User-generated content is the holy grail of marketing.

Not only do your followers or customers shoulder much of the workload by making content for you, but they’re also far more engaged in what happens to that content and are highly likely to share it with their networks.

So just how do you persuade people to get involved and create a user-generated content? Read on to find out!

In this article, we’ll cover the following ideas on how to get user-generated content:

  1. Curating a gallery
  2. Reposting user content
  3. Polls and surveys
  4. Making it a competition
  5. Offering rewards

Let’s get started!

1. Curate a Gallery

One of the simplest ways to get user-generated content is to ask followers to submit photos or videos of them using your product and compiling the best in a gallery.

This works particularly well for fashion brands, such as ASOS’s hugely successful #AsSeenOnMe Instagram campaign, where people used the hashtag on photos of themselves wearing ASOS clothing. That said, it can apply to just about any type of product or event. People just get a kick out of seeing themselves featured!

2. Re-post User Content

In fact, you don’t necessarily have to ask people to create photos or videos especially for you. Take the time to trawl through social media platforms looking for references to your brand or products and, if you come across cool photos by users featuring your stuff, ask the person if you can re-post it from your own account, crediting them. Most people are flattered by this and will happily agree.

3. Running Polls and Surveys

You might not have thought about these as ways of creating content before, but they’re both super simple ways to create extra stuff you can share. Whether it’s a basic three-option facebook poll or a detailed survey, sharing findings on social is an easy win; and, many people who took part will be curious to see how their viewpoints compared to others’.

4. Launching a Competition

If you want to attract really awesome photos, videos, designs or any other kind of content, introduce a competitive element or even prizes.

Remember Doritos’ ad campaign, where they got people to upload their best homemade adverts, with the best to be screened during the Superbowl? The publicity they generated from thousands of people sharing their entries on YouTube and encouraging others to vote vastly outweighed the $1 million prize. Your competition will likely be run on a much smaller scale, but the same idea applies!

5. Offering Rewards

You don’t need to limit prizes to a single winner. Offering immediate perks in return for sending a single tweet naming your brand or uploading a photo of themselves with your product is a very effective way of getting user-generated content and sharing it with their friends.

This could be something as simple as giving someone a free cookie in your café or free shipping when they order online. The free publicity will more than make up for it!

Final Thoughts

As always with marketing, the key is to focus on what benefit this brings to your users or customers. What do they get out of generating this content for you? That could be a financial reward, discounts, exposure for them, or simply the buzz of being featured on your website. Whatever it is, make sure you’re 100% clear on what you’re offering, and have communicated that to users, before you ask them to take part.

Ah, we also recommend taking a look at our first-class guide to creating a content marketing strategy.

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