8 Tips to Master User-Generated Content on Instagram

Sources say millennials are 50% less likely to
trust material from traditional sources compared to user-generated content.
That means marketers have to work harder to build relationships with their
target market.

Even though it doesn’t seem like that, the unwillingness of millennials to trust and engage with content that comes directly from a brand presents a huge opportunity for marketers. The only issue is time.

Most content marketing professionals worry
about how to keep up with demands on their time but there is a solution –
Instagram.

Instagram may not seem like the best platform
for content creation, but there’s always more content to create and seemingly
never enough resources to get it done. Even worse, the content we do create
sometimes fails to produce any kind of result whatsoever.

Leveraging the distrust for brand content is
the answer because it encourages them to create their own content that you can
share for marketing purposes. it’s true that many people using the web today
are disregarding marketing messages but they’re actively generating content,
engaging with it, and sharing it with others.

The same source that tells us millennials are less likely to trust brands that your content also tells us that they spend as much as five hours every day consuming user-generated content is easy for marketers to benefit from. Instagram, is one of the best platforms to do it.

Use these eight tips to help you make the most
of it.

1. Focus on your hashtag for submissions.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get
users to give you content is to encourage them to tag their photos with a
specific, branded hashtag. That makes it easier for you to search through all
of them and find the best ones.

Once you find a group of the posts you like
the most, you can reach out to the users to get their permission to share them
to your own account. You can do this repeatedly with different hashtags
specific to the various campaigns you’re running, though it’s always wise to
have a standard branded hashtag people can use all the time.

2. Provide mutual benefit.

If users don’t feel excited that you’re
interested int heir posts, they aren’t likely to submit them to you. Because of
this, you have to be able to offer an incentive. It doesn’t need to be
financial or product-based compensation, though it can be.

All that matters is that you offer them
something in return for their efforts. It could be as simple as following their
account, giving them a shout-out from your account, or sending them a coupon.

As soon as users figure out it’s in their best
interest to share their high-quality and creative posts with you, you’ll never
run out of user-generated content to work with.

3. Collaborate with Influencers

If you’re just getting started as a brand, it
can be difficult to get the user-generated content machine off the ground and
running. Instead of waiting for it to start coming to you, get out there and
work with a handful of micro-influencers who can start spreading the word. This
way, you put the wheels in motion, spread brand awareness, and start building
community.

You can reach out to Instagrammers with a
comment or direct message asking them to post. Most users will be flattered by
the invitation and help you willingly. Once you have a few of the
user-generated content posts in your feed, other users will be more likely to
submit their own.

4. Continue creating your own content.

Though user-generated content is simple,
effective, and affordable, it’s not a good idea to rely solely on it for your
Instagram performance. If you have plenty of it coming in, still take the time
to occasionally post something that starts with you.

This not only creates more of a balance but
keeps you in better control of the narrative, as you’ll be able to keep your
audience up to speed about any upcoming events or anything else you deem newsworthy.

5. Make your product Instagrammable.

If you’ve already got a product that lends
itself to Instagram, you’ll have no problem getting user-generated content to
share with your audience. But, if your product or service isn’t naturally sexy,
you must work to find a way for users to add value to it.

If you can’t do this on your own, there are
marketing agencies out there that specialize specifically in Instagram that can
help you determine the best way to make the products or services you offer more
social media friendly.

However you decide to it, you must remember
that user-generated content is about adding more voices to the conversation.

6. Foster engagement.

If you want people to post content you can
use, they need to know your profile is interesting and be willing to become a
follower. You do this by creating engagement. When someone takes the time to
like, comment, or share your content, you’re producing something they find
valuable. When you reply, they know you’re listening.

This creates a sense of belonging and is
important to building a community for your brand. This encourages people to
become part of the community, and as it grows in popularity, this will become
easier to do.

Increase engagement through interaction with
your followers, posting fresh, quality content, and stay abreast of trends to
help you reach more people.

7. Leverage Instagram contests.

This is a wonderful approach if you’re just
getting started and don’t have a lot of user-generated content to work ith. You
can hold a contest to increase the number of posts you have to work with.

Just make sure you’re creating a contest that
abides by Instagram’s contest terms and conditions so you don’t run into any
negative PR issues later.

Those rules inform your participants on how to
participate in the contest and how to claim their winnings.

Running a successful Instagram contest engages
your audience and inspires people to create content for you in the future. It
also helps you gain followers and build brand awareness.

8. Keep low barriers to entry.

For user-generated content to work out well
for you, you can’t just share anything that has your hashtag on it. Be
selective about what you choose to share. If you don’t see the post speaking to
your audience and getting high engagement, leave it alone.

With that in mind, remember that anyone could
potentially be featured. Companies that are making user-generated content work
for them are those actively encouraging anyone and everyone to submit photos.
Limiting it to just influencers or photographers defeats its purpose.

Becoming a master of user-generated content
will not happen overnight. Start by building an engaged following of people who
are part of your target audience. Once you see your reach starting to increase,
that’s when you should start reaching out for user-generated content to use.

7 Keys to Building a Memorable Brand on Instagram

Instagram is the second most popular social media platform, only behind Facebook. With so many people sharing and viewing content, it makes sense to get in on this game when it comes to marketing your business. However, it’s not enough just to have a presence on Instagram.

You need to cultivate a following that is engaged with your business. This requires making yourself known and building relationships with users. You may be stumped as to how to do that.

No worries. Just keep reading for seven keys to building a memorable brand on Instagram. Soon, you’ll notice increased traffic to your website, more email subscribers and higher conversion rates in sales. Take a look.

1. Create a strategy.

You can’t build brand awareness without a plan. You need a strategy to follow if you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Have some goals in mind of what you want your account to be or to do. What is it you want for your brand? Do you want more traffic in general?

Is product recognition important to you? Are you an influencer who wants to be known as an expert within your niche? Write down your goals and use them to guide your strategy with regard to building a memorable brand.

2. Foster community.

Building a community is the key to creating brand awareness. People have to be invested in what you have to offer and to feel a connection if you want them to invest in you. That means quality engagement is needed on your end.

As a brand, you need to put your image and reputation out there in ways that people relate to. There are lots of ways to do this. Post at times when your followers will see your content. This may take some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort.

Another way to easily gain engagement and build community is to ask for what you want. Ask users to give you a like if they agree with your post. Ask them to tag a friend who might relate.

Ask for a regram. Ask to check out your website. Ask questions or post polls. These actions all invite people to interact with your brand. As a result, they will likely remember you over brands who never make the ask.

3. Build your list.

You should be using Instagram to build your list, but many marketers are ignoring this step. Email marketing is crucial to a successful business, and it can work quite well in conjunction with your social media efforts.

You can use the link in your bio to send users to a page on your site where they can sign up for your email list and receive a valuable freebie.

An ebook, printable or white paper are all examples of common freebies used to entice people to subscribe to the list. The key here is that it should be something of value to your audience. Otherwise, they won’t opt-in.

4. Have a consistent style.

Part of brand recognition is being able to identify your brand on sight. In order to do that you need to stick with a consistent style and theme for your Instagram posts.

They should coordinate with and complement your existing brand identity. Colors, fonts and photo filters matter. You want to set the same mood across the board so that people instantly know they’re seeing your brand’s post. If you need some inspiration for creating a brand look, take some time to contemplate on your brand’s message.

What message do you want people to take away from your business? How do you want them to feel? Write down several adjectives that fit your brand and use them to determine the elements that will go into your brand’s style.

5. Use smart hashtags.

It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into your brand’s image or your content if no one can see your work. Hashtags are a critical element when it comes to being seen on Instagram.

They serve as a road map of sorts to help people find you. A hashtag that is specific to your niche and not too broad will draw the people you want as your target audience. Using only popular hashtags is always a bad idea because you will get lost in a saturated feed.

Check out what your competition is using. Research their followers’ feeds to see what’s trending among them. Play with hashtags to see which seem to draw the most engagement. These are the ones that will help build your brand awareness.

6. Work with influencers.

Do you want to expand your reach? Then you need to be collaborating with Instagram influencers. These users have built a following already within their niche.

They’re doing what you hope to do with your own brand. Working with them will allow you to piggyback on their existing audience to expand your reach.

You’ll have a good chance of gaining new and relevant followers when you have an endorsement from a trusted influencer. There are lots of creative ways to collaborate with these individuals. Typically, this isn’t free, but it is well worth the investment when it comes to results gained.

7. Create compelling content.

This one might seem like a no-brainer. However, sometimes it’s the most obvious things that are so easily overlooked. If you want people to remember your brand, you have to give them something memorable to associate you with.

That means your content must be compelling and interesting. It has to make them feel something, make them think or make them laugh. Your images must be beautiful and professionally done.

The text you use must also be engaging. You can tell stories in your captions that elicit an emotional response. Even asking smart, thoughtful questions is a good way to drive engagement and to stand out in the memories of your followers.

Funny content, when done well, is almost always worthwhile. Don’t forget to add your logo or watermark to your images. That helps to prevent others from stealing your content. It also associates your name with your content.

These seven keys to building a memorable brand on Instagram should help you to sufficiently make a good start on engaging your followers. Brand recognition won’t happen overnight.

After consistent use, however, these strategies will help you to grow your business and your brand in ways that weren’t possible before.