Social media content assaults users’ screens, vying for attention; the scope is massive because there are so many producers - consumers, users, dedicated creators and brands. This is largely due to the proliferation of digital technologies, internet access and social media channels.
To compete effectively, content creators like brands, non-profits and agencies must continually “feed the beast,” the giant maw of content-hungry consumers and search engines. Managing and focusing all this content to accomplish specific goals is often a heavy lift for those responsible for it.
In this article, we will address the objectives and strategies that might require content, the content generation process itself and finally, the tools that allow content managers to monitor, track, assess and correct (if necessary) the social media content that supports particular objectives.
We’ll view the process from the perspective of both in-house content managers for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and agencies.
It’s always best to build any campaign by setting clear objectives. Social media managers begin by defining specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals that align with the overall marketing objectives. Whether the aim is to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost sales or enhance customer engagement, these objectives serve as clear directions and guideposts throughout the campaign’s lifecycle. Objectives provide a yardstick against which to measure the campaign’s success and pivot to other strategies if necessary, ensuring that every action taken on social media has a purpose.
Once objectives are in place, social media managers and agencies must craft thoughtful strategies to achieve them. This involves identifying the target audience, understanding their preferences, behaviors and pain points and tailoring content to resonate with them. Strategies will include the selection of appropriate social media platforms based on the audience’s demographics and habits, as well as the creation of a content calendar to ensure consistent and relevant posts. Collaboration with social media content creators and other creative professionals might be necessary to produce high-quality, engaging content. Additionally, the strategy may involve leveraging paid advertising, influencer partnerships and user-generated content to expand the
campaign’s reach and impact.
Adaptability is key, as the dynamic nature of social media requires continuous monitoring and adjustment. Social media managers and agencies utilize analytics tools to track the performance of the campaign against predetermined metrics. These insights help them assess what’s working and what’s not, enabling them to refine their strategies for maximum impact. By embracing both data-driven decision-making and creative innovation, social media managers and agencies can improve performance and keep content creation in line with campaigns.
Consumer-generated content (CGC), user-generated content (UGC) and creator-generated content (CrGC) are three categories of content generated by different individuals or groups.
● Consumer-Generated Content (CGC): CGC refers to content created by consumers or customers who have used or interacted with a brand’s products or services. This content can include reviews, testimonials, ratings and feedback shared by consumers on various platforms such as social media, review sites or forums. Personal experiences and opinions often drive CGC and play a crucial role in influencing other potential customers. CGC is typically uncompensated content.
● User-Generated Content (UGC): UGC is a broader term encompassing content created by consumers and users who engage with a brand’s products, services or platforms. UGC can include consumer- generated content and content created by other users who actively participate in activities such as contests, challenges or campaigns initiated by the brand. UGC can take the form of photos, videos, blog posts, social media posts or any other content format created and shared by users. UGC is typically uncompensated content.
● Creator-Generated Content (CrGC): CrGC refers to content created by professional content creators or influencers who have established themselves as experts or authorities in a particular niche. Unlike CGC and UGC, CrGC is intentionally created to entertain, educate or influence an audience. However, brands are discovering that creators and influencers can also create branded content that the company can use repeatedly, such as photography and videos. Content creators often have a specific style, tone or branding associated with their content and may collaborate with brands for sponsored content or partnerships.
Branded CrGC refers to content intentionally created by content creators or influencers collaborating with a brand. This paid content is tailored to promote and showcase the brand’s products or services. Typically, branded CrGC is intended for the brand and not used by or for the creator. Some common types of branded creator-generated content include:
● Videos: Content creators may create videos featuring the brand’s products or services and highlight their features or benefits. These videos can be in the form of a product review, unboxing, how-to/tutorial or an endorsement.
The videos below are Creator-generated content for brands through the Glewee platform.
● Sponsored Photos:
o Product Shots: Content creators can take high-quality photos of the brand’s products, showcasing their features, details, and packaging. These photos can be used for product listings, social media posts, or promotional materials.
o Lifestyle Photos: Content creators can capture lifestyle-oriented photos that showcase the
brand’s products in real-life settings. These photos often feature people using or interacting with
the products in a natural and relatable way.
o Behind-the-Scenes Photos: Content creators can provide exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand’s operations, manufacturing process or events. These photos give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the brand’s story and values.
o Styled Photos: Content creators can create visually appealing and carefully styled photos that showcase the brand’s products in an aesthetically pleasing way. These photos often incorporate props, backgrounds and creative compositions to highlight the brand’s style and identity.
o Travel or Location Photos: If the brand is related to travel, content creators can capture
stunning photos of destinations, landscapes or experiences that align with the brand’s theme or
● Sponsored Blog Posts: Content creators may write blog posts that incorporate the brand’s products or services within the content. These posts can provide insights, tips or recommendations for the brand’s products or services to be used on the brand’s blog.
● Social Media Campaigns: Content creators may create branded Creator Generated Content to be used on the company’s social media campaigns initiated by the brand, where they create and share content that promotes the brand’s products or services. This can include post copy, story copy, photos or videos.
There are so many ways to generate content that social media managers and agencies may face being overwhelmed from the beginning of a campaign. This is why establishing a clear strategic framework for campaigns is critical. Later in the process, the content will be assessed against objectives, strategies and other content to ensure it delivers the desired outcomes.
While the pandemic closed many doors, it opened quite a few, including branded content made by content creators. During the lockdown and social distancing restrictions, brands were forced to find alternative ways to create content. With traditional advertising methods such as formal video and photography shoots practically impossible, brands turned to content creators to produce branded content from their homes using their equipment.
Content creators leveraged their creativity, resourcefulness and ability to produce high-quality content using minimal equipment. They adapted to the circumstances by creating content aligned with the brand’s messaging and values while considering the limitations of shooting at home. This approach enabled brands to continue engaging with their audience and maintaining their presence during the pandemic.
Fast forward to 2023, brands continue collaborating with content creators for branded content as it is more cost- effective than traditional advertising methods. Content creators often have lower production costs and can create content from home and using minimal equipment. This affordability, coupled with content creators’ authenticity, makes them a preferred choice for many brands.
With every marketing decision, there are always tradeoffs. While creator-generated content might be more affordable and produce better content in some cases, creators may require additional time, effort and coordination, which can strain limited resources.
SMBs and even agencies may need help finding the right content creators aligning with a brand’s values and target audience. Identifying and vetting content creators with the right style, audience demographics, and expertise can be time-consuming and challenging to meet the established campaign objectives.
Additionally, managing content creators involves building and maintaining relationships. This requires effective communication, negotiation, collaboration and time, which can be challenging.
The great news is that several all-in-one influencer marketing platforms are now available to make the process simpler, easier and often more cost-effective.
Using an influencer marketing platform for branded creator-generated content offers several benefits for brands.
● Centralized Hub: Many platforms provide a centralized hub where brands can quickly discover and connect with a wide range of content creators relevant to their niche or target audience. This saves time and effort in searching for suitable creators individually.
● Tools and Features: Influencer marketing platforms often provide SMBs with tools and features that streamline collaboration. Brands can communicate their campaign objectives, brand guidelines and expectations directly through the platform, ensuring clear and efficient communication with content creators.
● Legal Considerations: Many influencer marketing platforms include terms of service and agreements that outline the rights and responsibilities of both the SMB and the content creator. This can help ensure that all parties are aware of their legal obligations and can help protect SMBs from potential legal issues, such as usage rights, copyright infringement, licensing and intellectual property rights. Additionally, many platforms assist in handling any legal disputes arising during the collaboration process.
● Payments: Many platforms also provide a simplified and streamlined process for managing payments and ensuring that content creators receive fair compensation for their work. By utilizing the platform, brands can easily calculate and allocate budgets for creator payments, track payment histories and ensure timely and accurate payments. This can help SMBs manage their financial resources effectively and build positive relationships based on fair compensation practices with content creators.
Once the process of finding, securing and managing multiple content creators is simplified, social media managers can focus on implementing campaign strategies in conjunction with content creators.
Unless a campaign is very short, it is best practice to check progress against objectives throughout the course of the campaign. Additionally, managers should ensure that each piece of content that is posted online aligns closely with campaign strategies.
Online influencer marketing platforms can provide useful statistics on content and influencer (or content creator) success at guideposts throughout the campaign. This data allows campaign managers to change direction on new content, stop working with one or more creators or send more budget to better-performing creators. Content creators who receive excellent feedback and added budget will work harder to perform even better for you!
In the final assessment, optimizing content for each objective and strategy can be a highly effective way to outperform projections.
Whether you are managing your content creators in-house or using an influencer marketing platform, here are seven tips for managing your client’s creator-generated content.
Clearly define goals and expectations: It’s crucial to communicate your brand’s objectives, messaging and guidelines to content creators from the outset. This ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Establish a content creation process: Create a structured process that outlines the steps, timelines and deliverables for content creation. This helps streamline the workflow and ensures that both the brand and content creator know their responsibilities.
Create a legally binding contract: This contract should outline the terms and conditions of the collaboration, including the scope of work, payment terms, usage rights, intellectual property rights, confidentiality and any other relevant provisions.
Provide creative freedom: While it’s important to communicate your brand’s requirements, it also allows content creators to bring their unique style and creativity to the content.
Maintain open and frequent communication: Regularly communicate with content creators to provide feedback, answer questions and address concerns. This helps to foster a collaborative
relationship and ensures that the content aligns with your brand’s vision.
Establish a content review process: Implement a review process to ensure that all content meets your brand’s standards and guidelines. This helps to maintain consistency and ensures that the content accurately represents your brand.
Reward and recognize content creators: Show appreciation for the efforts of content creators by acknowledging their work, providing incentives or featuring them on your brand’s social media
channels. This helps to build loyalty and encourages future collaborations.
Implementing campaigns that include third-party content creation can be challenging…but highly satisfying. It pays to understand the pitfalls, create solid processes for working with creators and managing campaigns against specific objectives and strategies. The great news is that tools are available to make all this easier, even the first time you give it a try.
About Glewee: Glewee, the easiest and fastest all-in-one influencer marketing network for SMBs, has an advanced campaign tool dedicated to producing and managing original user-generated content where brands request, review, select, connect and hire UGC creators on Glewee’s platform simply and effectively and for free. With Glewee’s user-generated content campaign tool, agencies and brands can access thousands of UGC creators to order branded content. Once complete, the brand retains the ownership rights of the UGC and may use it however they choose without restrictions, making it highly cost-effective and versatile.
Christian Brown is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Glewee, the easiest and fastest all-in-one influencer marketing platform that connects brands and creators through collaboration and paid social media brand deals.
As the marketing leader for the brand, Brown works closely with the CEO, Dylan Duke growing the brand from its early days of sticky note ideas into the fully-fledged brand it is today. Centered around community, innovation, and fluidity, Glewee’s entire brand evolution and refinement have been the labor of love for Brown since the company’s founding.