User-generated content is the next wave of content marketing, and it’s something that B2B businesses will need to adapt to if they want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends. But what exactly is user-generated content marketing, and can it help B2B businesses?
What is User-Generated Content Marketing?
User-generated content marketing refers to any strategy that uses user-generated content to drive awareness, engagement, conversions, or build credibility and authority for your brand.
User-generated content can come in several different formats, including:
- Sharing photos/social media posts with a branded hashtag
- Sharing testimonials/reviews for a brand’s products/services on their website, social media profile, or another platform
- Sharing live video content of a brand’s product/service in use
- Leaving comments on blog posts/social media posts, etc.
Pros and Cons of User-Generated Content Marketing
User-generated content (UGC) marketing is a popular strategy for brands. The idea is that by allowing customers to create content, they will be more engaged with a brand’s products or services.
The goal is for that content to go viral and generate brand awareness and more sales leads or conversions.
However, like any marketing strategy, there are pros and cons worth considering when it comes to including UGC in your marketing strategy.
Pros to Using User-Generated Content in Your Marketing
User-generated content is an amazing tool to use in your B2B marketing strategy. It allows you to leverage the power of your customers to generate content that can go viral and help you reach new audiences.
It also allows your customers to feel like they are a part of your business and will help them feel more comfortable purchasing your products or services later on down the line.
In fact, research shows that approximately 93% of marketers agree that user-generated content is trusted more by consumers than any other form of content. Why? It’s simple – People trust their fellow consumers. Unlike brands, they have nothing to gain from posting their thoughts and opinions, who are more likely to talk up their goods/services to try and earn a sale.
Cons of Using User-Generated Content in Your Marketing
While user-generated content is a great tool to use in your B2B marketing strategy, it‘s not without its downsides.
For example, it can be challenging to manage all the content shared about your brand. If you don’t have a solid plan in place, it can be hard to keep track of all of this content and make sure others aren’t seeing any negative feedback.
You may also see that some of the content shared could be fake or inaccurate. Unfortunately, this can be a big red flag for potential customers and can hurt your brand’s reputation. A poorly written review or article could negatively impact the brand’s visibility.
If you encounter this kind of inaccurate or negative information, don’t simply delete it – as this can come off as poor behavior to your audience. Instead, take the time to address it publicly (in a response via comment, etc.) and show your audience that you are willing to rectify any issues when possible.
Different Approaches to User-Generated Content Marketing
If you’re trying to generate leads, the strategies you employ now will determine whether you succeed. If you’re looking to build relationships with your audience, you need to be using user-generated content marketing.
Not quite sure how to get started? Here are five different approaches you can start taking today:
1. Building Brand Awareness Through Hashtag Campaigns
One of the most popular ways for a B2B brand to utilize user-generated content is through hashtag campaigns.
These campaigns encourage customers to share photos and videos on social media with a branded hashtag. This helps the brand build brand awareness while also providing customers with a fun, interactive way to share their experiences with the brand.
Having a branded hashtag is also an excellent way to give your audience direct insight into your company’s culture, especially when employees share their experiences working with your brand.
2. Featuring Testimonials to Build Brand Credibility/Authority
A good way to generate customer interest in your products or services is to feature customer testimonials on your website or social media accounts.
These testimonials are an excellent way to show that your brand is dedicated to offering the best customer service possible. When a potential customer sees that another customer is happy with your brand, they’re much more likely to make the decision that your brand is worth pursuing.
It might even prompt them to share their own positive experiences with their friends and networks on social media, resulting in a viral marketing campaign.
3. Using User Generated Content to Drive Re-Targeting and Upselling with Customer Interactions and Referrals
If you’re trying to drive retargeting and upselling with customer interactions and referrals, utilizing user-generated content is one of the best ways.
The idea behind this approach is to encourage users to share their reviews or experiences with your products or services on social media. This is a great way to get customers to share their recommendations with their friends and start thinking of new products or services to try.
You can then save these comments/testimonials and use them in your retargeting and upselling campaigns. When someone abandons a service page or e-commerce cart, you can then send them a reminder to come back and include a customer review/testimonial to help prove to that lead that their action will be well worth it in the end.
4. Creating Live Videos to Promote Events, Products, and Services
You can also use user-generated content to promote your events, products, and services. For instance, you could create videos of your event venue to show off the experience and create a sense of community.
You can even create video testimonials where customers talk about their experience and what was great about your product or services. If you’re using social media for your event promotion, feel free to include links to your website and social media accounts.
5. Using UGC in Blog Content to Prove a Point
Finally, when creating your blog or other content, you’re likely going to make some commentary that will come off as promotional, such as your product can do this or your services result in that.
Instead of simply making claims and hoping that your audience goes along with it, you can use your collected UGC to help prove just how beneficial your products or services can be.
This approach allows you to demonstrate the truth of your product or service. Your audience will be more likely to buy from your brand if they know that it has real benefits and that your brand is serious about quality and customer satisfaction.
Content Marketing Is Changing – Hushly Can Help You Stay on Top
Content marketing is changing. It’s no longer about creating content and hoping it’ll attract an audience. It’s about building an audience and attracting qualified leads.
While utilizing user-generated content marketing strategies can help significantly, it’s not the only approach worth considering.
Check out our guide on how B2B content marketing is changing and stay on top of the curve!