You may have heard the term “user-generated content,” especially if you are familiar with social media marketing. But the million-dollar question is, what exactly is user-generated content? And how can you use it to market your service business?
Let’s find out!
User-generated content (UGC), or consumer-generated content, is brand-specific content created by your customers and primarily published on social media. It can advertise your service business or provide social proof that helps potential customers convert.
Consumer-generated content covers a wide variety of content types, including blog articles, podcast mentions, images, videos, and testimonials.
Although your marketing department can commission user-generated content (i.e., paying customers or influencers to create content), it is not created by your team or any third-party marketing agency you may employ.
UGC can also be created organically, like when a customer shares a photo on their Instagram showcasing your product or service, which you repost to your pages. Either way, user-generated content’s main differentiator is that the content is created by your customers, for your customers.
Learn more about UGC over at SocialPilot.
Now we know what user-generated content is, let’s explore how it can help you grow your service business and why it deserves a spot in your marketing toolkit.
User-generated content is a great way to showcase the authenticity and trustworthiness of your service business to your target audience using your most powerful marketing asset — your customers. It can help you build brand awareness and turn online “window shoppers” into loyal customers.
Whether you’re marketing your roofing business or trying to increase bookings for your mobile swim school, user-generated content is fast becoming a key trust factor for service businesses of all types.
Building trust between you and your customers is a no-brainer when trying to grow your service business. UGC is a fantastic tool for building trust because someone other than you (or your marketing team) is vouching for your business!
90% of consumers say user-generated content influences their buying decisions more than any promotional email or search engine result.
Your customers’ inputs and efforts to market your service business are considered more authentic, trustworthy, and genuine than when you try to do it with snappy marketing one-liners.
A great UGC campaign can get new potential customers to develop an interest in your brand. This is because your customers are creating content for their social feed and tagging your business, so you’re getting in front of all their followers in addition to your own.
If influential people create content about your service business, it can also inspire their followers to try and emulate the person's life, which might involve booking with your business.
Once you have a person’s trust, you stand a greater chance of getting them to convert and making a sale. By using consumer-generated content to show that other people are using and loving your services, you can build that level of trust that will get you to your sales goals.
We’ve all seen the staged before and after photos that look completely unrealistic or the ads that have been enhanced to show better results. Well, consumer-generated content is the opposite of those marketing ads and a great way to show “real-world” examples of your services.
It can help answer questions a potential customer might have about how effective your services are and can make their buying decision easier.
You can use consumer-generated content to stand out from your competitors. Maybe it’s as obvious as a customer sharing why they chose (or switched) to your business or something as simple as showing multiple examples of happy customers.
Either way, by sharing the stories and recommendations of loyal customers, you’ll gain an advantage over your competitors.
You can use UGC to foster community and build brand loyalty among your customer base. By using custom hashtags and creating groups, you can bring different people together and make them feel like a valued part of your business.
Encouraging user-generated content also gives your audience a chance to share information about being part of your brand’s community or express their feelings about your service business.
UGC is highly effective at encouraging customers, old and new, to buy from your business, and for your marketing team, it means one less asset they have to create!
Encourage your customers to create user-generated content by creating a custom hashtag for your service business and sharing it alongside your social media handles. Include a call to action to share photos and tag your company’s pages in email communications to customers, and consider running a competition on social media.
Don’t forget to share your customer’s content on your social media pages and store it to build up a robust content library for your future needs.
There you have it! User-generated content helps create authentic and lasting connections between you and your audience. It also provides fresh perspectives regarding your offers while allowing you to create an everlasting content library that can easily inspire brand loyalty and increase your sales.
For more information on how to market your service business, check out MarketBox’s collection of articles here.
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