Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content (UGC) as authentic compared to content created by brands. This offers brands an important credibility boost since most people say less than half of brands create authentic content.
At Franchise Ramp, we’ve closely watched the rise of user-generated content and how this consumer-facing strategy can be leveraged so franchisees can dominate their local markets.
First off, UGC is content that is created by the people who engage with a brand, product, or service. UGC can take many forms, from a video testimonial to a mention on an Instagram story.
Now more than ever, Internet-users are on high alert for disingenuous marketing tactics popping up on their newsfeeds. However, consumers consider UGC to be more authentic and trustworthy than branded content, making this an ideal way to engage your potential candidates.
So, how can you showcase and inspire brand loyalty AND leverage the power of user-generated content?
How to Showcase and Inspire Brand Loyalty
We recommend gathering a number of video testimonials from various clients of your business with a motley of professional backgrounds. Not only will this give you a broad range of testimonials to use on different assets, but you will also give potential customers the chance to identify with a member of your community whose path is similar to their own.
User-generated photos are a way to help build out your content library so you’ve always got relevant material to share. Try a brand-specific hashtag your customers can rally behind, or even a giveaway to inspire your customers to showcase their brand loyalty.
In addition, customer reviews have their place in your marketing assets. These reviews can be used anywhere on your marketing assets, from your website to a PPC landing page to paid advertisement.
Leverage Your Social Media Presence
A strong social media presence can demonstrate to potential customers that there is a significant interest in your brand. This is especially relevant for customers with large Millennial and Gen Z demographics, such as gyms or quick-service restaurants. High engagement rates signal to candidates that your franchise is able to create community among customers, which strengthens the brand as a whole.
Best practices for sharing user-generated content
Always Request Permission: A branded hashtag is a great way to collect user-generated content. However, it’s a good idea to ask for permission even when a post includes your tag. Re-sharing that content without explicit permission is a surefire way to kill goodwill and annoy some of your best brand advocates.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due: When you share user-generated content on your social media channels, make sure to give clear credit to the original creator. Tag them directly in the post. Indicate whether you’re using their visuals, their words, or both. Always give credit where credit is due.
Create Clear Guidelines: UGC creators want you to share their content. That means they want you to tell them what kind of content you’re most likely to share. Be clear about what kind of content you’re looking for by creating guidelines.
Use search streams to find user-generated content you might have missed: If you focus on collecting user-generated content only when users tag you or use your branded hashtag, you’re missing out on tons of potential content. As part of your social listening program, you should be keeping an eye out for all mentions of your brand or your products on social media, even if you’re not tagged.