When it comes to showing your brand on Instagram, you are trying to do your best to create professional images of your brand’s products or services in order to immediately catch your audience’s attention. You also want to evoke sense of curiosity, encourage to engage with your brand’s content and most probably visit your brand’s website.
Definitely, great Instagram pictures are crucial of getting an audience to stop scrolling and pay attention.
However, the reality is that nowadays audience is fed up with refined and professional brand’s pictures on Instagram. They want to see authenticity.
So, what should you do to keep audience interest?
Just include user-generated content into your marketing strategy. This type of content is known for not only generating a huge word-of-mouth of your brand, but also for improving engagement level, boosting amount of your followers or even driving sales.
In this article, I am going to explain you what exactly user-generated content is, why it is important for your brand and how to include it into your Instagram marketing strategy.
Let’s dive right into it!
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content (UGC) is essentially any type of content that is produced by customers of your brand’s products or services on their own pages. It may be anything from images, videos to review posts and testimonials.
In other words, users create and share posts about your brand, showing or telling about its products or services to their audience. However, the more important is that you can turn these users’ posts into your marketing content on Instagram and, consequently, increase your brand’s credibility. Simple, but providing very effective results.
According to social media studies, user-generated content generates 50% higher engagement level rather than branded pictures. And that’s not all! Researches state that uploading user-generated content on Instagram, you can improve your brand’s conversions by up to 64%. What is more, 85% of customers find user-generated content more convincing than images created by a brand.
Now you see, it’s obviously worth trying!
However, let’s put numbers aside because there are more great reasons why you need to include user-generated content into your marketing strategy.
Why you should be using user-generated content?
1.It is costless
The first benefit, which you can receive if you use user-generated content on Instagram, is that this content is affordable.
It means that you don’t need to spend money to re-share user-generated content on your brand’s Instagram profile. What you really need is just to ask your followers for a permission to repost their created content.
2. Makes your brand more authentic
It is not a secret that customers don’t care about brands’ products and services if they can’t satisfy their needs and wants.
When you show off your products or services benefits as more precisely as possible because your goal is to sell them, it is most probably that users will not even pay attention to your brand.
The problem is that nowadays Instagram is full of the similar polished brands’ images and actually customers are tired of this content, they want to see something authentic.
Social media studies say that people consider user-generated content 2.4 times more authentic comparing with branded posts. In this case, it is advised not to doubt in effectiveness of UGC and start using it on your Instagram.
Instagram users like to share content about brands because they want their friends to see it. Therefore, if you ask your followers to create content related to your brand, then it will not look like marketing.
Once you re-share posts produced by other Instagram users, you give them a social proof that, consequently, helps you to receive trust and authority of your brand. Moreover, when your customers begin creating and uploading user-generated content on their Instagram profiles, your brand becomes more visible and open. This means that your brand is able to reach the new Instagram audiences and retain the existing followers.
3. Creates your brand’s trust
Nowadays customers’ behavior has changed. A majority of users before making a purchase look for user-generated content in order to help them take a decision.
The answer is simple. Because people trust people more than brands. They think that people only share products or services they find useful, due to this they rely on recommendations. Furthermore, according to researches, 92% of customers are more likely to believe a friend’s recommendation rather than a perfectly looking branded post.
In this case, it is advised to ask your followers to create user-generated content, so, your brand will earn people’s trust and you most likely increase an amount of customers.
For instance, when your followers share a photo with your brand’s product on their Instagram profile and even tag it, then their audience most probably thinks that they use this product and begin to trust your brand. What is more, there are high chances that your followers’ audience will start considering about trying this product as well.
4. Influences purchasing decisions
Another benefit which user-generated content can provide you with is the impact on people’s purchasing decisions.
Studies show that approximately 80% of people affirm that user-generated content influences on their buying decision.
As it was mentioned before, today’s audience before making a purchase of particular products or services, first of all, search for user-generated content in order to see what other people think and understand whether these products or services are worth to buy or not.
Also in order to help people to make a decision and drive sales, it is recommended to insert user-generated content into your Instagram Stories. However, it is better if you put your Stories into Highlights, in this case, letting your audience see as long as they need to feel comfortable going to your brand’s webpage to buy. So, by taking these actions, you can easily induce users to make a positive purchasing decision regarding your brand’s products or services.
5. Saves time and efforts
If you have ever had an experience in creating an appealing post with an engaging description, you most likely know how much time and creativity it requires.
However, when your followers create user-generated content, your life becomes easier. The only thing what you need to do is to encourage your customers, who like your brand and its products or services, to produce attractive user-generated content.
In this case, you will receive a lot of free, engaging content and promotion of your brand from its fans.
Don’t doubt in an advantage of using user-generated content, better impel your followers to produce some attractive posts related to your brand and you will not only save your time on creating great content, but also make people feel valued by your brand.
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The best practices to include user-generated content into your Instagram marketing strategy
If you are a known brand on Instagram, it is more likely that your fans are ready to create appealing content for you. However, if you are just started your Instagram account, then your task is to encourage user-generated content first.
Here are the methods how you can do it on Instagram.
1.Create a branded hashtag
Provide your audience with an easy way to upload their produced content on Instagram and make it visible by creating a unique hashtag related to your brand.
However, due to a reason that lots of hashtags are being created every day, coming up with a special hashtag may be a little bit tricky.
Therefore, in order to make a special hashtag, keep in mind the following tips. First of all, your hashtag should be short and catchy. Because if your hashtag is long, then it will be hard to remember it and most probably it will not catch users’ attention. Secondly, created hashtag needs to be related to your brand. And finally, make it rare and original. Actually, the rarer your hashtag is, the better for your brand.
2. Get a permission
Usage of a branded hashtag is perfect way to find and identify user-generated content on Instagram related to your brand. Although an Instagram post has your created tag, it is advised to ask for permission to re-share a post. Because sometimes people can use your branded hashtags without knowing that you included them into a user-generated content’s campaign.
By reposting people’s content without an exact permission you will only destroy trust of your followers. However, when you request permission, you show posts’ creator that you like and appreciate their content and make them feel excited about re-sharing it to your brand’s audience.
So, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, better receive permission to repost user-generated content.
3. Encourage users to include your created hashtag in their posts
As soon as your special hashtag is created, it’s time to encourage people to use it.
In this case, start promoting your branded hashtag on your Instagram bio. Why? Because it’s the first thing that users notice when they visit your profile. What is more, provide user-generated content’s submission steps including your created hashtag in your Instagram post’s caption.
However, if you just started up and don’t have a lot of followers, first of all make your Instagram account visible by re-sharing other users’ posts. Don’t try to pay users’ attention on your created hashtag. The only thing what you can do before is to show respect by requesting permission.
4. Offer value in return
If you want your brand’s fans to create you user-generated content, undoubtedly, you need to offer something valuable in return.
But it doesn’t mean that should provide them with prizes. Why? According to social media surveys, only 32% of people create and upload user-generated content only because they want to receive a prize. And 60% stated that they share user-generated content in order to get more likes and to have their content featured by a brand.
So, the more user-generated content you repost on your Instagram profile, the more users will be motivated to create content and tag your brand.
5. Monitor user-generated content and choose the best posts
After you promoted your unique hashtag and noticed that more people began to use it, your task is to find all Instagram posts created by other users and select the best content which you are going to repost on your profile.
6. Give credit
Found appealing user-generated content? Then, re-share it on your Instagram account and make sure to give credit to the content creator. Thus, mention this person directly in your post.
Actually, providing credit is important because in this way you show that you value content produced by other users.
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Wrapping everything up, user-generated content is not just a popular thing. Actually, it is a new strategy which helps brands to reach their objectives.
So, don’t wait until miracle happens, put earlier discussed practices and you will notice improvements.
Do you include user-generated content into your Instagram marketing strategy? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below!