User-generated content: What is it and Its Use in Marketing
Marketing has become a challenging and comprehensive task for the brand in this digital age where the users are looking for authentic and trustful cues from the brands, not the promotional content.
This need for reliable and valuable content from the users is driving the success of the all-powerful user-generated content in the marketing ecosystem.
What is User-generated content?
User-generated content can be understood as any form of content that has been uploaded by the users on digital platforms that showcases their ideas, opinions, reviews, feedback, or experiences mainly that holds value for the brands.
It is mainly comprised of texts, images, or videos shared by the users on social media voluntarily which becomes an important piece of information for the other users that shape their engagement & shopping behavior.
Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, are some of the key social platforms that have become the hub of the powerful user-generated content with the rising user base.
Brands have identified an opportunity here in the user generated content that can empower their campaigns. We have explored the depths of how UGC is influencing the marketing ecosystem.
UGC and Marketing
Statistically, there are over 3.5 billion active social media users so the is can only be imagined the amount of content these users are creating, sharing, and exploring every day.
Now, brands have this challenge to create and design the content that can tap into the consumer sentiments to instigate a positive action in response from the users.
But the brand-generated promotional content hasn’t been much effective lately. Whereas the Influence of UGC has grown over the users making it THE choice for marketers to empower their campaigns.
Explore a few ways through which User-generated content is becoming the voice of marketing.
1. Drive Offline Campaigns
User-generated content is majorly available on the digital platforms but it gives you the option to drive successful offline campaigns as well.
It is a challenge to conduct a successful offline campaign with amplified user attraction, engagement, and entertainment. When user-generated content is integrated with offline marketing campaigns, it can infuse life into these campaigns.
Encouraging and showcasing UGC in offline campaigns can help you bring creativity, user interaction, and entertainment value that are necessary for successful marketing.
So, for successful offline campaigns, all you need is a social media aggregator to create a social wall of user-generated content and display it in your offline events, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, weddings, or any offline event.
2. Social Proof with Marketing
Social proof is a term that cannot be closely associated with the marketing field as users have authenticity and reliability issues with the brand campaigns; in simple words, users don’t fully trust the words of a brand.
But why is social proof important?
Social proof is about creating a sense of trustworthiness, reliability, and authenticity about a brand among the consumers that influences the behaviors of users towards the brands.
User-generated content is the ultimate form of content that can build social proof for any brand. When you integrate UGC in marketing, it can help you get your intended message across effectively and efficiently with trustful elements.
Once the users will trust your campaigns and promotions, it will automatically enhance user engagement and conversions.
3. Brand Loyalty & Community
Nowadays the most successful global brand or mostly the smaller brands as well are also focusing on engaging with the consumers and building a loyal customer base and not just promotions.
User-generated content marketing is an excellent solution to building brand loyalty, online community, and an enthusiastic user base.
It is an effective way where you can encourage the users to share their views and experiences with your brand on social platforms and tag your brand. Then you can use this content in your marketing campaigns to promote your brand.
Using UGC in your campaigns will feel like acknowledgment and reward to the consumers. It will immensely help in building the user-brand relationship and loyalty.
4. Cost-effective Marketing solution
User-generated content is all about maximizing returns and minimizing investments for your brand marketing efforts. The brands have to make huge investments in content creation, time consumption, and labor efforts where the end products still not necessarily are successful.
When user-generated content is integrated with marketing campaigns, it removes the cost and efforts of content creation for your brand.
User is voluntarily creating content for your brand and it will be much more impactful, creative, diverse, and effective than the brand-generated content comparatively.
So, as a brand, you are gaining maximum returns on minimum investments with many financial and non-financial benefits.
These were some of the ways through which the user-generated content can benefit your brand. While formulating a UGC marketing strategy, take into consideration your users' base, key platforms where they share content, and how you can repurpose that for your brand campaigns.
A key part of UGC marketing is Rights management, as even though the UGC is available in abundance, it is essential to rightfully curate and repurpose the UGC.
So, be clear with your objectives, encourage the users to share more content, reward them, and make the maximum of user-generated content for your brand.