Your Brand’s Secret Weapon: User Generated Content

What if we told you there was a way to magnify the impact of your advertising and media budget without spending a huge amount of money? Right now, regardless of how big your company or organization is, there’s a hidden resource that largely goes untapped.

This dormant powerhouse? Your clients and customers.

According to a Business Wire survey, this form of digital word of mouth is woefully underutilized:

• Consumers are two times more likely to share content because they want a friend to know about a brand, but only 14 percent of brands are aware of this intent.
• Brands don’t want to appear pushy, so only 16 percent provide specific directions on how consumers should create and share UGC. However, 53 percent of consumers want to be told exactly what to do, and 42 percent want brands to share examples of photos and videos that help guide consumers in creating content.
By cultivating and using User Generated Content (UGC — also known as consumer-generated content), you can amplify the reach and success of your marketing messages without expending a huge amount of energy and money. These clients and customers don’t necessarily have to be professional social media influencers. In fact, by harnessing the digital footprints of everyday people, your marketing message can have lasting staying power, resonate more strongly with the “average” person, contribute to longtail search engine optimization (SEO), and positively influence your sentiment ratios.

Simply defined, UGC can be:



Social media content
(e.g., a Tweet about your brand)


Product reviews

Live streams

Blog posts

YouTube content

Podcast mentions

Sometimes referred to as brand advocates, these cheerleaders for your brand act as a complement to any and all existing campaigns you may be running. With a little bit of support, they can be an integral part of your company’s success.

Where to find them? Most of your greatest fans can be found in your databases, client lists, trade show visitors — sometimes you can even find them among your negative reviews. To paraphrase Bill Gates, your greatest customer service lessons may come from those who have experienced difficulty with your service or product. When you address and convert a negative review into a positive experience, you’ve unleashed the potential of a powerful brand advocate.

Possible sources UGC can also be identified by using Google Alerts, running searches for specific terms or hashtags or topics. Companies can also take the lead by generating UGC campaigns, focusing on a specific campaign, demographic, community or event. Once you’ve determined a clear UGC ask from your customers, share it anywhere they are likely to interact with your brand:

Your social channels bios

Other user-generated content social media posts

Your website/emails/newsletters

Your physical location

Your product packaging

Your signage (e.g., events)

Before launching any UGC campaign, make sure that you’re tying it to a stated marketing goal that can be measured — your Return On Investment (ROI) can be anything — conversion rates, foot traffic, higher engagement, or sales goals. Whatever your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) may be, make sure to create a mechanism for quantifying your efforts.

Done properly, a successful UGC campaign is fun for everyone. If you’re ready to create an active collaboration with your clients and customers through employing a User Generated Content campaign, drop us a line via our contact page, or zap off an email to Marissa at [email protected].