The consumer is the best compass for your branding strategy. A recent Salesforce Research discovered that 47% of marketers use user-generated content as part of their content strategy.
Flip to the other side of the coin….
We find that shoppers rely heavily on search engine results. More than 25% of the search results for the 20 largest brands in the world link come from the user-generated content.
Given the numbers, it is logical to question why User Generated Content (UGC) works so well?
Why does a marketing campaign with zero UGC approach goes down the drain?
Well, the reason is crystal. When other people post about their experiences, it elicits a psychological response.
Potential customers hear people talking about the product/service. This gives them the social proof of whether that product/service is relevant for them. The credibility of that brand increases in the market.
We hope you will figure out all your queries at the end of this blog post.
What is User Generated Content?
User-generated content describes any form of material such as blogs, videos, images, or any other form of media created by the product/service users. The end-users create it, and it is usually available for public access. In its essence, the user-generated content tends to promote the brand by the users, rather than the brand itself.
Starbucks’s famous #RedCupContest is a brilliant example of how it works. They asked their fans to post cool photos of their coffees and sign up for a chance to win a gift card. The number of photos it generated recently crossed 30k, and it is still increasing!
Benefits of User Generated Content?
UGC can be an asset to marketers if appropriately leveraged. Following are a few benefits that highlight its importance:
It promotes brand authenticity
It boosts social media reach
You can gain audience insight
It brings SEO benefits
It helps to personalize
However, you can’t just plod in the digital landscape, expecting your UGC to improve on its own. With names like Amazon and eBay around, building trust is paramount to bring ultimate success. You have to beat the odds and devise an excellent UGC approach.
The best part is, it’s a win-win for all. Customers feel their voice is being heard. Meanwhile, the brands get an opportunity to act according to the feedback.
Why improve your search engine rank?
Google is the initiation point of every purchase. If you use customer reviews, Google displays the star ratings with your link. These reviews are aptly known as rich snippets. They are likely to increase the click-through-rates (CTRs) by 30%.
These rich snippets help brands and retailers drive more traffic. According to Google, this measure will “help us better focus our support on getting you quality reviews and seller ratings, the two major keys to driving more traffic to your site.”
Besides this, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the brand also enhances.
Why is User Generated Content (UGC) so important?
Now that you know the significance of user-generated content (UGC) let’s see how it helps to power up your SEO strategy.
It keeps content fresh and unique
Regularly posting content about your brand is one thing that consumers disapprove of. They are looking for valuable insights, educational material, solutions to their problems. You must curate content that resonates with your target segment.
Gathering UGC is the best way to fulfill this need. The first step is to audit the content produced by users. If they are writing negative reviews, find out what it is that they don’t like. Next, craft content to satisfy their objections. It can be a topic of your next blog or a video you generate to address customer concerns.
Another way that UGC contributes to SEO is by giving an outsider perspective. Your audience is likely to produce content that’s different from your marketing team. They might post photos, blogs, videos, and other cool stuff about your product/service. It helps you generate content from their take.
It is all about how you can compel customers to post about your company/brand. For instance, you can plan a competition. It must focus on encouraging users to come up with some promotion ideas. Like My Oreo Creation campaign launched by Oreo. They asked the audience to pick their favorite Oreo flavor. Then, they had to create content about it for a chance to win $500K.
To sum it up, you have to be creative when it comes to keeping customers engaged.
And before we move on to the next perk, there is one more factor you should remember. That is – UGC search engine spiders to evaluate your website correctly. It tells the search engine whether your site is offering a valuable service to its audience. This mere factor will allow your portal to stand out from the rest that does not respond to customer testimonials and reviews.
It is a source of long-tail keywords
UGC informs you about the trending topics and interests of your customers.
When you allow visitors to leave comments, post images, and reviews, you get an idea of what these people think about your product/service.
This comes in handy when you are searching for the keywords your customers are more likely to use. You can dig into their posts and find out the right keywords and phrases.
Alternatively, you can be the one who launches a campaign. Discuss topics where people impulsively jumps into the conversation. This way, you will realize what they are looking for, and you can integrate their solutions in your product design or brand awareness.
Consider the campaign launched by Aerie, a women’s lifestyle retailer. It initiated the #AerieReal campaign with a motive to help people understand that edited photos can hurt human self-esteem. They encouraged women to share unedited photos of themselves.
Hence, SEO experts recognize the importance of long-tail keywords. These phrases help to bring organic traffic to your website and boost conversions.
More than half of the questions posted on Google each day are four words or longer. So it is best to use long-tail keywords.
Customers, these days, need specific answers to their questions. For example, if someone is looking for a laptop within a particular range, he/she is likely to type “best laptop below $500.” If you have not optimized your site to include any such blog post or content, you won’t score the top ranks.
Conversely, using such long-tail keywords in your content will allow you to grab the attention of relevant persona. This is going to be invaluable for your on-page optimization strategy.
Unless you have been dwelling under a rock, you must know how hard it has become for businesses to make an impact on social media.
Organic reach is declining every day. You can’t expect customers to promote your product/service without any personal reasons. However, if you curate content based on UGC, it might compel the users to share.
UGC helps social media optimization on different platforms. You can hop onto visual platforms, such as Instagram. Or you can create an informational post on Twitter. Instagram alone has 800 million active monthly users.
Now it’s up to you to decide your channel. It has to relate to customers somehow. You can also base your content upon the reviews left by the customers. The likelihood of this being shared and discussed is quite high.
This way, the chances of gaining attention from new customers also increase.
The Social Media Explorer states UGC as a perfect complement to any social SEO campaign. They claim, the reason for this is that UGC platforms speak, attract, and coerce action from social audiences. It takes place in such a way that overall search visibility maximizes for a digital campaign.
The trust for this company also increases on social media.
It is incredible for manual optimization
As mentioned earlier, search engine spiders crawl in every website to determine its responsiveness.
Apart from this, Google hires a bunch of experts to evaluate the reputation of every website. They study the content provided on the forum. They examine the factual discourse of the content, credibility of the developers, security assurance, and topic relevance. They use information from customers to analyze these factors.
Before these quality raters degrade your website, you must take action. Utilize the data left behind by the audience. Use it to design a well-rounded SEO strategy. When you keep on addressing the questions and modify your portal accordingly, it gets easier to climb up the search engine ranking.
Watch Out! There is one error that most marketers make during this stage. They choose the wrong spam filter to avoid content spamming. Consequently, it lowers their authority. UGC is a remarkable option if you learn how to manage it correctly.
It shapes SEO naturally
As per a study by Kissmetrics, “25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.”
UGC provides a remarkable way to promote your content organically. If a user writes about you and backlinks to your website, it will create a positive impact on your SEO. Similarly, if your portal contains keywords and internal links to credible websites, you naturally go up the ranks.
And as for the reviews, customers play their part. When they are talking about particular stuff on your website, they tend to use specific names and phrases to define it. This naturally helps SEO. Consider the example set by Calvin Klien. Brooke Shields popularized the hashtag #MyCalvin when he said, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s” in a commercial.
The company encouraged its users to fill up their own phrases in the dialogue, “I_____in #MyCalvins.” It spread like a wildfire. Soon, there were 500,000 photos on Instagram linking back to the official page of Calvin Klien.
Advance your UGC and shine
According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report research, around 92% of the adults admit that they trust peer recommendations over all other forms of advertising. Even more than those celebrity endorsements that were once all the rage. All of this boils down to one conclusion – UGC is your way to the highway.
Now, how to use it in a way that you get maximum returns? Here is how:
Deploy Multiple Channels: You have to start promoting your product on various channels. From YouTube to Emails. This will not only bring more traffic but also help you gain more reviews.
Use Backlinks: Use compulsive posts on each channel where there is a backlink to your website. Place it in such a way that users willingly click on it.
Hire creative genies: These will be the people responsible for coming up with brilliant content ideas. Also, this has to be regular (constant content updating).
Personalize your ads: Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group claims that the only way to understand your target audience is to fathom their thinking. Use this info to integrate personalization into your marketing campaign.
Furthermore, request your customers to post photos with the reviews. This will help you to become more visible to the people who start their search by the images.
Also, you must have noticed how hashtag campaigns hugely turn out in favor of the brands. Get creative and come up with any such campaign for your company.
Unique content is the focal point of every search engine out there. Yet, it can be overwhelming for SEO experts to come up with distinct and relevant content time and again. And user-generated content is a gateway to ditch this hitch!
Are you clear on why and how user-generated content boosts SEO?
If not, feel free to post your queries below. Our experts will connect with you ASAP (After all, we don’t want our ranks to fall the grid!
At SEtalks, we convince search engines to talk about our client’s businesses. Via our upbeat strategies and innovative techniques, we strengthen the online presence for businesses. We work on the motto “We win only when our clients do.”