They say the customer is always right. But did you know they can also be creative and help promote your Build-to-Rent community by increasing engagement? Thanks to the power of user-generated content, otherwise known as UGC, your renters become your biggest marketing asset.
UGC is one of the most potent weapons any marketer can use for creating a buzz on social media and other platforms. The proof is in the numbers: UGC posts shared to social media see a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts, while 79% of people claim they use UGC to inform their purchase decisions.
If you’re not already implementing UGC as part of your market strategy, then it should definitely be on your agenda now. User-generated content will continue to be one of the primary trends as it helps Build-to-Rent operators create stories and moments that are high on engagement.
In this guide, we’ll show you 4 reasons why UGC should feature in your social media strategy.
User-generated content in a snapshot
UGC is any form of content made and published by unpaid contributors. These contributors are typically fans of a brand (or renters in a Build-to-Rent community) who create content alongside you doing it yourself. You then share this content with your followers.
User-generated content comes in many forms, including:
- Social media posts
- Website pages
A large amount of UGC is displayed through imagery, which makes Instagram one of the primary platforms to make use of it. But it’s not limited to the image-led social media channel: Twitter, Facebook, and many other platforms act as the perfect launching pad to display user-generated content. And here are 4 ways it can turn your social media output into a winning strategy to attract more renters and speed up leasing.
1) UGC promotes authenticity
Businesses of all sizes spend a fortune trying to make their product or service seem authentic, yet sometimes all it takes is word of mouth. Content created by brands can often feel contrite. But when an audience shows its appreciation for a brand, it comes across as more authentic. An impressive 60% of customers believe UGC is the most authentic form of content.
User-generated content strips away much of the sheen and gloss associated with branded marketing collateral and instead offers natural posts that are relatable. We’re more likely to identify with content posted by people like us, which is why UGC often hits the sweet spot.
2) Inclusivity is key
Audiences no longer want soulless interactions with brands. Instead, they desire to be part of a community, which is ideal if you’re a Build-to-Rent operator trying to foster a sense of community in your spaces. UGC takes away the faceless A to B transactions and creates a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone involved.
UGC ads get four times the amount of click-through rates because people feel more of an affiliation with something that strikes a chord. It’s easier for audiences to identify with UGC because it’s reflective of topics they can associate with themselves — and that makes them more receptive to a brand and its offerings.
3) Cost effective
Marketing managers have plenty to juggle when planning their creating strategies — and budgets are often at the top of the list. UGC is a relatively inexpensive or free way to market your communities, yet it still gets a high return on investment (ROI).
By going straight to the source, you can ask renters to create assets for you, whether it’s sending photos, videos, comments or another type of interaction about living in your community. Essentially, you can receive hundreds of pieces of content for free, using the best ones to promote your spaces and interact with audiences. You can build a content library without the need for a massive financial outlay.
4) Build brand trust
Trust is one of the most important aspects of any brand, but it takes on even more importance when offering homes to people. It’s something that takes a long time to gain but can disappear in a second. Today, renters research thoroughly before making a moving decision — and there is a plethora of information out to make sure they’re making the correct choice. 84% of people trust online consumer opinions over a brand, for example.
Customer testimonials are worth their weight in gold and give your community that all-important seal of approval, from what it’s like to live in the homes to the social spaces. Part of a successful strategy should encourage renters to leave reviews. Whether it’s video reviews or a quickly written post to say how much they enjoy living in your community, a great testimonial can be the difference between someone deciding for or against moving to your Build-to-Rent homes.
UGC as a tool for renting
Leveraging UGC is one of the fastest ways to build your marketing strategy. It champions the idea of community and makes audiences feel like they’re essential components of your spaces. Thanks to UGC being cost-effective and easy to utilize, you don’t need to spend a large amount of time implementing UGC tactics. And you can benefit from increased content libraries while adding a new dynamic to your outreach, one that is more inclusive of your renters and makes others want to move into your awesome and inclusive community.