There are many different tools that companies and marketers use to promote their brand. One that has proven time and time again to be effective is user-generated content, also referred to as UGC. Whether it’s through celebrity endorsements, influencers, or consumer advocates, UGC is a must-have asset for anyone looking to grow their brand.
What does user-generated content mean?
In marketing, UGC refers to any form of content that is created organically by a brand’s followers, consumers, and anyone else that isn’t an official representative of the business. This could be a social media update, tagging a product in an Instagram feed post, creating a TikTok, or even reviewing a brand on a podcast. If it involves a brand’s product/service, and it wasn’t created by someone in house, that is considered user-generated content.
How does it work?
Once the content is created and published to social media or other channels for the public’s viewing, brands can then share and repost onto their own accounts. It’s a good exchange between the consumer and brand, for no cost at all! User-generated content is the modern day word-of-mouth marketing; just real and honest recommendations made by genuine customers.
What makes it so effective?
Consumers that share their experience with a brand via social media or other channels, can have a large influence on their followers. Traditional advertising may come off as biased or exaggerated to customers, since it’s content created by the brand. The value of user-generated content is that it feels more authentic and believable because they’re created by real people, and so it resonates more with their audience. UGC increases the credibility of a brand – sometimes the authenticity and human feel of content is more important and converts better than looking professional.
What are the benefits?
Builds a relationship and trust between the consumer and the brand
Brands that highlight user-generated content from their consumers truly do build deeper connections with them. Doing so makes them feel seen and heard, and it encourages more individuals to share their stories as well. This level of interaction helps deepen the relationships and grow an engaging community.
Helps to establish brand loyalty
User-generated content is a win-win situation for both parties, as it puts a company’s customers front and center of their brand. UGC gives consumers a platform to voice their opinions, and essentially allows brands to market with them, not at them. This provides audiences with not only social proof on why the brand is worth talking about, but participation in a community as well.
Increase conversions and influences purchasing decisions
Everyone knows that people are more likely to trust their friends and families recommendations more than brand advertisements. Consumers want verification on why a brand is worth purchasing from people like them. User-generated content is incredibly powerful when it comes to the final stage of a buyer’s journey, so leverage and encourage it.
The average cost of creating brand content can run into millions of dollars, depending on the company. However, the cost of reposting a customer’s enjoyment of a product – nothing! User-generated content is cost effective for small or big brands, easier to invest in, and gets the job done.
It’s important for brands to establish themselves as trustworthy and reliable. Audiences turn to the people they know for personal recommendations on products and services, which is why user-generated content is the perfect tool for company growth. Good UGC adds value to any brand, as it showcases their capabilities, spreads awareness, and builds their identity.
Photo credit: @skinnaddict