The marketing world is changing—as usual. Ten years ago, companies weren’t looking for UGC Specialists, Social Media Managers, and much less Chief Meme Officers. They were focused on the content published to their websites and fully invested in experts who could expand their reach through search results.

Now, brands also have an expanding social presence to manage. With over one billion users on the Facebook platform alone, social media provides the conduit to connect with your audience. The question is, how?

The roles for marketing involving social networks are also changing. Social Media Managers can help you organize product shoots, schedule, and implement strategies to get engagement and conversions. Chief Meme Officers will spend their time learning about your audience and creating content that makes them relate to your brand.

But what about all the content your customers, users, and real people are already creating—who’s in charge of that?

  • What happens after a happy customer shares their new purchase to their Twitter feed?
  • Have you delegated the organization of incoming Instagram posts of your products and services in the wild?
  • Who’s collecting the unboxing videos that excited content creators are making for their Youtube channels?
  • Once you have this creative social media content, what are you going to do with it?

If there isn’t someone on your team in charge of user-generated content, there’s a lot of potential impact you’re missing out on.

Here’s why forward-thinking companies are bringing on User-Generated Content Specialists, and why you should be one of them.

Why Do I Need a User-Generated Content Specialist?

User-generated content (UGC) is social proof of your brand and the experiences that you provide.

If your audience can’t see this proof because you’re not resharing it to your social feeds, using it on your website, featuring it in your emails, or publishing it to your print marketing materials—you’re missing the key to building trustworthy and authentic communications..

Here’s a quick look at the impact of user-generated content on campaigns, budgets, and conversions:

  • Forty-eight percent of customers claim user-generated content is a great method for them to discover new products
  • Ads based on user-generated content receive four times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click compared to average ads
  • Websites with UGC saw a 20% increase in return visitors and recorded a 90% increase in time spent on-site
  • User-generated content drives a 73% increase in email click-through-rates.
  • UGC can save brands the expense of a dedicated content producer ($72,000)

Unfortunately, without a UGC Specialist, brands find themselves falling short on strategy and letting a lot of UGC slip through the cracks. Having a UGC Specialist gives brands a direct focus on the content their customers are creating. Instead of focusing entirely on creating their own content, they can use their customer’s content legally. This saves money, as brands don’t have to pay for expensive production shoots and time, as brands avoid spending hours/days/months on production.

This is part of what makes UGC so important. Not only is it driving more impact than company created content… it’s also cheaper and faster to make. In a hungry content world, it’s exactly the type of content brands can use to skyrocket their engagement, brand awareness, and following without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep up with their content machine.

Here are some examples of user-generated content used by brands:

Traeger Grills uses UGC to create the set the scene for a perfect weekend (featuring their grill front and center):

UGC example

Remarkable, a digital notepad, uses UGC to show how artists can use their notepad to draw sketches with the same precision as drawing on paper:

UGC example

Women’s fitness app Sweat has leveraged UGC since the very start to showcase the results their users get from using the Sweat app.

UGC example

They consistently highlight user-generated content on their social profiles with images and written testimonials of how the Sweat app has helped their users tap into a healthy lifestyle.

What Does a UGC Specialist Do?

This role will spend their time finding, inspiring, curating, and repurposing relevant feedback and content from fans, customers, and employees across key touch points and identifying new ways to engage internally and externally with your audience through surveys, polls, contests, etc.

For example, they’ll be in charge of finding the best content and figuring out where and when it works best. Fast, the 1-click checkout for the internet, regularly relies on UGC to promote how great their checkout solution is compared to others.

UGC example

They use customer testimonials to showcase happy Fast customers in place of a fancy “Here’s How Fast Works” campaign video.

The right UGC Specialist will be an expert at repurposing content into digestible formats, keeping up with marketing shifts, and joining important industry conversations. They’ll be the person ready to deploy specific UGC depending on the conversation happening in your industry or with your brand. They’re going to be strategic thinkers and storytellers with a strong eye for aesthetics. They’ll be empathetic, friendly, and have a “more impact with less effort” mentality.

The ideal UGC Specialist candidate has experience repurposing content and working with marketing and scheduling tools. UGC platform and design tools experience is a plus. Their goal will be to drive audience engagement, growth, revenue, and conversions using user-generated content while scaling content production.

When Do I Need a UGC Specialist?

Now. But seriously, a UGC Specialist can help you develop exciting ways to build a community, collect testimonials and social proof, scale content, and ultimately thread this content through every area of the marketing strategy.

You don’t need a huge production budget to get your products and services seen; you just need to allocate the budget you’d normally put behind production towards curating and distributing UGC.

This role will create strategies that inspire customers to create and share unboxing videos, how they use your products, or the benefit the products are having. Then, they’ll work with your team to put ad dollars behind the best performing UGC and build campaigns around it.

The larger the brand, the sooner you need help in this role. There are thousands to millions of potential posts across social networks that you could be using in your marketing efforts that you don’t even know exist. By getting someone on your team or as an extension to your team, you can start to collect and organize available UGC and start putting this content to work. The right UGC platform and team like TINT will make finding and curating the highest quality UGC easy.

If you answer yes to any of the below questions, chances are you’re ready for a UGC Specialist:

  1. Your users and customers aren’t making UGC or aren’t creating the type of content that you want and you need help inspiring them to create it
  2. Your users and customers are creating a lot of UGC and you don’t have a system to organize and use it
  3. You need to scale your content strategy on a budget
  4. You need to boost eCommerce and online conversions
  5. Your current content strategy isn’t driving engagement or growing your audience

While UGC Specialists aren’t on everyone’s radar today, we predict that in a few years they’ll be the new Social Media Manager. The question is—where would you be without a Social Media Manager?

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