User-generated content is a fantastic way to get more traffic to your site and increase user engagement. Here are several user-generated content examples to get started.
Content marketing strategy is all about driving traffic to your website over the long term. However, publishing content consistently can be challenging, and that's where community-generated content comes in.
User-generated content can help you develop better relationships with the people who visit your site day after day. By giving them a platform, you can transform users into 'brand ambassadors'. At the same time, you'll get new content for your website.
In this article, we'll talk about user-generated content ideas. We'll also go over several user-generated content examples that you can use as inspiration. Let's get to started!
What is user-generated content?
So, just what is user-generated content? In a nutshell, it's any content that comes directly from your audience. That means your site's visitors and your social media followers, can share content such as:
- Blog posts
- Photographs using your products
- Stories related to your brand
- Business listings
Those are just a few user-generated content examples. If you provide an incentive for users to want to create and share photos or other content related to your brand, it should help drive faster growth for your website and business.
6 user-generated content examples
The best way to understand the meaning of UGC (user-generated content) is by seeing some examples. In this section, we'll introduce you to six types of community-generated content, and show you what they look like in action. Let's start with images in product reviews.
1. Show images in product reviews
It should go without saying that selling a product online without photos can be a challenge. Having amazing product images isn't enough any more. 62% of customers prefer also having access to user-submitted photos and videos.
Ideally, you'll make it easy for users to upload their own photos of your products. Pottery Barn, for example, includes a simple upload form on every single product page:
That way, potential customers can see more 'natural' pictures before making a purchase.
2. Embed Instagram galleries in WordPress
If you have an Instagram following, there are probably customers using hashtags related to your brand and products. Hashtag campaigns are a popular marketing strategy. Since these pictures already exist, all you have to do is find a way to embed them on your site.
With WordPress, you can use the popular Smash Balloon plugin to display social media content on your website. This plugin enables you to display your own Instagram feed, or show pictures tagged with specific hashtags:
If you want to get your social media followers to submit this type of content, you can encourage them to use specific branded hashtags. For example, if you browse the #starbuckssecretmenu hashtag, you'll find that it's full of users showing off their 'secret' drinks on social media:
Another great way to encourage user submissions on social media is to share the most engaging posts and stories. If you showcase user content in this way, it provides followers with an incentive to post more about your brand (so they can be featured).
3. Create an online directory
A lot of online directories exist thanks to user submissions. It's not that common anymore to have a team scouring the web for business, service, or product listings. If you provide the right platform, users will want to add their listings to it:
One of the best examples of a directory with user content is Tripadvisor. Businesses can build a business directory in WordPress, and then allow users to write reviews and upload pictures. Simply by providing the platform, you can get users to submit multiple types of content that help bring traffic to the website.
WordPress offers a broad range of online directory and listings plugins that you can use. For example, there's Business Directory Plugin, which works for businesses of all types (including restaurants). You can also check out WP Job Manager, which enables users to publish and manage job listings.
4. Display customer testimonials and reviews
Reviews are perhaps the most influential type of user-generated content on the web. A staggering 93% of customers read reviews before making a purchase online. Reviews are a type of social proof that add confidence when making purchases. If you sell products or services but don't enable buyers to share reviews, you may be missing out on a lot of sales.
Customer reviews go hand-in-hand with ratings. Consider Google Maps or Yelp, for example. A lot of people check those websites for reviews before they go out to eat anywhere. If they're in a hurry, they may just look at the business' overall rating.
With WordPress, you get access to several ways to display reviews and ratings on your website. If you use WooCommerce, the plugin offers a built-in review system that you can enable at any time.
5. Invite guest posts
A lot of popular blogs enable readers to promote themselves and their websites by adding user submitted posts. If you can get users to submit content that other visitors will be interested in, it's a win-win proposition:
One great example of guest posting comes from DigitalOcean. It offers users money in exchange for contributing to its library of tutorials, and users get the chance to donate that money to charity.
With guest posting, you need the proper incentive to attract high-quality content. If you have a large audience, that can be enough to entice great writers. However, for a growing website, you might need to offer other incentives such as backlinks or bylines.
6. Run user-submission contests
Most people love contests where they feel they have a fair chance of winning (as long as the prizes are good!). If you run an online store, you can hold contests where you give out rewards to the best submissions.
That might mean asking users to submit videos, write essays, share stories on social media, and so on. Whatever the format, this is a great way to increase their engagement with the contest.
In turn, you get to use that content to promote your business. If you're using WordPress, there are several plugins dedicated to helping you host contests and giveaways, such as RafflePress:
Since you're going to get a lot of user-submitted content, it's a great idea to find ways to share it and increase engagement. That might mean publishing it on your website or on social media platforms. That way, you'll drive more attention to the contest, which can translate to additional entries.
User-generated content can help you keep your website active without working around the clock to produce new blog posts, articles, and so on. By encouraging users to submit content, you help strengthen the relationship between them and your brand.
Formidable Forms makes it easy to create user-submission forms for multiple types of content. You can create forms that enable users to upload product pictures, submit reviews, send guest post applications, and more.
If you're ready to start publishing user-submitted content the easy way, try out Formidable Forms today. Want to help us with our user generated content? Write a comment below and let us know what you think about this article.
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