Sadly, misinformation and questionable marketing tactics are increasing consumer skepticism. Customers are now looking for more reliable sources to recommend goods and services. To stay competitive, brands need to develop fresh approaches for engagement that can produce more authenticity. This is where user-generated content comes in.
What Is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC) is unique, brand-specific content created by customers, brand advocates, supporters, fans, and even employees and then posted on social media or other platforms. Images, videos, reviews, live streams, and testimonials are just some of the various formats in which this content comes.
The main distinction between UGC and influencer marketing is that rather than relying on paid content producers, UGC is produced by actual people and customers, either for free or in exchange for a reward. Of course, if you reward your influencers, they will need to appropriately disclose that in their posts. The rewards for brands can also be significant; a recent study found that when consumers make a purchasing decision, UGC has a 9.8x greater impact than influencer content.
Why Is User-Generated Content Beneficial?
While user-generated content (UGC) can be most effective in converting prospective buyers to customers (UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it), it can also help keep buyers loyal to your brand. Here are some more advantages of implementing a UGC strategy:
- More consumer trust: Consumers tend to trust what other customers say about products. Accurate, unpaid content shared by your brand acts as genuine social proof that your product is worth buying.
- Improved brand loyalty: Your interactions with your audience are developed and deepened when you share user-generated content. This can increase brand loyalty by making your audience feel more valued to your business.
- Better ROI: Because user-generated content is typically free, it is a low-cost way to launch a new marketing strategy without investing dollars or resources in creating visual or written content for your campaigns.
- More leads and conversions: User-generated content can attract more qualified leads, and because they’ve heard about the value of your goods or services from others, they are more likely to become paying customers.
Which User-Generated Content Best Practices Should You Follow?
Here are some guidelines to remember when implementing a user-generated content marketing strategy.
- Strategy first: When it comes to marketing strategies, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so before you get started, do your research, decide whether user-generated content is a good fit for your brand, and establish your goals.
- Get consent and give credit: After developing a clear UGC strategy, ask your audience to share the kind of content you are looking for by giving them clear instructions. Even though UGC authors want you to share their work, you should always get consent before doing so. Additionally, you must provide them with credit. You can do this by tagging them in the post. If you plan to share their content on various social media platforms, find out how the author wants to be acknowledged on each one.
By giving your audience an open channel to discuss your products and services, as well as the sense that they are valuable to your brand, UGC marketing can increase brand awareness, boost engagement, and foster long-term brand loyalty. When you make it simple and rewarding for customers to promote your goods or services, they will do much better than you can.