Introduce yourself to the One Ruling the Heart of Marketers – User Generated Content
Once while experiencing the digital marketing world, you might have heard about this famous proverb or adage - “Consumer is the king.” Agreeing to it, I would love to bring your dire attention to this fact too -
Audiences are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising. And, let’s face it, people don’t even trust advertising as much as they used to! Tables have turned, they like more ‘word of mouth’.
30% of your audience is taking action to block ads completely!
Let’s be honest we too swipe off the ads and click the never see these ads again. But, that doesn’t mean that we stop making ads, they are the cornerstones of marketing!
So, what else can be done?
We can do what the other top brands are doing!
They use the content that their customers are already creating to support their marketing. Yes, when they provide a particular service or product to the customer, the customer supports them with a thumbs up on the social media, or post a good review. Or some enthusiastic brand fans even post video testimonials reviewing it.
Yes, just the way Lisa Simpson is doing it in the above gif! This content is called user-generated content that is the key to the success of many brands and one of the best techniques to look forward to if you have just started a small business or a startup company.
What is User Generated Content?
Any type of content surrounding that has been created and put out there by consumers, or fans, for your brand is UGC. It can be a picture, video, testimonial, tweets, blog posts, and everything that promotes and paints a good picture of your brand.
“It is an act of brand being promoted by users rather than the brand itself!”
Recently, leveraging content created by consumers has become the best method to drive amazing brand goals without heavy investment. Amazing, isn’t it?
“More than 86% of companies today use user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy.”
Yes! A whopping 86% of companies are using user-generated content! Why? Because it is authentic and relatable which makes it super effective. UGC is a powerful strategy that increases your brand visibility, builds trust, and increases sales.
Investment ZERO, Benefits NUMEROUS!
Still don’t understand?
The world went berserk for them! It took off over the world with bottles named after people at different locations. In this viral campaign, people were asked to share pictures of themselves enjoying the drink or posing with the customized and personalized coke bottle on social media.
Yes! Posting pictures with it transformed the customers into advertisers! And, it wasn’t just a coincidence, it is one of the best user-generated content campaigns.
The result? It promoted millions of revenue and a brighter brand image.
User-generated content wasn’t much in the limelight, but it slowly gained success and is since then is the favorite amid all the digital marketers. And, do you know? User-generated content and content marketing opportunities will be a lot more than you can imagine in the post-COVID world.
And, for the curious ones I know you might be wondering -
How can user-generated content help a brand? Or I may say why a brand should never ignore it!
User-generated campaigns have been a constant marketing strategy in the digital marketing world, because of the success they give! But why are they so successful? Why are the big brands like Coca-Cola and many others are turning towards them instead of creating a campaign just about a storyline? Why? Let’s find out -
01. Promote authenticity:
As I have already mentioned above that no one trusts the ads nowadays, they prefer genuineness. And, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as real, true as compared to those created by the brands.
Also, one of the studies finds out that 84% of people reported that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy, and 86% believe that user-generated content is a sign that the quality of a brand, service, or product, is very good.
Moreover, they trust 3x times more than any info given by the brand or advertisements.
Seeing all these statistics, it can be easier to explain that this amazing content promotes authenticity, and gives an incredible credibility boost!
02. Encourages more engagement:
It is quite clear if you post something that your consumer has created, or you host a campaign which is user-driven. Like the one done by Coca-cola, or Starbucks where they asked the consumers to post photos and they reposted it. This gradually, and effectively increased the traffic.
For instance, Starbucks hosted a Red Cup Art contest during the holidays, and it got them a ton of user-generated content that they shared. It ultimately encouraged the audience, and the engagement increased multiple folds.
03. Build Trust:
Building trust is building the brand! Be it a service, product, or experience, customers have now started to express more and more on social media. An example from our day-to-day life (*yeah, before the lockdown!*), we head out to a restaurant or a location reading reviews about them, checking on the social media pages, right?
30% would not go to a restaurant if there is no Instagram presence!
And, this is true, as to how they would trust it, trust the experience that they ensure if it is not reviewed by customers.
This is where the user-generated content comes into action! Yes, they have to be there as 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust the online customer reviews or opinions be it in text, image, or video.
For instance -
Nykaa recorded about 1 million subscribers in 2019 and it is still escalating, and it is all because of the User-Generated Content! This brand started with less than 10,000 subscribers and now it organically grows to about 40,000 active weekly users engaging with the network.
All of this without any marketing push!
04. Drives Decisions:
Yes! It impacts the buying decision. People trust, consider your brand, engage with your brand, and ultimately inspire others to try out your service or products.
Nearly 80 percent of people say User-Generated Content has a high impact on their purchasing decisions!
For instance, you can use Instagram stories to share the user-generated content, be it image, review, video review, or anything, to drive the purchases. Push them into the highlights, you can create a direct impact on the visitor.
05. Saves time, saves money, increases follower count, and the ROI is high:
Without any doubt, it saves time! User-generated content not only saves time but also saves money. The time you invest in making an advertisement, you can invest just nothing in just putting up a post created by your customer.
Also, it increases your follower count! When they come across your profile, they would notice the user-generated content, like reviews, videos, or DIY videos, shared by you on your brand page. All of this encourages others to like your page or follow it.
Next, the ROI is high!
Yes, you invest nothing and you get your customers increased exponentially.
Take the Starbucks’ White Cup Contest that was done in 2014. It encouraged the customer to showcase their doodling talent all over the white Starbucks cups and post the image as entries in the contest to find a template for a limited edition Starbucks cup.
Around 4000 customers submitted the photos in just 3 weeks!
Your brand can constantly be in touch with the audience! And, also keep the customers in the frontline to create amazing content and engagement for your brand. The power of user-generated content will be experienced more in the coming times when people will shift more to the online world. User-generated content is the present and the future.
If you wish to learn any of the techniques of the digital marketing world, then join the digital marketing course at the Orionators School of Learning – Asia’s fastest-growing digital marketing school. We dive deep into the different modules. Join us and know the basics, tips, and tricks to all the modules including social media marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and website design and development!
Also, stay tuned for more blogs related to UGCs.
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