User-generated content is more than just a marketing buzzword floating around. True UGC can be a catalyst for elevating your business and your brand, if used correctly. User-generated content is the true feedback of a brand, so what your audience is saying about you speaks volumes. We sat down our CEO Scott Warner, tapping into his UGC-guru brain to find out how to really leverage UGC and make it the best marketing tool in your arsenal. 
“UGC is really awesome because it’s the heart and soul of a brand, it’s a representation of your brand in its truest form, it’s true feedback” Scott said. “It’s the best form of marketing because it’s real and authentic. It’s not posed or fake, so people have a higher level of engagement and believability.” Read Scott’s tried and true tips below.

Find the Good Stuff, Post the Good Stuff

Look for content that is real, authentic to your brand. User-generated content yields a higher level of engagement on social platforms, so use a branded hashtag and collect, collect, collect. Look for content that will resonate not only with the current audience, but attract a new audience as well. 
“One of the best uses of user-generated content is building loyalty with your existing customers, but finding new loyalty, too,” Scott said. Keep content relevant to your brand, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Part of learning your audience means branching out and testing new content types or strategies.

Be Creative

Promoting UGC can be tough at times, so be creative. Include calls to action on your packaging or promotional materials. Weber State University in Utah sends swag to their newly admitted students, using the hashtags #weberstate and #getintoweber, encouraging them to post with the hashtag.
If your business has an event or a tradeshow coming up, decide on a hashtag and market it. At Dental Intel’s Mastery Summit event, a hashtag #dimasterysummit, was used and prominently displayed for attendees to share.
Include branded hashtags on any mailers or on any swag you distribute. Use hashtags in your own posts and encourage your audience to post as well. (If you’re new to UGC, check this post and this one, too.)

Promote UGC

Not getting sufficient user-generated content? Try creating something memorable or post-worthy that will incentivize and encourage your customers to take and share pictures on social platforms. BamBam’s BBQ in Orem, Utah uses a creative menu and an infamous bronze pig to catch customer’s attention. The unique pig statue, donning a chain necklace, is synonymous with BamBam’s BBQ, and is a unique way for customers to share their BamBam’s experience. 
Gigg customers Eat The Frog Fitness fashioned a neon green sign for their hashtag, #frogsquad, and features pictures of gym-goers underneath the sign.

Let Your Audience Determine Your Marketing

Pay close attention to what your audience is saying, and they will determine your marketing plan. “Too many companies rely on a board of ten executives or a marketing team to design their marketing efforts, without taking into consideration anything their customers really want,” Scott said. “Tuning into your user-generated content allows a unique opportunity to be truly aware of how your audience sees you. Let your audience determine the best way to execute your marketing efforts.”
If you’ve had success with using UGC in your marketing plan, or if you’ve had a success story with a particular Gigg platform, we’d love to hear!