As a digital marketing agency, we work with many clients who need to produce different types of content to reach their target audience. All too often, we get calls from clients who say that they don’t really believe in creating content or advertising content because they want users to generate content for them.
Many businesses mistakenly believe that their user-generated content will magically appear and that it will reach viral status because their audience will be compelled to share this content widely. As most people who have been running a digital campaign will know, this is easier said than done.
If you want to embark on a user-generated content campaign, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:
Don’t Expect High Quality
When you think of user-generated content, don’t think of it as being gorgeous, artful, informative or high-tech content. You can’t expect users to produce works of art or give them too many parameters with which to work with. The reality is that most people on social media don’t have a sense of what to post or how to post. If you want users to generate content, that is great, but don’t expect the high level of quality that you would get from content that is more produced.
Make It Easy to Participate
Don’t make your users jump through hoops to enter your competition or take part in your campaign. Remember that a video is infinitely harder to capture than a photo. Even a photo takes time. Make it simple, easy to enter, and available on the networks that they are already participating in.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Let’s say you’re not getting the photos you need or that you did jump into a video campaign and it is a total disaster, ask people for comments in the feed and create some content from that. You can have content that is inspired by users without having them actually generate it.