What is the Best Practice for Monetizing User Generated Content?
Marketing has evolved over time; it has shifted from the number of mediums used by businesses to promote their brand to the measurability of ROI (Return on Investment) generated as a result.
Moreover, businesses are more concerned about the effectiveness of marketing channels. Nowadays, marketing channels that help you sell are considered effective. This merit enables businesses to measure the ROI generated by a particular marketing channel.
Various marketing channels that effectively help businesses sell their products are used these days. Of course, the main goal of marketing is to sell products.
However, businesses also want marketing channels to deliver productive results in terms of brand awareness. One common thing between traditional means of marketing and the digital marketing era is word of mouth, which increases brand awareness. Brand awareness is more likely to increase when prospects or target audiences get to hear or read from existing brand consumers.
Research says that 84% of people are likely to trust online and 74% may feel intrigued to trust a brand. Furthermore, most people consider the opinion of existing customers a key factor in helping them make a purchase. Hence, user-generated content (UGC) can be a perfect money-maker for brands.
This blog discusses UGC, its monetization, and best practices for its monetization in detail. If you want to make productive use of user-generated content, reading it can help you a lot.
What is User Generated Content?
Shortly termed as UGC, user-generated content is any type of content that is generated by the end-consumers of a brand without any expectation for compensation in return.
UGC can be critical, productive, negative, and positive. However, if the UGC for a brand is majorly positive, it can turn into a goldmine for it. People who are looking for the products like the ones sold by that brand will take notice of such content, and it may lead to an enhanced number of conversions.
UGC can come in a variety of forms, such as blog comments, tweets, Facebooks posts, Instagram clicks, videos, and reviews on independent online forums.
Simply put, user-generated content, or UGC, is an advanced form of word of mouth. The discussion of people about various products and brands is not something new; it has been going on for decades.
We know how a simple discussion between an existing user and a prospect can help brands make a conversion. UGC allows brands to capture word of mouth and publish it publically to reach out to a large number of target consumers and prospects.
The content generated by existing users sounds trustworthy to the target audience because it is rich, real, and free of any exaggerations. Hence, people are more likely to consider it and make a decision to purchase from a brand.
Monetization of UGC
As soon as you hear the word 'monetization', you start thinking of generating money, and it is because of the origin of the word. However, when it comes to the monetization of UGC, this particular word takes a whole new meaning.
Monetization of UGC doesn't mean the immediate generation of dollars in cash. Instead, it is the achievement of the goal you have linked with published UGC on various marketing channels.
For some businesses, it means increased brand awareness, while others may think of an enhanced number of conversions. Some others may think of increased followers on social media handles, while a few others will link it with sales.
Putting it simply, with changing business models from brand to brand, the meaning of monetization of UGC will also change. When you want to monetize UGC for your brand, you need to think of an important goal for your business.
Once you know your business goal linked with UGC, sourcing UGC for that purpose will become easier. However, it is important to understand which method will work better for you when you consider monetizing UGC for your brand.
We will discuss the best practice in our opinion here to help you get the most out of UGC and generate more revenue with it.
Best Practice to Monetize User-Generated Content
When we talk about monetizing UGC, most people will think about pushing CTAs for their audience to showcase the use of products launched by their brand on various social media platforms with a particular hashtag.
While this tactic may work for several brands, it is not always effective. Another way you can think of is pushing CTAs (Calls to Action) in your blog post to make your consumers post comments about their experience with your products and overall brand. Some businesses will also integrate CTAs in their email copies to urge customers to post their pictures on social media.
We understand CTAs can work wonders for you, but this strategy doesn't always deliver. You may think of using UGC to increase sales, which is a great idea for businesses working in a particular niche.
In this strategy, the brands use real clicks generated by their users and publish them on their website to gain the trust of people who are visiting their website for the first time or existing users. Additionally, they place actual reviews written by their users on their sales page to make it easier for prospects to make a purchase decision. This strategy is also great. However, the method we want to tell you is more effective than all these strategies.
In our opinion, you need to make UGCs an essential part of the overall digital presence of your brand to get far more effective results from your UGC monetization campaign. This strategy involves building your entire digital presence around users. Working on a few methods will help you do that. We will discuss these methods in detail in the next section of this blog.
How to Integrate UGCs into a Brand's Overall Digital Presence?
Now that we have come to the conclusion that integrating UGC in the overall digital presence of a brand is the best practice to monetize it, it is essential to understand how we can make it possible. As mentioned earlier, there are a few effective ways to do it.
You also need to work on the methods we discussed in the previous section in addition to these tactics to get marvelous results. These methods are discussed in detail here. Make sure you read every single method and work on it to get excellent results and convert UGC into a real goldmine.
Leverage Social Media to Enhance the Reach of UGCs
We all know how social media plays its part in making anything go viral in a matter of seconds. Social media is the perfect medium for you to enhance brand awareness and push sales.
You just have to push CTAs to your end-users and target audience through social media posts and intrigue them to post their videos or clicks while using your products.
Social media allows users to post captions with media as well, where they can tell a few things about their experience and place a particular hashtag.
Once end-users post something like this with a specified hashtag provided by the brand, they waive the copyright and privacy of their content. You are allowed to fetch the content and use it for the promotion of your brand. You can publish their content through social media ads, search engine ads, and various other ways. Doing so will not only help you gain the trust of general consumers but also increase sales and lower advertising costs with much higher ROI.
Email Marketing Can Work Both Ways
Email marketing is still considered the best way to increase brand awareness. It is also considered the best way to earn huge ROI. So much so that you can expect a return of up to $42 for every single dollar you spend on it.
Email marketing can also help you get the most out of UGC. You can intrigue your end-users who have subscribed for monthly or weekly email updates from your brand to share their experience with your brand.
However, it is necessary to make sure that they know you will be using it for the promotion of your brand.
This way, you will be able to fetch a huge quantity of rich and frank content for the promotion of your brand without spending a single dime.
All you have to do is integrate powerful CTAs for this purpose. Even if you are offering them lucky draw coupons in return for getting UGC, it won't be a bad deal.
Email marketing can also help you push UGC for your brand to prospects you have targeted for email marketing strategy. Doing so will not only help you gain the trust of prospects but also help you earn a huge ROI as a result. What else do you need?
Ensure Easy Content Upload
In addition to the aforementioned methods to fetch lots of UGC, you can use your website as a perfect medium to get content from your end-users. Allow them to upload their content on your website.
This tactic will help you reflect that your brand values users and their opinion about your products and overall brand. When you succeed in doing so, you will be able to get a huge amount of UGC for the promotion of your brand without spending too much to fetch it. However, you only need to ensure an easier upload of content by users.
You can showcase this content on streaming platforms as shorts, reels, TikToks, or even ads. Just make sure that users have the ability to access the content created by them on streaming or social media platforms, which will make it easier for them to post the content wherever they want without facing any difficulty.
Doing so will not only help you get loyal customers but also increase your brand's reach for enhanced brand awareness.
Collaborate with Review Forums
Review forums are websites that allow customers to discuss their honest opinion about a brand and the products and services it offers.
You can request your customers to provide their honest opinion about your brand on the review forum. You can anchor your CTAs with links to a review forum so that users don't have to put effort into finding a forum and posting their reviews about your brand on it.
Doing so will help your customers believe you value their opinion. Believe it or not, you will be able to get some excellent results in the end.
The Sum Up
User-generated content can be a goldmine if you know how to use it. However, brands often fail to determine the best practice to monetize UGC. We have done some research to come up with the best practice, which is the integration of UGC into the brand's overall digital presence. We have also discussed a few efficient methods that are part of this bigger strategy. Hopefully, you will find it useful! We wish you luck with the UGC monetization process and your brand's success!