Part 2: User-Generated Content ⏤ is the right strategy for you?
A new pathway to influence or for your next business venture. Discover if this is your lane + learn how to develop your specific UGC theme-based account. Grow the audience, the business will come.
Welcome to Part 2 of the six-part User-Generated Content (UGC) series.
In Part 1, we discussed what user-generated content is. I shared a quick case study on 7 Instagram accounts that use(d) UGC to grow their audience, further their brand, and eventually develop a business of their own.
Now, let’s talk about how to decide if this particular strategy is the right fit for your current or future brand, business, idea, etc.
User-generated content is shared every single day. The most common shares are on IG stories. You know those quotes and memes you share to your IG story, that is UGC. Developing a UGC strategy encompasses those same feelings. You want to curate really great content that aligns with your passions, ideas, brand and assists you with building an audience.
But is this your lane?
User-generated content can be used if you own a major online retailer or someone obsessed with a specific niche or topic. It’s all the same. One strategy will include more UGC than the other.
Full UGC strategy vs. Partial UGC strategy — let’s compare.
A full user-generated content strategy could be for you if:
you have a really great idea but have no clue how to transform this idea into a business.
want to become an influencer without the strain of sharing your own personal content/life 247.
you have a future idea that you want to build an audience for.
your creative thumb isn’t the best, but you have an eye for other’s creative work.
you are low on time but want [need] to build an audience.
Stepping into a UGC influencing strategy doesn’t mean you are off the hook for what most content creators and influencers do. You do your work and influencing a little differently. The work is still required, but YOU on camera isn’t always required.
A partial user-generated content strategy can be used when:
you have a product for sale that users can take photos of or in.
you have digital content [or strategies] that you share/sell. Re-post when customers apply the techniques your sing your praises online.
using quotes or scenery photos from other users. Make sure it’s in alignment with your page’s theme.
you want to manifest or inspire your audience.
If you want to include UGC into your current content strategy, think about how other’s content aligns with your overall message or what you are working towards.
Note: In part 3, we will discuss how to search + use user-generated content.
A partial user-generated content strategy doesn’t have to happen every single week. You could select certain days, weeks, or months to share this type of content. You could utilize national months and holidays to help align UGC to your profile.
Lifestyle blogger? May is National Photography Month. Highlight photographers you’ve worked with and those whose work you admire.
Women’s empowerment focused? June is National Homeownership Month. Highlight bossed-up women who are making home purchases. Share why this is important and what it means to you.
Career Coach? September is International Update Your Resume Month. Share content from former customers or create a collection of images from your favorite #Professionals sharing their story and what it means to you.
User-generated content is the gift that keeps on giving. Someone is always making content that can speak to anyone or anything.
If you are interested in the full UGC strategy, the next step is to flush out your idea. You have to narrow your focus to get very specific on what you want to build an audience around.
Choose a topic that shows up in your everyday life or something you are extremely passionate about. Don’t choose something that will require a ton of additional content creation and work.
Choose a topic that is somewhat popular or in-demand, then put your twist on it.
Don’t copy your favorite UGC account. Copy-cats never swim; they sink. Use your favorite UGC as inspiration, not a content stealer.
To find out what your topic could be, answer these questions. Grab a notebook.
What are you passionate about?
Anything that you find yourself getting lost in?
Favorite TV shows?
What are you good at?
What do you wish you could do if money weren’t an option?
Do you ever look at certain IG accounts and think I can do that differently or better? How would you do it differently?
After you answer these questions, it’s time to research before selecting your specific lane. If you already have an idea, you still need to narrow your focus.
Therapy-focused account? What area will you focus on? Wellness, family, relationships?
Food-focused account? What kind of food? Fast-food, fine dining, homemade?
Personal business/brand? What industry is that in? How many people do this? How will you do it differently?
Once you discover what your focus is going to be, your next step is to research this area across the social internet - Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google, TikTok, and YouTube. TikTok is a gold learning mine for almost everything.
While researching, write down what you see on the internet from your research. Write down usernames, ideas you are getting, how you would share/post/caption the same content, etc.
You need to study and research for 1-2 weeks.
I know it’s hard to sit still and be patient, but your idea will thank you later for it.
Your ideas need to develop and flush out. You can't make this decision to move forward after a few days.
You need to study similar accounts. Observing other accounts’ behaviors is a great way to see what works and what doesn't.
Have more brainstorming sessions. Spend 30-45 minutes every other day while you are in this stage of development. Using this time to be creative without the pressure of producing is a way to build great habits for the future.
After a couple of weeks of brainstorming and research, you should feel confident moving forward with the topic/idea you’ve selected. If not, spend some more time.
Your selected idea should:
keep you awake at night because you are just too excited to share with others.
bring joy to your life because you love it so much.
not feel like work because whatever it is, it’s already woven into your daily life and behaviors.
be open-ended and leave room for evolution from Instagram.
How do you feel about user-generated content now?
Do you see how this can be included in your current Instagram strategy or stand in its own lane?
Understand how an audience can be built from a shared love for a topic?
What other questions do you have? Reply to this email or comment below. Your question could be answered throughout this series.
Every day you scroll through Instagram. It’s time to train your eye to look for content that aligns with your brand, theme, or business.