In the 21st century, corporations experiment with several marketing techniques to attract new audiences and retain the existing ones. But it seems that UGC (user-generated content) will dominate the industry in the post-pandemic world of marketing. Statistics show that UGC influences a consumer’s purchasing decision more strongly than influencer marketing.
Likewise, millennials trust people-generated content 50% more than business-generated content. They’re contributing to more than 70% of all UGC today as well. So, why has user-generated content become crucial for a business’s survival in 2021? What are some forms of UGC that businesses must explore (and are already exploring)? Let’s discover answers to these queries.
Business benefits of UGC in 2021
It’s pretty self-explanatory what UGC means; content (images/videos) created by consumers and shared on social media. Since people generate it, it’s more trustworthy than traditional paid content businesses often produce. So, companies can exploit the genuineness of user-generated content. Driven by a consumer’s desires, thoughts, and suggestions, UGC provides an excellent alternative to other tactics used by marketers deemed inauthentic by their audiences.
So, what are some examples of UGC?
There are reviews/testimonials without which 70% of customers don’t purchase your products. Then we have hashtag contests to encourage more consumers to create UGC. People mainly utilize online tools to develop content such as videos, eBooks, and podcasts. These tools offer them a variety of eBook templates to produce visually appealing digital documents. So, how does this user-generated content enable your business to promote its products/services? We’ll now explain the benefits of depending more upon UGC:
People are prone to follow what’s massively acceptable and universally popular. So, businesses strive to enhance their social proof. Your social proof (social media posts in your business’s favor by a famous person) shows that people validate you. It contributes to your company’s acceptability as more customers create content about how reliable you are. By this logic, the more UGC you acquire, the more followers you’ll get online. That’s why organizations today invest more in getting UGC.
We’ve already talked about how UGC increases your business’s authenticity. A study by Stackla shows that nearly 80% of consumers find UGC highly impactful on their purchasing decisions. So, don’t forget that user-generated content is inherently most trustworthy than business-generated content. It is also more reliable since people tend to trust reviews by other customers before purchasing your products. Unfortunately, a company positively describing its products/services won’t have the same impact.
Even during an ongoing pandemic, the competition among rival businesses is still brain-numbingly fierce. It has led to “banner blindness.” It happens when excessive advertisements make people ignore them. But UGC – being not entirely market-driven – appears more genuine to customers and can cut through the noise successfully. Thus, it improves the effectiveness of your marketing endeavors. In the next section, we’ll show statistics about how UGC can boost your audience’s engagement.
Being more reliable and authentic, UGC also engages more customers. Statistics show that users spend 5.4 hours daily with UGC, accounting for almost 30% of a millennial’s media time. So, the videos/photos shared by people on different social media platforms encourage potential customers to interact with them automatically. Hence, UGC gets more likes, shares, retweets, and comments. It discusses many topics, including those sensitive ones businesses can’t touch via traditional content.
User-generated content also drives more conversions and increases the digital traffic to your business’s website/webpage. Marketers consider website traffic as a crucial KPI (key performance indicator) of the progress of their marketing endeavors. With people-generated authentic content that serves as “social proof” for your customers, leveraging UGC enhances your website traffic. So, it accelerates the purchasing procedure, thereby making your business more profitable in the end.
Encouraging customers to create more content enables you to have a strong connection with these people. You are actively establishing a communication channel – a feedback loop – with your trusted audiences. A study shows that over 50% of boomers and over 60% of millennials want companies to offer them various methods to share their opinions about businesses online. When you make customers feel seen/heard, you’re acknowledging that their opinions matter. It also gains loyalty from your fans.
All these reviews created by consumers directly influence your SEO efforts. User-generated content has helped several popular businesses improve their positions on search engines.Search engines such as Google require genuine and interactive content to determine how credible your website is. When consumers contribute to your content-creation endeavors, it convinces Google’s algorithm to decide in your favor. So, UGC gives you the necessary backlinks to help boost the website’s SEO ranking.
In modern-day marketing, personalized campaigns are more effective than traditional ones. Studies show that over 70% of customers prefer advertisements personalized to their shopping habits. Such ads encourage more potential customers to notice your business. Also, when you produce content that resonates with people’s likes/dislikes, it boosts their engagement. And that’s what UGC helps you achieve. Businesses can bolster personalization by leveraging the content made by consumers.
This one’s a bit obvious, i.e., UGC is budget-friendly and cost-effective. Since it’s created massively by consumers, so – instead of paying a bunch of ghostwriters to produce content for your website – you can utilize UGC to bolster your marketing efforts. Consider it a massive library of content merely waiting there to be used by your marketing department. As COVID-19 has disrupted the marketing endeavors of many businesses, UGC can serve as a “holy grail” of free content for marketers.
Many businesses struggle to create content that stays with their audiences and isn’t easily forgettable. Statistics have revealed that almost 30% of consumers consider ads featuring UGC more memorable than non-UGC ones. User-generated content is also more effective as it can linger around in their memories longer than traditional advertisements.
In 2021 marketers seek techniques that appear authentic to influence people’s purchasing decisions. We can observe that 75% of marketers considered user-generated content as more reliable than different content formats. According to 2017 statistics, 60% of consumers believed UGC to be the most original content format out there. Its benefits include building trust with your targeted audiences while increasing your business’s visibility, credibility, and search ability. Thanks to UGC, your consumers now have a voice you can leverage to enhance your business profitability. Being peer-generated, this content is unique, trustworthy, and memorable since competitors can’t replicate this user-generated content.
A solid digital marketing strategy is essential for increasing brand awareness, customers, and sales. SEO, for instance, has an impressive conversion rate of 14.6% while traditional print and mail methods have a low average comparative rate of 1.7%. By finding ways to improve your digital marketing strategy, you can better stand out against the competition and attract and convert your target customers.
Almost 60% of customers are put off brands who post superficial and salesy content online. By making sure your content is authentic (rather than solely focused on selling), you can better attract and build trust with your target customers. For example, try posting informative, educational content that offers value to your readers. This way, you’ll build a reputation as an expert in your industry and you’ll be the first your audience thinks of when it’s time to buy. Even simply responding to your customers’ comments in a friendly, helpful, and timely manner works to build genuine relationships.
Use PPC Ads
PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, explains Neon Ambition, an Austin PPC management company. With PPC ads, your business appears in front of your target customers at the exact moment they search for relevant keywords. Rather than wasting your budget on estimated impressions, PPC ads are paid for only if the user clicks through and generates traffic to your site. It gives you complete control over budget, ad placement, and targeting, so you can increase your chances of attracting high-quality visitors interested in your products or services to your site — where you can then convert them into paying customers. Although Microsoft Advertising and Facebook ads are popular platforms, Google ads are most useful for PPC campaigns due to the high volume of searches received.
Try Guest Blogging
Guest posting helps generate three times as many leads as paid search advertising. By inviting industry thought leaders to contribute to your site via blog posts or interviews, you can strengthen brand awareness and credibility. In addition to presenting your readers with interesting, engaging, and educational information, you’ll also likely receive backlinks on other websites, therefore improving your SEO ranking. Digital marketing plays a key role in business success. Authentic content, PPC ads, and guest blogging are powerful methods you can use to boost sales and take your business to the next level.
Employees are the main backbone for both small and large businesses. You can see an increase in productivity when employees are satisfied and happy about their work. So, one of the best ways to grow your business is keeping employees happy.
By making certain small changes, you can easily enhance the levels of office efficiency and productivity in your business by time management. It helps you in receiving more quality work in a short time as well as limit the time spent on unimportant tasks. We have listed eight important tips that will help you in getting the best efforts from your employees and also obtain maximum productivity.
1. Be Efficient
Think about how you are currently operating your business and check how you can change the way you are working. It is important to make long term and short term lists so as to prioritize tasks in a small-sized business.
Ask questions to yourself like- Is there is any way where staff members could organize their day to day tasks to accomplish their goals? Offer each of your staff members with a strategy and motivate them to make a list to do activities. Also, ensure the employees prioritize duties on time and complete tasks every day, which results in efficient working.
2. Reduce Distractions
One of the biggest productivity killers in the present scenario is social media. It is not possible to follow no phone policy but you can motivate employees to remain engaged and focused. You can allow them to take breaks once in two to three hours for better engagement.
Request your employees to switch off mobile phones. During break hours, they can check their phones and remain active in social media as they wish. This way, they will be more productive when they are at their desk.
Though it is slightly risky, delegation is helpful for enhancing job satisfaction and morale of your staff. It is almost like giving additional responsibilities to your employees. It is recommended to give duties only to qualified employees who have a good track record, experience and success in your field. By giving tasks to employees who are skilled, you can remain in the peace of mind as they do the tasks as per your expectations.
4. Have The Right Equipment And Tools
It is important to offer the right equipment and tools to employees. This way, they can do their duties on time and efficiently. In the present scenario, there are a lot of advanced equipment and gadgets that help in doing work in quick time. For instance, when you do not have a printing device, the employees have to wait for long hours to print their paperwork. It affects your entire productivity.
High quality, modern equipment, and programs make an excellent difference to the workforce and also the way the company perceives. So, save effort and time by utilizing equipment like MFP that functions as scanner, fax machine, copier, and printer.
5. Set Realistic Goals And Provide Real-time Support
Most managers experience this issue, they will not have a clear or strong idea of whether their staff members are performing well or not. Help your staffs by offering some achievable goals. Give clear direction to employees and supervisors to assist clarify expectations. It helps in increasing your productivity and also they will have clear goals and clear focus.
6. Enhance Workplace Conditions
The work environment should be comfortable with good furniture and interiors. A workspace that is comfortable should maintain temperature from 68 degrees to 70 degrees F that is between 20 and 21 C. If the workspace is too cold or too hot, it can distract the employees and affects their concentration. Due to this, the employees will be just walking with an electric fan or adjusting their coats around the office. It is necessary to make sure both the air conditioning and heating systems are in good working condition according to the relevant season.
7. Make Sure Employees Are Happy
If the workplace is stressful, you cannot expect good results. The employees who are continuously functioning under stressful situations are said to have levels of absenteeism and disengagement and be less productive. Remember, employees have to be happy. The company has to appreciate, value and respect on a personal level. It is called as gratification. It should never be missed when you want a productive workforce.
8. Practice Positive Strengths
Encourage ,motivate and reward. When your employees are performing well, tell them they are performing a good job and offer constructive criticism. Another important part is providing personal incentives when you find them doing the task perfectly. You can take them for dinner, a free coffee or offer a free holiday trip for performing tasks beyond their rules. It is recommended to share positiveness of employee to another so as to cultivate a feeling of fulfillment and also encourage others. When employees are motivated and given rewards for their hard work, they will start to put more productivity on their daily task list.
9. Get Employees Feedback
Employees give feedback on a different angle, which you can think about and implement. When you ask their feedback, you can learn lot of things from their viewpoint. You would not even think about certain things but they would have expressed in form of feedback. It is best to discuss with employees who directly interact with clients. They will know more about client’s expectations. They tell clearly what can be done to improve workplace productivity.
10. Offer Training To Employees
It is necessary to update your employees with the latest tools and technologies for better productivity. As they learn new applications and programs and implement on own, you will find a lot of change in your productivity. It will also help in increasing your productivity at a great rate. Proper training leads to greater productivity and efficiency.
Hope you find these ideas helpful for increasing your workplace productivity. Encourage remote work? Do you want to increase productivity? Do you concentrate on engagement? Share your tips and suggestions in the comment box below!
Niall Kennedy is the Creative Director at ”Preferred training networks ”. He has over 20 years of experience in Professional Development Industry. He has published 4 business books – “All Aboard the Brain Train,” “Healthy Leadership,” “Errant Workplace Behaviours,” and “Hidden Observations”.
Making your small business stand out in a sea of larger companies is no small feat. Small companies, by definition, have a more modest marketing budget. This budget has to stretch considerably to make the brand’s voice heard.
There is no magical path to achieving the best marketing strategy. Any number of people in the business of marketing will tell you that an effective campaign is a combination of various methods and factors. At its very core, your marketing should present your business to the right customer base.
Fortunately, certain proven strategies give the most reward for your investment. These strategies have been used by small businesses, like yours, time and time again. Here are the best ways to leverage effective ads for your brand.
Build A Great Website
Most people are now moving towards buying online rather than having to face the hassle of visiting physical stores. Small businesses, in particular, can benefit from a well-designed website with thoughtful landing pages.
A good website not only showcases your brand but also works as a great way to capture new leads, provide relevant information to your customers, and drive people to your social media pages.
Setting up a brand new website for your business is not too difficult. You will need to buy and register your domain name and sign up for web hosting. Use content management software (CMS) to manage your content and update it over time.
If you are still a bit jittery about creating your website, then do not hesitate to invest in a professional. They will be able to walk you through the many options available and should build you a beautiful and fully customised website.
Google My Business
A local business that targets local customers needs to rank high on Google My Business listing. It pulls data from several platforms under the Google umbrella including your Google Maps profile, Google reviews, Google Insights, and Google Analytics.
Google presents an advertised listing followed by Google My Business listings for local searches. Having a high ranking will get more eyes on your business, increasing your conversion rates. To rank high, optimize your business profile, collect Google reviews, and encourage citations.
A majority of marketers report that the leads generated from email marketing campaigns are more than any other marketing channel. Small businesses thrive when they nurture their clients. Since most people do not make a transaction the first time they visit a business’s website, collecting leads is imperative for your success.
Your website needs to create an email marketing funnel that collects leads for you to nurture at a later date. This is when you offer something of value to your potential customer such that they are compelled to provide their information. This could be a coupon code, a discount, a free download, or a free trial.
Email marketing is a low cost, easy to automate, and has a global reach. You can segment your leads to get the maximum effect for future campaigns. This can be easily tracked and recalibrated depending on the results.
Engage with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising since you pay only when a customer clicks on your advertisement. Google Ads is one of the most popular PPC platforms. No matter where you are located, chances are that a majority of your customers use Google’s search engine. Harnessing its vast reach to place your business front and center can result in a huge pay-off.
Google uses keywords relevant to determine the rankings of ads on its search engine results. This is why you must conduct accurate keyword research. Another important aspect is to develop a compelling landing page when the ad is clicked. This landing page should tell the customer exactly what they need to know most directly.
Facebook ads are considered to be one of the more inexpensive marketing strategies and can target virtually any audience. Around two million small and medium businesses use Facebook ads to drive their sales.
Facebook ads offer advanced targeting where you can directly put your ad in front of the right demographic. You can target your ad based on age, gender, location, online behavior, interests, and more.
While it is pretty easy to run a Facebook ad, many newbies find that the ROI isn’t what they expected. Luckily, many third-party tools can help you run your campaign by tracking and analyzing its performance and providing actionable insights.
Instagram adsalso use the same targeting techniques like Facebook. This isn’t surprising since Facebook owns them. If your business is visually appealing, then consider using Instagram as a way to advertise your business.
Content marketing is no longer limited to blog posts. You should have a diverse range of pieces like videos, podcasts, and online courses. Your content should be valuable to the customer while staying relevant and consistent.
Content marketing is more of a long-term plan than something like Google Ads. It sets up your business to build a brand based on customer engagement. It consists of high-quality pieces that are optimized for SEO.
If you are just starting out on developing a content marketing strategy, then take the time to conduct the right research. A great strategy that never fails is to try to have your content answer what your audience needs.
Consistent content with regular and diverse uploads is key to garnering a broad audience. You can dabble in creating videos using a promo video maker for your brand and track the engagement you receive for the same across different platforms.
Drum Up Referrals
A key factor many small businesses tend to overlook is their existing customer base. Sure, they understand the importance of word-of-mouth advertising, but they fall short on leveraging their community to drive up sales.
Potential customers are going to trust existing customers over any message that a business puts out, no matter how compelling the ad. Use this dynamic by offering referral programs to your most loyal customers. They are now going to be incentivized to spread the word about your business.
The referral program can offer discounts, codes, gifts, or even free products. If the rewards from the program are working in your favor, then build a tier-system for your customers.