Gone are the days when brands used to create one-dimensional marketing campaigns to promote their products with the ultimate agenda to increase sales.
In the current age, marketing is more consumer-centric as the power of success lies in the hands of consumers. Brands are creating opportunities where they can get users to interact, engage, and advocate their marketing campaigns.
So, User-generated content is the recipe marketers are exploiting for executing successful marketing campaigns.
But why so much emphasis on UGC consumers?
Well! We have explored the depths of user-generated content to know why it is a necessary ingredient for successful marketing.
Table of Contents
What Is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content or UGC is any form of content that is created and shared by the users based on their experiences, opinions, ideas, or feedback. Digital platforms, especially social media networks, are the hub of user-generated content.
In terms of marketing, UGC is the content that is relevant to the brand. It could be online reviews, product photos, customer feedback, product videos, and more.
As it is experience-driven and honest, UGC is known to be the most reliable, trustworthy, and authentic form of content compared to brand-pushed marketing content. These features make the marketers crave for this valuable user-generated content.
Reasons for the Immense UGC Creation
We have listed the three main reasons that empower the users to create an immense amount of content.
1. Growing Digital Platforms
About a decade ago, there were a few selected digital platforms available to the users that, too, with limited features & functionalities. In recent times, the number of platforms has grown exponentially along with continually evolving features & attributes.
Not just that, some platforms have come into existence that are either dedicated to or empowers the creation and sharing of user-generated content such as Yelp, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram.
Social media platforms are the hub of UGC, and it is understandable as there are over 3.5 billion active social media users globally.
2. Evolution of Technology & Internet
Firstly, we can say that access to the internet is what started the creation of user-generated content. In recent times, accessibility has reached a massive audience with low or minimal costs.
Furthermore, the technology has been evolving at a rapid rate, which is encouraging the users to contribute to content creation. Technology like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, gamification, and more are seeing an increasing use and interest by the users.
3. Access to Devices
Nowadays, billions of users have gained access to devices such as tablets, smartphones, cameras that enables users to create a tremendous amount of photos and videos.
The expansion of smartphone use globally has been the key reason that made it easy, quick, and simple for users to create content and share it on digital platforms from anywhere anytime.
Now that we know what is empowering the creation of UGC among the users, it is time to explore why UGC is vital for the brands.
Why Should Marketers Mind UGC?
Brands are investing heavily in strategizing and creating marketing campaigns with resource investments, labor-time investment, and massive budget allocation for campaigns that are not able to generate social proof and conversions as expected.
It is the case as although consumers engage with the brand marketing campaigns; they don’t trust it as they rely upon & trust the reviews, opinions, and real experiences of other customers when it comes to making a purchase online.
The fact that over 90% of the consumers trust the UGC for making online purchases provides validation to the statement above.
It is understandable as consumers want to know about the reality of the products or the brands in which they are investing their money or time. Therefore, UGC presents a perfect opportunity to gain maximum returns with minimal investments.
Why UGC is Important For Successful Marketing
1. Wide Reach & Exposure
The first aim of your marketing strategy is to reach a massive audience with enormous exposure so that it increases the chances of engagement and conversions.
User involvement in the campaign can help a brand achieve these goals quickly and effectively. When you create a campaign with your custom brand hashtags, you can encourage the users to share their views & opinions using the hashtag on social platforms.
When users do so, it will amplify the reach and exposure of your marketing campaign to a broad audience without any limitations of demographics or geographical aspects.
2. Diverse & Creative Content
Creative & exciting content is the primary need for any marketing campaign to be successful. With user-generated content, you get the functionality to leverage diverse & creative content.
When you create content in-house, there are only limited minds at work, so it limits the diversity and creativity of the content. But there are vast users with their creative thoughts and perspectives, creating a diverse range of interesting, engaging content.
Leveraging this diversified creative content can help in making your campaign relatable and impactful for the audience, which will ultimately be beneficial for your brand.
3. Highlight Social Proof
Social proof is the validation that customers provide to the brand about the trust, authenticity, reliability of their products & activities. Having social proof is extremely important in this digital age as it influences the purchase decisions of the consumers.
It won’t be possible for your brand to create marketing campaigns to build social proof, as self-promotion is not what consumers will trust. Therefore, UGC presents a perfect solution to this problem.
Making users’ authentic content a highlight of your marketing campaigns will make your promotional message & information more reliable & trustworthy, leading to amplification of user engagement and conversions.
4. Showcase Brand Advocacy
Brand advocacy is when the customers of a brand believe in it, show loyalty, and show advocacy to other consumers, i.e., speak positive & all good things about the brand.
If your brand has these loyal customers or even better - Brand advocates, you can use their created content to showcase brand advocacy that will help in attracting new consumers and revenue generation through the content of existing customers.
Also, having brand advocates and their content in your marketing campaigns will create brand desirability for the non-customers and reputation management for the brand in the digital ecosystem.
Brand advocacy is proof of the excellent quality of products/services and superior customer experience that the brand delivers to its customers.
5. Unlimited Flow of Content
Creating marketing campaigns is not a one-off event; it is a constant process with a continuous need for trendy authentic content for the campaigns.
With user-generated content, you get an unlimited flow of content created continuously by the users. So, it removes the hassle of making investments in constant content creation.
Also, UGC can keep your marketing campaign alive longer than usual in the digital ecosystem. For example, - you create a campaign around with your custom hashtag. Now it might fade out in a month or so, but the hashtags & content around it will be there for a long time.
6. Humanized Approach
The humanized approach means adding emotional & relationship building elements in your marketing. With basic brand marketing, it isn’t quite possible to convey the emotions that connect consumers with brands.
But user-generated content allows marketers to build an emotional connection with the audience, gain their trust, show authenticity, and form meaningful relationships.
UGC highlights how other customers are having experience with your brand, and it generates a feeling of empathy or maybe even envy. Tapping into consumer emotions helps in increasing their engagement and brand conversions with long-term success.
7. Build An Online Community
Humans tend to form communities, be it small or large, with other like-minded people with similar interests, likes, preferences, or sharing the consumption experiences of a product/services of a brand & share content about it.
So, using your loyal customers or brand advocates’ content, you can build an online community of your customers. Harley-Davidson is an excellent example of having influential online communities.
These communities help in creating positive user-generated content about the brand in their networks that increase the traffic, user engagement, brand exposure, desirability, and chances of conversions for the brand along with brand advocacy.
8. Easy Curation & Content Management
It is not always easy to create content for marketing campaigns as it requires large investments. Still, with UGC, you can easily curate the best and valuable content from digital platforms.
Also, content management is easy & simple with managing rights to the users’ content and repurposing it for your brand campaigns. There are various UGC tools and platforms that you can use to manage content rights & robust curation.
Managing content rights & curation helps in providing legal security and increased returns on investment along with brand-user relationship building.
9. Enhance User Engagement
What is it that consumers look to engage with brand campaigns? The answer is quite simple, where the campaigns need to have engaging or interesting content, interactive elements, authenticity & creativity, or trustworthiness, and value proposition.
These all attributes are present in the user-generated content, and when you curate and make the content more refined & targeted, it becomes hugely engaging & valuable consumers.
Therefore, using UGC in your marketing campaigns takes the user engagement to the next level along with the intensified impact of the campaign. It increases the chances of achieving the desired objectives of your campaigns.
10. Increase Conversions & Revenue
It is the ultimate goal that marketers have in mind while creating marketing campaigns. Conversions & revenue ensures the survival & success of a brand.
User-generated content is the most appropriate solution to increase your conversions & revenue. UGC increases user engagement, and the engagement is directly related to conversions.
Also, People tend to trust UGC much more than the brand’s advertising when it comes to buying products/services. So, UGC will provide validation & credibility to your marketing message that will drive users towards conversions and increase revenue.
The marketers should consider User-generated content as their top priority in the upcoming times as UGC is being defined as the future of content for the marketing campaigns.
The value proposition of UGC, such as authenticity, trust, engagement, cost-effectiveness, and the power to drive conversions revenue, makes it a prime choice for marketers.
UGC as a secret ingredient to successful marketing is evident, and now it depends upon the marketers and brands on how they leverage it in their marketing activities.