UGC and communities: how to work well?_background

92% of customers trust their peers more than brand pitches, according to a Nielson study.

Faced with this situation, BtoB and BtoC companies have a challenge: invite their customer communities to speak out, and use their UGC (user-generated content) to communicate. Indeed, the voice of the customer is sacred. So, how to use it well, thanks to UGC? What are the rules to follow to make UGC and communities work? Discover MeltingSpot's answers 👇

User Generated Content: definition

User Generated Content (UGC) refers to content generated by users and customers of a company. This content corresponds to customer reviews shared on the Internet, photos and videos published on social networks, content created by users within brand communities...

Whatever the format, the common point of these UGC is the following: it is spontaneous content, voluntarily shared by customers. No material or financial compensation is offered in exchange for this content, unlike influencer marketing.

From now on, UGC is a real brick of Inbound Marketing. With the agreement of consumers, brands can rely on them to enrich their communication actions. Since the Voice of the Customer has more weight with other customers... Relying on this lever and relaying UGC is an excellent idea!

Indeed, UGC reinforces credibility, authenticity and reassurance. Thanks to these statements, the consumers most involved with a brand are transformed into consumer actors.

✅ Today, this phenomenon is strenghtened with the emergence of Community Building. Within customer communities, users no longer hesitate to actively participate by creating content for their peers. Speech is free and communication is transformed horizontally. This phenomenon goes even further, thanks to the co-creation of products, services, events... And what we could call "User Generated Ideas", which contribute to the development of BtoB and BtoC companies.

How to organize User Generated Content within your community?

Today, brands have a vested interest in freeing the voice of their community members. However, Customer Generated Content within communities must be accompanied by a few rules:

Recruit a Community builder to take care of your community's moderation

Within a customer community, users can create self-help or inspirational content, propose co-marketing ideas or co-create products... But all these actions require a very specific framework. To maintain a good understanding, avoid collective chaos and irrelevant content, the ideal is to recruit a Community Builder. This community expert will be able to manage and moderate the community, while spotting relevant user content to share internally.

Empowering community members

To ensure the proper functioning of the UGC strategy within a community, the help of a Community Builder is not always enough. It is necessary to make the community members responsible, thanks to a guide of good practices and good conduct. For example, what are the taboo or promotional topics to avoid? How to express yourself with kindness within the community? What are the accepted content formats?

Be transparent about the use of UGC

User-generated content can be relevant to the company. But before using an idea, a visual, a piece of language or a user video... It is important to be transparent.

Indeed, the company must inform users about the use of their content, when it can be useful. If the content can feed the company's marketing or product strategy, this is an excellent opportunity: but always inform the community members beforehand!

Prioritize co-creation with ambassador members

User Generated Content is an ideal lever to identify the ambassador members of a community. Those who share and create spontaneously are generally the most invested.

So, to make them fully participate, don't hesitate to push the UGC process further. Instead of letting users create on their own... Invite them to co-construct with the company! For example, why not encourage the co-hosting of virtual events, the co-production of content (podcasts, articles, etc.), the co-creation of a new product or service?

🙌 Developing co-construction is a win-win strategy, for both users and the company.

How to use UGC to boost Community-Led Growth?

Are you wondering what User Generated Content actually looks like? And how companies can use user content for their Community-Led Growth strategy? Here are three examples deciphered by MeltingSpot.

UGC, to attract new customers to the community

The Made.com website has deployed a real Customer Centric strategy, which puts UGC at the center. On its site, a page is dedicated to users' Instagram photos (who tagged the brand when publishing).
📸 Future customers can thus discover the brand's furniture thanks to photos of "real" customers. These concrete contents help internet users to project themselves... And they also make them want to join the community of customers, to be in turn valued by the brand!

UGC, to boost the company's brand image

UGC is an excellent tool to improve the credibility and the brand image of a company. Whether it is a BtoB or BtoC brand, it is notably possible to broadcast the collected customer reviews, to prove its reliability.

🌟 For example, on social networks like LinkedIn, some professionals do not hesitate to share their latest customer reviews. These elements of social proof also reinforce the Community-Led Growth strategy: thanks to the community's feedback, other Internet users might be tempted to become customers in turn!

UGC, to retain existing customers

UGC is a tool for acquisition... But also for customer loyalty. For example, Petit Bateau does not hesitate to transform its most loyal consumers into ambassadors: they can become the face of the brand... Thanks to their own video content, highlighting their Petit Bateau products, at home!

📹 Thanks to UGV (User Generated Video), the company can build loyalty among its most engaged customers by offering them more responsibilities. The content is then used to enrich the Community-Led Growth strategy, and you know the rest of the story: it's the customers, who guide the company's growth... And who allow the community strategy to develop!

Remember:
💡Creating, animating and engaging a customer community is a solid and effective strategy (to improve acquisition, retention, brand image, reassurance, etc.).
💡Within this community, ideas and user-generated content (UGC) are valuable assets, if their creation is framed by a few specific rules.
💡With the client's agreement, these UGC can be used to enrich the company's marketing and Community-Led Growth strategy. A winning bet for everyone!

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