Any B2B brand that’s tried to generate some user-generated content (UGC) knows that the struggle is real.
There’s no point dressing it up, it’s more challenging to get buyers – as opposed to consumers in the B2C space – to create content that basically sings your praises.
You can understand why.
B2B companies target busy professionals and, after all, time is money. “Can you dedicate time and resources to promote our business over your own, please?” – it’s a big ask.
Products and services tend to be more technical or complex in the B2B space, too. This can make it tricky to create content that truly hits the mark with other buyers.
Plus, the relationship between B2B brands and their customers tends to be more formal and closely controlled. If you’ve ever tried to get sign-off on a customer testimonial or case study, you’ll know what I mean.
So is it worth all the effort?
In a word, yes.
As a quick reminder, the benefits of UGC for B2B brands include:
- Boosted brand awareness
Leveraging the reach of your customers’ networks can open you up to new audiences around the world.
- Enhanced credibility
When potential customers see UGC from their peers, it appears much more trustworthy and authentic.
- Improved engagement
When customers see that their content is being shared and celebrated, it can help to deepen their relationship with the brand even further.
- Valuable insights
By monitoring and analysing UGC, brands can use it to continuously improve their marketing campaigns.
Those benefits are backed up with stats, albeit they often have a B2C bias, for example: millennials trust content generated by their peers 50% more than content generated by a brand.
But there are some B2B-friendly stats out there, too, you just have to search a little harder. For instance, software marketplace G2 found that the majority (86%) of buyers use peer review sites when making purchasing decisions.
How can you make UGC work for you this year?
Despite the obvious challenges, B2B brands can still generate UGC by creating a culture of advocacy and by dangling the odd carrot every now and again.
By building stronger relationships with your buyers – principally through providing valuable products and services that produce real results – you can encourage them to become ambassadors for your brand and create UGC that’s both authentic and effective.
Here are a few tips that’ll help your B2B brand generate more UGC in 2023:
- Provide exceptional customer experience: Go above and beyond – create positive experiences they want to share.
- Encourage feedback and reviews: Actively encourage customers to leave reviews through email campaigns, social media posts, or in-person interactions. It doesn’t have to be much – a single line can go a long way. Positive feedback can be repurposed as social content or used in ad campaigns.
- Appeal to their competitive spirit: Everyone’s a sucker for a giveaway and that includes buyers (providing the prize is worth winning). The key is to set the entry requirements fairly low. For example, a B2B software company could launch a contest where customers submit videos of how they use the software in their day-to-day work. A quick screenshot or recording is all it takes – they get their entry into the competition and you get your UGC. It’s a fair trade-off!
- Leverage social media: I’m not just talking about creating a branded hashtag. Collaborate with sales to identify those most likely to engage on social and target them through some account-based marketing. And don’t ignore paid social advertising that allows you to target key segments.
- Dabble in influencer marketing: They might technically be ‘paid-for customers’ but influencers can help supercharge your brand awareness all the same – just make sure the content they create for you is based around those buyer pain points.
- Go interactive: Think quizzes, polls and interactive product demos that customers can share with their networks.
If you’re ready to turn customers into brand advocates, drop me a line to see how we can help.