User-generated content on websites or UGC on social media, in general, is of utmost importance today as it is authentic and original in nature. And, it doesn’t come along. UGC comes with both pros and cons attached to it.
Moving forward with the blog, we aim to highlight the benefits and challenges faced by brands for using user-generated content-
1. Increased Dwell Time
When accounting for SEO results, then dwell time becomes an important SEO metric to consider. Dwell time is the amount of time visitors spend on your website. It plays an important role in your SEO ranking.
It is desirable that a user spends most of his time on your website, atleast sufficient enough to remember your business while making a purchase decision. Dwell time is a direct measure of the quality of the content on your website. A user will stay on your website only if he genuinely finds some useful information or products and services of his interest on the website to invest his time and money into.
Here, allowing UGC content in the form of customer images, comments, or reviews, Q&A section on the website can increase website dwell time. Encourage your former customers to express their thoughts by writing website reviews, sharing their feedback and pictures. UGC helps in conversions and a potential customer is given to trust its authenticity.
25% of search engine results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
2. Improves Trust & Results in Conversions
User-generated content has authenticity and reliability attached to it. It is UGC content that buyers trust and rely on. Images, videos, and reviews that come straight from previous purchasers rather than branded content by marketers are trusted more by people.
Example: A ‘room-view’ picture shared by a traveler depicts the real form and quality of the room and is relied upon by interested travelers instead of bright-lit pictures shared by the hotel administration on their website & by other travel websites.
3. Reduce Your Content Crunch
Creating great content is a big challenge for content marketers. The web is a vast library of information and it is difficult to devise creative content continuously. Here, using user-generated content reduces the burden on content marketers to produce engrossing content frequently.
UGC content is from real people depicting their real experiences with brand products and services. Such user-generated content is highly relatable to online readers and shoppers too.
36% of content marketers face creative content crunch due to over-explosion of content on the web.
A simple user-generated review or a picture can provide ‘real’ and detailed insights into your product or service. Your very own customers can be your brand advocates and aid in website conversions considerably. The bonus here is- people sometimes can be very creative, even more, creative than your marketers. Hence, tapping on this powerhouse of innovativeness is a lucrative idea.
1. Content Moderation
Content moderation is one of the biggest challenges faced while using user-generated content on websites. When companies allow users to post content on their website, they are giving control to them to post a variety of content online. This content may or may not be positive necessarily and may tamper the brand image.
Oftentimes websites are victims of abusive and offensive content online. Users have the authority to discuss and upload images they see fit (which otherwise may not be ideal and positive for public viewing and sharing), and express opinions in ways they desire, but, monitoring and moderation of user content are utmost necessary today. People often turn nasty online, and a healthy discussion about your product/service can quickly turn abusive.
2. Legal Issues
User-generated content primarily belongs to the person sharing it. It’s important to understand the relevant legal issues attached to UGC content. Example: Consider a user-generated content contest that encourages people to share images of them using your brand product or service. Such content belongs to the person who uploaded it first and foremost. As a brand, you need their expressed permission if you want to share their content on your business social media pages and website.
At the very least, you need to provide direct acknowledgment stating it clear that the content does not belong to you and additionally mention the original creator of the content.
3. Confronting Fake/Spam Sources
UGC contests and campaigns or UGC content, in general, gives control to the users, but the spam and fake profiles that sneak through the internet and social media create the risk of getting information from unreliable sources. Some customers may doubt the authenticity of the users who have been submitting content.
The solution to this is to send an invite to those within your database or email list, and provide “verified review” badges to them to make them a dependable source of information, as is done by quite a few popular websites nowadays.
Has your brand faced challenges for using user-generated content? How does your brand make effective use of UGC content? Share with us!