What is user-generated content (UGC)?
A constant challenge for brands operating online is to be able to create refreshingly new, great-looking content which enhances the experience of their customers and helps drive sales.
Utilising content produced directly by real people who experience the products you sell can be a powerful endorsement and can give access to some truly unique content that has high visual impact and is really engaging for customers.
The benefits of featuring UGC
Higher customer engagement, improved conversion and reduced content costs all come through the effective use of UGC.
Customer are more engaged by content they see produced by real people just like them rather than professionally produced images. Your customers are at least two-times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by your own brand.
UCG brings a whole new level of authenticity to your proposition to help build trust in your brand in much the same way as presenting reviews from Trip Adviser or other independent review services.
Customers also spend more time interacting with this content on your site. Think about how long people spend on social media like Facebook and Instagram scanning for something that engages them. This content acts in the same way but directly on your site.
With this engagement and openness comes confidence to purchase from you over others. UGC has a massive impact on purchase decisions. As many as 80-percent of people say user-generated content influences their decision to buy.
That’s not all. Incorporating UGC will help you build your own media asset bank of content to use right across your channels including social and display and the rights management is fully covered so you can feel safe that you have image rights.
How to show off all that incredible content
Most brands will already be aware of how important UGC is to their business. However, many struggle to maximise the exposure of such content alongside their website because they don’t quite know how.
Let’s assume YOUR brand is featuring user-generated content on your website. You’ve promoted your unique #hashtag to customers who are posting some incredible content related to your brand. You are also gathering content from some selected #hashtags. So, what’s next? How about highlighting all that gorgeous content within a feed on your website for all your visitors to engage with?
Take a look at what The Content Gym have curated below to exhibit the best of the UK’s Lake District…stunning
…Now imagine a dedicated content feed unique to your brand, product or service appearing directly on your website.
The Content Gym brings you a fully managed solution for UGC. Using leading software and a team of expert content curators, we work to your brand guidelines in bringing you exactly the type of content that you want to present to customers from leading social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin, Vimeo or Reddit.
Whether its from your promoted brand #hashtag, a topic #hashtag or a supplier account, our service can aggregate this together into high impact presentations.
There is minimal technical overhead required by you. A simple “paste” of a short piece of code is all that is needed (regardless of which layout design you choose).
We’ll help you optimise your content by monitoring the level of engagement from your customers and replace what’s not hitting the mark. Remember, as long as real people are out there producing content, your site will look fresh for every visitor given our ongoing curation service.
We will curate your content, manage the rights to use the images and optimise that content.
How those in the tourism industry can utilise our UGC service
Tour operators will rejoice at the idea of using our managed tool to publish numerous feeds to accompany their destination landing pages. Imagine placing a dedicated feed to inspire prospective customers as to the allure of a particular holiday location. Equally, the feed could be implemented by holiday type or theme. In our example, we’ve chosen ski holidays, but you could source photos and videos of Africa game drives, adventure tours, family beach holidays, honeymoons or cruises.
To view our full, dedicated tour operator feed that we’ve created to best show off what real people have been sharing while on a ski or snowboard trip, click here.
By aggregating numerous hashtags around the theme ‘London Attractions’ we have successfully curated content that highlights the best places to visit in the UK’s capital city, including its royal parks, museums, markets and famous neighbourhoods. Such presence of a similarly themed feed would help website owners who perhaps promote attraction tickets, transportation, local travel guides or city tours.
If you would like to view a fully-dynamic feed that we’ve built to show how this could be presented on an attractions website, click here.
Offices for tourism could benefit from featuring a user-generated feed that shares what visitors are most enjoying in the region real-time. Either by using their own official hashtag or tags associated to prime hotspots, the feed can include tourists experiencing a pleasure-boat cruise, a picnic in the park, a stroll along coastal paths or sampling the local cuisine.
We’ve used a hashtag relating to Cornwall to present this example of destination content. Check out a dynamic version of the feed that also shows some video and a vast number of great visuals by clicking here.
Accommodation providers such as hotels and holiday letting agents can utilise our managed feed to show a portfolio of their properties and guests enjoying their stays. Why hire a professional photographer to capture the essence of your holiday dwellings when real guests can do that for you? Plus, remember what we already said about trust and authenticity?
To view a feed we set up specifically for the purpose of showcasing UK holiday cottages (that looks amazing for hotels, apartments and lodges too), click here.
Want to know more?
Please contact us to find out more about how our user-generated content service can help your business.