User-generated content or UCG refers to material that individuals create on their own to share with others. It can be anything: images, graphics, photos, videos, reviews, blogs, emails, texts, and articles. Organic by nature, this material is a gift for consumers and companies alike.
You know that eager feeling when you give a gift and hope it is just right and appreciated?
Of course, a follow-up thank you card or text is satisfying. But the clincher is when you see the person using the gift. And, better yet, posting about it in their social feed.
The same goes for brands. We don’t usually know the customers who make online purchases, but we sure hope they enjoy the items they receive. In fact, many companies base their core mission on delivering great products that people love.
So when a customer posts about the company and shares photos of themselves using products – it’s incredibly gratifying. You know they like what you do, and that feels good. Additionally, the mention conveys a genuine “thank you” that is viewable to thousands. In the world of marketing, this social appreciation is coveted. And the benefits of UGC go way beyond feeling good and being recognized. This article explains what user-generated content is and why it is so amazing (and important) for marketers.
First, let’s cover the definition.
User generated content is any material, such as text, pictures, videos, or reviews, that users produce. Unlike most other material, companies do not create this content. Instead, think of it as anything conceived by the people and shared for the people.
Individuals produce and share things from their own perspectives and experiences. The material stems from users’ viewpoints, ideas, and beliefs. Social media platforms are the primary outlets where users create and share their own content.
The scope is tremendous. According to eMarketer,
🗨️ “Every day, user-generated content is part of the online experience of millions of U.S. Internet users. From entertainment to communications to e-commerce, consumers are taking charge of the creation, distribution and consumption of digital content.”
Nearly everyone is on social media. We engage with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok—creating and devouring social posts for hours on end.
Social Pilot published some statistics that emphasize our attachment to social platforms.
Read more about the top 2023 user-generated content statistics you can’t ignore.
The leading channel for creators is Instagram. In fact, 995 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second. (OmnicoreAgency)
If you want to see how many photos have been uploaded on Instagram today, check out this live website: wouldyouhavethought.com. It’s pretty amazing!
Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase stunning images and captivating short videos. Many users are sharing their brand-related experiences. Users create a lot of meaningful content daily, allowing businesses to tap into this trust and value.
Smart marketers use its power on Instagram to boost their credibility. They do this by repurposing authentic, organic posts about their products and services. It’s not just limited to Instagram. It can be used to boost the effectiveness of ads, websites, and other marketing materials.
Get ready for the next section, where we’ll talk about the many reasons why your strategy should include material from customers, ambassadors, affiliates and more.
In many cases, we use social media as a means of connecting with others. And while people are meeting up, a natural by-product develops missive amounts of trust and loyalty.
Here is where the sweet spot emerges!
When people become aware of a product, they theoretically enter the marketing funnel. During the awareness phase, they discover that they have a problem or unmet need.
So the search begins. Potential customers look to solve their problem through search engines, social networks, customer review sites, and online communities.
🗨️ 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery.
FACEBOOK for Business
Most of these sources utilize it as their primary source of material.
Marketers can harness the authenticity to build awareness and expand their organic reach.
Marketing activities have a higher chance of connecting with consumers and their followers when they build on the relationships users already have. Thus, companies that harness the power of UCG in the social media ecosystem position themselves far ahead of their competitors.
Friends and families commonly meet on social media. When they do, the environment is inherently trustworthy. Social platforms lend themselves to word-of-mouth interactions where people discuss the things they enjoy and dislike. This is the modern-day equivalent of word-of-mouth.
🗨️ 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.
Brands running their ambassador programs on the Roster Platform have a real-time view of all the content being created and shared. It’s all captured, displayed and stored in a real-time social feed.
It’s super easy to download any image and repurpose it for all kinds of marketing and communication ideas. What a great gift!
CAC or customer acquisition cost is the sum of all sales and marketing expenses you incur divided by the number of new customers you acquire. This metric let’s you know on average what your company spends to bring in a new customer.
Material made by real people significantly lowers CAC!
For instance, retargeting is one of the simplest methods to get potential customers interested in your products. But you don’t have to spend your marketing budget on Facebook or Google Ads. Try encouraging existing customers to post about your products.
In fact, your current customers can become your champions who can produce and share continually. How To Find Brand Ambassadors: 7 Tips
Brand ambassadors can work in tandem with you to run campaigns, test creative, leverage their network, and improve conversion rates. These efforts can dramatically decrease CAC. It’s a potent partnership.
🗨️ User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate.
When it comes to credibility and authenticity, there’s no match for UGC vs branded content. Based on actual experiences and candid opinions, this type of material is considered the most dependable, honest, and genuine, especially when compared to marketing material produced by the company. The advantages of this believable and authentic content make it a true gift for marketers. If you’re lucky and doing your job right, customers will willingly share many things featuring your company, creating a powerful and trustworthy promotion that money can’t buy. Embracing this customer-driven content can be a game-changer for your brand, as it harnesses the genuine voices of your customers to build unwavering trust and foster a loyal community around your products or services.