The stories that customers tell about your company have more impact on brand perception than most ad campaigns ever will. That’s a big reason why brands are investing $15 billion into influencer marketing in 2022. But it’s important to remember that paying for influencer posts isn’t the only way to get valuable user-generated content (UGC).
Billions of pieces of social content are published every day. And some of that UGC is valuable information about your brand that you can harness by using a digital asset management (DAM) system to collect, organize, and publish the positive stories your customers tell. You can even spin the negative, one-star customer reviews in your favor.
This is a beginner’s guide to the benefits of UGC and how it works with a DAM system. Let’s start by defining UGC.
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any online content shared about a product, brand, or service – largely on social media channels, YouTube, blogs, and websites. UGC can be text, videos, images, reviews, etc. … it’s any content type created by people rather than companies. It can come from your customers, employees, or people who simply love to advocate for your brand.
Think of UGC as today’s word-of-mouth marketing. It can be paid influencer posts on TikTok or unpaid praise from people on Instagram who share the same values as your brand. In this guide, we’ll focus on how you can collect, organize, and publish UGC.
Why is user-generated content important?
People trust the word of their friends, family, and affinity groups much more than any brand. In fact, they are 2.4 times more likely to consider UGC as trustworthy compared to content created by brands. That means positive UGC has the potential to be more valuable than the content you can produce yourself —but only if you can find it, store it, and use it.
With the right user-generated content, you can move the needle on some of your most important metrics — like an increase in brand loyalty. You just have to pull the UGC from a sea of social media and deliver it at the right step of the customer journey. A personalized message built with user-generated content (like an abandoned cart email) can greatly increase conversion.
Here are some of the main benefits you’ll likely experience using UGC.
- Decrease content creation costs and time
- Establish and strengthen brand loyalty
- Enhance marketing performance
- Create authentic marketing experiences
- Increase conversion
How do brands manage UGC?
To reap these benefits from the billions of pieces of social content published every day you need the right technology. Brands use DAM systems to find UGC for their company, store it, organize it, and publish it. A DAM system can handle any content type that people produce — from text to video — and it can help you streamline your UGC workflows.
One challenge to using UGC strategically is that you need permission in order to share it. You must have consent to share original content someone else produces. Without it, you’ll lose trust and cause unnecessary damage to your brand, and you could expose your company to legal costs, too.
A DAM system makes it easy to add metadata to content, which can even include a permission status for each asset. Taking this approach to UGC means no one will be able to publish or share any user-generated content by mistake. DAM technology also enables the moderation of UGC and adds advanced categorization and tagging to your user-generated content management capabilities.
These are just a few of the ways that DAM can help bring more authenticity into your marketing mix with UGC.
Leveraging digital asset management for UGC
Successful brands use their DAM system to manage the whole UGC lifecycle. From collection to publishing — DAM platforms are a single source of truth for all types of assets. DAM tools are also used to build UGC workflows for collections of assets, permission gathering, and automatic publishing of content across all your channels.
While a DAM solution does the heavy lifting, you’ll need to integrate a user-generated content solution with your DAM system to handle the social listening, review management, and other purpose-built UGC capabilities. Let’s explore how market leaders in user-generated content management software approach this.
TINT helps you gather user-generated content from all of your social media channels, curate the best pieces, and share a genuine brand story with the world. It also gives you the ability to automate content creation from the UGC your audience shares. Imagine being able to take Facebook posts with a hashtag and automatically turn them into blog posts.
TINT is built for global teams. You can use it to identify the best content at a massive scale with machine learning. And it’s a platform that comes with privacy and security features to protect your brand and audience.
Employees are a big part of most UGC strategies and TINT can help you collect their stories and publish them. One great example of how this works is to gather content from a hashtag on Instagram and turn that content into posts on other social networks and on your blog. Once TINT gathers content, it can be automatically ported into your DAM system to determine permissioning and then published on marketing channels.
GRIN is another solution that brands can integrate with their DAM system to manage user-generated content. This platform is ideal for any company that pays influencers and wants to track their performance. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and social listening to help brands identify who their best influencers are.
GRIN features social listening, customer review management, and contest/competition management capabilities. Brands also use GRIN to run their customer advocacy programs — giving special perks and incentives to followers creating UGC.
Adding user-generated content to your marketing strategy might seem intimidating at first. How do you find the content? How do you manage all the permissions? Where is the content stored and organized?
With the right DAM system and UGC solution, that initial deluge melts away. You’ll quickly be able to collect, store, organize, and publish user-generated content across all of your channels. When someone posts something about your brand on Instagram you can automate the workflow to share it on your other social channels, blog, and even tag it for your creative team to use later.
When your brand combines DAM and UGC you can increase brand loyalty, boost conversion, and positively influence brand awareness. today to see how a DAM system can power your user-generated content strategy.