User Generated Content (UGC) is when companies advertise by inspiring and then curating content produced by their audiences. By surrendering the role of creator to their fans, brands can produce honest and effective adverts. The content is provided by happy customers and unpaid contributors, and the types of content include:
Due to the varied range of UGC out there, it is a very versatile way of advertising, it can be used on a large scale for ad campaigns or small scale using social media marketing. In this blog, we will be looking at the reasons that make UGC such a successful marketing tool and why you’d be mad not to include it in your future marketing strategies.
Reason One: It’s Trustworthy & Authentic
Consumers have become wise to many of the tricks used by adverts in the past, we don’t necessarily trust the unrelatable beautiful people we know are being paid to promote a certain product. This mistrust is what has made UGC a game changer regarding adverts, because who we do trust are people like ourselves who have tried a product and genuinely love it. Happy customers creating positive content can often convey the love and loyalty they have for the brand better than even the most successful in-house content. Authenticity has become more important to customers than a slick advert and 60% of consumers say that UGC is the most authentic form of advertising (Stackla). If people believe your products are the genuinely loved by others they will buy them.
Reason Two: It Promotes Connectivity
In today’s society, content sharing on Social Media seems to be some kind of unstoppable juggernaut. People now more than ever want to feel connected to their peers by sharing every aspect of their lives, including their shopping habits! Brands are using this need for connection and recognition to share consumer stories and promote their products and the lifestyle they endorse. If used in a genuine way this can lift engagement and strengthen customer trust.
Reason Three: It Inspires People
UGC used in the right way by companies can be a powerful source of inspiration. For the release of the iPhone 6, Apple used visual content taken by its users to form the base of a billboard and print ad campaign with the hashtag #ShotoniPhone6. By using the best and most inspiring images Apple enabled it’s customers to feel moved to go out and buy an iPhone and take amazing photographs. Showcasing content that reflects customer’s post purchase excitement, means that, that excitement becomes contagious and inspires people to buy.
Reason Four: It’s Cost Effective
UGC is not only a very successful marketing strategy but it also makes sense financially. It is generally much cheaper to edit and coordinate content that has been produced by other people than to create content in-house. Your consumers are creating your content for you and then sharing it with their own audiences, making less work for your brand!
Between the rise of influencer marketing and the popularity of UGC, society is definitely moving towards a much more transparent way of looking at advertising. This transparency is great for consumers but can also be great for businesses. UGC is an authentic, engaging and financially smart way of advertising your brand and used correctly it not only boosts sales but builds trust between you and your consumers.