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How to Use User Generated Content in WordPress to Grow Your Business

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Did you know that user-generated content can tremendously help you grow your business?

User generated content is both relatable and authentic, that’s why it’s a big winner with millennials and Gen Z. This helps to build trust from potential buyers, increasing your conversion rates.

In this article, we will show you how to easily use user-generated content in WordPress to grow your business.

How to use user-generated content in WordPress

What is User-Generated Content?

User generated content (UGC) is the content generated by user activities on your website. This includes comments, testimonials, guest blog posts, user reviews, or any other user submitted content that is publicly visible and was a direct result of user action.

Why is user generated content important?

User generated content is important because it enables your users to directly take part in activities on your website. This boosts user engagement and brand loyalty as users spend more time on your website.

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to perceive user-generated content as authentic compared to branded content. Authenticity is a huge driver for building trust, as consumers are more likely to support brands that are honest and transparent in their marketing approach.

High-quality and useful user-generated content can help you plan an effective content marketing strategy. You can get more traffic, affiliate sales, and social reach to a wider audience.

That being said, let’s take a look at different ways to use user-generated content in WordPress. You can use all of them or just the ones that works best for you.

1. Comments

Comments

Comments are the easiest kind of user-generated content that every blog can have. WordPress comes with a built-in commenting system that is enabled on all your blog posts by default.

If you run a business website with no blog, then perhaps you should think of starting a WordPress blog. You can keep your existing website design and just add a separate blog page to it.

The tricky part is to get your users to comment. Most users usually leave without writing a comment. However, the good news is that there are a lot of ways to encourage more comments. See our article on how to get more comments on your blog posts.

2. Testimonials

Testimonials preview

Testimonials not only help generate content, but they also add social proof to your website which helps new users into buying.

For a small business website, testimonials have proven to be a very effective marketing strategy. This is why you see them all around the web.

There are several great testimonials plugins that help you easily add testimonials to your site. You can collect user testimonials using a simple form and display them in a slider, sidebar widget, or on a testimonials page.

Our team behind WPForms has done an excellent job in creating a WPForms review page that shows over 2500+ user testimonials.

For detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to easily add rotating testimonials to your WordPress site.

3. User Submitted Reviews

User reviews site

If you sell or recommend products/services on your website, then user reviews offer a great opportunity to add more user-generated content to your website.

Reviews not only help you keep users engaged, but they also help other users make buying decisions on your website. That’s why you see many niche reviews sites that heavily rely on user submitted reviews to make money online.

Search engines also love reviews and often highlight them differently in search results. This makes the item more noticeable in search results and brings more traffic to your site.

Reviews in search results

There are several WordPress product review plugins that you can use. You can also create a separate page for customer reviews or display your Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews to get the ball rolling.

4. Guest Posts

Guest posts

Guest blogging is a popular content marketing strategy that helps both the blog owner and the guest author. The guest post author gets exposure and backlinks while you get high-quality content.

The easiest way to do that would be to create a new user account for the guest author. However, this would give the guest author access to your WordPress admin area which many site owners don’t feel comfortable with.

In that case, you’ll need the WPForms Post Submissions addon. It allows you to easily accept user submitted posts on your website. These posts are then stored as drafts, which you can then review and publish.

You can also use it to create other types of user-generated blog content such as image submissions (memes, photo contests, etc).

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to allow users to submit posts to your WordPress site.

5. Build a Community

Community

Human beings are social, and we like to interact with each other. You can provide your visitors a chance to do that on your own site by building a membership community.

You can make some of your content members-only to encourage new sign-ups. After that you can encourage discussions, reward users for participation, and even create membership levels with paid subscriptions.

The easiest way to do all that is by using MemberPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin that allows you to build online communities with powerful controls and great flexibility. You can even add it to an existing site without affecting any of your existing content.

It’s a good idea to add a forum, so users can share their thoughts, resources and questions. Just make sure you have a custom user registration form, so that users can sign up and join your community.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a membership website in WordPress.

6. Host a Giveaway

Rafflepress

One way to drum up excitement among your blog readers and boost loyalty is to host a giveaway.

You can ask customers for user-generated content in order for a chance to win free prizes.

For example, let’s say you own an online store. You can ask customers for pictures or videos of them wearing your clothing. All they have to do to enter into the giveaway is to share a picture or post it on social media and tag your brand.

If you can offer a great prize such as a special edition sneakers or brand new headphones, you’ll watch those images pour in as new people enter.

When creating giveaways, make sure to state specific content guidelines such as image quality and have them clearly showcasing your brand within the image.

We recommend using a plugin like Rafflepress. It’s the best WordPress giveaway plugin, since it’s user friendly and allows you to create contests in just a few clicks.

For a step by step tutorial, check out our post on how to run a giveaway / contest in WordPress with RafflePress.

Bonus: Add Instagram Galleries

hover-state-instagram

Your customers are likely posting content or tagging your business on social media platforms on Instagram.

Adding Instagram galleries to your site allows you to showcase what others are posting about you.

All you need is the Smash Balloon plugin, the best social media feeds plugin for WordPress, used by over 1.3 million sites.

For example, let’s say you have a WooCommerce store. You can add an Instagram gallery to your product pages, so shoppers get an authentic glimpse of what it looks like. And it helps them better picture themselves using the product.

Not to mention, it’s a great to show your social media following.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use user-generated content in WordPress to grow your business.

Now that you have users spending more time on your website, see how to easily track user engagement on your website with Google Analytics or our article on how to create an email newsletter the RIGHT way.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

7 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Mrteesurez says

    Among all comments is the one that are most effective to grow a blog. When you are not building a dedicated community, leveraging on comments gives good engagement from users and can be submitted with little effort from users across posts in the blog.

    • Jiří Vaněk says

      As for the comments, another great feature of them is that they are indexed by Google itself. If the comments are beneficial and of good quality, Google can index them as well and it brings quite a good SEO benefit.

  3. Dennis Muthomi says

    Great article on leveraging user-generated content! ! !
    I agree that adding Instagram galleries is a fantastic way to use User Generated Content, especially for visually-driven sites like my local travel blog.
    Showcasing my Instagram photos right on the blog with the Smash Balloon plugin allows me to highlight the scenery, restaurants, food dishes and attractions I experienced.

    I’ll also integrate my TikTok with Smash Balloon to keep users engaged on my site longer. User content adds so much authenticity that resonates with readers. Thanks for the valuable tips!

  4. Jiří Vaněk says

    I don’t know if you will know the answer but I will ask. If I will have guest content on the site, is there a special contract between me and the user who wrote the article? Or who is actually the owner of such content?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Terms and conditions would determine this, you would want to speak to a legal expert and they would be able to assist.

      Admin

      • Jiří Vaněk says

        Thank you for answer. I assumed it would be something like that. Thanks for the confirmation and I’ll try to adapt somehow.

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