Content marketing has made a major impact on marketers within the last few years, as it’s become an integral part of any successful marketing program. The thought process behind content marketing hinges on creating relevant messages for customers and potential clients. When consumers’ interests are in mind, there is a greater likelihood that content will be downloaded, shared, viewed or liked. But, are there other ways to keep up with consumer interests and continue to promote targeted, relevant content? Enter user-generated content.
User generated content (UGC) is defined as, “Any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video and audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available by social media websites.”1 So, how can brands use UGC to improve the awareness of their products and services?
Brands can use personalization to build awareness and then use social media to promote that piece of content. That piece of content can then be retweeted, reposted or go viral creating the time of positive publicity brands crave. For example, a popular brand used personalization on its product by creating a campaign where people could “their name.” Those people could then upload a photo of him/herself drinking “their name,” which not only advertised that drink brand, but it also prompted others to do the same.
Companies are also setting up contests for individuals to share their creative ideas or artwork for a particular product on social media. Allowing that type of consumer involvement gives the organization the ability to show that it not only wants input from its customers and potential clients, but also it will use that input and feedback to build its brand and increase awareness.
Finally, organizations are building campaigns that include customer video testimonials. Once uploaded to social media, these videos are shared and give consumers the ability to watch learn more from people just like them. Customer perceptions are important for others to see and hear especially when they are making purchasing decisions. Positive reinforcement from people who have used and experienced an organization’s product is sometimes the deciding factor when potential buyers are contemplating whether to or not to make a purchase.
Creating relevant content has become a big factor when determining the success of a marketing program. Trust is crucial for every consumer and generating content based on what consumers believe and understand is an impactful way to target consumers.