User-Generated Content is any type of media – comments, posts, photos, UGC videos – that the user (or the consumer) spontaneously produces for the company. An example of user-generated content could be comments at the end of posts and product reviews by customers themselves.
Those who work in digital marketing know that creating interesting content – one of the main pillars of this methodology – for their target audience is a daily challenge. So why not get some help from your own customers to make this process easier?
The term User-Generated Content became known in the digital environment in 2005, with the popularisation of the internet and, consequently, the dialogue between consumers and brands in the digital world.
Today, the strategy is widely used by e-commerce stores or by restaurant business – if you've already shopped online or dined at a fancy restaurant, it's likely that you have already gone to the product/service comments section to check, what other customers are saying about it and check if the purchase or food is worth it.
Start By Designing a UGC-Friendly Space for Growth and Connection
One of the key advantages of UGC lies in its minimal demand for effort from the brand in the content creation process. By providing a platform where customers are encouraged to share their content, experiences, and opinions, a brand can boost its credibility with consumers. User-generated content adds a layer of authenticity to the brand's image, as it stems directly from real customers and their unfiltered perspectives. This trust-building aspect of UGC can significantly impact a company's reputation and foster a sense of community and connection between the brand and its customers. As a result, embracing UGC marketing as a strategy allows businesses to harness the collective voice of their satisfied customers, elevating their overall marketing efforts and strengthening their relationship with their audience.
5 reasons your restaurant business should take advantage of User-Generated Content
1. Reliability and credibility
People rely heavily on the experience of other users. If you see an app full of negative reviews, you wouldny download it. If you see a restaurant full of people complaining, you wouldn't go there. It's the new of word-of-mouth.
When producing content for your blog, for example, however close you can get to your customer, the feeling is not the same as when the content is created by users. The participation of these users generates a sense of proximity and reliability among other potential consumers.
In addition, this shows that the brand is self-confident and is not afraid to receive feedback. A tip that generates credibility for the business is to value even the negative comments. This demonstrates that you care about listening to opinions and always improving your business.
2. Low investment
Leveraging user-generated content doesn't require an investment in the financial sense. On the contrary, people will produce content regardless, in some cases or depending on the customers experience, the conent may either be good or bad.
The best proof of this is the reviews on Google, Facebook Pages or Instagram comments. No one "invests" in it; it is a completely spontaneous interaction over which the company often has no control. Investment in UGC, in fact, is nothing more than making a good product and providing a good service.
3. Source of ideas
If your company has limited time or budget to produce content, UGC can help you maintain your calendar. Readers' comments can be sources of guidelines for your content materials.
In addition, it is possible to use the content made by users as a source of texts and testimonials, even images.
4. Help in defining the persona
Persona is the fictional representation of your ideal client. It is based on real data about your customers' behaviour and demographic characteristics, as well as a creation of their personal stories, motivations, goals, challenges and concerns.
Interacting with your real consumer and paying attention to what he has to say is a good opportunity to improve your knowledge of your persona. This allows you to understand what interests the public most and align your content with those interests.
5. Identification with the company
Having a space dedicated to user-generated content helps build greater identification between the company and the customer.
Once users start submitting photos, for example, they share it with their friends and end up bringing more awareness to your brand.
But it's important that someone does a check on this section so that nothing inappropriate is shown.
How to leverage UGC in your restaurant business?
Reviews and testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are the simplest forms of UGC, and you can integrate them into your website or social media.
In addition to the more common text format, in the case of e-commerce, the customer can be encouraged to take pictures of the products so that other interested parties can see them in addition to the official photos.
Another possibility is to offer discounts or coupons to those who review your product.
Questions and answers
Including a FAQ section or discussion forum within your site encourages conversation between users.
In addition to the frequently asked questions answered by the company, you can use a question and answer section from the customers themselves, in which they interact by answering each other's specific questions - whether the shipment was fast, whether the product number corresponds to the size, etc.
You can also use hashtags to encourage the production of user-generated content.
UGC campaigns on Instagram are a good example, as they help to collect material to display in your virtual store, in the case of e-commerce, in addition to generating "buzz" about your brand.
User-generated content has become an essential strategy for businesses, especially for e-commerce and restaurant businesses. It refers to any type of media that the user or consumer spontaneously produces for the company, such as comments, posts, photos, and videos. UGC can help businesses to create interesting content for their target audience without requiring great effort from the brand in the creation process.
There are many benefits to using UGC in your restaurant business, including increased reliability and credibility, low investment, source of ideas, help in defining the persona, and greater identification with the company. Additionally, leveraging UGC can be done in various ways, including reviews and testimonials, questions and answers, and campaigns.
Overall, incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy can help your business build trust with your audience, improve your product offerings, and increase brand awareness.