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user-generated content

According to a recent study called “Hearing the Voice of the Consumer”, conducted by Ipsos (available for download at bit.ly/UGCstudy), about 90% of decisions are influenced by user-generated content – as opposed to brand-created content.

Even with the rapid growth in marketing circles in recognising the power of using User-Generated content (UGC) to capture an authentic social media voice of a brand (there isn’t anything more powerful than your own consumers telling their circle of influence about their brand experience), there still seems to be a disconnect in going out to find the UGC as well as what to do with it.

Furthermore, Micro-influencer marketing closes this gap… powerful, authentic, content is now being generated as well as digital marketing teams are provided with a pile of content but that is where it seems to end.

So, what should brands be doing with all this content on social media to get the most out of the UGC as well as to ensure that the content keeps coming in?

1) RECOGNISE AND INTRODUCE YOUR MICRO-INFLUENCERS… Introduce your micro-influencers to your own audience. Mention that they are actual consumers of your brand and, if part of an Influencer Marketing campaign, mention that YOU selected them as Brand Ambassadors as well as WHY. Also, mention
that they have received additional training in your products if this was the case. Recognise them as ‘Subject Experts’.

2) PUT TOGETHER A STRATEGY… Design a social media strategy around user-generated content. Build their content into your own story. Engage with it. Share it. Boost it. They have the power to tell a story… As a result, you have the power to spread that story.

3) MAKE THEM A PART OF YOUR BRAND… Invite your influencers to contribute as well as comment on your own social media content. Remember that you’ve recognized them as regular consumers who are Subject Experts. Your own audience will value their contributions. Don’t be afraid to allow them to challenge you or to ask the uncomfortable questions. If they are asking them… so are the rest of your
consumers. With the increase in digital marketing and a decrease in face-to-face marketing, the chance to provide feedback is becoming less and less. Create the opportunity as well as use it.

4) ENGAGE WITH THEM FACE-TO-FACE… Invite your influencers to a brainstorm session with your digital team and find out from them what story they think you should be telling on social media. Remember… they are your consumers as well as your authentic voice – Your digital marketing team might not be.

5) DON’T LET IT END… The relationship with your micro-influencers should not end when the campaign ends… They will always be consumers as well as your Brand Ambassadors. Therefore, if you follow the steps above the chances are good that you would have developed an always-on relationship that will extend beyond the
campaign.

Keep the story going!

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