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People don’t trust marketers and advertisers anymore. Instead, they crave stories, connections, and interactions with real people. Around 92% of people are prone to trust a recommendation from another person over branded content.

UGC or User Generated Content, refers to original content created by users of the brand. This content can be anything, from text, videos, images, word of mouth, comments, publications on blogs/forums etc... It differs from brand content produced by marketers, advertisers, web editors, and community managers.

In this article we are going to introduce you to User Generated Content, its advantages to your business along with its different types to help you in your marketing strategy.

Pros of User-generated Content

Unlike advertising campaigns that are focused on sales, campaigns using user generated content are based on sincerity and focus on strengthening brand loyalty and engagement. The use of UGC is beneficial to both companies, and users as the company benefits from unique fresh content with less costs while it allows users to collaborate with their favorite brands, express themselves creatively, get various rewards and discounts for it, and even make some, even small changes in the company.

UGC is used across all stages of the buyer’s journey and has many advantages like influence engagement, increase conversions, improve credibility and even organic traffic through social engines (SEO).

Generates more sales :

A brand’s main goal is to influence internet users into making purchases and to sell the most of their products. According to research, user generated content increases the conversion rate by 4.6% and therefore has incredible influence on purchasing decisions especially in the final stages of the buyer’s journey.

Human exemples and interactions with your brand makes your product stand out and worthy of buying especially if it generates trends. People love trends and if your product is the one who starts it, then it will guarantee success and bring in new customers.

Credibility and Authenticity

60% of marketers agree that authenticity is an important element for successful content. And there’s nothing more authentic than UGC from your own customers, especially with brands constantly fighting with competitors for audience attention and visibility online. Think of UGC as the modern word of mouth as people ultimately trust other people so make sure your content comes from your satisfied customers, brand loyalists and employees to ensure maximum credibility.

Build brand loyalty :

UGC participates in community development as it allows users to be active players in a brand’s growth instead of just bystanders and reinforces the feeling of belonging. This influences brand affinity because people thrive off being part of something greater than themselves. Therefore opening up conversations between a brand and consumer through UGC helps build and grow an engaged community with valuable interactions.

Improves SEO :

User generated content helps businesses gain more credibility with Google as it increases visibility and traffic through backlinks in an organic way that reduces marketing costs. Through KissMetrics’s data, it was revealed that the ranking of the top 20 brands in the world are higher by 25% due to successful user content.

The Main Types of UGC

Reviews and Comments :

Customers always prefer to discover other people’s experiences before buying a product. It has become a habit in the buyer’s journey to scroll to the clients reviews at the end of the search. The percentage of people who trust products without knowing others' feedback has gotten much smaller over the years. Comments also help bring in credibility and transparency.

Photo and Video Review

Clients would be more open in the buying process if you provide them with pictures of how your product looks in real life without the ideal lighting and presentation that marketers and advertisers overuse sometimes in an unrealistic misleading way. Video reviews also allow you to see how the product is used in real-life especially in buying gadgets, household appliances and also for aesthetic purposes such as unpackaging trends.

Ideas for new design

When you are in search of creative ideas for your products' growth, UGC can be a great tool to achieve your goal with no cost. Example of successful use of UGC: Starbucks offered its clients to create a new design of their white cups, to post them for collecting likes and shares and 4,000 people participated, influencing an increase in sales by five times. Heineken also asked their clients for new ideas and used them successfully.

What not to do with user-generated content

Don’t use UGC without asking for permission. Too often, brands use images shared online without giving credit or having the creator’s consent. it’s not fair to the people behind the content. After all, building a trust between the brand and customer is how you ensure a long lasting successful business relationship.

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