Have you ever taken a photo with a newly bought product and posted it to your Instagram? Left a review on Facebook? Or even filmed a story of your friends at a restaurant? Well, that’s user-generated content!
User-generated content (UGC) is original content created by contributors (usually your customers) and published on digital channels. It comes in a range of formats including text, image or multimedia and is created by contributors including customers, clients, employees, advocates and even influencers.
Now let’s go over why it’s the most important weapon in your digital marketing arsenal:
Sharing user-generated content across your digital channels helps increase your credibility and brings your brand’s promises into perspective by sharing content from real customers. With over 85% of consumers finding visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos incorporating UGC is one sure fire way to instantly position your brand as more trustworthy.
UGC is the social proof your brand needs to show other consumers that your products or service are worthy of talking about and sharing across their social media, and that is a huge ‘add to cart’ incentive in the eyes of consumers.
UGC is an easy way to inject authenticity into your own content strategy. Trust is built through the opinions of people who have otherwise no vested interest in your product or service, and in the digital world it’s so important to showcase a strong customer sentiment. Think of your UGC as digitally driven word of mouth.
Across all ages, 55% of consumers trust user-generated content over other forms of marketing created by brands. Meaning, if you want a more authentic audience, the time to invest in an UGC is now.
Not only is UGC highly effective for conversion, social proof and brand affinity, it's a productivity resource for stretching your content. With lifestyle and photography a high cost investment, UGC is a growing source of visual and written content that brands have at their fingertips.
Not only is UGC free and easy to source, it’s also more engaging across social media with brand engagement rising by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product videos.
Incorporating UGC also helps you create conversations and strengthen your online community. By re-sharing UGC you are actively involving your audience in your brand and ultimately building deeper, more authentic relationships.
UGC is an easy way to open the floodgates for more customers to share their experience, create conversations and ultimately become advocates for your brand. In fact, 48% of customers report that UGC is a great way to discover new brands; a great way to reach new customers and broaden your online community.
By now we are well informed of the benefit UGC brings to our organic social media and content strategy, but it’s also hugely valuable across paid marketing too. Not only do ads with UGC receive 4x higher click-through rates, they also have a 50% drop in cost-per-click compared to an average ad. Plus, by placing UGC directly on product pages conversions can improve by up to 64%!
So, ready to incorporate UGC into your content marketing strategy? Great! But, before you go off and start reposting your customers' content all over your social media, make sure you follow these important guidelines.
*Stats sourced from CrowdRiff