08/06/20 // Written by SophieJackson

User-Generated Content Should Be at The Heart of Marketing Post-COVID

The marketing landscape has never faced anything quite like the outbreak of the coronavirus. Campaigns have been put on hold or have dramatically changed, budgets have been moved, and the social media landscape has taken a swift turn. But among all the negativity, there is hope. The way people are buying goods and interacting with brands online has never been so dynamic.

eCommerce businesses, for example, have seen a massive boost, with online orders up by 108 percent YoY! The amount of time we spend on social platforms has also seen a rise. Daily usage of Facebook is up by 27 percent, YouTube is up by 15 percent and TikTok by 15 percent too. With the world on lockdown, it’s no surprise people are well and truly living their lives in online spaces, with shopping and entertainment both shifting to the digital world.

Thanks to this movement, we’ve seen brands become increasingly active on social media. It’s safe to say, for brands to succeed in the current and post-COVID environment, they need to look at social media and other digital marketing activities in a completely different way.

“You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level”

If you work in marketing, whether that’s in-house or for an agency, you’ll have noticed the shift in budgets. With many businesses fearful that consumers are reducing their spending, those in marketing are re-evaluating priorities and looking at how they can reach and connect with consumers of today.

Becoming forevermore digitally savvy, today’s consumer is online. They want a connection and to engage with their favourite brands. One of the best ways they can do this is via social media platforms.

With budgets being reduced, marketers and social media experts have to look for new and innovative ways to create engaging and grabbing content. What better way to do that than through the customers themselves!

Nowadays, we’re all content creators, with many of us searching for the best lighting, the perfect backdrop and new, creative ways to show off our lives at home. People are creating and sharing photos and videos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok in record numbers. These organic, unvarnished experiences – often referred to as user-generated content (UGC) – are what customers crave and trust.

Pandemic or not, authentic and natural user-generated content is a sustainable, cost-effective and influential source of content that brands need to build trust among their consumers and followers. This new-found trust can subsequently increase sales and deepen long-term relationships with your audience. A win, win!

In times of uncertainty, people turn to brands they trust

Now is the time to build strong relationships and customer loyalty with your audience. The number one way to generate this trust is through shared, authentic experiences.

According to a study by Neilsen Research, a whopping 92 percent of consumers trust earned media, like user-generated content, more than any other form of content! Why not reach out to your customer base on social media or check your tagged feed on the likes of Instagram, to see what content you have readily available to you.

In fact, 87 percent of people say that social media posts are the driving force behind them making a purchase, with 56 percent saying they rely on reviews to make informed online purchase decisions faster. It’s true that the demand for digital content is higher than ever before, and brands need to embrace the human element to showcase authenticity among their followers. Without this, they’re destined to fall behind the rest.

The world is changing and brands need to change with it, including how they “do” social media. With many people at home, the demand for human connection is much higher. Why not stand out from the crowd and grow you bank of user-generated content for now and for a time post-Covid.

Ways to boost your user-generated content

  • Choose the social platform you think will be most effective
  • Set specific UGC goals
  • Tell your followers what type of content you want – you can encourage this by using a specific hashtag or running a competition
  • Focus on the community element and collaborate
  • Don’t take without asking! Remember to get permission either via a direct message or by leaving a comment
  • Use analytics and measure how well your UGC works – some types might, others might not!

User-generated content can be tricky when you first begin, but following the advice above, you can use it to your brand’s advantage. If you want to know more about UGC and how it can help engage your audience in a post-COVID world, contact our team today.