Fuel Social Marketing With User Generated Content

Curation, cultivation and permission are the core of a strong social content plan.

Today’s social marketer faces a daunting challenge: how to generate content that drives awareness and conversion without significant advertising dollars to an audience that is oversaturated and difficult to reach? One global airline answered this challenge by turning to user generated content (UGC). The company curated and republished content that aligned to its social marketing strategy and grew the quantity of content it published. Engagement with this content was consistently higher than their brand-developed content.

The effective use of UGC requires a solid social marketing strategy supported by a social content strategy, noted Jay Wilson, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders. It also requires firm understanding of permission best practices to stay on the right side of the legal and reputational line.

Follow these three tenets to leverage the full power of UGC and avoid the perils of consent issues.

Clarify the role of user content

UGC is particularly suited to driving consideration and conversion given its authenticity. 84% of millennials say UGC from strangers has at least some influence on what they buy. The PGA Tour Superstore launched a UGC-driven holiday gift guide that converted at a 40% higher rate. Revisit your social marketing strategy and the content pillars that support it to determine where UGC can add authenticity and scale to your efforts.

Cultivate and curate

Curating UGC is straightforward. Use social listening tools to identify relevant content on the social Web and republish it to your audience. The global airline that aligned UGC efforts to their broader social marketing efforts did so by focusing on three key topic areas: positive customer testimonials, travel stories about destinations and trending news relevant for its brand. Their agency set aside an hour a day to curate relevant content.

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Source: Gartner