By Sara Smith, Owner of QwikBrands, EFund Expert Network provider
Ahhh… those easy, lake-breezy days of summer. Who could ask for anything more? But wait! You have marketing to do. As a small business owner, it can be tempting to put marketing on the back burner when the days get longer and business is booming.
The Importance of Marketing Even in Busy Times
As the summer season unfolds, marketing should never take a vacation. It’s crucial to remember the power of consistent marketing. As the saying goes, “The best time to market is when you are busy.” While it may seem counterintuitive, keeping your marketing efforts alive during the summer ensures you maintain brand visibility, attract new customers, and foster customer loyalty year round. So, how do you keep your marketing going when you are strapped for time? Enter user-generated content (UGC), the Secret Marketing Weapon for when business is booming and time is scarce. Let’s dive in and discover how UGC can revolutionize your summer marketing strategy.
What is User-Generated Content?
Simply put, user-generated content refers to content your customers create, such as reviews, photos, videos, and social media posts, that showcase their experiences with your products or services. Leveraging UGC saves you time and resources and adds a genuine and relatable touch to your marketing.
Getting Started with UGC
1. Encourage and Engage Your Customers: Actively encourage your customers to share their experiences and content related to your business. Create incentives like giveaways, discounts, or exclusive access to motivate them. Engage with their UGC by liking, commenting, and sharing, showing appreciation for their contributions.
2. Create a Dedicated Hashtag: Develop a unique and catchy hashtag that customers can use when sharing content about your business. This helps gather UGC in one central place and makes it easier for others to discover and engage with your brand. Below are some examples for inspiration:
1. #LoveMy_____: Fill in the blank with the name of your business or product to encourage customers to share their love and appreciation.
2. #ShareThe_____Joy: Encourage customers to capture and share moments of joy they experience with your brand.
3. #InspiredBy_____: Insert your brand name or a specific product/service to inspire customers to create UGC based on their inspiration.
4. #SummerWith_____: Encourage customers to share how they incorporate your products or services into their summer activities.
5. #MadeWith_____: Encourage customers to share their creations or projects made using your products.
6. #Favorite_____: Ask customers to share their favorite aspect, feature, or product from your business.
7. #MyBusinessAdventures: Encourage customers to share their experiences and adventures related to your products or services.
8. #MyBusinessEssentials: Encourage customers to showcase your business’s role in their daily lives.
9. #UnboxHappiness: Encourage customers to share unboxing experiences and the joy they feel when receiving your products.
3. Showcase UGC on Your Digital Platforms: Display UGC prominently on your website through a UGC gallery or customer spotlight section. Regularly share UGC on your social media channels. Make sure to credit the original creators. By featuring your customers’ content, you create a sense of community and authenticity around your brand.
4. Obtain Permission and Rights: Before using UGC in your marketing efforts, seek permission from the content creators and obtain any necessary rights. You can do this by simply requesting permission via a comment or message. Respect copyright laws and demonstrate appreciation for your customers’ contributions.
5. Harness the Power of Influencer UGC: Collaborate with influencers or content creators who align with your brand. Compensate them for their contributions and encourage them to create UGC that promotes your business. Influencer UGC combines the authenticity of user-generated content with the reach of influencer marketing. Consider using a company like JoinBrands.com to find influencers and content creators.
Maximizing the Potential of UGC
To make the most of UGC, consider these additional tips:
● Create UGC campaigns with specific themes or prompts to encourage more targeted content.
● Use UGC as social proof on product pages, testimonials, or case studies to build trust and credibility.
● Engage with UGC creators and your audience by responding to comments and starting conversations.
● Leverage UGC in your email marketing campaigns to showcase customer stories and experiences.
● Monitor and measure the impact of UGC using data analytics tools to refine your strategy and improve results.
Embrace the power of UGC
Implementing UGC creates a meaningful connection with your target audience, drives brand awareness, and boosts customer engagement. So, embrace UGC’s power, harness your customers’ creativity and authenticity, and let them become your brand ambassadors.
By encouraging and curating user-generated content, you can tap into the authentic voices of your customers, build trust, and foster a sense of community around your brand.
Happy summer marketing and may your UGC efforts shine bright like the summer sun!
About the Author
Sara Smith is the owner of QwikBrands Marketing + Design + Content (formerly known as Riversmith Media) and has been a member of Entrepreneur Fund’s Expert Network since 2020.
From simple and easy-to-maintain websites to full-blown magazines designed to engage, she specializes in helping small business owners and solopreneurs create a market and internet presence that fits her client’s business style, time, and budget.