How to Leverage LinkedIn for User-Generated Content Marketing

September 8, 2019

LinkedIn and UGC

When you’re in the market for something new, how do you decide which products to try? Chances are, you ask for referrals from people you trust. When friends or family members recommend something to us, we’re more apt to try it. Even online reviews from strangers tend to carry added sway, because they feel more objective and relatable than brand messaging or corporate content.

So it comes as no surprise that consumers are 92% more likely to trust peer reviews than advertisements. With trust in a state of flux, it’s important to know how you can establish genuine rapport with customers. One way is through user-generated content marketing.

What is User-Generated Content Marketing?

As its name suggests, user-generated content (UGC) is any content—images, articles, videos, social media posts, etc.—created by users. Meanwhile, user-generated content marketing refers to leveraging this content in support of your company’s narrative. UGC creates an authentic touchpoint between you and your customers by amplifying their voices and the voices of others like them.

Some key benefits of user-generated content marketing include:

  • Authenticity. Seventy-six percent of users believe that UGC is more honest and valuable than brand-created content. A photo snapped by a real product user, for example, is much more resonant than a stock photo your company found somewhere online.
  • Brand loyalty. Sharing user-generated content helps establish trust and brand loyalty. Think of the users already talking about your brand as brand ambassadors. By incorporating their viewpoints, you show that you value what they have to say.
  • Encourages engagement. Users are twice as likely to share user-generated content with friends and family, so if increased engagement is your goal, UGC marketing is a great tactic to try.

Always Ask Permission

First things first: before you begin sharing a user’s content, you should always ask permission. If you haven’t already established a relationship with the content creator, reach out.

Introduce yourself via InMail, or comment on their content you find valuable, and ask if you can share it with your company’s network. Sometimes, it’s as easy as commenting on a photo with, “Hey [Name]! We love this picture. Mind if we repost it and share it with our following?”

There’s no one way to go about getting the green light, but failing to ask permission to feature user-generated content can result in all sorts of unwanted ramifications, including the legal sort. Gaining permission from users not only safeguards your business, but also establishes a two-way line of communication, while showing respect for the work they put in.

Use Online Reviews To Boost Awareness

One way to get started with user-generated content marketing is to leverage online reviews. Sixty-seven percent of consumers are influenced by online reviews, leading companies everywhere to seek out and share them. 

For example, G2Crowd is a leading peer-to-peer business solutions review platform. The website has become a central destination for B2B buyers looking to evaluate software based on peer analysis. The popularity of G2Crowd is proof that buyers are hungry to hear what others have to say. And users are happy to satisfy that craving, offering reviews for a number of tools and platforms, including our very own LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

If your brand is present on this or other online review platforms, you can keep an eye out for shareable content (and generally important feedback). If you come across an especially genuine and compelling customer anecdote or insight, that might be an impetus to reach out and ask about excerpting it for a blog post or LinkedIn update.

Be prepared to find negative conversations about your brand emerging online, too. Don’t overlook these opportunities. Addressing concerns, frustrations, and negative reviews in an open and honest manner can paint your brand as authentic, while potentially helping other prospects overcome concerns and reservations.

Leveraging LinkedIn for User-Generated Content Marketing

Conversations about your brand play out all the time on LinkedIn, especially if you invite and encourage them. Paying attention to these conversations online enables you to seek out UGC opportunities while also engaging and strengthening your community.

Here are few ways you can leverage LinkedIn to find and share user-generated content:

  • Use your LinkedIn Page as a springboard. Share updates on your Page that invite users to participate in conversations. For example, when you post an article or an update, invite your users to comment with their opinions. Ask them questions like, “What do you think about X?” or “What’s your favorite thing about Y”?
  • Search LinkedIn for content mentioning your brand’s name. This is a simple way to find out what types of conversations are already taking place about your brand, and gives you a chance to comment and weigh in on the conversation.
  • Find use cases in your brand mentions. If people are openly sharing experiences about using your product or service, this can be powerful in terms credibility and relatability. It’s one thing to talk about how your solution can help; it’s another to demonstrate it, practically, through a customer’s point-of-view. 
  • Run a contest. Need an impetus to generate some material for UGC marketing? Encourage followers to offer their opinions on a pertinent topic, or a quirky take on your company, with a fun prize drawing to incentivize participation.

Content by Users, for Users

User-generated content marketing is gaining momentum, and for good reason. LinkedIn makes it easy to find and share UGC in order to help you build a more meaningful relationship with (and between) your customers. 

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Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash