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Blind customer trust in brands is dead, with customers now preferring to trust the advice of peers in the form of social advocacy. A great way to bring convincing social advocacy to your customers is to feature content from real people (User Generated Content) on your website and within your brand communications.

If your starting to plan your UGC marketing strategy, there are several factors you will need to think about, and it may get a bit confusing. We’ve pulled together advice from experts to make sure your start off on the right foot.

1. Think About The Long Term

The success of any user generated content-related project should be judged in the long term. Try not to use it as a one-off campaign activation idea. Think of it instead as the beginning or continuation of an ongoing dialogue with your consumers. Damian Thompson, journalist, editor and author.

2. Give You Customers Something To Comment On

As marketers, instead of creating content, we should be creating opportunities for content creation – instagrammable moments, inspiring experiences. Sophie Turton, Content Marketing Specialist, Bozboz.

3. Start With Known Fans Of Your Brand

There is only one ingredient necessary for a successful UGC platform: a following of engaged, loyal customers. Seek out this group, no matter how small, and offer them some sort of value for participating in your UGC strategy. Simon Slade, CEO of SaleHoo

4. Let Your Customers Influence You

Let users decide what interests them, encourage them to participate, then sit back and pinch yourself for being allowed into this virtual focus group. I find this is much harder for companies to implement than it sounds. Guided by sales and product objectives, we think about the type of content that helps us as marketers, not the stuff that naturally drives our customers. Mary Fearon, Vice President Strategy, Jan Kelley

5. Make Sure You Operate Within The Law

There will be times when brands will spot ‘killer’ UGC outside of campaigns they have run. It’s these types of scenarios where marketers can come unstuck. The bottom line is brands need to ensure they stay within the law and obtain the appropriate permissions from the content creator. This means they should explicitly ask and request permission to use UGC. Richard Jones, CEO, EngageSciences

6. UGC Is For Everyone – Just Think Outside The Box

Just as some products scream for people to start creating content, it doesn’t mean that if your product or service is not that much “fun” or popular you can’t find a reason to make use of User-Generated Content still. You can create an experience related to your brand that is more fun and more engaging for people to kickstart the content creation. Inbound Rocket

At StoryStream, we can work with you to create engaging UGC strategies that drive conversions and increase ROI. Get in touch to find out how we can help your brand.

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