User-generated content (UGC) is any content that is created and shared by individuals, users or consumers, rather than by brands, professional content creators or organisations.
This content comes in many forms, including text, images, videos, reviews, comments and more. UGC is very prominent on social media platforms where users generate vast amounts of content every day.
UGC can be a very powerful tool for brands, so it’s beneficial to encourage your consumers to participate. Here are seven reasons why you should be leveraging UGC within your marketing strategy.
1 – UGC is authentic
Content produced and shared by genuine users and consumers is often perceived as more trustworthy. Positive UGC shows potential customers that others enjoy your products and services, acting as social proof and increasing your brand’s authenticity and credibility.
2 – Increased engagement and reach
UGC extends to the users’ networks, reaching a broader audience of potential customers who may have never discovered your brand before. This extended audience is more likely to interact with and share content created by their peers, enhancing the reach further, as well as overall engagement.
3 – UGC is both cost-effective and scalable
When users independently generate content for your brand, minimal investment from the business is required, making UGC a very cost-effective marketing method. This continues as your brand grows, as the volume of UGC grows parallel, allowing you to maintain a fresh flow of content without constant internal content creation.
4 – Enhanced storytelling
Content created by real users creates a brand story that is much more relatable to others. It can showcase how your products or services fit into real people’s lives and experiences. This increases feelings of connection between the brand and the consumer.
5 – Encourage community participation
Creating a community that your consumers can be a part of is a great way to increase brand loyalty. Customers feel more connected with a brand if they can actively participate in its story, and in a world that is only becoming more digital, creating UGC is a simple but effective way to achieve this. It’s worth investing some time and resources to engage with the UGC that your consumers create.
6 – Share diverse perspectives
UGC can present new and unique use cases for your products and services, helping potential customers see how your offerings can fit into different lifestyles and needs. This may capture a new demographic that previously couldn’t see the value in your brand.
7 – Feedback and insights
Learn how customers perceive and use your products or services to gain a better understanding of their needs and preferences. Reviews by themselves can be a good indicator of certain feedback and insights, but content in the form of images or videos can often provide a deeper view into how customers feel about your brand and its offerings.
UGC can be an effective tool for brands, but you shouldn’t solely rely on it for your marketing efforts. Instead, encourage your consumers to create UGC and use it as a complementary feature of your overall marketing plan.