User-Generated Content: An Intuitive Guide
Be it through micro-influencers, customer advocacy or celebrity endorsements; the world has witnessed the rise of user-generated content on social media. Well, that isn’t surprising either!
93% of the users claimed to have been influenced by user-generated content in their buying decisions over emails and search engine results. But, with the competition only reaching new heights, it is getting difficult, and over-the-top expensive for brands to target the right audience.
So, how do they hit home with their marketing efforts?
Simply by leveraging user-generated content in their campaigns.
If you are keen to explore more about making the users’ content lucrative by putting it to optimal use, make your way through this detailed blog.
What Is User-Generated Content ?
User-Generated Content or UGC is any content-text, videos, images, blogs, testimonials, etc., created by the people for the people.
Venture Capitalist John Doerr said, “The next wave of the web is going to be User-Generated Content,” and it is, undeniably, turning out to be a mammoth life force in the digital world.
User-generated content has overshadowed the marketing trends that prevailed for years simply because it is produced and published willingly by users on various online platforms, making it the most authentic, creative, reliable, and trustworthy content that you see online.
Brands are no longer promoting their brand; it is the users doing it for them. Anything that you see online, including testimonials, reviews, feedback, social media content, blogs, videos or images, are a part of users’ build-up content.
Still, only 16% of the brands have an established system to effectively initiate and command UGC. If this fact took you by surprise, don’t worry, we got you! Keep reading.
What Are The Ways In Which UGC Is Created?
Users’ Content is an umbrella term under which different types of content fall. Below are a few important bifurcations.
Content Generated On Social Media
Social media is influential, as 58.11% of the world’s population uses it. Any content that is produced on social media has the power to influence the minds of many users.
There is a plethora of content created and shared on social media by people. Amongst these, any user’s content promoting your brand is UGC for you.
Furthermore, the users’ behaviour has undergone a massive shift. They are predominantly active to find inspiration for products to introduce online. Here, strategically placing consumer-generated content must be your first choice to attract them.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube enable brands to generate the content generated by the customers. This helps brands to unfold layers of the market while boosting audience engagement.
Testimonials Or Reviews
Another popular type of user-generated content is customer reviews. They act as a brand’s advocate and create its hype through word-of-mouth marketing.
According to statistics, 92% of the online shoppers run-through reviews given by the existing users of the brand before making their purchase decisions. By showcasing testimonials and reviews, brands can create credibility in their minds and let them have an understanding of the brand’s deliverables without having to physically visit the store.
Third-party reviews via Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., or direct reviews on the website of the brand is the most effective and organic form of feedback that can help in growing and building its presence online.
Further, this system gives customers a space to share their appraisals and opinions about the brand, which helps brands improve and sell more of those products that are most liked by the users.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are aesthetically pleasing visual platforms. It is because of the compelling visual content created on these sites that motivate users to scroll, explore more and consume a vast variety of content.
93% of the marketers claimed to have landed upon a new customer because of video content posted on social media.
User-generated video content like unboxing, in-depth review of products, etc., fetch higher viewer attention and works in favour of brand awareness.
Also, videos are better perceived by the audience and give them a better insight of your brand, which further stimulates them to know more.
The brand exclusively creates hashtags to inspire its audience into content creation, targeting greater leads and conversions.
Through these campaigns, users, both potential and existing, create content for the brand, which is further utilized to enhance their marketing efforts across different touchpoints.
Interestingly, 86% of the companies today are leveraging UGC as a part of their marketing strategy, making it indispensable for marketers to brainstorm and come up with unique hashtag campaigns that further ignite users’ participation.
Why Should Brands Consider Incorporating UGC?
1. It Is Authentic
User-generated content offers brand credibility a much sought-after boost, as users are 2.4 times more likely to consider UGC trustworthy than brand-generated Content.
Generating authenticity in the minds of the users has become vitally important as it is the only thing that is helping brands stay ahead of the curve.
Moreover, it also has a role to play in the purchase decisions of the buyers as 86% of them, especially Millennials and GenZers, take account of it in their future purchases.
2. Generates Trust
Users trust faces more than a faceless brand. Be it a product, service, or an experience; modern consumers want to have a brief knowledge of what they seek out.
More than 90% of your consumer’s trust brands that include UGC in their marketing campaigns. Consumer-generated content is unsponsored content that creates an image of the brand in the minds of the viewers, and they look forward to knowing more about the brand, exploring its products and the users’ experience with it.
Gathering more and more users’ trust is the marketing holy grail that brands are constantly digging for. Here, leveraging consumer-generated content can be the best bet.
3. Influences Purchase Decisions
Users’ content being credible and reliable influences the purchase decisions of the buyers making online purchases.
A striking 70% of the users take into consideration reviews and ratings before closing their purchases. At the same time, at least 41% of them read 4 to 7 reviews to know the product better.
UGC attracts, dominates and converts audiences simply by turning their point of interest into inspiration and sales.
4. Cost-Effective Way Of Marketing
Imagine that you don’t have to spend huge sums of money building a creative team, producing branded content, and taking up marketing activities that cost a fortune; how cost-effective will that be?
User-generated content is available in abundance. Brands don’t have to run wild extensively looking out for it. Users’ produce content by using brand exclusive hashtags, mentions, handles, etc.; this can be collected and repurposed for marketing without incurring a single penny.
Brands, irrespective of the industry they cater to, have been cutting an edge with respect to the marketing costs by resourcing consumer-generated content.
5. Evokes Emotions
Users look up to brands that showcase their human side and have a narrative. They are able to connect better and become loyal to them.
Those days when pushy sales could do the trick is history now! Being unique, creative and emotive is what inclines users’ now.
By showing UGC in ads, on the brand’s social media channels, and across other marketing touchpoints, they make their users play protagonists, which makes way for a colossal reach.
Users share their experiences with others, which sparks their attention and makes them want to be a part of the brand’s journey too, thus improving its social standing.
Also Read – User-Generated Content Facts And Stats
How Can You Capitalize On User-Generated Content?
Producing UGC solely isn’t enough; brands need to do more in order to maximize their marketing efforts and realize their goals pertaining to UGC. Further, it is worth noting that social media boasts more than 3.96B active users; being a colossal figure, it is indicative of huge amounts of UGC that is created.
Aggregation, here, is the elementary challenge, the latter being relevancy. Therefore, formulating strategies that can, in a real sense, help brands in optimally capitalizing on UGC is non-negotiable. Below are a few ways in which brands can do it.
1. Showcase It On Your Website
UGC being authentic, unique, diverse and vibrant can potentially alter the impact that your website generates. It speaks for the brand and enhances user engagement, brand awareness, credibility while also indirectly improving the website’s ranking in search engine results.
But, since social media platforms facilitate boundless creation of content, it can get rather difficult to run through each post and select some specific ones to embed on the website.
Here, using an aggregator tool can tone down your labour. As it effortlessly collects and curates your feed, enabling your website to gather unparalleled attraction.
Furthermore, your website plays an instrumental role in creating the first impression in the minds of the visitors. Embedding feeds that can work as your brand’s advocate can be your front-runner.
2. Make It Shoppable
By making your user created content shoppable, brands can enhance users’ experience by curtailing down their purchase journey into a few simple steps.
This has become the need of the hour because buyers are looking out for faster and efficient processes. By providing them with a two-step check out, brands stand a chance to amplify their sales.
Further, the emergence of social commerce has been motivating people to explore more products that they can incorporate into their lives, and with UGC made shoppable, brands can easily turn users’ point of attraction into sales.
Mum & Daughter, a clothing brand, increased their conversions by 186% and their average order value by 58% through shoppable UGC and shoppable Instagram galleries on their website.
3. Display It At Live/Virtual Events
There is nothing like user created content when it comes to fetching the attention of your audience in live or virtual events. It encourages people to be participative by creating and posting content on social media mentioning the event to get featured on the digital screens.
This attracts the audience and keeps them hooked throughout the event, while simultaneously working on your reach and brand awareness.
Further, it is not easy to hold onto the attendees’ curiosity throughout the event. But this becomes convincingly possible with social walls inclusive of UGC, customized in a way that it appeals.
So, can there be a better way to keep your audience entertained? We doubt!
4. Integrate It On Digital Signage Displays
The digital signage industry is growing at a rapid rate. More and more businesses, irrespective of their niche, are opening up to installing it at their premise so as to bridge the gap of communication, gain trust and enhance viewers attention, engagement and conversion.
Amidst the rise in competition, digital signage displays are becoming a potent strategy to attain a stand-out position in the market.
Incorporating UGC on digital signage displays can attract, influence and inspire the viewers like a charm.
Showcasing what your users are saying about your business can generate excitement and initiate interactions.
5. Repost It On Your Social Handle
Reposting is a great way to make your customers feel valued for their contributions while also enhancing credibility and curiosity.
User-generated content is a key part of social media marketing strategy that has been leveraged by brands like National Geographic, River Island, GoPro, IKEA, Samsung, etc.
But to be able to use this content, it is rather important to give the creator or the owner of the content credits and ask permission before you make use of it in any form.
Reposting has legalities involved, taking care of which is non-negotiable as it is considered a violation of IP if practised avoiding compliance from the creator of the content.
UGC Best Practices
In order to achieve the best with UGC, being in line with these 5 key aspects is essential.
Always Ask For Permission
Repurposing UGC has legalities involved. If you haven’t ever considered it, possibilities of inviting unnecessary legal trouble is for real.
Undeniably, hashtag campaigns are a great way to inspire people’s participation, and they might also do so without knowing of it being tied to your brand’s UGC campaign.
To let users play advocates for you, gain rights of using the content created by them to your advantage.
Hence, before resharing their produced posts, make sure that you have an explicit permission to do so. Otherwise, you certainly would end up killing goodwill and putting out some of your best advocates.
Give Credits To The Creator
When you share content generated by your users, make sure that you give them clear credits. This is important to ensure that your users are excited to use and talk about your brand through their generated content. Added benefits? Giving potential users a reliable face that verifies your brand.
Moreover, giving credits is essential as a practice because it generates satisfaction in the minds of the creators about their work being appreciated and will be further inspired to create more content that speaks of you.
Hence, tag your users and give them credits wherever due.
Encourage Content Creation
According to statistics, social media posts that incorporate UGC significantly drive more engagement than content of other types.
Hence, by encouraging more people to participate in content creation, brands stand a chance to better attract potential customers, as any visual UGC content is way more impactful than brand-generated content.
Further, content creation fosters authenticity, which eases the marketing efforts of the brand. But, in order to achieve this, brands can reach out to people on social media, give away their products for free, ask users’ to introduce them for a couple of days and share their honest feedback.
Simultaneously, asking for visual reviews and testimonials apart from the organic creation of UGC can be a great way to push more people to participate.
Streamline Your Search Of UGC
With billions of people using social media platforms and an unimaginable amount of Content created, it is indeed difficult to streamline your search for relevant UGC.
Users’ across the globe not only use brand-generated hashtags to share content but also tag and mention social media handles of brands. Keeping track of this UGC is in itself a wearing out task.
Further to which a manual process of moderation can probably make anybody feel fatigued. Here, the role of social media aggregator tools is pressing.
They are not only effortless and cost-efficient but also greatly assist brands in maximizing their UGC.
Find Your Inspiration From Other Brands
A guide without examples is like pita bread without falafel. Well, yes, that’s disappointing! Head up to the last part of the blog to learn from some stand-out examples of brands that made UGC lucrative and how you can do it too with Taggbox.
Daniel Wellington strategically leveraged a blend of influencer marketing and user-generated content to build their brand’s identity and reach millions of consumers online who might not have otherwise known the brand.
As a part of their approach they:
- Laid focus on developing a brand story that would attract and inspire the audiences,
- gave away the product free of cost to the shortlisted influencers in efforts to promote their product, and
- curated an exclusive hashtag for the brand #danielwellington to prompt social media users to create and post content showcasing their products
- The best UGC content is then selected to repost Daniel Wellington’s Instagram account with the #DWpickoftheday
The hashtag campaign potentially generated more than 800K Instagram photos and videos, its account followers grew from 850K to 2.1M in a year, and its profits increased by 214%.
With these figures, it won’t be wrong to configure that UGC as a part of Daniel Wellington’s marketing strategy is its ticket to be extraordinary!
Dune London, a luxury brand, introduced UGC to its product pages to inspire customers while they browse the website. They claim that this practice helped them boost their sales significantly.
Dune used to feature a part of the UGC in customer product reviews. But in a span of two weeks post embedding user and influencer content into their product detail pages, their sales grew by 82% following the shopper’s interaction with UGC.
To quote what Mark Blenkinshop, digital marketing manager at Dune London, said,” Our customers respond very well to UGC – being able to see others wearing our products gives them extra confidence to purchase.” Furthermore, he added,” This is the latest step in a wider strategy to leverage these images as well as our own beautiful lifestyle content across the web and make the products contained within photos and videos fully shoppable. Rather than asking customers to search for what they’ve seen, we’re taking them directly to it.”
Additionally, with UGC incorporated in their email marketing featuring Dune London’s ‘Your Style’ gallery saw 55% more click-throughs when compared to previous emails not featuring UGC, this drove a six-hold hike in their revenue.
Overall, the brand witnessed a 28% higher conversion rate among shoppers who engage with UGC while shopping. Talking about their average order values, they grew by 17% over the last three months.
How Can Taggbox Help You?
Taggbox is the best UGC platform leveraged by businesses across industries to turn their marketing efforts to a new leaf. By potentially driving better engagement, reach, leads and conversions.
It aggregates content generated via different sources across 15+ social media channels in seconds, facilitates brands to filter out the content to align it with the purpose of its creation by its robust moderation panel, which can also be automated.
But just collecting isn’t enough to captivate the ‘very-specific and majorly active’ audience of today. You need more.
Customization is the ‘more’ you need. By adding differential backgrounds, fonts, themes, layouts, etc., you can enhance the look of your feed and make it appealing to the masses.
This curated feed can now be used to:
- Embed on the website
- Display on social walls in events
- Digital signage screens across industries
- Or made shoppable to enhance eCommerce’s performance of the brands.
Wait, you just can’t settle without analytics!
Taggbox also provides insightful, in-built analysis that enables brands to know the performance of the campaigns and makes changes wherever required to magnify results.
But, to be able to achieve all of this and more, UGC rights’ management is primo.
Perhaps, now, you have a sound understanding of UGC and all that you can unlock with its use. Why wait still? Reach out to us ASAP!