Leveraging UGC in B2B: Strategies & Examples to Increase Engagement

Man filming himself on his phone

May 30, 2024

There’s a misconception that user-generated content (UGC) is only for B2C brands. This could be because B2B can seem distant, technical, and often lacks a personal touch, which is exactly why using UGC in B2B settings can make a big difference. UGC creates real connections with audiences, driving trust and engagement. By changing how we see B2B marketing and embracing UGC, companies can tell better stories, build stronger relationships, and stand out. 

What is user-generated content? 

User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content—text, images, videos, reviews, etc.—created by users who are not affiliated with a brand. This content is typically shared on social media platforms, review sites, and other digital channels. The authenticity and organic nature of UGC make it a powerful tool for brands seeking to build trust and engage with their audience. 

UGC comes in various forms, showcasing the diverse ways consumers engage with brands: 

Customer Reviews: These are influential UGC that shape buying choices by showcasing positive feedback, fostering credibility, and encouraging authentic experiences shared by satisfied customers. 

Social Media Posts: This content allows customers to interact with your brand, leveraging native content within their daily feeds to engage, express opinions, and highlight product experiences for wider visibility. 

Success Stories: Tangible examples of product benefits inspire trust through real-life client achievements, showcasing practical value and offering evidence of product effectiveness for potential customers. 

Video Content: UG videos, such as reviews and tutorials, are engaging demonstrations of product features and benefits, providing authentic insights and educational value to enhance product storytelling. 

Articles & Blogs: Invite contributions from customers and industry experts to share diverse perspectives like how-to guides, event recaps, and reviews to build trust, credibility, and engagement through authentic content promotion and incentivization. 

Key characteristics of user-generated content 

Understanding the core attributes of UGC can help B2B marketers determine which content they should leverage for the biggest positive impact on their brand. Here are some key characteristics to look for when promoting UGC content: 

  1. Authentic: UGC should be created by real users, making it more genuine and relatable compared to polished brand content that is often seen as biased. 
  2. Diverse: Try to offer a range of viewpoints, experiences, and insights that can enrich your brand narrative and relate to various audience segments. 
  3. Engaging: UGC should foster community engagement, motivating users to interact with and contribute to your brand in order to be a part of a larger movement or idea. 

How to leverage user-generated content 

Anything B2C does, B2B can do just as well. There are many ways to promote and leverage user-generated content if you're willing to get creative and experiment. Here are just a few ways B2B can increase and encourage engagement with your brand:

Referral programs 

Work smarter not harder – leverage your current customer base to bring in new clientele. Users in their community are likely in similar industries or share interests, making them a direct connection to your target audience. Create a landing page or form that customers can direct others to, letting you know who referred them. In exchange, offer discount codes or opportunities that will equally benefit their business.  

 


Online communities
 

Establish online communities and forums where clients can share their experiences, ask questions, and connect with each other. Foster discussions and interactions within these groups to generate more user content. This also serves as a safe space for users to express concerns or feedback when needed.  

As a result, you’ll be able to see where you may need to improve, provide extra resources, or give more information in your marketing efforts. Encourage users to also post success stories and tips they’ve found helpful, either for your products/services or for the industry in general. This helps your business as well as provides UGC that can be leveraged on other digital platforms. It may also show you who could potentially be willing to participate in case studies and testimonials.  

 


Contests & competitions
 

Promoting a competition to show off your products and services, or even just to gain brand awareness, sparks the competitive nature of users and reaches a broad audience. Competitions can be as simple as posting a picture and tagging your company in exchange for entry into a giveaway, or as complex as designing a new logo. Whatever direction you choose to go, ensure the guidelines are clear so participants know exactly what you’re looking for and what they’ll be receiving in return. 


Branded hashtags 
 

Create a unique, branded hashtag that can be used on various social media platforms. Then, encourage users to share their stories using the hashtag to create a sense of community and inspire others to get involved. Get creative and start a new trend using the hashtag for a memorable and lasting impression. Make sure the hashtag hasn’t been used before by checking to see if any other content is already listed when researching it. This builds an entire library of brand-specific UGC that you can then reference and pull from at any time. 


Exclusive offers 
 

Another tactic to generate buzz around your company organically is to hand-pick top clients or loyal customers to receive exclusive product or service deals and encourage them to post about it. This gives prospective customers a sneak peek into new product launches or services and shows the benefits of becoming a consistent customer. This not only shows appreciation and strengthens your brand loyalty but gives your target audience more motivation to choose you over a competitor. 


Website features

Build a dedicated section on your website to showcase user-generated content, such as reviews, testimonials, and case studies. This allows people to see your business from another perspective, as well as showcase creative ideas for your products or services. It also adds an immediate humanization to your brand by making your customers front and center to what you do, reinforcing the priority you place on your clients.  


 

Show appreciation to users

With all user-generated content, reposting, resharing, responding, and commenting are key actions to drawing attention and showing appreciation for users who engage. This not only encourages others to join in but creates a sense of inclusivity. After a purchase, contract renewal, or service completion, proactively reach out to customers to encourage them to share their experiences, whether through a post-purchase pop-up page, an email, or a link to a digital platform.  

For product-based businesses, consider including engagement cards in shipments to leverage the excitement of unboxing and prompt participation. Similarly, for service providers, sending small welcome gifts to new clients can evoke a similar positive response. Once customers share their experiences, showcase these interactions to highlight the benefits of being a client and celebrate mutual excitement. Take Healthcare Logistics, for example. New customers receive a welcome box with a rubber chicken as a unique thank you. The UGC that comes out of it results in shared laughs and memorable marketing. 

 

 

When receiving positive reviews or comments, amplify them on your website and social media platforms, accompanied by a thankful response. Publicly acknowledging and crediting clients who contribute to your UGC can further strengthen relationships, and featuring them on various channels like your website, social media, or newsletters can serve as encouragement for continued engagement.

 

 

 

Conclusion 

User-generated content is a powerful tool that can transform your B2B marketing strategy. By making people feel valued and amplifying their voices, you'll not only enhance your credibility but foster deeper engagement and earn the long-term trust and loyalty of clients.

 

Share This:

Newsletter Sign Up

Receive regular updates in your inbox.
Sign up for our newsletter!

Subscribe Here!

Discover more blog articles

Explore the latest B2B topics and gain insight to adapt best practices for success and help grow your business.

 

Any good business knows that customers want to be heard. Listening to their feedback, whether positive or negative, is essential for understanding...

More

There’s a misconception that user-generated content (UGC) is only for B2C brands. This could be because B2B can seem distant, technical, and often...

More

When you’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of B2B companies across dozens of industries for over two decades, you gain a unique...

More

Ready to get started?
How can we help market your business?

Complete the form below and we’ll get in touch with you right away.