Understanding User-Generated Content

First, let’s take a look at what exactly user-generated content is so we can understand why it’s become such a success and part of many brand’s social media strategies.  User-Generated Content (UGC) is any form of content that has been created by people and posted on their own social media page. Many times, brands will repost this content to their social pages in an effort to boost marketing. Using this approach can allow brands to cut back on producing social posts and keep things fresh with unlikely content from their customers.  

Today, marketing is more consumer-centric as success lies in the hands of consumers. Brands are creating opportunities where they can get users to interact, engage, and advocate their marketing campaigns. According to Bazaar Voice, 64% of millennials and 53% of baby boomers want more options to share their opinions about brands, while other studies show consumers trust user-generated content more than all other forms of media

Why UGC

Wider reach 

A marketing strategy’s aim is to garner reach and engagement from a large audience. The 2017 Digital Advertising Report from Adobe Digital found digital ad costs are seeing growth five times faster than US inflation rates. Reaching your target audience has become increasingly expensive. With UGC, brands can quickly spread their reach within an individual user’s community.

Diverse content

It can be hard to produce top-notch content that will keep engaging your target audience. Allowing your online community to contribute content will help keep your brand fresh and exciting. You know the saying, “Two minds are better than one”? Well, imagine hundreds of minds working to expand your content. 

Create Trust

Incorporating UGC into your brand’s social strategy helps validate whatever you’re trying to sell. According to a study by TurnTo Networks, 90% of consumers say it holds more influence over their buying decisions than promotional emails and even search engine results. People trust people over self-promotion, so UGC is a great way to build trust within your target audience. 

Build an online community

UGC encourages people to interact with your brand and become a loyal member of the community. People want to feel like they are a part of something, they enjoy being a part of a community. Establishing a brand community helps increase positive user-engagement content, in turn, increasing traffic; exposure; and chances of conversion. 

Social Proof  

Social proof is the validation customers provide to their community about the brand’s products. With the rise of influencers, people are looking towards them for their new products and brands to invest in. Self-promotion is no longer what customers trust, so incorporating UGC in today’s world is pretty crucial. 

Brands Successfully Using UGC

GoPro:  GoPro helped kickstart the UGC movement by working their customers’ content into their marketing strategy. Today, a search for “GoPro” on YouTube yields 40,000,000 results. The brand is more than one of YouTube’s most popular with nearly 5,000,000 subscribers; it’s also one of the marketing industry’s UGC pioneers.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile invited people to submit “break-up letters” detailing their reason for leaving their current provider. In exchange, the company would pay the costs associated with switching from their current carrier. At the latest count, over 113,000 letters have been written, more than 67 million social impressions have been garnered by the campaign.

Starbucks: Back in 2015, the coffee franchise ran the #Redcupcontest encouraging customers to upload pictures of them drinking from their red cup. Winners of the contest received $500 prizes.

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