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How user generated content can grow your brand

 
Is user generated content the latest fad, or is it a viable way for you to grow your business?

First, let's define it. User generated content (UGC) is any content that unpaid contributors, your customers or fans share online. This might be in the format of reviews, social media posts, videos, blog posts, tweets, pictures and more.

It's a big boon for your startup, not the latest fad, and it's something you should definitely be encouraging your customers to do.

To help you, let's look at how user generated content can grow your brand.

UGC increases exposure

When your customers share photos and videos on social media, using your product, it increases your exposure.

How? Because when they share, their followers see the post or tweet and begin to have good feelings for your startup. Eventually, they'll trust you because someone shared about you online.

If those same customers go on to leave you a Facebook or Google review, again it increases your brand awareness. 

UGC increases engagement

 Imagine this scenario, Bob Smith comes into your business and makes a purchase (a new grill). He is blown away by the customer service. Not only did your staff make him feel welcome, someone even called him after his purchase to follow up and ask if he had any questions.

Several days after the purchase, you send Bob Smith a gift card to buy grass-fed beef from a local supplier. Again, Bob is wowed.

Bob takes to Facebook to share photos of himself with your product. He writes about the stellar service, going so far as to also leave you a five-star review with comments.

Now, his friends are all envious of his purchase, and Bob knows this. He shares the post with his friends who all start to engage with it. Soon, you see a string of 15 comments on Bob's post.

Bob's user generated content boosted your engagement, 15 people commented on it, and countless others saw the post.

In the following week, you sell four more of the same grill to people who saw Bob's post.

Not only did the content generate engagement, but it resulted in additional sales.

UGC builds your social following

As a startup, you're looking for social media followers.

You'll find that as your customers share content on their own social media platforms, your business will pick up new followers.

How? Simply because they discovered your brand through one of their acquaintance's posts or tweets.

This is great for you because you've not only gotten new followers, but you'll find these people trust you since you came recommended in an authentic way.

UGC generates trust

Social proof has never been more important for businesses. Why? People rely on the feedback of others to decide if and when they should purchase a product or service.

Too many negatives, and it's harder for you to earn the sale.

This is where user generated content comes in. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to build your business and your customer base.

It's hard for some people to take a leap of faith, especially where startups are concerned.

User generated content makes it easy for customers to buy from you because others had a good experience.

Final thoughts

If you have a new startup or a small business, and you're trying to grow your customer base, you might find it difficult to convince first-time customers to take the leap and purchase from you.

It can take a long time and a lot of money to build brand awareness and trust with traditional marketing methods.

We've looked at how user generated content can grow your brand. This is marketing that you don't have to pay anything for.

Gaining your customer's trust is big business, yet, with user generated content, you can speed things along.

The value of user generated content is that it's uniquely poised to help you develop trust across a wide target market.

When your first, brave customers come to love your brand and feel they've received the best service possible, they are terrific at spreading the word.

Bottom line – user generated content is more trusted by your potential customers than content you generate.

Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.

Image: Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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