User-generated content is the most trending topic in content strategies and digital marketing for global brands. User-generated content benefits highlight its importance and the value that it holds for the audiences.
UGC is increasingly becoming the prime choice of marketers for their campaigns as it hugely influences how people engage with and perceive a brand. The ultimate impact of UGC is on revenue generation and business growth.
What is UGC, though?
User-generated content is any form of content that has been created by the users and is shared on digital platforms. UGC is driven by ideas, feedback, questions, opinions, or relating to users’ experiences.
That is what makes it so special for marketers and brands as it most trustworthy, reliable, and authentic form of content available on digital media.
We have highlighted some of the key benefits and challenges that marketers face when leveraging user-generated content.
User-Generated Content Benefits & Challenges
1. Benefit – Authenticity is a Necessity
The prime benefits of user-generated content are that it is created by real people based on their experiences, making them extremely authentic and realistic. Whereas having content created by the brand, keeping in mind their business goals or content created by bots won’t be as authentic as UGC.
Authenticity helps in making the users trust the source from which the content is shared. It makes the marketing campaigns more relevant to the people, thereby increasing the impact of the campaign.
Challenge – Continuous Research & Analysis
Although we know the UGC is authentic but who is to check if the source was real or authentic. Therefore, a continuous challenge for the brands or marketers is to research and analyze to review the authenticity of the UGC.
It requires constant focus and resource investment as sharing inauthentic content in their marketing campaign would result in negative outcomes that will ultimately damage the brand & its growth.
2. Benefit – Highly Trustworthy & Reliable
People trust the words of other people over the marketing messages of the brands. The fact that 9 out of 10 people make an online purchase decision based on the recommendations of other users is a validation to the initial statement.
Therefore, user-generated content is a highly trustworthy and reliable form of content as real experiences of consumers drive it, and unlike the brand-generated content, which is driven by the brand’s marketing & commercial objectives.
It is a big reason why people trust the reviews posted by existing customers over the product descriptions in the eCommerce spectrum.
Challenges – Inexperienced Users, Bad Content
The digital platforms are a hub of user-generated content, and it does not necessarily mean that all the UGC will be trustworthy and reliable as every individual has a different knowledge base, expectations, and opinions.
So, there might be some people who are not well versed with how products should be used, and due to their inexperience and lack of proper knowledge. They have a negative experience with the brand leading to them creating negative content about the products & brand.
Therefore, it becomes a challenge to identify the perfect user-generated content that has been created by knowledgeable people; otherwise, it might harm the brand image.
4. Benefit – Tremendous Audience Engagement
Since we know UGC is more trustworthy and authentic than any other content, it is understandable that people will engage more with UGC comparatively. The images and videos shared by users get way more likes, shares, and comments than branded content.
UGC brings a diversity of topics, humanized elements, empathetic attributes, and involvement of users with a brand that leads to higher engagement.
People are motivated to engage as they get a chance to feature in branded marketing and an opportunity of two-way communication leading to gratification.
Challenge – Opportunity Creation & Management
Since the discussion is about audience engagement with the brand and its marketing campaigns, you must create opportunities for people to engage with your brands like creating contests, giveaways, gamification, and much more that have value for users.
Besides opportunities, the other crucial part is constant monitoring and management of UGC as the digital media has a diverse range of users’ content, be it positive or negative.
So, continually managing UGC will ensure you collect and promote the best of users’ content leading to best outcomes.
5. Benefit – Easy & Efficient Access to Valuable Content
For a marketer & the brand, creating incredible content that is engaging and interesting is always a challenge as the interests, likes, and preferences of audiences are dynamic and vivid. Access to valuable UGC ensures a limitless flow of content.
The content is not just for the marketing campaigns, but you can also use this on your website to increase engagement and website vibrancy.
So the users’ content is readily available with easy curation that requires minimum labor and capital investment. It saves a lot of time in content creation, which anyway would not have been as impactful as UGC leading to maximize returns on investment.
Challenge – UGC Rights Management Issues
As the digital platforms are a hub of users’ content with billions of images and videos being uploaded by the users daily, brands have a hub to pick the best content for its campaigns.
But as the users have uploaded it, so the rights to that piece of content belong to the user. Therefore, as a brand, you cannot repurpose the user’s content without getting the rights to do so.
6. Benefit – UGC drives Conversions
The best benefit of UGC, one that all marketers & brands look for – Conversions. With all the aforementioned benefits, it is evident that having positive UGC for a brand will lead the consumers towards conversions.
User-generated content is a huge influencer of the online shopping behavior of the audience. That is why online reviews and excellent customer experience are given so much importance in digital media.
Users have become brand advocates in recent times, so what users say about a brand will impact the revenue and success of that business. Visual UGC helps potential customers in understanding how the existing customers’ experience has been using, which they make their own purchase decisions.
Challenge – Too Much Reliance on UGC
User-Generated Content benefits are endless, but that does not mean that your marketing or overall business is relying on the UGC. Instead, it should have an appropriate mix of both UGC and Branded content.
The challenge is to identify the proper mix of UGC and branded content that can be leveraged to drive results for your brand. It has been said correctly that too much of something is not always beneficial. Besides, a proper mix of content will ensure in guiding your efforts in the right direction with maximum effectivity.
With these benefits and challenges of UGC, you can understand although the user-generated content is highly advantageous from any brand, it requires extensive management and strategy to leverage UGC effectively.
UGC has been identified as the future of content for marketing, and Taggbox, as a social media aggregator, provides complete solutions from collecting & curating UGC, managing UGC rights, designing marketing campaigns, and execution along with active customer support.
Taggbox makes it easy and simple for any brand, be it small, medium, or large, to leverage UGC perfectly to drive results for marketing and business growth.