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Herb Plus | 03.30.2023

Strategies To Leverage User-Generated Content For Cannabis Brands

Here are 5 ways cannabis brands can incentivize the creation of UGC.

Cannabis marketing can be challenging. With all the restrictions from platform to platform, spreading the word about your brand and products can seem impossible.

For cannabis brands, the key to successful marketing is brand differentiation. Creating a strong brand with respectable values and powerful branding initiatives will help consumers see you as less of a brand and more of a community.

One surefire way to do that is through user-generated content. Read on for more information about the following:

  • What is UGC
  • How to connect to communities through UGC
  • How to incentivize the creation of UGC
  • 5 ways brands can leverage UGC

What Is User-Generated Content?

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User-generated content (UGC) is any content, written, posted, or recorded, that was created and published by individuals from outside the company. Usually, brand advocates or people who’ve tried your products first-hand and enjoyed them.

This can include things like social media posts, reviews, comments, photos, videos, and more. One main benefit of UGC is authenticity. Because the company does not create the content, UGC is seen as more real, relatable, and relevant. Instead of marketing from brand to community, UGC is free community-to-community marketing and brand exposure.

UGC can be paid through partnerships with social media influencers, whether large or small. However, some of the most effective user-generated content is not paid. 

How To Connect To A Cannabis Community Through UGC

Connecting with a cannabis community through user-generated content is quite easy. It’s also one of the most effective ways cannabis companies can spread the word about their brand.

First, you must clearly identify the interests and values of your niche community. That could be using cannabis for wellness, appreciating high-quality products, and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle.

From there, you can encourage your audience to create and share content about those interests and values. That could include captioning posts that encourage your audience to share a post of them wearing your merch or using your product with a specific hashtag, and the best post will be shared on your page.

By showcasing UGC on social media and to your target audience, cannabis brands can effectively verify that they’re eager to support the community, relate to it, and be part of it.

How To Incentivize The Creation Of User-Generated Content

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User-generated content is an excellent tool for brand awareness. No matter the size of your brand’s following, be it large or small, UGC can effectively grow your community and spread the word about your brand.

One way to incentivize UGC is by offering a prize or reward for the best post, including a gift card or product giveaway.

In case your local laws or chosen social media platform bans cannabis product giveaways, consider incentivizing UGC by sharing the best post on your page and tagging the original creator. That way, it’s a win-win. You’re sharing free, unpaid, visually appealing content about your brand from a user likely interested in growing their following too.

Lastly, creating hashtag campaigns or photo contests can help keep UGC exciting. It prompts eager content creators and brand advocates to create something that reflects your brand for free. By making the process fun and rewarding, cannabis brands can inspire their audience to participate.

5 Ways Brands Can Leverage User-Generated Content

Build Trust: Sharing UGC showcasing satisfied customers using products or wearing merch establishes that your brand has something good to offer. 

Appear Authentic: When someone from a community shares that they enjoyed a product or brand, it appears authentic to others in the community, prompting them to explore your brand and products deeper.

Obtain More Content: Most of the time, UGC is free. When it’s free, you’re receiving a stream of fresh, new, varied, and unpaid content that further establishes your community.

Build Community Through Engagement: People like to feel a part of something bigger. When your brand has clear values and interests that resonate with your community, they’ll feel compelled to engage and participate in creating UGC.

Partner With Influencers: If you’ve got the funds to pay influencers for UGC, go for it. A likable influencer who relates to your community and shares information about your brand and products can increase brand visibility and help you reach a broader audience.

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