Content marketing is more important now than ever before in online marketing. Furthermore, it has become about far more than simply creating content and distributing it. Today, content marketing has a strong focus on value, relevance, and consistency. Furthermore, it is now vital for marketers to develop a highly targeted audience. Moving forward, there will be an increasing trend focusing on user-generated content in marketing campaigns.

The concept of user-generated content is not exactly new, but it is growing in prevalence. Given that consumers tend to place more importance on peer reviews and recommendations that content developed by brands, the value of user-generated content cannot be taken for granted. The reality is that consumers tend to choose products and services they know other consumers actually use and trust.

So, across all social media platforms, user-generated content is becoming more common and more important. Whether it is YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, it is important that your brand learn how to utilize user-generated content.

One of the best ways to leverage user-generated content is to encourage customers to participate, using things like competitions. This might be via a best photo competition, but you could also get creative. The key is to make sure the competition is relevant to your brand. Leverage this strategy even more by hosting it on multiple platforms.

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes marketers make with user-generated content is simply not asking for it. It’s simple, but you need to ask your users to contribute. Keep in mind that you do not even necessarily need to offer anything in exchange, although you certainly could offer an incentive if you wish to. You might be surprised at how willing your customers are to contribute reviews if you just ask.

Remember to include a branded campaign that includes the use of hashtags that your users will want to use and share, as well. Doing so will help to ensure that your user-generated content actually reaches more users.

When handled correctly, user-generated content can provide your brand with a number of critical advantages. Along with creating a personal connection between your brand and your customers, user-generated content also gives your customers a reason to get excited about your brand while simultaneously providing social proof to new prospects.