User generated content what is it and why do you need it!
User-generated content or UGC is any form of content created and shared by the users based on their experiences, opinions, ideas, or feedback. Digital platforms, especially social media networks, are the hub of user-generated content. In terms of marketing, UGC is the content that is relevant to the brand. UGC or consumer generated content is original, brand specific content created by customers/clients. It can be in the form of images, videos, reviews, and testimonials. Yes, even podcasts count.
Where does UGC content come from?
Think in terms of unboxing videos shared on TikTok, YouTube or Facebook; Or praise-filled posts on Instagram or google reviews. Your customers are usually the most prominent cohort you’ll look to gain UGC from, either because you’ve asked for it or because they’ve organically decided to share content about your brand.
Loyalists, advocates, or fans. However, you label your most dedicated customers, they’re typically the group that’s most enthusiastic about your business. Since loyalists are so passionate about worshiping at the alter of the brand, this audience segment is ripe to reach out to and ask for specific UGC content.
Employee-generated content (EGC) shows the value and story behind your brand. For example, photos of employees packing or making up orders or a video of your team talking about why they love working for your company. This behind-the-scenes content helps establish brand identity and works across social and ads to showcase authenticity.
UGC is used across all stages of the buyer’s journey to help influence engagement and increase conversions. The customer-centric content can be used on social media and other channels, such as email, landing pages, or checkout pages.
Takes authenticity to the next level
In the atmosphere we are all working in, brands have to fight to be seen online, and competition is fierce for audience attention. As a result, buyers are more selective about the brands they interact with and purchase from, especially the Gen-Z crowd.
And it’s not just consumers who are passionate about authentic content. 60% of marketers agree that authenticity and quality are equally important elements of successful content. And there’s no other content type that’s more authentic than UGC from your customers.
A word of caution:
Don’t be tempted to fake your user-generated posts or campaign. Audiences will quickly sniff out the false sentiment, which could seriously damage your brand reputation. Instead, always ensure that your UGC comes from one of three cohorts: your customers, brand loyalists, or employees.
People ultimately trust other people, so it’s essential to think of UGC as the modern-day word of mouth.
And with consumers 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands, the time to invest in an authenticity-driven social marketing strategy is now.
Acts as a trust signal
Brands need to work harder than ever to establish themselves as trustworthy. And with 93% of marketers agreeing that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands, this signals that UGC is the perfect format for businesses to level up their trust score.
Audiences turn to UGC as a trust signal in the same way they’d ask their friends, family, or professional network for an opinion. Over 50% of millennials base their decision to buy a product on recommendations from their family and friends, so this is where UGC can shine since it is precisely that: a personal recommendation.
Increase conversions and influence purchasing decisions
User-generated content is incredibly influential in the final stages of the buyer’s journey, where you’re looking to convert your audience and influence them into making a purchase.
UGC acts as authentic social proof that your product is worthy of buying. For example, your audience sees people just like them wearing or using your product, which influences them to decide to buy.
More cost-effective than influencer marketing
The average cost of hiring an influencer can run into millions of dollars. The average cost of asking your customers to share posts of them enjoying your product? Next to nothing.
UGC is a cost-effective way to scale your business and introduce a new marketing strategy to the mix. There’s also no need to invest dollars in hiring a flashy creative agency to produce brand assets or content for your campaigns.
Simply connect with the most important people in your business: your audience. Most will be excited to be featured on your channel.
For smaller brands or those just starting out, UGC is cheaper and easier to manage than investing in larger-scale brand awareness campaigns.
Works in harmony with social commerce
The future of online shopping is social commerce, a.k.a shopping directly on your favorite social channels. The main draw of social commerce is that it allows audiences to convert natively within a social media app, rather than going off-network to complete a purchase.
Let’s say you’re scrolling through Instagram and pause on a cute new bathrobe. You tap to learn more about the product, decide to purchase, and complete the transaction in the app. That’s social commerce in action.
UGC and social commerce work well together because UGC is influential in driving conversions. 80% of people say that UGC impacts their decision to purchase, making user-generated content and social commerce a match made in heaven.
Types of user-generated content
User-generated content is this season’s must-have strategy for social media marketers, and it comes in many styles and formats to help you find the right fit for your brand.
- Social media content (e.g., a Tweet about your brand)
- Product reviews
- Live streams
- Blog posts
- YouTube content
Best user-generated content examples
No matter their size, brands use user-generated content to drive awareness, increase conversions and social engagement, expand their reach, and cost-effectively grow their business.
Why is user-generated content so important?
User-generated content is effective for several reasons, the most prominent being that it's a version of social proof. It shows potential new consumers that current customers are happy with your product or service. And if you're happy, chances are they will be too. Endorsements (even from total strangers) matter to us as consumers.
Websites and platforms dedicated solely to user reviews are becoming more popular. Nearly 95 percent of buyers are reading online reviews before making a purchase. Customers are looking to Yelp for local reviews, Amazon for consumer product reviews, and G2 for software and service reviews to help all types of businesses attract more user-generated content.
Why is that? Think about it like this – similar people shop at similar stores. You have the same interests, wants, and needs, whether a new pair of jeans or an innovative software solution. It's why marketers build out user personas and adapt their strategies to match.
NCA has a simple solution that can generate unlimited user content, ask us about our Video Review Automation Service (platform) Call Dawn 212-967-3002 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org