand. Isn’t it?

Oh yes…It is a funny and easy tactic to engage your audience and create a conversation about your brand.

 

That means more and more people will get familiar with your brand and expand the conversation with others. Thus, new participants will come in.

 

You can also offer an incentive so as to increase participation and indirectly encourage discussion about your brand.

Conclusion

 

As you can understand, User-generated content plays a significant role, not only in terms of conversions but also in brand awareness.

 

As long as you read this post, you are ready to put theory into practice. Aren’t you?

 

Thus, exploit contests, reviews, case studies, FAQs, already mentioned above, as UGC best practices for increased visibility.

 

Choose the ones that suit you better and unleash the power of user- generated content.

Always have in mind how to use this power; take advantage of the benefits and eliminate the threats. Then, success is in your hands…

 

What about you?  Which is your best UGC best practice to increase brand awareness?

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