As you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed today, you may notice that there aren’t as many promotional posts from the brands you follow in it as there were before. This has been going on since early January 2015; the team behind Facebook expressly stated that they would be limiting the amount of such promotional content appearing in users’ feeds.

This certainly posed a challenge to businesses everywhere that would have loved to maximize the opportunity of driving organic traffic to their websites from the social networking giant. But any insightful marketer would take this obstacle and find a way to authentically reach their target audience through other means.

The method that became the answer to this particular dilemma is the creation of user generated content campaigns.

What is user generated content?

User generated content is defined as any type of digital content (blogs, images, videos, audio files, forum posts, et cetera) that is produced and shared by consumers or the end users of a website or online service.

Simply put, a user generated content campaign’s objective would be to encourage consumers to create original content that contains the brand’s message, and to share this content with fellow consumers and Web users. Essentially, a company’s target audience would be doing the job of making content that promotes a brand, and then sharing this with other consumers and encouraging them to do the same.

The effect would be hundreds, thousands or even millions of people willingly getting involved in spreading the word about a brand. Does Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign sound familiar?

So, do you want to learn how to take advantage of user generated content?

Know your audience, the things that motivate them, and their preferred social media platforms.

The core of your user generated content campaign lies in knowing who to address, what aspect of their emotions should be tapped for the best effect, and where they can be found online.

Will you be catering to the 18-24 set? Are tweens more your speed? What about Baby Boomers? Once you’ve narrowed down your demographic, you need to figure out what would make them want to start or take part in a conversation about your brand—and you’ll need to pinpoint which social media channel is their preferred avenue for submitting content.

Make it fun.

Everyone loves trying out a game, joining a contest, or participating in challenges that provide unique results which they can share with others, or that offer nice rewards or recognition.

Pick out a way to engage your audience best. Invite them to come up with witty slogans, product names or designs, and the like. Web users love being able to compare their submissions with others’, to engage in friendly competition, and just to be part of a well-known trend.

Make it sincere.

The goal of your user generated content campaign is to communicate with your audience and to encourage them to communicate with each other about your brand. By inviting them to share their thoughts, creativity, and innovations, you demonstrate your interest and trust in your consumers. Your brand comes across as happy and willing to listen, share ideas, acknowledge consumers, and build positive relationships.

if you need help setting up your online marketing strategy, be sure to contact Our Team at MGR Consulting Group.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).