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4 Ways Startups Can Leverage User-Generated Content

Founder of Orchid Agency
Marissa Lodato
February 7, 2023
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User-Generated Content (UGC) can be a valuable asset for any business looking to increase credibility and authority. In fact, 87% of consumers still prefer peer reviews, making UGC a powerful tool to elevate your brand and drive results. UGC can be beneficial for both B2C and B2B brands because it builds trust and credibility with potential customers.

What is User-Generated Content?

UGC (user-generated) is any original content created and shared by unpaid contributors, rather than the brand or organization itself. This can include images, videos, reviews, testimonials, and more, and is often published on social media or other channels. UGC comes in many forms and can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to showcase the experiences and insights of their customers.

Does User-Generated Content Make Sense for B2B?

Absolutely! In the B2B space, UGC can be especially powerful because it allows brands to showcase the experiences of other businesses or professionals who have used their products or services. For example, a B2B software company might use UGC in the form of customer reviews or case studies to demonstrate how their product has helped other businesses solve specific challenges. This can be especially effective because decision-makers often rely on the experiences and recommendations of their peers when choosing which products or services to use.

In addition to building trust and credibility, UGC can also help B2B brands to showcase the value of their products or services in a more authentic and relatable way. By featuring real-world examples of how their products have been used by other businesses, brands can help potential customers to better understand the benefits of their offerings and how they might be able to solve specific challenges.

How User-Generated Content Builds Strong Brands

  • Boosts credibility: UGC builds trust and credibility with potential customers by showcasing the real-world experiences of other users. This can be especially effective in the B2B space, where decision-makers often rely on the recommendations and experiences of their peers during the evaluation stage.
  • Builds loyalty: By featuring UGC from satisfied customers, businesses can help to build loyalty and create a sense of community among their customers. This can encourage customers to continue using the product or service and to recommend it to others.
  • Expands reach and engagement: UGC can help to expand a business's reach by encouraging customers to share content on their own social media channels or other online platforms. This can help to increase engagement with the brand and drive more traffic to the business's website or social media pages.

4 Effective Ways to Leverage User-Generated Content

There are many ways that businesses can leverage user-generated content (UGC) to engage and connect with their audience.

1. Customer Testimonials

Utilizing customer testimonials is a quick and effective way to create UGC. Start by encouraging customers to create testimonials about their experience with your company. Testimonials can be created in written form or even better- video form! Consistently post testimonials on your website and share them through your social channels. 

According to Big Commerce, 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business. Happy customers make a huge impact on future customers who are 

evaluating your company. 

2. Case Studies

Utilizing customer content to create case studies is a smart way to tell a story and build an emotional connection with your audience. 

Not only do case studies help strengthen customer relationships, but a solid customer story can help showcase your expertise and provide original social proof.

Hint: Placing UGC directly on product pages can improve conversions by up to 64% according to ClickZ.

3. Third-Party Reviews

Third-party reviews are customer reviews that are placed on websites like Google, Facebook, or Yelp. They offer insights from an unbiased perspective about your business. Third-party reviews create trust within customers as they evaluate your services.

According to Search Engine Journal, nearly half (42%) of internet users in the U.S. cite reviews from other customers as a feature that would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.

For this type of UGC, there are many promotion possibilities including posting the reviews directly on your website or creating social posts.

Hint: Set up Google Alerts to stay on top of these reviews so you never miss out on an opportunity for promotion. 

4. Your Team 

One of the smartest ways to build audience trust and differentiate your company is through company culture. Sharing team photos and stories will leave a lasting impression on your audience. As a bonus, this type of UGC builds morale and supports retention.

Some examples of UGC within your team can include team spotlights, team company reviews, day-in-the-life stories, and more. Here is an example of a culture spotlight blog created by an Orchid team member. 

The key is to share your employee content on your social channels consistently and post to your website for the best results.

If you have any questions about user-generated content, please reach out.