One of the top goals for digital marketing is customer engagement. A customer loves your brand and goes to a social media platform to talk about it. There’s nothing better for grabbing the attention of potential new customers with user generated content (UGC).
Be aware, however, that user-generated content can be a double-edged sword. It can bring a lot of positive publicity on one side. However, if you don’t use the right approach in how you use it, you could end up regretting you ever tried.
Let’s look at some common pitfalls of user generated content and how you can overcome them:
#1 You Don’t Own the Content
You spent large amounts of time and money on hashtag campaigns and influencer marketing. Your marketing is focused on getting users to generate positive content about your brand. And it’s working.
Yet, you don’t own the content. It belongs to the user that posted it. You don’t have the explicit right to grab it and reuse it.
That user may have a change of heart and delete the content tomorrow. And you can’t stop them.
You need to gather user-generated content and display it on your own web page. Specialized AI tools can help gather the content. That allows you to sort out the best options for display. You can also use tools like the WebPurify profanity filter to exclude content that doesn’t meet your brand standards.
#2 You Need Explicit Permission to Use the Content
The next pitfall you face is getting the content owner’s permission to use it. If you just grab it and start using it without permission, the user may not like it. And it could get you into legal hot water.
Explicit permission is a necessity. That means you need to reach out to the user and ask for permission. It can be a simple message that says something like “Great content. Can we use it in our next campaign? Let us know, yes or no.” If the user says yes, you can move forward.
#3 You Need to Verify Ownership of Images
A user displays a picture that’s positive to your brand. Even if you get that person’s permission to use the content, you need to take the extra step of verifying the owner of the image. Using a photo without permission is another way to get into legal trouble.
Reach out to the user who posted the image. Did that person take the photo? If not, who did? Also, who are the people in the picture?
Verify everything. Pop the image into Google Images and see if it’s posted anywhere else. This can help you verify who owns the photo. If there’s any question or doubt, don’t use the image.
While user generated content is a digital marketer’s dream, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you make the wrong move. Always remember that the content isn’t your own, you need permission from the person posting, and permission from the person who owns any images.