User-Generated Content – What is it and 6 Reasons Why It’s Trending
User generated content is slowly replacing all the marketing tools and is becoming the most favorite choice of marketers all across the globe.
With social media channels and accessibility of digital forums, it has become easier for consumers to put their thoughts forward. Another reason for UGC to be preferred by one and all is that people put their faith in people like them, even if it’s a stranger, rather than the brand itself.
Marketing studies have proved that around 92% consumers trust raw, unique and authentic content and are no longer interested in over hyped branded content.
Also, content marketers find it hard to continuously churn out content for different social media platforms and UGC has proved as a boon for content crises.
This is the reason why user generated content is considered marketing gold and could reap huge benefits to a business, if leveraged wisely.
Apart from the trustworthy part, UGC can also save a lot of precious time and resources that were otherwise being spent on content creation and writing scripts for the ads that might be overlooked by your target audience.
The concept of user generated content is selling like hotcakes and here are few more reasons explaining why-
1. Content Curation Made Easy
UGC is nothing but content created by brands’ users in favour of their products and services. Hello!! Did you not read the word content??
With no dearth of images, videos and reviews across various social media platforms, UGC actually saves a lot of time, money and resources on content creation as well as curation part.
Content Curation includes finding and sharing the best of content created by the third party with your target user base. Content curation helps in not only getting the right message across but also builds brand awareness. It establishes a brand as someone who will go bold with their marketing by putting consumers at the front foot. This enhances the credibility of a brand in the market. It also helps in acknowledging the brand consumers by featuring them as brand advocates. This enhances brand-consumer relationships. It also drives lead generation by means of the authenticity element of user-generated content.
2. UGC Increases Social Media Reach and Growth
Social media network and UGC marketing campaign is a marriage made in heaven. They balance each other perfectly and also help grow the brand reach when mixed together.
Running a UGC campaign on social media platforms is an effective way to nourish brand customer relationships. Few of the tips that might help with UGC creation on social media are-
- By creating a brand hashtag campaign or photo contest on Instagram
- Asking users question to kick start communication
- Launching a video/story contests
When it comes to golden example of marketing campaigns, look no further than Starbucks’ #RedCupArt campaign. An excellent way to encourage user- participation is by validating them through features and rewards.
Once the campaign is live, it is important to address every image and video entries by users or they will soon lose their interest. By giving due credit to people’s efforts, brands can keep the audience engaged like forever!
In addition to that, executing a social media-based UGC campaign also boosts social traffic resulting in:
- Wider follower base
- Increase in social media reach
- Stronger brand awareness
- Enhanced social media key metrics such as likes, shares, comments etc
- More website traffic and page visits
3. UGC brings SEO Perks
There are innumerable ways in which UGC can boost SEO efforts. According to a leading SEO analytics report it has been established that 25% of search results for the Global Top 20 largest brands are nothing but links to consumer content. Positive reviews which are also a part of UGC can improve SEO rankings.
If a brand consumer is publishing content on his/her blog, the back links to the brand website too boost SEO ranking. Also, by keeping an eye on target consumers’ most frequently used phrases, brands can take cue for long keywords and enhance keyword optimization research.
4. UGC Lets You Know about the Audience
User generated content is the galaxy of consumer data, a factor that is skipped by most marketers. By studying the kind of content a brand users are creating and sharing with their social followings can help in knowing the audience better. This is crucial when planning campaigns as they cannot be engaging when one doesn’t know the audience.
In the long term these user data driven marketing strategies drive sales and ups the conversions more organically. First thing first it is crucial to observe closely for unsatisfied feedback from users and work on them.
While creating UGC campaigns these key insights help as now one knows where the audience exists and how they behave on different social media channels. So what may work on Instagram might not work on Twitter and the knowledge will come only by analyzing user content.
5. UGC Discovers Unique Content For Marketing
Every brand has its own set of unique audiences. Therefore , it is obvious that these people will share different kinds of content. Moreover, brand reviews can never be the same and that’s why UGC cannot be copied by your competitors in the market.
This takes the pressure off the content team which is always pushing its limits to think outside the box. A brand that uses UGC has an unparalleled image in the market.
The kind of unique content it uses in marketing will also engage new consumers as they have not seen such variety of content ever before. UGC intrigues and captivates consumers’ minds and they like to know more about the brand.
- UGC Facilitates Personalization
Another great benefit of using UGC is personalization of a brand message. Marketing leaders know that for a brand audience to notice and engage with its content , it is important to realise what clicks and what doesn’t with the users. People will any day choose personalised ads over branded ads.
That’s why it is important to know what will encourage your audience in participating and communicating with the brand and what will go unnoticed. By using UGC in marketing campaigns, brands can easily overcome this as the content from real people will grab audience attention and they too want to be a part of the brand’s online community.
User generated content is the latest marketing fad and it is not going to lose its sheen anytime soon. When used effectively, user generated content can push the engagement factor and help build the audience base with time.
It also strengthens brand image and drives conversions based on genuine and unique content created by brand fans. And above all, UGC is cost effective too!