How to Search and Curate User-Generated Content

In the first part of this blog series on user-generated content, we talked about how to build a user-generated content strategy for your brand right from the scratch. In the second part, we will talk about how to search and curate user-generated content for your brand.

This 4-part blog series on user-generated content provides everything that brand and social media marketers need to know about using user-generated content in their marketing strategy.

If you are done with the first part of this blog series, you should be having a well-crafted UGC strategy clearly defining:
- Your needs from the UGC campaign
- Your audience for the campaign
- Logistics for running the campaign smoothly
- Performance measures of the campaign

The next step after creating a UGC strategy is effective search and strong curation of the user-generated content. So, let's discuss them one by one.

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How to search user-generated content:

As mentioned earlier, this blog series is mainly focused on visual user-generated content i.e. photos and videos. Hence, we would be primarily searching them on social media.

Brand account mentions

Keep a watch on your brand mentions across all your social media accounts. Users generally share their feedback, stories or any visual content by mentioning the social media account of the brand for which the content is associated with. You should never ignore your brand mentions as it can have some powerful stories of your customers to shared with others.

Brand hashtag

We strongly recommend creating your brand hashtags. You should always ask the users to share their content with your brand hashtag. It will not only help you in searching the UGC but also promote the brand recall in other social media users.

From website submissions

If you have enabled the content submissions through your website or some other upload medium which is different from social media, you can use these submissions to source the user-generated content.

Generic hashtag search

This method is not definitive and can take a lot of time. Even if you are using a brand hashtag, you should use this method once because not all users would use your brand hashtag. But they would use some generic hashtag to define their content for sure. Just brainstorm the set of hashtags that can broadly define your products.

For example, you are a women fashion brand and you want to search UGC for one of your product which is a red dress. Now, if you don't have a highly promoted brand hashtag, the best way to search is through the hashtag search #reddress. There are possibilities that you will find your exact product worn by someone who didn't mention your brand.

Artifacia AI-powered search feature

At Artifacia, we empower visual commerce with artificial intelligence. And we provide an AI-powered search in our platform where you get we pass the existing Instagram hashtag search results through our Image understanding technology which filters out the irrelevant results and present only the most relevant results against a hashtag.

This empowers your generic hashtag search and saves a lot of your time spent in filtering out irrelevant results manually.

See this video on a side-by-side comparison of the Artifacia's hashtag search and Instagram hashtag search.

YouTube video search

A lot of your influencer-generated and user-generated content in form of videos can be found on YouTube. While searching on YouTube you should use appropriate tags and keywords. Well here is an awesome blog post which can teach you 6 pro tricks to make an effective search on YouTube.
These are some of the general ways to search user-generated content. You can also use some paid social media monitoring tools to search and manage hashtags. Tagboard and Talkwalker are two of them.

How to curate user-generated content:

Once you have searched the UGC, the next integral part of a successful UGC campaign is strong UGC curation. It is necessary for better archival evidence and organization for fast retrieval and consumption of the content by your marketing team.

Here are some suggestions on how you should curate your user-generated content and what insights you can gain from this curation. This will help you get started:

Categorize them according to the product:

With this, you can very easily use them on your exact product pages on the website. (See how ASOS is using it on product pages.)

Categorize them according to product category

UGC which is arranged product category wise can help you analyze your past promotions. You can also prioritize the product categories accordingly for your next campaign.

Categorize them according to the sentiments

All your user-generated content can not be about praising your brand all the time. There will be some content which speaks negatively about your brand. Categorizing the overall content in positive and negative buckets will provide you a great opportunity to gauge the brand sentiment and connect with your unsatisfied users.

Where they have been used already

UGC can be used across all your owned, paid and earned media (link). Keeping track of which content piece is used at which place is really important for an effective and result-oriented execution.

Categorize them according to user, influencers, and celebrities

Your content can be generated by a normal user, an influencer or a celebrity. Depending on who generates the content and how much impact it creates on your users, you can plan for your next investment in UGC marketing, influencer marketing or celebrity endorsement.

General organization:

As a matter of sanity, you should have the basic organization according to the date range, engagement, comments and ratings to quickly sort and filter the content. With this, you can easily analyze the campaign performance for a festive and sales season.

You can do all this curation and keep track of them in a spreadsheet to use down the line. There is no need to use the UGC all at once. You can also save them for later use and fill your content stack accordingly.

Maintain Quality over Quantity Always:

You should focus on maintaining quality over quantity for the UGC you use for your brand. You need not use each and ever content piece but curating all the content makes you more aware and informed about what users are saying about you. So, this curated UGC behaves like a gold mine for brands.

In the next part of this blog series, we will talk about how to select the best user-generated content amongst your curation for your brand.

We at Artifacia help brands curate, publish and analyze their owned and user-generated content at scale. Our customers are driving high-quality traffic by using our solutions that spend 37% more time on the site, view 48% more pages and have 64% more e-commerce conversion rate.

If you are also looking to leverage your user-generated content, then request a demo below.