Management of User Generated Content (UGC) has become an essential activity for many brands. Due to its trustworthy nature, it can have a huge impact on the behaviour of consumers and the performance of your marketing.
The 3 main benefits for a brand are:
- It helps sell more products/services/experiences
- It boosts website/brand traffic
- It cuts marketing costs
Previously some marketers have struggled with tracking the impact of content; 50% of B2C content marketers (Source) and 57% of B2B content marketers (Source) have found measuring content effectiveness to be a major challenge. Thankfully, UGC can provide some very clear and measurable benefits.
The Purposes Of UGC
Before starting to analyse the efficiency of your UGC activity, you’ll first need to identify the purpose and goals of your strategy.
Typical purposes include:
- Pushing direct advertising and marketing collateral into the view of customers and influencing them into an instant action
- Boost brand awareness and encourage customers to respond to seeing products and services in a positive manner
- Gather information and data on what target customers want and think, and see how they respond to competitors to help shape future strategic decisions
- Take advantage of positive social proof, capitalising on positive experiences to influence potential customers
The development of an effective UGC strategy relies on understanding what works and what doesn’t in terms through tracking changes in metrics. Comparing results against goals will then expose how to adapt and improve your plan.
UGC Metrics To Monitor
The Amount Of UGC Collected
Is your brand share-worthy? Are you exciting enough to stand out from your competitors? Do your customers care about your brand? The amount of UGC about your brand will help to answer those questions.
Monitoring the amount of UGC you’ve collected over a certain time period will disclose whether campaigns, products and services are resonating with customers or not, and why.
If you’re struggling to find enough UGC for your projects, there are many easy ways to encourage more; from running specialist competitions, promoting dedicated hashtags and actively asking customers to share their opinions and experiences.
The Time & Cost Savings
Using UGC in your campaigns can dramatically cut your marketing costs. Choosing free/cheap customer reviews, photos and videos (to name a few), over purchased stock photos, expensive photo shoots and agency produced content will save much needed money for other purposes.
Assigning UGC a theoretical charge, depending on how much it would have cost to produce if it was a piece of BGC, makes it easy to demonstrate to brand stakeholders how much marketing budget has been saved.
Also, creating a single piece of original content can take a lot of time, but by exploiting fast-flowing UGC you can keep your website up to date, relevant and engaging with a few clicks of a button.
For example, it now takes Porsche, a StoryStream customer, less than 10 mins per day to curate fresh content for a web page.
The Quality Of UGC Collected
Reading through customers content to see how much of it is positive and high-quality can reveal interesting, candid attitudes towards your brand. Knowing what they really think offers a better understanding of the customer experience and allows you to react appropriately.
Becoming aware of related complaints means that the brand can fix what’s going wrong and improve the customer journey, quickly. Similarly, learning about what customers enjoy and what makes them happy provides opportunities for you and your colleagues to create more targeted and compelling experiences, products and services.
Interactions With UGC
Monitoring and tracking the amount of times a piece of UGC has been engaged with provides insight into what topics and media are of interest to your customers, directing the course of your content planning towards more relevant and suitable material.
Increases in web metrics such as sessions and dwell times demonstrate how well the content you’re collecting is effectively capturing and holding the attention of your customers; not only bringing them to your website, but also channeling them through your sales funnel.
Optimising Your UGC For Better Performance
Now that you’re able to understand the impression UGC is having, you’ll also start to see where it can be improved to create the optimal website experience.
Including your own BGC alongside UGC posts then comparing engagement rates and CTA click throughs can tell you how effective your own content is and whether you need to up your game.
You can also get answers to questions like “do people prefer to look at X, Y or Z” and “do people prefer photos or videos?” These learnings allow you to focus your efforts on what actually performs and drives purchase.
Including a call-to-action on a particularly effective piece of UGC content, motivates the potential customer to take the next step in their purchase decision whilst still offering the calming, persuading impartial view of a happy previous customer. Monitoring the number of leads generated from these click-throughs clearly demonstrates how powerful that piece of UGC is in terms of conversion.
By comparing the above metrics before and after utilisation, you can easily track improvements back to the implementation of your UGC campaigns. However, don’t expect things to change overnight; as long as you regularly monitor these metrics and act on the information they are relaying back to you, your engagement and conversion goals will soon skyrocket.
To see a large increase on your marketing ROI, start your UGC journey today with StoryStream.