The term user-generated content (also called UGC or consumer-generated content) refers to original, brand-specific content created by customers and shared on social media or other channels. It can take many forms, such as images, videos, testimonials, or even podcasts.
Whether they’re unboxing videos posted on TikTok, tagged outfit posts on Pinterest or posts full of praise shared on Instagram, your customers are the most likely individuals to share your content either because you’ve asked them to or because they’ve organically decided to share it.
Employees can also create user-generated posts. Putting employee-generated content (EGC) on your website or social media shows what your brand stands for. Content such as photos and videos of employees packing and making up orders can be great for building your brand. This behind-the-scenes content establishes a sense of who you are and how your brand stands out.
So why is user-generated content so important?
Customer-centric content is used across all stages of the buyer’s journey to influence engagement and increase conversions. It can be used on social media and other platforms, such as email, landing pages, and checkout pages.
Social media is fantastic for brand awareness, however, it’s also becoming increasingly harder for brands to stand out in the crowd. By utilising UGC, you are proving your authenticity to potential customers. 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands. People trust people. When building authenticity within your followers, there’s no content type that’s more authentic than customer-generated content.
Boosts community engagement and brand loyalty
UGC allows customers to participate in a brand’s growth rather than be spectators. This impacts brand loyalty and affinity greatly because people love to feel involved and included in something greater than themselves, and creating UGC provides that opportunity.
The UGC also greatly facilitates interactions between brands and consumers, leading to the formation and growth of an engaged community. It also allows audiences to share content with brands, strengthening their relationship and driving more brand loyalty.
Increases brand trust
Like asking a friend, family member, or colleague for their opinion, audiences turn to UGC as a signal of trust. The majority of millennials base their purchase decisions on recommendations from their families and friends, which is precisely where user-generated content excels because it is a personalised, honest recommendation.
Brands need to work harder than ever to establish themselves as trustworthy. If you have an audience willing to share their great experiences with your business, then utilise that and share it across as many customer touchpoints as possible. Seeing like-minded people recommending your product or service is one of the best ways to encourage new customers.
Boost conversions and influence purchasing decisions
In the final stages of the buyer’s journey, where you’re looking to convert your audience and influence them into making a purchase, user-generated content is extremely influential.
As many as 90% of shoppers report that user-generated content influences their purchase decisions. User-generated content acts as real social proof that your product is worth buying. As an example, your audience sees consumers just like them wearing or using your product, which influences their purchase decision.
A more cost-effective marketing strategy than influencers
It is not uncommon for influencers to command thousands of pounds for their services. How much does it cost you to ask your customers to share their experiences with your product? Absolutely nothing.
By integrating UGC into your marketing mix, you can scale your business and introduce your customers to a new, engaging marketing method. One of the best things about utilising User Generated Content? You don’t need to spend time and money on creating new assets for your brand or content for your marketing campaigns.
Engage the most important people in your business: your audience. The majority of people will be excited about being featured on your channel.
Smaller or newly established brands may find UGC a more cost-effective and manageable alternative to a traditional larger scale, brand awareness advertising campaigns.
Now you know why you should be using user generated content all over your marketing channels. It’s important to understand the basics!
- Always ask permission! – Sharing content requires consent. Never republish or use a customer’s content without their permission.
- Give credit where it’s due! – When you share UGC on your social media channels, make sure to give clear credit to the original creator by tagging them directly in the post.
- Be strategic and set goals. – With UGC having such a powerful effect on customer influence, brands must understand exactly how to leverage the content to fit their marketing and strategy goals.
- Just ask! – Ask your followers in a post or in your bio for the kind of content you’re looking for and how to tag you. Should they tag your location, use a hashtag or tag your account. Make it clear what you’re looking for and you will receive quality content that meets your expectations.
If you’re serious about growing your brand on social media, then get in touch with our team today!