User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful and inexpensive marketing strategy that can be used by any company. A UGC campaign could help your brand build better website accessibility, connect with customers on an authentic level online as well enhance their customer experience in the process.
What is UGC for websites?
UGC is anything made by real users instead of brands. Customers tend to engage more with UGC than branded or advertisement-based material and 78% of millennials rely on UGC for purchasing decisions, proving how important it can be in our lives.
For websites, this may include content such as:
- testimonials from customers
- product reviews
- text, images, or videos from social feeds
- onsite interactives, such as seminars, webinars, or live streams
- Q&A forums
- embedded YouTube videos
- case studies
- behind-the-scenes employee-generated content
As you build and update your website, you should aim to include these types of UGC to get better brand results. For example, if you’re using a static site builder, you can freely customize your website using premade sections and components.
How UGC boosts website accessibility
Brands don’t want to just appeal with their products, they also need a considerate approach towards those who may not be able to see or hear them. This includes creating content accessible for all users – regardless of background, location, devices, or language abilities.
The concept of accessibility is important for everyone. It’s not just about making your website easier to use, but also ensuring that all users can access the information on it without any difficulties or obstacles whatsoever. Here are just a few reasons why this content style makes website accessibility easier than ever before.
1. UGC is literally for everyone
UGC is the perfect way to get a pulse on what’s happening in your community. It can be sent from anywhere, anytime, and doesn’t require any special skills or access – just an internet connection. Anybody can ask for feedback on products or services, and share pictures of what they’re doing in real-time. There really isn’t any barrier that would keep people from participating.
2. UGC centers content from diverse locations and languages
With UGC, you don’t have to worry about the customer’s country or language. It allows customers from around the world to share their experiences with your brand.
No matter where they are located or what language is natively spoken in that area. They can share content in any of those and even translate it for other people around them who might not be able to speak your preferred dialect.
3. UGC elevates the accessible design
UGC is also important in shaping accessible design. When your brand creates touchpoints for UGC, you build a better design that’s highly approachable to customers.
For example, when you solicit UGC, your website will require great navigation, CTAs, contact forms, and social media integration buttons. These design elements increase your website’s UX functions and accessibility for users everywhere.
Remember that achieving accessible design should be an ongoing process. If you’re a WordPress user, you can choose a versatile page builder like Elementor to get everything set up in a code-free environment.
4. UGC can boost your SEO
User-generated content like customer reviews and testimonials can help improve search engine rankings naturally (especially from E-A-T perspective). We all know how important reviews are for an online business. The best way to get them is through customer testimonials and other forms of feedback from happy customers.
Customers do most work when optimizing your site’s SEO because their words will naturally strengthen any keywords or phrases related to products they love – which means more traffic than ever before possible.
5. UGC is a trust signal to your customers
The more you listen and learn from your customers, the better chance that they will come back for future purchases. As soon as we start representing people rather than products or services, then all other things change too.
By listening and responding, brands will be able to build up trust with their customers which will result in tailored services for each customer.
How to build a UGC pipeline
As you can see, UGC can strengthen brand outcomes, such as website accessibility but also affinity, engagement, conversions, sustainability goals, and more. Any marketing strategy should build a UGC pipeline for ongoing user content sharing. A few ways to encourage users to share their stories include:
1. Set UGC content goals
Understand how your brand can take advantage of UGC. Define what your goals are, including the type of content, the engagement metrics, and more.
2. Encourage fan content on your social channels
Social media is the most common way users interact with brands. Be sure to:
- tell users what you’re looking for
- encourage the use of brand hashtags through CTAs, etc.
- host a contest or social takeover
- print off signage for your store to inspire social sharing
- reward users by sending swag, personalized gift cards, or discount coupons. Print still matters and you can wow fans by making beautiful printed materials. This can be costly sometimes, but you can check out alternative vendors, which offer a variety of supplies at affordable prices.
Once you start receiving UGC, you should always get permission to share and, if necessary, edit the photos, videos, or content for maximum impact.
3. Integrate UGC on your website in unexpected places
UGC isn’t just useful for boosting your social presence. You can integrate this content on your website for truly user-focused branding. Include a social scroll on your website, or automate testimonials/reviews to appear on a specific webpage.
In addition, you can include UGC in unexpected places on your website, such as galleries, product pages, 404 pages, order confirmations, and more. Users will love seeing how your brand connects with real customers.
4. Identify consumer trends and tap into influencers
Knowing what content your users are interested in posting and creating can help shape your brand efforts. In addition, you can take advantage of influencers to help tap into these trends and elevate your brand’s visibility.
5. Analyze and measure efforts
You should take UGC as seriously as your other marketing efforts. Analyze content with social listening tools to track how well this content is serving your brand. From there, you can make tweaks to improve your UGC pipeline.
UGC is the future of marketing
UGC is the future of marketing, and brands need to start including it in their strategies. This will help increase your website accessibility while also boosting brand outcomes by making content more accessible for everyone online!