The power of user generated content (UGC) is huge, simply because consumers trust it so much.
As a marketing tool, it will significantly boost your brand’s visibility and credibility and should be part of your content marketing strategy. This is especially true for food brands, where the visual appeal of products plays a crucial role in attracting customers.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can leverage UGC to create more sales for your food brand. We’ll provide you with ten actionable ideas, each designed to help you get more UGC and use it effectively.
1. Start by auditing Existing Fan Photos
Before diving into a new UGC strategy, it’s a social media best practice to take some time to understand what type of content your customers are already sharing.
By performing a simple search on Instagram or other social platforms, you can get an idea of what resonates with them and what doesn’t. Take a closer look at photos shared in your physical locations or images tagged with your brand’s name or a campaign hashtag.
This will give you not only a sense of what your customers like to share but also what they don’t.
It’s important to remember that UGC strategy is all about engaging with your customers and creating content that they can relate to.
Once you’ve gathered enough data, you can start to build your UGC strategy around it.
2. Next, identify Consumer Trends
Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your marketing strategy.
To get a better grasp of your audience, you can start by analyzing the types of photos your customers are sharing and looking for trends. By doing so, you can identify the most popular products and styles that are being talked about.
You can also look at the locations and times where and when your customers tend to share photos.
Use this information to develop a user-generated content strategy that is based on data rather than just assumptions.
Additionally, use this information to tailor your marketing efforts to the specific interests and preferences of your audience, which ultimately leads to more engagement and conversions.
3. For more user generated content, adopt what’s called a “Selfless Hashtag Strategy”
When it comes to UGC, it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s all about your customers and their relationship with your brand.
By encouraging them to share their experiences and thoughts with others, you will foster a sense of community and belonging among your customers.
One way to do this is by creating a personalized, actionable hashtag that highlights your fans and their stories. This not only helps you to see a consistent stream of user-generated content from your social media followers, but it also allows your fans to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. By engaging with your customers in this way, you can build brand loyalty and create a lasting impact on your target audience.
4. Promote Strong CTAs in Key Locations
To encourage your fans to use your hashtags when sharing branded photos, place strong calls-to-action in the places where your customers are most likely to engage with your content. This could be on your social media profiles, your website, or even in your physical stores.
5. Have a brick-and-mortar store? Add Signage
Consider adding signage in your physical locations that encourage customers to share their experiences on social media. This could be as simple as a sign near the register or as creative as a designated selfie spot with your products. The goal is to make it easy and fun for customers to share their experiences with your brand.
6. Host Events that sizzle
Events are a great way to generate buzz around your brand and encourage UGC. This could be a product launch, a tasting event, or even a cooking class. The key is to create an experience that your customers will want to share on their social channels.
7. Tap into Influencers and Content Creators to encourage user generated content
Influencer marketing, when done right, can be an effective strategy to increase brand visibility and engagement.
By forming partnerships with influencers and content creators who share your brand’s values and have a substantial following, you can effectively expand your reach and encourage user-generated content creation.
In addition, influencer marketing can also help to establish credibility and trust in your brand, as consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from individuals they follow and admire.
And finally, influencer partnerships can provide valuable insights into your target audience, allowing you to better understand their preferences and behaviour.
8. Contests drive engagement
Contests are a fantastic opportunity to engage with your customers and encourage them to share user-generated content (UGC) that promotes your brand.
One effective approach is to ask customers to submit photos or videos using your product in creative ways that showcase its features and benefits. You can also encourage your customers to create recipes using your product and share them on social media platforms. By doing this, you will not only boost engagement with your customers but also build your brand’s credibility and authority.
It’s essential to offer an attractive prize that resonates with your target audience. For instance, you could consider offering a discount on your product, a free trial, or a gift card.
Alternatively, you can also offer an exclusive experience, such as a behind-the-scenes tour of your facility or a private event.
9. Position UGC as a Social Currency
User Generated Content (UGC) has become a valuable form of social currency. By featuring your customers’ photos on your own social channels or website, you’re not only providing them with a means of recognition and validation, but also creating a community where customers can share their experiences with others.
This community fosters a sense of belonging and trust, as customers feel that they are part of a larger conversation.
By encouraging customers to share their own photos in the hopes of being featured, you tap into the power of social proof, which is a powerful tool in shaping consumer behavior. In the end, UGC can be a win-win situation for both brands and their customers, as it allows for greater engagement and interaction while also providing customers with a sense of ownership and pride in their experiences with the brand.
10. Finally, feature Your Customers’ Photos on Your Website
Finally, consider featuring your customers’ photos on your website. This not only provides social proof to potential customers, but also makes your existing customers feel valued and appreciated. It’s a win-win situation.
In conclusion, UGC is a powerful tool that can help you boost sales for your food brand. By implementing these strategies, you can encourage more customers to share their experiences with your brand, providing you with valuable content that can be used in your marketing efforts.